The DJ who saved our party

Autistic DJ David Johnson comes to rescue of mayor and mayoress's final disco evening
Autistic DJ David Johnson comes to rescue of mayor and mayoress's final disco evening

A young disc jockey saved the day when the mayor and mayoress of South Tyneside’s farewell bash threatened to hit a sour note.

A civic reception was organised at South Shields Town Hall last week to mark Coun Fay Cunningham and her mayoress Stella Matthewson’s year in office.

But at the last minute organisers realised there was no music to make the party go with a swing.

So deputy mayor Richard Porthouse immediately put in a call to his pal, 24-year-old David Johnson, an administration worker at Cleadon Park Health Centre and presenter for Hospital Radio South Tyneside.

David, who has autism, immediately agreed to step into the breach – and civic guests enjoyed a fun-filled evening in celebration of a year of municipal service.

It was a typical effort from David, who “lights up any room with his huge smile”.

Autistic DJ David Johnson comes to rescue of mayor and mayoress's final disco evening

Autistic DJ David Johnson comes to rescue of mayor and mayoress's final disco evening

The young DJ, of Lindisfarne Road, Jarrow, refuses to dwell on his autism and lives a full and productive life.

He said: “It was short notice but it was a brilliant experience for me. I have been deejaying since I was 16 and before that I was inspired by the North East DJ ‘Goffy’.

“I played mostly sixties and seventies music for the mayor’s farewell event and it went down really well.

“I have a bit of banter on the microphone which people always seem to like and I usually perform a song on the karaoke early in the show, usually Roy Orbison’s Penny Arcade.”

He added: “I really don’t think about my autism and I just try to get on with life and get on with people.

“I hope to eventually to DJ on local radio but that is pretty hard to achieve, so we’ll see.”

Coun Cunnigham said: “David saved the day. He came along at the last minute and filled the breach. He created a lovely atmosphere for our civic guests.”

Norman Scott, manager of The Robin Hood pub in Jarrow, where David also deejays, added: “David lights up a room with his huge smile. He’s an inspiration to us all.”