Interview with Henry Normal of Baby Cow Productions
PUBLISHED: 00:16 27 December 2011 | UPDATED: 20:29 20 February 2013
Henry Normal and his business and writing partner Steve Coogan, who both live in Brighton, form one of the powerhouses of British comedy with their company Baby Cow Productions.
Tell us about BIG CHEER
Its a comedy gig at The Dome in Brighton. We had the first one last year and we had a star cast of names like Steve Coogan and some big local people like Count Arthur and Seann Walsh. Simon Evans did us a turn last time. People really liked him. We will announce the names for this year later. It would be great if we could sell out.
I have an autistic son Johnny whos aged 13. We got in touch with Amaze when we found he was autistic. We are in regular contact with them and use their services and a couple of years ago they asked us if we would like to get more involved. My wife Angela Pell wrote a film called Snowcake with Sigourney Weaver and Alan Rickman in it which is about an adult autistic woman so she has a bit of a profile as a creative and in the arts so we thought we would see what we could do to get a bit of funding for Amaze. And also to get them a bit of publicity because they are doing a great job and like a lot of these organisations are threatened by the cutbacks.
How long have you lived in Brighton?
I have lived here for 13 years now. I lived in Manchester doing The Royle Family and The Mrs Merton Show and Steves early stuff and then I moved down when we were having Johnny and the first thing I wrote in Brighton was The Parole Officer, which was a film Steve and I wrote together.
Why do you like Brighton?
I love it. I think its a great place, its very cosmopolitan. There are lots of different people who all seem to get on. You never seem to feel threatened in Brighton. You can walk around on the streets. I think Brighton is a very welcoming place. Theres a healthy biodiversity.
Did Brighton play a part in the formation of Baby Cow?
It was a happy coincidence. Me and Steve said as weve both got a connection down here lets set up a company, to work together, so we set up Baby Cow 13 years ago. Wed written together before in Manchester. I live over the hill from Steve now.
Do you have any other favourite places in Sussex?
We tend to go over to East Sussex. There is a great Italian chip shop just off the front in Eastbourne that we go to quite regularly. We like Herstmonceux Castle. You get a nice cup of tea and a cake there.
I like Seaford Head, its a good place for a walk. You can blow your troubles away up there. And we like the little church in the middle of Friston Forest and the Bluebell Railway, Johnny likes railways. And the gardens at Sheffield Park.
Its not rock and roll like I used to do with punk bands but you grow and change as you get older, dont you?
For tickets to BIG CHEER ring the Brighton Dome ticketline 01273 709709 or visit their website www.brightondome.org
Amaze is a Brighton and Hove charity supporting families with children with special needs and disabilities. To find out more about their work and how to support them visit www.amazebrighton.org.uk Their helpline is 01273 772289.