Fatboy Slim: Working in cafe during lockdown has helped my mental health

Laura Harding, PA Deputy Entertainment Editor
·2-min read

DJ Fatboy Slim has said working in his community cafe during lockdown has been good for his mental health.

The music star, who has owned the Big Beach Cafe in Hove for seven years, said he started helping out behind the counter when he was not able to perform his regular gigs.

He told The Chris Evans Virgin Radio Breakfast Show: “It’s in Hove Lagoon which is literally the end of my road and it’s a family community cafe.

Oxjam 2016
The DJ behind the decks (Yui Mok/PA)

“Both my kids have worked there over the years but then after 10 months of sitting around doing absolutely nothing because I can’t do my regular job, I got drafted in to help out because we lost two-thirds of our staff as they had to quarantine.

“So I stepped in and it was really good for my mental health to get out of the house and talk to people.

“It’s very popular with walkers, so all the way through this current lockdown it’s a destination for people out on their exercise walks.

“My mental health is a lot better if I get to talk to people all day rather than sit around not doing anything.

“It’s a lovely little community. There is a lot of dog action, there’s a lot of kid action and it’s just a really friendly place to be rather than sitting around watching daytime TV.

“It was built in 1910 so it’s very much an old school cafe. We do lots of veganism and organic produce, but we have basically a very traditional cafe and have lots of chips and burgers and coffees and ice cream.”

Fatboy Slim, real name Norman Cook, said it has been difficult that the only DJing he has been able to do is over livestream.

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He said: “For most DJs our only avenue of expressing ourselves is to do live streams but for me the whole experience of DJing, the whole magic of it, is that communication with the crowd and the conversation you have.

“It’s a two-way street and if you remove the crowd it’s just a bloke playing records on the table.

“The streams that we have done, I’ve tried to put a little twist on it. The one I did with Idris (Elba) and we were Zooming into people’s lounges so we could see them on a big screen.

“We could wave at them, send messages, dance with him and fist bump them through the screen which was quite a laugh.”