Wicked Littlehampton: surf, sand, cafes and art in West Sussex

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Olivia Coleman’s latest film – Wicked Little Letters – has put the spotlight on an English seaside town that is ‘set for a summer boom’

It’s not often that Littlehampton, a small seaside town on the Sussex coast, makes the news. In the five decades since I was born there, I can count the times on the fingers of one hand: Nik Kershaw making the video for The Riddle in 1984 (oh, the teenage excitement); Anita Roddick, the town’s favourite daughter, being made a Dame in 2003; and the opening of the Thomas Heatherwick-designed East Beach cafe in 2007 (known to my family as the Rusty Tin).

This time, it’s for a poison pen letter scandal that rocked the town in the 1920s, now the basis of a major new film, Wicked Little Letters, released last Friday. Set on the streets of Littlehampton (although filmed in nearby Worthing and Arundel), the movie pits prim Olivia Colman against Jesse Buckley’s feisty Irishness in a battle to prove who is writing the letters.

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