HE made the album that changed the face of electronic music, bridging the gap between dance and pop.

And more than 20 years on, the DJ is still one of the most recognisable names on the global circuit.

Welcome to the world of Norman ‘Fatboy Slim’ Cook who will be returning to Creamfields when he plays the Arc stage on Friday, August 23.

The 56-year-old is a mainstay at the Daresbury festival.

He said: “It’s for the love of the crowd. It’s the benchmark dance festival in England. I also go to Glastonbury every year for very similar reasons.”

You can take Norman at his word for that because the DJ is in the position where he can pick and choose his shows.

The dad-of-two added: “I try and spread it out over the year because it’s quite easy as a DJ to play all summer and not see your kids and then do nothing in the winter.

“Obviously you have to go to the southern hemisphere for the good shows in the winter so at that time of year I’ll generally do a couple of trips to South America or Australia because it keeps you working and means you don’t have to work as hard in the summer.

“If they wanted to, a DJ could probably follow the sun and play festivals all year round. It’s a question of how much you want to.

“It’s finding that balance. This way I can play every other weekend and dip my toe. It’s not like being in a band when you’re on tour and don’t see your family for months.”

Just months ago, Norman also embarked on his first ‘in the round’ arena tour of the UK.

So did playing to tens of thousands in a new way feel overwhelming?

He said: “It did sometimes when you’re thinking: ‘How am I going to project to the people at the back? How on earth are they going to be involved in this?’

“But sometimes you can play to that many people and think of them all as your ‘best friends’.

“I was like: ‘This is 250,000 of my closest friends and we’re all having a party together’. So it depends. That was the beauty of being on the beach in my hometown.

“As long as there’s something going on. As long as you feel you’re all somewhere beautiful and there’s a common purpose.”

It sometimes goes deeper than that for Norman.

He added: “There’s a thing that I call collective euphoria which is when you’ve got a big crowd like that and it becomes almost like a political rally or a religious gathering where there’s an empathy with everyone.

“You’re all in tune with the common purpose of escaping – of being stupid and escaping reality.

“And it’s quite a powerful thing. The more people you do it with, the more powerful it becomes. It’s bigger than the sum of its parts.

“That’s something where you look at a really big crowd and think: ‘We’re going to make some noise’.

“You can get such excitement out of a crowd that big.”

Norman has made music under many different guises – including three years with Paul Heaton’s band The Housemartins – but his massive breakthrough was with his second Fatboy Slim record, platinum-selling, Brit Award-winning, You’ve Come a Long Way, Baby.

He said: “We got a feeling that something was happening. With the first album, there were tracks on it that were opening new doors and turning people on.

“At the club I was doing – Big Beat Boutique – every week there were queues going around the block.

“We knew we were doing something right so I kind of had a blueprint in my head of where to take it next. By then I’d been in the music business long enough that you can tell when you’re onto something.

“There was a moment. All the stars were aligned. Everybody was ready for something different and the Chemical Brothers and I seemed to be on the vanguard of it.”

As you may remember, the cover of You’ve Come a Long Way, Baby features a heavyset, smiling man at the 1983 ‘Fat People’s Festival’ in Danville, Virginia.

But because the man could not be identified, the album had a different front cover in the States due to American law.

Norman added: “I really wanted to find him to be honest. I put out all these feelers and asked if anyone knew him to give him a ring.

“I’d have loved to have met him to shake his hand and buy him a drink but we never found him. I just saw the picture in a newspaper and loved it. That album was originally supposed to be called Viva la Underachiever. That was the title until three weeks before we released it and all of a sudden, I’d had a number one with Corner Shop and two of my own songs in the top 10.

“And people were like: ‘So who is the underachiever in this scenario?’ I changed the album title because it didn’t really work anymore but I originally chose him because he looked like my favourite ‘underachiever’.

Meanwhile, Norman has been working with filmmaker Julien Temple on a silent movie about Ibiza – before clubgoers invaded it.

He said: “We’re telling the story of Ibiza without vox pops or commentary. Just the music and the visuals tell the story but it’s not about ravers. It’s a slightly tongue in cheek history lesson.”

Viewers will also get to learn about the origins of Ibiza’s name – with the help of a Madchester music icon.

It comes from Bes, an ancient Egyptian deity who came to symbolise music, dance and sexual pleasure.

Norman added: “So when we re-enact this who do you think is playing Bes? Yes that’s right – Bez plays Bes – like I said it’s a light-hearted history lesson...”