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


Jim White gets around. When he's not releasing his own critically acclaimed solo albums he splits his time producing records for other songwriters, exhibiting his visual art in galleries and museums across the USA & Europe and publishing award winning fiction.

To mark 150 years as a performance venue, Brighton Dome is seeking memories from across its rich history. Submissions will help inform new heritage displays which will go on show when the refurbished buildings re-open in late 2018.

Greg James and Chris Smith's Kid Normal has been chosen as the 2018 'big read' for children across Brighton & Hove and beyond. 

Son of Dave is fifty years old, and has lived for twenty-one years in the UK, hailing originally from Winnipeg Canada where he was steeped at a young age in the blues-bar tradition. 

The stand-up Jon Richardson is chatting from a rather unusual location. He reveals that,“I'm currently in the Aldi car park in Clevedon.” Who said that the life of a comedian isn't non-stop glamour?

A remake of one of Brighton's most iconic films, Brighton Rock, is set to take place this week on the 70th anniversary of the classic starring Richard Attenborough – and members of the public are invited to dress up in vintage 1940s attire and take part.

Brighton charity Same Sky has launched its crowdfunder for Burning the Clocks 2017 – an uplifting antidote to the excesses of a commercial Christmas. 
(c) Gone Fishing + Marathon Artists 2017

MMODE – aka Belfast brother & sister duo Lucy & Thomas Gaffney – have  announced that their self-titled debut album, MMODE, will be released next month.

The WWE bandwagon rolled into Brighton recently to deliver its quality brand of big names and even bigger action.
Pic by Ian Kelsey

It's not often a group of young men pool their creative resources to benefit the health and wellbeing of others. It's even rarer when those young men are musicians. But that's exactly what the Brighton-based collective, 40 Shillings On the Drum, have done with the release of their new single. The English Coast.

Direct from an extended season in London's West End, Bill  Kenwright's production of Alan Ayckbourn's farcical tale of matrimonial mishaps, How the Other Half Loves comes to Theatre Royal Brighton, this month.

Experience the whisper of stories, speaking of the Black Atlantic, singing of jazz and Harlem and the African American literary renaissance in As Waves of One Sea. 

Louise Redknapp rose to fame as a member of the girl group Eternal. She left the band to carve out a successful solo career achieving sales of over five million records with five albums.
Stereophonics (c) Andrew Whitton 2017

Twenty years after their debut (Word Gets Around) and six No.1 albums later, Stereophonics are set to release their new album Scream Above The Sounds, this week.

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