Thursday 22 August 2019

'If I had a cat, I'd have kicked it' - Marty Whelan on Dancing with the Stars snub

Marty Whelan
Marty Whelan

Sean O'Grady

Marty Whelan has told of his disappointment at not being chosen to present RTE's Dancing With The Stars.

The veteran broadcaster (60) was one of many names in the running for one of the two host roles, along with Vogue Williams and Brian Dowling, but they lost out to Nicky Byrne and Amanda Byram.

Marty said he wasn't happy about missing out on the gig that "would have been great" to be involved in.

"If I had a cat, I would have kicked it, but I have no cat," he told the Herald.

The contestants (from left) Des Bishop, Aidan O'Mahony, Denise McCormack, Des Chaill, Katherine Lynch, Daryl Cronin, Aoibhin Garrihy, Dr Eva Orsmond, Thalia Heffernan, Hughie Maughan and Teresa Manion
The contestants (from left) Des Bishop, Aidan O'Mahony, Denise McCormack, Des Chaill, Katherine Lynch, Daryl Cronin, Aoibhin Garrihy, Dr Eva Orsmond, Thalia Heffernan, Hughie Maughan and Teresa Manion

"You say to yourself, you know what, it could have been great, but they decided to go a particular way and that's fine.

"If they went with me, it would have been a different way. I would have loved to present it, yeah, absolutely."

The Winning Streak host was believed to be a hot favourite to present the show, which is an Irish version of Strictly Come Dancing.

The original UK series was first hosted by Bruce Forsyth and Tess Daly, and with Marty thought to be of a similar style of showbiz to legend 'Brucie', he was thought to be almost a shoo-in.

In the swing: Amanda Byram and Nicky Byrne are the new hosts of RTE's new Show Dancing with the Stars
In the swing: Amanda Byram and Nicky Byrne are the new hosts of RTE's new Show Dancing with the Stars

While he may be dis- appointed, the Dubliner passed on his best wishes to Nicky and Amanda, who he thinks will do well.

"I was in with Nicky and Amanda on the radio last week and we had great craic," he said. "They'll be terrific - they're very attractive and it will be lovely. It would have been a nice gig to do and I would have loved to have done it."

If the series is the massive success it's expected to be, Marty insists viewers will never see him on the dancefloor as a future contestant.

"Absolutely not. I would have no interest in dancing, I couldn't be bothered," he said.

The show's predecessor in the evening entertainment slot, The Voice of Ireland, was a consistent ratings winner for RTE, regularly drawing in half-a-million viewers.

Marty is confident Dancing With The Stars will follow suit.

"It's a shiny floor show and it will be very successful. For me, it's about the beauty of the show. Every generation is going to be watching it," he said.

Celebrities taking part in the show include Des Cahill, Katherine Lynch and Aoibhin Garrihy. It will kick-off on Sunday, January 8, while spin-off show Can't Stop Dancing will be hosted by Blathnaid Treacy.

RTE is pulling out all the stops and bringing over a special crane camera from the UK that was used to film Strictly so viewers don't miss a single dance move.

The Ardmore Film Factory in Bray is the location for filming the show.

Herald

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