READY TO IGNITE: (left to right) Toyah Willcox puts a flame to the pudding held by head chef Tony Shepard, while guest services manager Andy Thompson holds the fire extinguisher at the ready

READY TO IGNITE: (left to right) Toyah Willcox puts a flame to the pudding held by head chef Tony Shepard, while guest services manager Andy Thompson holds the fire extinguisher at the ready

SINGER and actress Toyah Willcox fired-up this year’s Christmas celebrations at the Days Hotel Marsham Court by setting light to the Christmas pudding.

Toyah, whose famous hits include It’s a Mystery and Thunder in the Mountains was at the hotel in Russell Cotes Road, Bournemouth, as the special guest of the Dorset Ladies Luncheon Club.

The club, which has over 180 members, is celebrating its 40th anniversary and invited Toyah to be guest speaker at its annual Christmas Lunch.

Performing the traditional lighting of the Christmas pudding, which was made by head chef Tony Shepard, Toyah said: “Being asked to light the Christmas pudding came as a complete surprise. It was huge, with a lot of Brandy! and it was good fun.”

Accompanying Toyah was her husband Robert Fripp, guitarist with the rock band King Crimson.

Janet Hayward, the president of the Dorset Ladies Luncheon Club said:  “Toyah has been a wonderful guest, taking time to speak to everyone she has met and we are really looking forward to hearing all about her varied life in her speech.”

In a career spanning more than 30 years, Toyah has had eight Top 40 singles, released over 20 albums, written two books, appeared in over 40 stage plays and 10 feature films, and voiced and presented numerous television shows.

The Dorset Ladies Luncheon Club has been holding monthly meetings (between October and April) at the Days Hotel Marsham Court for over 20 years.

Rosie Wallace, general manager of the Days Hotel Marsham Court said: “It was great to have Toyah at the hotel. She is a fascinating woman and full of sparkle – the perfect choice to perform the traditional lighting of the pud.”

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