Belfast Telegraph

It's all gone gong for Pete Tong

Superstar club DJ Pete Tong has said he is happy for his name to have become a byword for something gone wrong, as he was awarded an MBE by the Duke of Cambridge.

The Radio 1 presenter was honoured for a career in broadcasting and music that has seen him progress from running a mobile disco to launching a record label and becoming an in-demand producer.

His name has passed into the language as rhyming slang for "wrong" - with the phrase "it's all gone Pete Tong" used to describe a mishap.

After receiving the award from William during a Buckingham Palace investiture ceremony Tong said a fanzine first used the phrase "as an affectionate slap around the head", but "it just stuck and turned into an amazing legacy - I've never had a problem with it".

It was also used as the name of a comedy movie where a DJ realises he is becoming deaf.

Tong added: "The movie obviously was great fun - why run away from something that's so catchy so I use it as my brand really when I do parties around the world. "

Speaking about his career the DJ said: "I've been standing here for a few hours waiting to do this and still have to pinch myself - I've spent my career doing something I love, playing records.

"There are so many worthy people here today, I feel quite humbled by all the servicemen, policemen and the charity workers and people like that.

"So I count myself lucky to be recognised in this way."

The 53-year-old, who relocated to Los Angeles from the UK last year, has also worked as a producer, supervised the soundtracks for films such as The Beach and 24 Hour Party People and has released a lengthy list of compilations and mix albums.

His musical interest began in his youth as a drummer but he progressed to DJ-ing and after leaving school he first operated a mobile disco and then set up his own club night in London as well as booking bands.

Tong's specialist knowledge helped him to become a music writer on Blues And Soul magazine but after four years he went to work for music label London Records as an A&R man.

After hosting a soul show on a Kent radio station, he went on to land a show on Capital Radio and three years later in 1991 he was given a dance show on Radio 1, the Essential Selection which has helped him to become one of the most in-demand club DJs in the UK and with seasons in Ibiza, and he continues to present for the station.

While his radio career was building, Tong continued his record company interests with his own label FFRR releasing music by dance acts such as Utah Saints as well as groups such as Fine Young Cannibals and Hothouse Flowers.


From Belfast Telegraph