Pete Waterman

Pete Waterman

name = Pete Waterman

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birth_date = birth date and age|1947|1|15|df=y
birth_place = Coventry, England.
death_date =
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occupation =
known_for = Record producer, occasional songwriter, radio and club DJ, television presenter, railway enthusiast
title =
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website = [ Pete Waterman Limited]

Peter Alan Waterman OBE (born 15 January 1947) is an English record producer, occasional songwriter, radio and club DJ, television presenter, president of Coventry Bears rugby league club and a keen railway enthusiast. He is the owner of significant collections of both historic and commercial railway locomotives and rolling stock, a passion and expensive hobby made possible by the huge commercial success of the acts he signed.


Born in Coventry, Waterman was a teenage train spotter at Leamington Spa railway station every Saturday morning. He enjoyed this so much, he began collecting railway equipment - some of which had been stolen, for which he was convicted of receiving stolen goods. Waterman had left Whitley Abbey Comprehensive School (now rebuilt and called Whitley Abbey Community School) illiterate, not learning to read until the age of thirty-eight. [ citeweb
title=The diamond geezer
author=Shane Danielsen
publisher=The Australian
] The judge who convicted him gave him a six months suspended sentence, subject to him travelling to Wolverhampton on a free pass and making tea for the depot staff. After his six months service, the depot foreman offered him a job as a cleaner, from which he progressed to a fireman. After closure of the depot, Waterman choose to follow a career in music, being inspired by The Beatles. To supplement his income as a DJ, Waterman became a gravedigger and then an apprentice at General Electric Company, becoming a trade union official.

Musical career

Building a record collection through rare US imports, [ The Coventry kid who made good] BBC C&W - 31 March, 2006] his DJ work began to take him across the UK, entertaining bigger crowds with a blend of R and B and soul music tunes he had sourced. Given a residency with the Mecca group, he developed new initiatives including matinee discos for under 18s at Coventry’s Locarno club, which gave him a valuable insight into what music interested a younger audience. Waterman noticed that the younger dancers preferred records with high beats per minutes and this influenced his later work.

Waterman took up a job as an A&R man, and worked in the Philadelphia scene, which included introducing the Three Degrees to the UK. He then moved to Jamaica working with Peter Tosh and Lee Perry, and producing Susan Cadogan’s reggae-crossover hit "Hurts So Good."

In 1979, Waterman set up Loose Ends with Peter Collins, the first coming under the name 14-18 with a single inspired by World War I - "Good-Bye-Ee," and then hits with artists like Musical Youth and Nik Kershaw. He then set up his own company PWL (Pete Waterman Limited), in 1984, quickly signing producers Matt Aitken and Mike Stock, who produced the "Whatever I Do" for Hazel Dean. The trio formed the team Stock Aitken Waterman, whom became one of the most successful musical production teams of 1980s.

To date, Waterman has scored a total of twenty two UK number one singles with his various acts and he claims upwards of 500 million sales world-wide (inclusive of singles, albums, compilation inclusions, downloads, etc). Pete has also appeared in the Steps video "Tragedy".

Waterman is worth £30 million [Sunday Times Rich List 2006-2007, A & C Black (ISBN 978-0713679410)] according to the Sunday Times Rich List.

Television presenting

Waterman co-presented "The Hitman and Her" with Michaela Strachan. He also presented a show on Radio City.

In more recent years, Waterman has appeared as a judge on both series of Pop Idol in the UK, and also , the latter leading him to become manager of the winning boy band One True Voice. Waterman said to rival judge Louis Walsh that if One True Voice failed to reach the 2002 Christmas number one in the UK, he would commit suicide. [cite news |url= |title=Pete Waterman: I don't watch 'The X Factor' |work=The Telegraph |date=2007-10-03 |accessdate=2008-01-14] One True Voice were duly beaten to the number one spot by Girls Aloud, the programme's winning girl group, managed by Walsh. Waterman returned as judge for the second series of Pop Idol, but was constantly critical of the eventual winner, Michelle McManus, and was unashamedly unhappy when her victory was announced. Waterman has since said he will not appear on any similar programmes in future. [ [ Waterman vows never to return to Reality TV] retrieved March 13 2008 ]

Following his interests in railways, Waterman presented a historic self-retrospective view in "Waterman on Railways" for Channel Four/the Discovery Channel. Waterman also appeared in an advert by the National Blood Service in the UK, their sixth TV advert which also features Carol Smillie and Will Carling.

He recently filmed for the new spoof TV program, Peter Kay's Britain's Got the Pop Factor in which he appears as himself.

Outside music

In 1988 he revived the name of the London and North Western Railway Company for his rail vehicle maintenance business, based at Crewe, which is now the largest privately owned rail maintenance business in the country. He also has an interest in model railways, and is the founder of the model railway business 'Just Like the Real Thing', which specialises in O scale kits. He works closely with model-maker Malcolm Mitchell on this project. He continues to retain an interest in the company and regularly accompanies its sales stand to model railway exhibitions. Waterman has an extensive private collection of railway models and railway layouts, in O scale and larger gauges. [cite video |people= May, James (interviewer); Pete Waterman (interviewee)|date2= 2005-12-21|title= James May's Top Toys|url=|medium= Television production|publisher= BBC|location= London|accessdate = 2007-11-12]

In addition to his passion for music and the railway, Waterman is also a huge supporter of Walsall FC. [ [ Mogul Pete on balti pie mission] Express & Star - 18 August, 2007] He is also a rugby league fan and is president of Rugby League Conference side Coventry Bears.

In the New Year's Honours List published 31 December, 2004 he was given an OBE for his services to music. In December 2006, he became a patron of the newly formed charity, the City, Lambeth and Southwark Music Education Trust. [ citeweb
title=CLS MET

Personal life

Waterman has been married three times:
*Elizabeth Reynolds: 1970 - 1974 (divorced) 1 child - his son Paul died three days after confirmation of his OBE, at the age of thirty three. He had been at the Institute of Neurology in central London since June 2003 with a serious illness.
*Julie Reeves: 1980 - 1984 (divorced) 1 child - his son Pete Junior was involved in a near-death go-karting accident in 1999, seeing him left badly burnt and in a coma
*Denise Gyngell: 1991 - 2003 (divorced) 2 children - Toni Tuesday and Charlie Ella live with their mother in South West London


*"I Wish I Was Me: The Autobiography"; Virgin Books ISBN 1-85227-900-1
*A Train is for Life : Ian Allan Publishing ISBN 978-0-7110-3329-0


External links

* [ Pete Waterman Limited]
* [ Waterman's model railway manufacturing company website]
*imdb|id=1080299|name=Pete Waterman
* [ "Pete Waterman: Lucky, lucky, lucky"] at BBC news

NAME= Waterman, Pete
SHORT DESCRIPTION=Record producer, occasional songwriter, radio and club DJ, television presenter, railway enthusiast
DATE OF BIRTH= 15 January 1947
PLACE OF BIRTH= Coventry, England.

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