Business Personal Finance

Wednesday 22 November 2017

Objects of Desire with Marty Whelan

The Lyric FM breakfast presenter and Winning Streak host tells Andrea Smith about his favourite items

Marty Whelan's brown suede Chelsea boots from
Marty Whelan's brown suede Chelsea boots from
Marty Whelan dances with Bruce Springsteen.
Marty Whelan's yellow MGB Roadster, £7,500 (€9,525)
Pearl Roadshow Drum Kit, €489,
Martin Luther King's 'Let the Trumpet Sound', €19.50,
Marty wears his late father Seán's wedding band on the little finger of his right hand
Retro landline phone.

Boots: I like to think I'm stylish - well, I am in my own mind anyway - and I love my brown suede Chelsea boots (€249,

They're so comfortable that it's like wearing slippers, and I loved the first pair I got so much, I wore them out. I had to buy another pair from Adrian in Louis Copeland on Pembroke Street.


In the 1990s, Mark Cagney and I DJed at a party for Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band. Bruce wanted us to play Roy Orbison's Oh! Pretty Woman (€1.29, I asked him to dance, messing. It was hilarious as you can see in this photo.


I have a landline phone on my desk dating back to the old P & T days. I love the look of it, and it's special because I can't use it for business. As it's a dial phone, you can't dial extensions with it as they want you to do these days when you ring anywhere, so all I can do with it is use it to make calls to people to say, 'How are you?'


I bought my yellow MGB Roadster in 1981, because I thought it was the most gorgeous car and that was the last year they were making them. It cost £7,500 (€9,525) which was a fortune back then, and Maria and I had to postpone our wedding to buy it. I love it, but to be brutally frank, it was always breaking down and took an awful lot of maintenance. It went away for years, but it's back now as HB Dennis in Swords restored it. It doesn't go, but we'll get it going.


I wear my late father Seán's wedding band on the little finger of my right hand, because it reminds me of him and it's really important to me. I find it a comfort when I'm thinking of things. It's a signet ring, but it's so old, my dad's initials are nearly rubbed away. He was a terrific father, and I haven't taken the ring off since he died in 1998. I was an only child, and he, my mum Lily and I were very close.


My favourite book of all time is the Martin Luther King book, Let the Trumpet Sound (€19.50, I read it in secondary school, and it changed my outlook on a whole bunch of things in life and sparked my interest in the civil rights movement.


I played drums in school and was in a couple of bands, and I had a set of drums that cost £25 (€31.75). We eventually sold them, but later on my mum said, 'You really should have a set of drums for bashing away on.' She bought me a black Pearl Roadshow Drum Kit (€489, and I love it. There's a floor drum, two tom toms, a snare, a bass and two cymbals. I still play them now and again just to annoy the neighbours, and it's one of those really fun things to do.

Marty presents RTÉ Lyric FM Top Orchestral Hits with Liz Nolan and the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra on Friday 24 June, 8pm at the NCH.

Irish Independent

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