Ahead of his largest NZ tour to date, the iconic DJ Norman Cook aka Fatboy Slim sat down with Auckland’s own DJ Jordan Eskra to spill the tea on his career, life, and love for rainbow communities. 

In his own words, Norman is a 59-year-old father of two and quite a responsible member of society. Fatboy Slim on the other hand is an irresponsible lunatic with a mental age of about 16. 

“It’s a bit like Clark Kent and Superman, only more stupid,” he laughs.


That lunatic is one of my biggest inspirations as a DJ. In fact, the first record I ever played on turntables was The Rockafeller Skank. So, you can imagine my fangirl reaction when I was asked to interview him. 

They usually say never meet your heroes, but Fatboy Slim did not disappoint. Within five minutes of meeting him he felt like a friend. But that’s what he is well-known for, and part of the reason for his success. 

His impressive 40-year run includes a Guinness World Record for the most top 40 hits under different names. And I wouldn’t be surprised if he also holds the record for the most-booked straight DJ at Pride events around the globe.

Fatboy Slim has never been ashamed to explore his camp side, which should come as no surprise given that he grew up in Brighton, the gay capital of the UK. He even has a podcast with the same namesake, Pride of Brighton, which he says is a love letter to the LGBTQIA+ community.

“I’ve spent enough time hanging out in gay clubs to appreciate the sort of subtleties and camper tunes that I’ve been dying to drop, that I probably couldn’t get away with playing to a straight crowd.”

To my surprise, a personal favourite of his was the enigmatic and influential disco producer Bobby O.

“I was cutting my teeth when gay disco was a really big thing,” he tells us.

Norman’s 21-year-old son, Woody Cook, came out as bisexual in 2019. Following in his dad’s footsteps, Woody became a DJ and has since performed at mega-festival Glastonbury. 

They even recently performed together which Norman says was eye-opening, seeing the shared love they both had for audiences. Which is something Norman says keeps him coming back down under.

“It’s Kiwis, the people, that really turn me on. Good natured, educated lunatics. My favourite kind of people,” he exclaims.

I knew at that moment he was my kind of person too. I’ve always been in awe of his energy, stage presence and of course his music, which has hugely influenced my own. 

So where does that energy come from? Apparently, it starts with a good hard slap, quite literally. 

“It’s one of my rituals to make sure I’m in the mood when I go on stage. My tour manager just slaps me really hard in the face, and that way I go on stage with my adrenaline pumping.”

Norman says his favourite track to play is (still) Praise You. 

“The lyrics of it just mean so many different things in different situations, from a football match to anybody’s relationship – ‘we’ve come a long, long way together, through the hard times and the good’”, he sings.

“It can mean me and the audience, and so it just always feels like that kind of affirming thing of we’re all together through the hard times and the good.”

After going through the hard times of lockdown (didn’t we all) Fatboy Slim is back bigger than ever. 

If anything, Norman says it has re-kindled his love for playing live and he is now more grateful than ever for doing what he gets to do, 40 years on. 

Fatboy Slim will return to NZ later this month embarking on his largest down under tour to date, playing summer shows in Christchurch (Jan 27), Napier (Jan 28), Auckland (Jan 29), Wellington (Feb 3), Queenstown (Feb 4), and Taupō (Feb 5). Tickets available from

DJ Jordan Eskra.

Jordan Eskra is one of New Zealand’s favourite gay DJs. His crowd-pleasing mixes have filled dance floors across NZ & Australia. As Director of Theta Project, Jordan leads the production of LGBTQ+ events in Aotearoa including well known party brand, PROPAGANDA. Follow him on Instagram @jordaneskra.