Saturday 20 April 2019

Is young gun Marty Morrissey (53) to replace old fogey Marty Whelan (57) on Winning Streak?

RTE confirms the GAA commentator has fronted pilots for a new lottery show

Marty Whelan, right, and Marty Morrissey
Marty Whelan, right, and Marty Morrissey

RTE has confirmed that popular GAA presenter Marty Morrissey has fronted a pilot for a new Winning Streak.

However, it insists it has made no decision on whether Marty Whelan could be replaced by his younger sporting namesake Morrissey – who is just 53.

Whelan (57) – who recently had a hair transplant to improve his image for TV – was not involved in the technical run-through for the new show.

RTE said Marty Morrissey fronted the technical run-through in Donnybroook studios last Saturday – to explore new games and formats for the show.

“A technical run-through was shot in the RTÉ studios last week to trial some new games and a possible new format for potential roll-out in the Autumn.”

“Marty Morrissey fronted this technical run-through.”

Morrissey is seen as a hit with younger viewers for his wit and jolly nature.

“We’re looking at options to renew Winning Streak and to trial new games and new formats,” a spokesperson confirmed this morning.

“RTÉ and the National Lottery are looking at options to renew and refresh Winning Streak.”

Whelan has presented Winning Streak since 2009. Last year, RTE bosses axed Geri Maye (40) from the show and replaced her with Sinead Kennedy.

The spokesperson confirmed that no decision has been made as to who will eventually take the helm on the new show.

“It’s at the early stages of the development process and no decision has been taken on format or presenters.” 

Marty Whelan currently hosts RTE Lyric FM’s Marty in the Morning show, where he’s known for his soft and cheery banter.

In 2004, his afternoon chatshow Open House was scrapped by RTE and in another blow, he lost his high-profile 2FM breakfast show slot in 2007.

Meanwhile, RTE’s spokesperson said the axing of the Big Money Game Show was a separate decision taken by the National Lottery.

“The National Lottery has decided that the Big Money Game Show will not return this summer.”

However RTE's Head of Entertainment, John McHugh said: “It’s not unusual for TV teams to explore options on current shows.

"Last week’s session in studio was simply a technical run through to trial some new games.  People are jumping to conclusions and the reports today are just simply speculation.

"Marty and Sinead are absolute pros and doing a fantastic job on Winning Streak.

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