IT’S 20 years since the multi-platinum selling, Brit Award-winning You’ve Come A Long Way Baby – one of the albums that came to define the 90s.

But Norman ‘Fatboy Slim’ Cook is still breaking new ground.

The DJ – who has a star next to Winston Churchill on Brighton’s Walk of Fame – is about to embark on his first UK arena tour.

Norman has played almost every other kind of show from the infamous Big Beach Brighton in 2002 to the performance just months ago when he played 162 meters above Brighton in the i360 pod.

The 55-year-old is also a regular at Creamfields and Glastonbury.

But he had always been hesitant to take on arenas – until 2016 and a plea from his manager.

Norman said: “Basically I never really wanted to play arenas because they’re such soulless impersonal venues.

“But my manager always wanted me to play The O2 – it was on his bucket list – so it did happen and because we did it ‘in the round’ it was great.

“It ceased to feel like The O2 because it felt like this big night club.

“It got over a lot of my worries about arenas being impersonal because once you’re in there looking in the middle at the DJ you forget where you are.”

Warrington Guardian:

That is why the DJ has been convinced to take the ‘in the round’ arena show on tour.

He will be at Manchester Arena on Thursday, February 28.

He added: “You forget you’re in a big room and just feel like you’re in a big party.

“And for me it’s much easier because I’m half as far from all the audience as I generally would be.

“For me communication with the audience is key.

“I like to feel like the crowd are involved in the show and I’m involved with the crowd so it halved the size of the building in my mind.

“Then there’s the good points of playing an arena which means you’ve got much more budget to throw at the production.

“You can make it look much more exciting visually and you can build things that you can’t have at festivals or beaches.

“Hopefully you get the best of both worlds.”

Meanwhile, Norman is about to jet off for his first tour of New Zealand.

He admitted ‘chasing the sun’ and having the occasional escape from the grim British weather is a perk of the job.

Norman said: “I go to New Zealand regularly but normally it’s tacked on to the beginning or the end of an Australian trip.

“But this time we’re doing six shows in New Zealand so I get to spend some time there which I’m looking forward to.”

Rather than gigging all summer the dad-of-two spreads his shows out throughout the year so he is never away from his children, Woody and Nelly, for extended periods.

He added: “I try and spread it out over the year as it’s quite easy as a DJ to play all summer and not see your kids and then do nothing in the winter.

“So this way I can spread it out but obviously you’ve got to go to the Southern Hemisphere for the good shows in the winter.

“I generally do a couple of trips to South America or Australia at the time of the year because it keeps you working.

“It means I can work less hard in the summer.

“DJs could probably follow the sun and play festivals all year round.

“It’s a question of how much you want to do.

“In a band you’ve got to go on tour and play every night whereas this way I can play every other weekend and dip my toe and still see my family.”

Fatboy Slim is at Manchester Arena on February 28. Visit and for tickets.