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Comeback kid Marty ready to make waves at Lyric

RTE veteran Marty Whelan has revealed he plans to shake things up on RTE's Lyric FM.

The station has brought comeback kid Marty into the fold to brighten up the station with an innovative midday programme.

Marty's show will feature some of the great interpreters of 20th-Century popular song including Ella Fitzgerald, Frank Sinatra and Tony Bennett.

An excited Marty told the Herald: "I am over the moon with my new position in Lyric. It couldn't have come at a better time.

"I want to bring a bit of Marty to Lyric and jazz it up a bit.

"Hopefully there will be a bit of everything on Midday with Marty. I am delighted with the opportunity to make it my own.

"Listeners can expect a bit more chat. I am not into the serious stuff, it will be light enough. Lyric is a station on the move, it is a positive step in the right direction I think."

Delight

Despite his obvious delight with his permanent radio gig, Marty admitted that his first love is TV.

"Everyone loves the television but the beauty with radio is that one can age gracefully," Marty explained. "Lyric might have a boring reputation but my argument is we can do something with this. We can make it our own -- with a producer as good as Aine Ryan anything is possible."

There was outcry in 2004 after Marty's TV show Open House, which he hosted alongside Mary Kennedy, was axed to make way for The Afternoon Show.

This came shortly after Marty was replaced as Master of Ceremonies for the Rose of Tralee, with Ryan Tubridy taking over the slot in 2003.

However, Marty soon embarked on the comeback trail.

A substitute slot for Gerry Ryan on his morning radio show on RTE 2fm in the summer of 2005 led to a more permanent return to the station.

Controversy

Marty in the Morning, which itself caused controversy when it replaced The Rick & Ruth Breakfast Show, began in September 2005.

"What can I say -- I persevere, I keep my head up and try to keep pushing through -- it is the only way," he added.

In January 2007, it was announced that Marty in the Morning would end that March, when Colm & Jim-Jim arrived from FM104.

Marty was on holiday when he discovered another show had been axed.

However, he feels his new show on Lyric FM will win over fans. "I have been around the block long enough to know what it feels when it is right. This is really good for me," he said.

"I am always enthusiastic about my career. Everything changes, as broadcasters we need to adapt to a changing environment it keeps the excitement going."

hnews@herald.ie