Celebrities

Zoe Ball’s ex Fatboy Slim talks ‘enforced retirement’ after turning to cafe for work

Fatboy Slim discusses working in a cafe during lockdown

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Fatboy Slim, 57, began working in his cafe in Brighton for a “sense of purpose”, after DJ gigs were cancelled due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. The father-of-two said some customers “raised eyebrows” when they realised it was him behind the counter.

Discussing life in lockdown, the DJ said: “It’s been interesting, it’s been really strange because my job, I’m under no illusions – there’s no way you could even think about doing my job right now.

“So, I’ve had a sort of an enforced retirement which at first was alright. because I got to spend quality time with my kids last summer.

“Normally, I’m working a lot during the summer months.”

He went on to say: “But when my kids went back to school and autumn kicked in, it was starting to get a little turgid.

Norman decided to work at his side business, Big Beach Cafe in Hove for something to do while he was off from his usual job.

“That was really good for my mental health,” he explained to Naga Munchetty on BBC Radio 5 today.

“Just to give me some kind of sense of purpose and connection with other human beings after sitting at home for 10 months.”

The radio presenter then asked if customers recognised his face, to which he replied: “Half of them know it’s me and out of that half, about 10 per cent are impressed.

“It’s a local cafe so most of it is regulars, at first they raise an eyebrow but now I think I’m part of the furniture.”(sic)

The record producer has since announced a string of gigs set to take place later this year.

He said of customers’ reaction to him returning to his life as a DJ: “When we did a film announcing the tour, with me hanging up my apron to go back to my old job, everyone was like, ‘We’re really going to miss you around here’.

“It’s nice, it’s a different life, there are ironic moments of me serving people in a cafe – a few raised eyebrows.”

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Fatboy Slim shares children Woody, 20, and 11-year-old daughter Nelly with his ex-wife Zoe Ball, 50.

The pair tied the knot in 1999 and went their separate ways in 2016.

Norman went on to say he had helped out with the homeschooling during lockdown and praised his daughter for not complaining during the pandemic.

Last year, Zoe praised her ex-husband for being the “best dad” and a “good friend”.

She told Red Magazine: “He is such a good friend and a good guy.

“It’s not always been easy and it’s taken time.

“He’s been through a lot, I’ve been through a lot, but now we’re in a great place as parents together.”

Zoe is now dating construction boss Michael Reed following the death of her partner Billy Yates in 2017.

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