Monday 18 December 2017

Marty Whelan: 'John Murray's been through hell and high water but he's back'

Marty is delighted to hear John Murray back on the airwaves.
Marty is delighted to hear John Murray back on the airwaves.
Marty Whelan said the support from fans is a wonderful perk of the job.
RTE Radio 1 Radio presenter John Murray. Photo: Brian McEvoy
John Murray in RTE
Laura Butler

Laura Butler

BROADCASTER Marty Whelan has said the support from radio listeners during a time of personal difficulty or grief can be the key to recovery.

The Lyric FM host told of his delight to see RTE colleague John Murray return to the airwaves and said the encouragement from Murray’s Radio One audience was no doubt a huge help while the anchor was battling a bout of depression.

Murray returned to the airwaves this week following a six month absence.

“It’s lovely that he’s returned to the airwaves. He was amazingly open about what has happened to him and it’s incredible really,” Whelan said.

“It was very emotional and I don’t know all the circumstances, but I’d say he’s been through hell and high water. But he’s back and that’s fantastic. He sounded when I heard it just very grateful to people who have been so kind. The listeners are amazing, very thoughtful.”

Whelan told the Irish Independent the support from fans is a wonderful perk of the job.

The 57-year-old said he is still receiving touching messages from the public, sympathising with him over the death of his mother Lily, who passed away last month.

“It’s amazing what you get from listeners. They really lift you. With my mother Lily – I got so many cards and letters. She lived on her own for a long time and then she wasn’t able to, so she moved in with us and we did pretty much everything for her until she passed.

“People are just incredible and I think that’s why we are suited to what we are doing today.

“Listeners think they know you and it’s lovely. This is the good side of who we are,” he said.

Although he works a six day week, Whelan said he’s happy to be so busy at this stage in his professional career.

“I’m very lucky to be so busy… I’m up at the crack of dawn every day to do the radio show ‘Marty in the Mornings’, and then do ‘Winning Streak’ on Saturdays.

“When ‘Open House’ ended we were very sad. But then something comes up. I’ve had a few kicks along the way and you take them. The problem with this industry is you never know – you’re as secure as yesterday.

“It’s exciting to have so much to do, because you never have a guarantee in this kind of job and there’s no point in worrying about security,” he said.

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