Thursday 12 December 2019

Being axed from Tesco ads are no 'big deal', says Marty Whelan

Marty Whelan
Marty Whelan

Melanie Finn Showbiz Editor

RTE's Marty Whelan has said it’s “no big deal” after being shelved from supermarket ads.

The 57-year-old presenter has been the voice of the Tesco supermarket chain for the past four years and said before how nabbing the contract “saved” him during a tough time.

But speculation was raised after 98fm's Dermot Whelan was heard voicing their radio ads last week.

And a Tesco spokesperson revealed how the former Republic of Telly host is “proving popular” with listeners.

Commenting on their decision to no longer use the TV presenter for their ads, the spokesperson added: “We have worked with Marty for a number of years, but not exclusively, using a number of other voice-over artists for different campaigns.

“For the current campaign we are using a different voice over artist, Dermot, who is proving popular.”

Marty Whelan 3.jpg
Marty Whelan

When asked if they were going to use Whelan in the future, the spokesperson replied: “We'll continue to review this going forward.”

Appearing to take the move in his stride, Whelan told the Herald how he had “moved on weeks ago” and said it was no big deal.

“I’m always working,” he added.

The decision not to use him on the Tesco ads comes after speculation about RTE's Winning Streak this autumn.

The national broadcaster said they were looking at ways to renew the programme and to “trial new games and new formats”.

But they added how no decision has been taken on format or presenters and described Whelan as an “absolute pro”.

Responding to the speculation, Whelan told the Herald last month: “As far as I am concerned I am presenting Winning Streak in September, and why wouldn't I?”

“The figures are fine, the show goes very well and everyone seems very happy with it.”

Marty Whelan and Geri Maye

Whelan, who has presented the show since 2009 and is dubbed the ‘Comeback Kid’, has had two hair transplant procedures to improve his image for TV and remain current.

He said: “I'm in a business where your appearance matters and if you don't look right on TV, that is hardly conducive to a long future.

“If I wanted to look younger, I could have got rid of my moustache. That would have made me look younger, but I like the moustache. It is a trademark now.”

He currently hosts RTE Lyric FM's Marty in the Morning show and also provides the voice-over to RTE's coverage of the Eurovision every year.

He has spoken previously how the Tesco ads saved him from a tough time financially

“Some good luck kicked in - and once again a commercial saved me,” he said.

“Tesco saved me in much the way the Daz ads saved me all those years ago when Century Radio went under.

“After the Tesco ads, the Winning Streak the Lyric FM daily programme all came together.

“The advertisers have always looked to me during the lean times I've experienced. I suppose I do have a good voice for radio and TV work, which certainly helps.

Irish Independent

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