Brighton Magazine

The Brighton Magazine

Selected Brighton Magazine Article

Saturday 07 May 2011

Brighton-Based Investigative Journalist Set To Speak About His Five-Years In Solitude & Near-Death Experience

A former award-winning BBC Panorama reporter headlines a literary event with his debut memoir that documents a half-decade living in a remote Welsh cabin – with no electricity or water.

Neil Ansell will read from his book Deep Country at Brighton Festival Fringe night Grit Lit.

The book was published in April on Penguin imprint Hamish Hamilton, but climbed the bestsellers list before it was even published (it reached number five on Guardian's bookshop's bestseller list).

In 1990, Ansell, at the age of 30, was given an offer he couldn't refuse: a dilapidated cottage in the mid-Wales mountains, for a peppercorn rent of just £100 a year.

The book catalogues his five years of living in the cabin in the hills, "chopping wood and cooking over a log fire, drawing water from a well and growing enough food to become almost self-sufficient."

The 51-year-old Brightonian describes his 'departure from the rat race' as being 'alone but not lonely' and his near-death experience:

"What I had not allowed for was illness. I finally noticed that my ribs were protruding as though I was starving."

He shares the stage with debut novelist Ed Siegle, whose book Invisibles was also published this spring with Brighton publisher Myriad Editions, and an ambitious line up of seven published writers and novelists.

The night – Grit Lit - promotes non-fiction, short stories and real life tales that present an edgier seam of the world, from the hilariously surreal to the mundanely grim and from noir to crime to literary fiction and all genres in between.

Contributing writers on the night include Wendy Ann Greenhalgh, Stephanie Lam, Dan Holloway, Ed Siegle, Steve Silverwood, and Dan Tsu, Amy Riley and Tim Lay.

Brighton Festival Fringe literary event Grit Lit will be held on Thursday 12 May at Redroaster Coffeehouse, 7.45pm-10pm. Redroaster Coffee House is on 2d St James" Street, Kemptown, Brighton and has a licensed bar.

Advanced tickets are £6 from Brighton Dome box office or on the Fringe website

by: Mike Cobley


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Last year marked the 40th anniversary of Paul Weller's first album, In The City, which he released with The Jam in May 1977.

In anticipation of International Women's Day and to mark the centenary of the 1918 Representation of the People Act - which gave many women the vote in UK for the first time -  Attenborough Centre for the Creative Arts (ACCA), Brighton, will host a panel debate on women in creative leadership.  

Brighton's contemporary art gallery Fabrica has launched a crowdfunding appeal to rescue its finances in light of recent funding cuts which threaten the organisation’s future. 
Peace Pic (c) Jonnie Craig 2018

Indie rock quartet Peace have released stand-alone track, Power, a unifying anthem between the band and their fans at their notoriously raucous and tribal live shows; this is Peace 2.0; new label, new tunes and a sure fire statement of intent from the four-piece.

The Netherlands has been chosen as the lead international partner for The Great Escape who will be working alongside the Dutch Music Export to highlight the country's most prominent rising stars.

The Love Supreme Jazz Festival, the UK's only major greenfield jazz festival, today announces a host of acts confirmed to perform at this summer's event, which returns to Glynde Place in East Sussex from June 29th – July 1st 2018.

Split Britches present an up-to-the minute topical interactive show which takes unexploded ordnances as a metaphor for the unexplored potential in us all - particularly elders – and tries to uncover it. 

Albert Hammond Jr's new album Francis Trouble explores a deeply personal topic – the stillborn death of his twin brother, Francis, and the lingering effects that event has had in his life and music. 

Punk. Funk. Rock. Soul. The main ingredients in a potent witch's brew that the Bellrays have been mixing for a long time now.

Brighton Unitarian Church has been awarded a grant of £227,500 from the Heritage Lottery Fund to restore its endangered classical Greek frontage, which dates from 1820, and is one of the city centre's finest landmarks.

Star of BBC's Live At The Apollo and The Mash Report, Geoff Norcott takes to the road with his new show following a sell-out season at the Edinburgh Fringe festival.

Chris Difford is a rare breed. As a member of one of London's best-loved bands, the Squeeze co-founder has made a lasting contribution to English music with hits such as Cool For Cats, Up The Junction, Labelled With Love, Hourglass and Tempted.

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