INTERNATIONAL megastar Fatboy Slim returned to Brighton beach for two electrifying shows to celebrate 20 years since his famous Big Beach Boutique gig in 2002.

Real name Norman Cook, the DJ was responsible for one of the largest outdoor parties to date after a quarter of a million people descended on the city’s shores two decades ago.

Chaos quickly followed, and Norman’s future of playing on the pebbles again looked unlikely.

But miracles do happen, and The Argus caught up with him yesterday afternoon, fresh from his show on Thursday as he was getting ready for round two on Friday night.

“It was emotional,” he said, as we sit in the office of his beautiful seafront home in Hove, surrounded by memorabilia.

“Just the thrill of being able to do it again after all these years. I didn’t think we’d actually ever do it on the pebbles again.

The Argus: He played two nights of top dance music on the seafront. Photo: Eddie MitchellHe played two nights of top dance music on the seafront. Photo: Eddie Mitchell

“The main excitement about doing these beach gigs and the reason we try to keep doing it is because it’s a celebration of my relationship with the city. I’m proud of the city I live in, and I love it.

“It’s a two-way love affair. I love the city and the city seems to love me. To be accepted and respected in your own home like this is really beautiful, and it really works for me.

“Whenever I play in Brighton, I feel like I’m just playing to my friends at a house party because I feel comfortable with it.

“Thursday night, just shepherding all those people on to the beach, leading them into a communion of nonsense and escape. It’s kind of religious, a wonky religion.”

But despite decades of experience and playing right around the world, the DJ said he still gets nervous, particularly when playing in Brighton.

And while he might have dealt with nerves back in 2002 with a drop of alcohol, Norman, now 58, spent Thursday looking after himself – as he has been sober for 13 years.

The Argus: The area was packed. Photo: Eddie MitchellThe area was packed. Photo: Eddie Mitchell

“I went to the gym, got some bits and bobs in from Co-op, did some promo and then went down really early to enjoy every minute of it,” he said.

“I’ve waited 20 years for this, I’m going to wring everything out of it.”

Norman has recently been working on a documentary to celebrate the 20-year anniversary of his 2002 show, and said that only now has he realised the scale of what he achieved with the gig.

“I never really thought about it. At the time, my life was so crazy, so we never really stopped and thought about it, we just got on to the next one,” he said.

“It’s only with the benefit of 20 years of hindsight that I’ve had to take stock and think about just what a momentous thing it was to do.

“Not that it was a cultural turning point, it didn’t really change anything, it was just a celebration of that moment where dance music was coming out of just being in nightclubs to these big events.

The Argus: People in boats joined in from the sea. Photo: Eddie MitchellPeople in boats joined in from the sea. Photo: Eddie Mitchell

“It was a gathering of all the tribes all in one place – which then turned into a bit of a humanitarian disaster. But there was no agenda, just a party.”

But now Norman is a father first, worldwide superstar second. His priorities have changed, and his focus is family-orientated. His friends are hanging out in the living room as we chat, and he seems calm, yet buzzing to get back on stage.

The group waiting for our interview to wrap up are the same people who joined him for the 2002 show, though I cannot help but think this time their celebrations will be a little tamer.

“I don’t really have any ambition with my career now,” said Norman.

“I’d just like to prolong it, enjoy the ride, and deal with the beautiful things that come my way.

"But at the moment, I'm enjoying it more than ever."