It was a big move coming from Australia, and Brighton feels like a home- from-home. It's by the sea, it's 50 minutes from London, but it doesn't have the capital's claustrophobic nature. There is such a broad range of people who live there. There's a nice culture, it's a bit "cosmo" because of the strange mix of people it attracts. Brighton is very tolerant towards newcomers because of the itinerants - the students, the foreigners and the massive gay community. You don't have to have lived there for three generations to be considered a local or to be accepted.
It's called Foggs. The chef is a really good cook and a nice man. It is just down the road from our flat by the West Pier, so we tend to go there a lot. The owners have become mates, so it never feels uncomfortable or awkward going there. I would say the atmosphere of Foggs is one of conviviality and geniality and the food is out of this world. I love his garlic potato skins, which are particularly beautiful. It really is cholesterol city in there, very naughty food. The decor is pretty crazy - there's a weird green cuboid in the centre of the restaurant.
Pub and Club?
I don't go to pubs much, it's too much hassle. You use your local to have a quiet drink ... and I can't have one. Clubs, I'm too old for that sort of carry on now, it's not easy being Joe Mangel in a room full of tripping youngsters. People find it hard enough looking at me when they are straight: when they are tripping, it's just too bizarre. I try to avoid it, rather than go asking for trouble.
I think I would take my date on to the Pier, go promenading, have a look at the funfair, I'd buy her fish'n'chips on the way in, a doughnut on the way out and hope for an electrical storm. We'd book in to one of the front rooms in the Grand Hotel. After all, they are not going to blow it up twice, are they?
Favourite quiet spot?
I have a couple, but it's hard having any quiet spots or moments when you have young kids. For the last year I have been conceiving a new comedy show, which is a conceptual look at the current state of play on a global level, so it does take a lot of thinking about. It's not easy putting the UN in Bosnia or Nazism into comedy. It is usually late at night when I'm at home, those strange, bewitching hours of two or three in the morning when it's really quiet and there is no noise, that I think about things. You do your best when you have kids.
My best memory is when I filled the Dome with my comedy show in 1993. It was such a great night with 1,000 people from such different backgrounds, laughing and having a good time. It was a really sensational night. God, we laughed that night. You are supposed to stick to your allocated comedy slot of 65 minutes but I ended up staying on for well over two hours. I did let them out for a few toilet breaks, but then we carried on. It was a sensational evening,
In the early days, when we moved to Brighton, I had no work and no job. It doesn't matter where you are, when you haven't got work it is so hard to be active or creative. Your day is taken up with worrying about where the next quid is coming from. It's doubly stressful when you have young kids. I didn't blame Brighton for it because there is a lot of cheap entertainment to be had there. I used to sit on the beach looking out to sea and imagine what I could do if I had money. But now things have changed.
What would you change about Brighton?
The beach is geologically very young, give it 40 or 50 million years and I think Brighton could have a beautiful sandy beach.
Where would you send your worst enemy to?
I'd send them down to Shoreham where they can help unload the calves that they ship over to Europe. Yes, a bit of live export would be good.Reuse content