If you have been to a private party or supported any of a number of charity events in Hartlepool the chances are you will have come across Les Watts.
The popular DJ and compere has just celebrated 40 years of entertaining party goers.
It all started at home where Les got his taste for the party atmosphere.
“My dad was an electrical engineer and he started building lights and putting them around the house,” said Les.
“He started getting jukeboxes and pinball machines and everyone started coming round for a party.”
His first real gig was in 1979 when he DJ’d for his mam Ann at her 40th birthday party at the former GEC club in Tower Street.
Aged just 16, he was aided by dad Dick and together they went on to run a successful mobile disco called Dix Disco for many happy years.
Les, 56, said: “He would play the old time ballroom music and I would come up and do whatever was in the charts at the time.
“In the mid 80s we had five mobile discos on the road going all over the place.
“Eventually we stopped advertising because it was so popular.”
Les hit a crossroads when Dick passed away in 1998 and he did not know whether or not to continue.
“I was ready to pack in,” said Les. “But lots of people said he would have loved it if I carried on, so I did and branched out under the Les Watts Roadshow.”
Twenty years later, Les is still to be found spinning the tunes in social clubs at parties or charity nights almost every weekend.
He said: “I’m out most weekends doing one thing or another. I could not stop in on a weekend night.
“I would get under my wife’s feet.”
Les, married to Jackie, has had stints on local radio and is also a big supporter of a number of local charities.
He has offered his services to Miles for Men, Hartlepool’s March of the Mods music event, Alice House Hospice, Bringing Back A Smile, and fundraisers run by the town’s scooter community.
It has earned him the affectionate nickname Mr Heartlepool.
Les, a dad of four and granddad of five, whose day job is as office manager at Joel Kerr Funeral Services, said: “It is just nice to give something back.
“We have all these worthwhile charities and they are all local.”
And he has no plans to hang up his microphone just yet.
Les said: “I absolutely love it, I have met so many people and made so many friends over the years.
“It has been a brilliant journey. The music I play is really varied, whatever they want they get.
“It is probably why I have been going for so long.”
Les says today’s most popular floor fillers are Bruno Mars’ Uptown Funk, Proud Mary by Tina Turner and 90’s club classics.
Les’s Top 10 Tunes
1 The Jam - Going Underground
2 The Jam - Town Called Malice
3 Commodores - 3 Times a Lady
4 Stevie Wonder - Sir Duke
5 Frank Wilson - Do I Love you Indeed I Do
6 The Jam - David Watts
7 Secret Affair - Time for Action
8 The Lambrettas - Poison Ivy
9 The Kinks - You Really Got Me
10 The Who - My Generation