FATBOY Slim has given his backing to the campaign to restore the Hippodrome to its former glory after witnessing the venue’s stunning interior for himself.

The globe-trotting DJ was guest of honour during a hard hat tour of the grade II* listed theatre on Tuesday and told The Argus he was blown away by the size, beauty and good condition of the venue.

And the 52-year-old - aka Norman Cook - has said he would love to perform at the historic venue and follow in the footsteps of The Beatles if it reopens.

The Middle Street theatre, which has also hosted Sammy Davis Jnr, Laurence Olivier, Harry Houdini and Laurel and Hardy among many stars over the years, is back on the market for £2.5 million after campaigners were given a six month grace period to begin their bid to become the new owners.

Brighton Hippodrome CIC is currently exploring plans and funding opportunities for three options; the £8 million basic restoration of the interior, the £13 million creation of flexible 900-seat capacity “Theatre of Varieties” or a £30 million 1,500 capacity lyric theatre capable of hosting large-scale touring productions.

The CIC hope to potentially open the venue in 2018 if funding through heritage grants, a community share scheme and potential commercial development partners can be found.

Norman got involved in the campaign when he spoke to a Save The Hippodrome campaigner at a book launch and described the tour, where he joined Theatres Trust trustee Professor Gavin Henderson and Brighton Hippodrome CIC's David Fisher, as “mindblowing”.

He said: “You wouldn’t believe how big it is inside especially considering it’s in the South Lanes where everything is on top of each other.

“It’s the same as the Dome but more ornate and remarkably well preserved, it’s certainly not falling down as I’d feared.

“It’s a beautiful piece of history right under our noses but a lot of people don’t even know it’s there.

“Zoe [Ball, Norman’s wife] has walked past the front of it hundreds of times and never even noticed it.”

He added: “Considering it’s a grade II* listed building there’s no danger it’s going to get knocked down, it’s going to be restored in some shape or fashion so let’s see it back to a proper theatre.

“I would much rather it return as a central auditorium rather than as a bingo hall or for multi-media use.

“I would love to play there, if it’s good enough for The Beatles then of course I would love to tread the boards.

“I think the important thing now is to secure the freehold and make sure it’s in the right hands.”

Campaigner Louise Turner said: "It was an amazing privilege and I can only reiterate what a fantastic community asset the Hippodrome could be."