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I love San Francisco and Brighton has something of San Francisco about it. It's by the sea, there's a big gay community, a feeling of people being there because they enjoy their life there.
I know that Brighton is famously a mixture of the seedy and the elegant, but in the summer of 2001 seediness swamped elegance hands down.
When I moved to Brighton from London in 1995, I was struck by what I thought of as its townliness. A town, it seemed to me, was that perfect place to live, neither city nor country, both of which like to think they are light years apart but actually have a great deal in common.
Of course, New Brighton is very shabby, very rundown, but people still go there because it's the place where you take kids out on a Sunday.
I like to spend time with my family. The majority of my time is spent in London, but I do like to escape and spend time with them in my hometown of Brighton on the south coast.
What I have always liked about Brighton is its impersonality. Since the 18th century, people have come, used the place and gone home again.
Brighton gives me the heebie-jeebies. When I'm near the seafront I can't sleep, I can't eat.
My job as artistic director at the Brighton digital agency Lighthouse is all about trying to show that digital culture is about more than just tools and gadgets - it's about perceiving the societal transformations being brought about by technology.
I've just made a cancer drama, called 'Now Is Good,' directed by Ol Parker and starring Dakota Fanning. We filmed in Brighton and it's about a girl dying of leukemia, although it's not as depressing as it sounds.
I talked my parents into sending me to Roedean at 16. I had this idea that if I could get into Cambridge, then I could join Footlights. My problem was that I went to a comprehensive in Brighton. I thought I'd have to start from a good school, and the best I could think of was Roedean.
I miss Brighton enormously, enormously. There is so much I miss, including rain. I miss the verdant countryside.
I hate going out in Brighton now. It's different in London. People respect you more there.
I'm now the Lord of the Brighton Manor.
I grew up with my stepfather in Brighton, but I did spend a lot of time with my natural father, and I was loved by both, so I suppose the advantage of this was that I wasn't bound by one set of experiences; I always had an alternative.
I decided that the University of Sussex in Brighton was a good place for this work because it had a strong tradition in bacterial molecular genetics and an excellent reputation in biology.
I felt Brighton was a perfect ending to a really interesting career.
A news junkie, I read, daily, the 'Times/Sunday Times,' the 'Guardian/Observer,' 'Mail,' and the 'Argus' - both to keep up with crime in Brighton, where I set my novels, and because I think it is vital to support local papers - they provide a unique accountability for councils, emergency services and so much else, and are dangerously undervalued.
It must be said that Brighton, unlike London, makes driving seem very appealing. Instead of glowering faces and angry horns on all sides, we have the coast road in front of us and the Sussex Downs just 10 minutes behind us.
I proposed to my wife on Brighton Beach, and she said yes. That's pretty romantic. Even though I forgot to go down on one knee because I was too busy trying to compose the question.
In fact, Moon came on tour with us for a bit just before a big festival in Brighton, I think.
I spent two years playing open mic nights in Brighton, and I heard more and more people saying, 'You should give it a go in London.'
For a while we were chasing a book by Graham Greene to do Brighton Rock as a musical. We didn't get the rights, so we decided to create something from scratch, with Jonathan. By that time we were big fans of his work.
Playing Joanne in 'London to Brighton' was my first taste of film, and I loved every second of it.
Leonardo da Vinci
John F. Kennedy
A. P. J. Abdul Kalam
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