Pete Waterman: Sing When You're Winning

“So long as you don’t want to talk about f**king Saturday, that’s OK,” growls music impresario and Pop Idol judge Pete Waterman.

Ah yes, Saturday. Pete’s beloved Walsall had managed to snatch a draw from the jaws of victory thanks to what might kindly be termed an error of judgement at the back. And the generally genial Midlander is in an unforgiving mood.

“I’ve seen some bad goalkeepers in my life, but honestly,” he splutters, in a manner familiar to all who have sat open-mouthed in disbelief at another Saturday afternoon howler. “He walked out of the goal, he went outside the f**king box and the guy has just knocked it over him. It’s fundamental stuff.”

Your mind can’t help but go back to the defining moment of the last series of Pop Idol on ITV. As one half of the Cowell-Waterman double act, he routinely savaged young wannabes, albeit without reaching the vitriolic levels of his high-waistbanded sidekick.

Disgusted that heavyweight Scottish chanteuse Michelle McManus was to be crowned winner of the money-spinning talent contest, Waterman stalked off set apparently muttering dark words such as ‘travesty’ and ‘ridiculous’.

Safe to say, then, that Waterman is a man who wears his heart on his sleeve and is not in the habit of saying things just to keep people happy.

Born and raised in the Midlands he began life as a Coventry City fan, but experienced his ‘road to Damascus’ moment during a routine away match in the early-1960s. “I went with City to the old Fellows Park [Walsall’s home until their 1990 move to the Bescot Stadium], and just fell in love with it,” he says. “It was a real football ground and a smashing little club. 

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Nick Moore

Nick Moore is a freelance journalist based on the Isle of Skye, Scotland. He wrote his first FourFourTwo feature in 2001 about Gerard Houllier's cup-treble-winning Liverpool side, and has continued to ink his witty words for the mag ever since. Nick has produced FFT's 'Ask A Silly Question' interview for 16 years, once getting Peter Crouch to confess that he dreams about being a dwarf.