Cooper Brown: He's Out There

'I showered with the scariest journalist on TV... He has good reason to be confident'
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I've only been in the UK for three weeks and I'm already feeling more like a Cockney than a former resident of Los Angeles. In the meantime, my place in Laurel Canyon has been let to a writer-producer from Paramount for double what it's worth. Guess who's in a spending mood!

I've never been here before and I'm loving every moment. I'd been told so many stories about the place by my friends in LA that I was a little bit worried but, so far, you guys have turned out to be kind of cool.

Of course, it helps having a British girlfriend. I met Victoria at Minnie Driver's beach barbecue in Santa Monica, and she's a great girl. She won't let me write about where she works, but let's just say it's fashion, sweetie. Every girl I meet here is in fashion - so how come the people on the streets look like refugees? Answers on a postcard.

I got to go meet her parents last weekend, and that was kind of weird. Somehow she forgot to mention that they happened to be fricking aristocracy!! We drove down to Wiltshire where they have their home. The place was bigger than the nearby town. I'm in slacks and a polo and her old man's wearing a Jermyn Street suit and tie. For LUNCH. Suddenly I'm going down long corridors and into this unbelievably humungous kitchen. I thought they were going to be on a throne or something. Seriously, it was that kind of deal.

They were pretty cool, though I got the feeling that I wasn't exactly their ideal future son-in-law. It felt like some kind of test and I figure that I got 50 per cent, could do better. I don't think the mother liked me. I didn't show enough interest in her garden apparently. This is a woman with three gardeners. Do your own gardening - then I'll show you some interest. But I clicked with daddy over his cars. He took me to check out his "collection". Frankly, it was a bit disappointing. But I was the first person to have really appreciated the '62 Ferrari he had, so that was a point scored to me. The other four were cool but no big deal. (I've never got the whole Bentley, Jaguar thing). He went nuts over my Quattroporte. Victoria says I can't drive it around London as it's such an obvious babe magnet. I promised her I'd be taking the metro or the bus. (Yeah, right!!)

I've just rented a place in Westbourne Grove in Notting Hill that she doesn't like. She says it's what all us Yanks do and I should get somewhere in Chelsea. OK for her to say - she's two doors away from Hugh Grant and his beautiful Indian wife. Living next door to her would definitely convince me to move to Chelsea. My British friend Ben took me to the Electric Club in Portobello Road. One crazy night - and it looks like I've found my new home from home. The drinks are reassuringly expensive - $16 for a cocktail. You people don't mess around, do you? No, seriously, it's worse than New York.

I met two outrageous gay guys who do a TV show. Talk about hating your audience! These guys were vicious. I need to get watching Big Brother if I want to make any kind of polite conversation with anyone. This is a show (I kid you not) with a guy suffering from Tourette's Syndrome, a gay Canadian and the woman with the largest breasts in Britain. Go UK! I thought we were supposed to make that kind of stuff. Speaking of TV, is there any show on here that's not a version of ours? The Apprentice, Millionaire, Deal or No Deal. That's the beauty of globalisation, I guess.

I also talked to some rich kid who'd been in India for three years and is writing a book about the whole deal. You should have seen his eyes when I told him I was in movies. I gave him the dummy card (I don't have a proper office number yet). Whatever, there was no way this kid was going anywhere near a movie, not with me anyway.

Movie bigshot? Moi? I'm so glad you asked. I've been hired as a consultant to a Government taskforce on the "creative industries". Without wishing to blind you with science, it's an initiative to get you guys finally to make some decent movies. (Only kidding. I LOVED Love Actually, actually). If things go OK, I'll be in London for three years.

Yesterday I joined a gym near the house. Back in LA, the sweatshops are where all the real business gets done. Over here the problem is that I don't know who anyone is. I went there with Ben and that helped matters. There was a shoe designer, a couple of TV presenters and we apparently showered with the scariest journalist on TV. Having lathered myself up alongside him, I can tell you he has good reason to be confident.

I start work for real next week. I'm in Soho Square (which I really like already). Apart from the Electric Club, I'm supposed to join The Groucho. This will be where I do my business in Soho, according to Ben. Victoria seems to be able to sort all that sort of thing out with one phone call. Cooper seems to be connecting.

Next week it's Victoria's 30th birthday bash at the V&A museum. My first big British party. Tell you all about it (later).