Radio 1 presenter and club DJ Pete Tong was a surprise name on the New Year Honours List, after being awarded an MBE.

The 53-year-old received the honour for his services to music and broadcasting - but said it would not have happened "without so many great tunes".

pete tong

Pete Tong

"It's great to receive this honour for being a DJ. I'm proud that it acknowledges a profession that I care about a great deal, and one that's made a huge impact around the world," he said.

"I'd like to thank BBC Radio 1 for its unerring commitment to dance and electronic music and for supporting and encouraging me for over two decades.

"I'd like to thank all the club promoters in the UK and around the world for their passion and commitment to putting on amazing events and the artists producers and DJs that have been making and innovating with the music. This wouldn't have happened without so many great tunes," he added.

pete tong

Pete behind the decks

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. His 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.

Pete - who relocated to Los Angeles from the UK earlier this 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.

He also holds the rare distinction of having a name which has passed into the language, as rhyming slang for "wrong".

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