Waterman in 2008
|Born||Peter Alan Waterman
15 January 1947 
Stoke Heath, Coventry, England
|Residence||Warrington, Cheshire, England|
|Occupation||Record producer, songwriter, radio and club DJ, broadcaster, railway enthusiast, entrepreneur|
|Title||Chairman of Pete Waterman Entertainment
President of Coventry Bears
|Spouse(s)||Elizabeth Reynolds (m. 1970; d. 1974)
Julie Reeves (m. 1980; d. 1984)
Denise Gyngell (m. 1991; d. 1999)
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. As a member of the Stock Aitken Waterman songwriting team he wrote and produced many hit singles. 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 commercial success of the acts he signed.
Born in Stoke Heath, Coventry, Warwickshire, Waterman left Whitley Abbey Comprehensive School (now rebuilt and called Whitley Abbey Community School) to work at a railway depot. After closure of the depot, Waterman chose 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.
Building a record collection through rare US imports, his DJ work began to take him across the UK, entertaining bigger crowds with a blend of rhythm and blues and soul music tunes he had sourced. Given a residency with the Mecca Leisure Group, he developed new initiatives including matinée 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. It was at the Locarno that Waterman first met Neville Staple, later to be a vocalist for The Specials - a band that Waterman would manage for a brief period. In early 2009, Waterman wrote the foreword to Neville's biography "Original Rude Boy", which was published by Aurum Press in May 2009.
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 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 song "Whatever I Do" for Hazell Dean. Stock Aitken Waterman became one of the most successful musical production teams of the 1980s.
To date, Waterman has scored a total of twenty two UK number one singles with his various acts (including Kylie Minogue, Rick Astley, Bananarama, Steps, Mel and Kim, Donna Summer, Sinitta, Cliff Richard and Jason Donovan) and he claims upwards of 500 million sales worldwide (inclusive of singles, albums, compilation inclusions, downloads, etc.). Waterman has also appeared in the Steps video "Tragedy".
In the late-1990s, production company Celador hired Waterman to compose a song for their new quiz show, Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?. The company felt the song unsuitable, and instead approached Keith Strachan.
Waterman co-wrote and produced with Mike Stock "That Sounds Good to Me" by Josh Dubovie, the 2010 Eurovision Song Contest entry for the United Kingdom, which finished in last place with 10 points.
Waterman has appeared as a judge on both series of Pop Idol in the UK (2001–03), and also Popstars: The Rivals (2002). The latter saw him become manager of the winning boy band One True Voice, who then lost the race to Christmas number 1 to the same show's winning girl group, Louis Walsh's Girls Aloud.
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, and has on several occasions attacked more recent talent shows (specifically those devised by his former Pop Idol colleague, Simon Cowell). Waterman has stated that he turned down offers to participate in The X Factor, Britain's Got Talent and American Idol, citing fix allegations and being put off by unprofessional behaviour including that of Popstars: The Rivals co-judge Geri Halliwell during the show.
Whilst he has kept his promise not to appear as a talent show judge, on 12 October 2008, Waterman joined his fellow ex-Pop Idol judges Neil Fox and Nicki Chapman on Peter Kay's spoof talent show Britain's Got The Pop Factor... And Possibly A New Celebrity Jesus Christ Soapstar Superstar Strictly On Ice, a fully scripted fictional spoof on the talent show genre. The show parodied the emotional manipulation behind Cowell's shows, with Waterman memorably interrupting a funeral to tell an ousted contestant that the loss of his gran (who had died of shock when learning her grandson had been dropped from the show) would provide the sob story he needed to get him on to the show.
In factual television, Waterman's interest in trains saw him present 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.
Waterman was one of the contestants in the 2009 series of the BBC programme Celebrity MasterChef, but was knocked out in the first round.
Waterman wrote and produced the UK entry for the 2010 Eurovision Song Contest. This song was performed by the final three acts on Eurovision: Your Country Needs You! on 12 March 2010, Josh Dubovie was chosen to represent the UK. The song came under much criticism and William Hill's betting odds gave the song 125-1 chance that the song would win, the longest odds for a UK entry ever. In the end the song, "That's Sounds Good To Me", came last at the 2010 Eurovision Song Contest receiving only 10 points in total.
Other commercial interests
Waterman's main interest outside music is in railways. He has been involved in several railway ventures over the years. In 1988 he revived the name of the London and North Western Railway Company for his rail vehicle maintenance business, based at Crewe, which was the largest privately owned rail maintenance business in the country until it was sold to Arriva in November 2008. In 1994 in the opening stages of the privatisation of British Rail, he bought the Special Trains Unit which ran tourist charters and the like. This was sold on after a few years. Waterman also owns a steam locomotive and carriage restoration company called LNWR Heritage, based at Crewe Heritage Centre. He also founded the Waterman Railway Heritage Trust, which currently owns several steam and diesel locomotives including 5224, 5553, 7027 'Thornbury Castle'; 46035 'Ixion' and 47402 'Gateshead'.
He also has a keen interest in model railways, and is the founder of the model railway business Just Like the Real Thing, which specialises in O Gauge kits. He works closely with model-maker Laurie Lynch 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. He is currently building a large model of Leamington Spa railway station, in O scale, set in the 1950s. He has written several books and many magazine articles on the subject. He has said that his ability to become absorbed in making models helped him cope with grief after the death of his son.
In addition to his passion for music and railways, Waterman is also a huge supporter of Walsall F.C.. He is also a rugby league fan and is president of Rugby League Conference side Coventry Bears.
In the New Year 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.
Waterman has been married three times:
- Elizabeth Reynolds (m. 1970–74, divorced): one son Paul (1971–2005)
- Julie Reeves (m. 1980–84, divorced): one son Peter (born 1981)
- Denise Gyngell (m. 1991–99, divorced); two children Toni Tuesday and Charlie Ella
- I Wish I Was Me: The Autobiography (London: Virgin Books) 2000 ISBN 978-1-85227-900-4
- A Train is for Life (Shepperton: Ian Allan Publishing) 2008 ISBN 978-0-7110-3329-0
- Just like the Real Thing: Modelling Railways (Shepperton: Ian Allan Publishing) 2009 ISBN 978-0-7110-3455-6
- The Fame Factor (Shepperton: Ian Allan Publishing) 2009 ISBN 978-0-7110-3411-2
- The Coventry kid who made good BBC C&W - 31 March 2006
- Tweedie, Neil (2007-10-03). "Pete Waterman: I don't watch 'The X Factor'". The Telegraph (London). Retrieved 2008-01-14.
- "The Hit Factory: Pete Waterman's Greatest Hits: Various: Amazon.co.uk: Music". Amazon.co.uk. Retrieved 2011-12-31.
- "INTERVIEW: West End director Keith Strachan takes Dancing in the Streets on tour". This is London. 20 October 2009. Retrieved 2010-03-23.
- Nick Smurthwaite (21 March 2005). "Million pound notes - Keith Strachan". The Stage. Retrieved 2010-03-23.
- Waterman to pen UK Eurovision song The Press Association - 29 January 2010
- "Germany Wins, See Full Results!". Eurovision. European Broadcasting Union. 28 May 2010. Retrieved 2010-05-29.
- Sunday Times Rich List 2006-2007, A & C Black (ISBN 978-0713679410)
- Waterman vows never to return to Reality TV retrieved 13 March 2008
-  Geri Halliwell made me quit TV, says Pete Waterman] retrieved 29 June 2012
- "BBC announces writer/producer for 2010 Eurovision Entry". 2010-01-29. Retrieved 2010-03-02.
- Ryle, Sarah (1995-04-16). "British Rail sale should stop, says the first person actually to buy a part of it ...". London: The Independent. Retrieved 2010-01-05.
- "The Waterman Railway Heritage Trust - Charity Number 1039409, Details, Financial Information and Comments from directors". Charitiesdirect.com. Retrieved 2011-12-31.
- May, James (interviewer); Pete Waterman (interviewee) (2005-12-21). James May's Top Toys (Television production). London: BBC. Retrieved 2007-11-12.[dead link]
- "Leamington Spa - The Model". Pete Waterman Entertainment Ltd. Retrieved 2010-01-05.
- "How model trains saved my life". The Express. 2009-09-27. Retrieved 2010-01-05.
- Mogul Pete on balti pie mission Express & Star - 18 August 2007
- "Dr Waterman is lucky, lucky, lucky". Manchester Evening News. 2004-04-05.
- The London Gazette: . 31 December 2004. Retrieved 17 October 2010.
- "CLS MET".
- Channel 4 News, 28 July 2011
- Pete Waterman on Smooth Radio
- Pete Waterman Limited
- Waterman's model railway manufacturing company website
- Pete Waterman at the Internet Movie Database
- "Pete Waterman: Lucky, lucky, lucky" at BBC news
- Waterman's sold railway maintenance business
- Pete Waterman interviewed at the Steam Museum in Swindon by BizView.tv
|Co-chairman of Loose Ends
with Peter Collins
|Chairman of Pete Waterman Entertainment
|President of Coventry Bears
unknown – present