Saturday 23 September 2017

'I'm glad nobody knows what RTE is paying me', says station stalwart Marty Whelan

Marty Whelan
Marty Whelan
Marty Whelan and wife Maria pictured at the Triple celebration for Carol Hanna's Entertainment Agency at the Intercontinental Hotel in Ballsbridge ,Dublin. Picture: Brian McEvoy
Marty Whelan and Sinead Kennedy at the launch of the new season of Winning Streak.
TV personalities Marty Whelan and Sinead Kennedy launch the new season of Winning Streak. Picture: Mac Innes Photography
Kathleen Watkins and Gay Byrne
Gay Byrne, Marty Whelan and Rory Cowan at the opening night of The Sound of Music at The Bord Gais Energy Theatre Dublin.
Marty Whelan and Maria Whelan attend Michael Colgan's final farewell as Artistic Director of The Gate Theatre

Sean O'Grady

Marty Whelan is happy to miss out on a place on RTE's top 10 highest earners list - because it means no one will ever know his salary.

The Winning Streak host (61) has worked at Montrose for more than three decades and despite being one of the station's best known personalities, his name was notably absent from the list of its highest paid presenters, which included Ryan Tubridy (€495,000), Joe Duffy (€389,988), Miriam O'Callaghan (€299,000) and Nicky Byrne (€200,583).

When asked about  salary details, he said his colleagues are doing their best with their respective roles.

"As long as I stay out of the top 10, you'll never find out, please God, so we will just let it go," he said. "You do the best you can with your job and hope you're getting paid appropriately for what you deliver."

Marty Whelan and Sinead Kennedy at the launch of the new season of Winning Streak.
Marty Whelan and Sinead Kennedy at the launch of the new season of Winning Streak.

While he might be grateful his salary is a secret, the father-of-two joked he wouldn't mind making the same as some people on the list.

"I look at it and go, 'you're paying them that?'. It's incredible. I want to be paid as much as Ryan, is that OK?" he said. "We all do what we do and we do as best we can with what we are. Whatever situation needs resolving will be resolved by people who were certainly above our pay grade."

Speaking at the launch of the new series of Winning Streak, Marty said he has no plans of slowing down anytime soon.

"I will keep in radio and television for as long as I want to and for as long as they want me to," he told the Herald. "Why would I stop doing something I love? I won't stop doing it unless I choose to or they choose to. As long as you're enjoying it and you're happy with it, why would you stop?"

Marty Whelan and wife Maria pictured at the Triple celebration for Carol Hanna's Entertainment Agency at the Intercontinental Hotel in Ballsbridge ,Dublin. Picture: Brian McEvoy
Marty Whelan and wife Maria pictured at the Triple celebration for Carol Hanna's Entertainment Agency at the Intercontinental Hotel in Ballsbridge ,Dublin. Picture: Brian McEvoy

And he sent his well wishes to his old friend Gay Byrne, who is returning to Lyric FM and gearing up to host another season of his show The Meaning of Life, after taking time off to focus on his battle with prostate cancer.

"I'm meeting Gay next week, we're going for lunch and a chat. I love him, he's a legend," he added.  "He's coming back on Lyric in October and I'm so pleased. He's such an icon."

Winning Streak returns to RTE One on Saturday, September 23, with Winning Streak scratch cards available nationwide for €3.

Kathleen Watkins and Gay Byrne
Kathleen Watkins and Gay Byrne

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