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Luther King was inspiration for 'stage name', reveals TV3 weatherman Martin King

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Martin King

Martin King

Martin Luther King

Martin Luther King

Martin Luther King

Martin Luther King

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Martin King

TV3 weatherman Martin King has revealed how a famous American civil rights activist was the inspiration behind his stage name.

Born Martin Boyle, the broadcaster was forced to change his name early on in his career.

"When I was 15 I started working for the Big D, which was a pirate radio station. I took the position to earn money while my father was in hospital, but once I got the chance to present he was already out of hospital, thank God," said Martin.

"At the time he worked in the Post and Telegraph service, and his job was to shut down pirate radio stations.

The arrangement proved difficult for Martin, as he could not use his real name. At the time it was policy in his father's work for anyone with relatives working in an illegal radio station to be suspended.

When the opportunity came for Martin to host his show, he and the producer had a discussion over what his pseudonym would be.

"I said I'll stick with my birth name, but I can't use Boyle, so we discussed it for a bit," he said. "The producer asked me 'Who are you're idols?' But Martin Best, Cruyff and Ali didn't sound right.

"Eventually I said Martin Luther King, but obviously I couldn't use Luther, so we went for Martin King. The rest is history."

Martin also said that the peculiar choice of name led to his friend Ed Kelly coining the nickname "Luther" for him.

unique

Martin has built a reputation over the years as a well-respected broadcaster, famed for his unique style of presenting the weather.

However, the former DJ revealed how he almost lost this quality as a teenager working for Sunshine FM.

The broadcaster told how he was asked by his station manager to split from his friends in the Edenmore estate in north Dublin where he grew up if he wanted to succeed.

"I remember a manager at the station telling me that the only way I could succeed was for me to leave the area I grew up in and all my friends," he told the Herald.

"You had to sound like you were drowning somewhere in the mid-Atlantic, and of course everyone was hiding their regional accent at the time to try and improve their diction.

"In hindsight he may have been looking out for my best interests, but I was a young lad and I didn't want to leave - so I left the station instead."

Trying to adapt to the "mid-Atlantic accent" to impress his former employer proved to be a near stumbling block in his next workplace, which hired him on the condition that he ditch the strange put-on dialect.

hnews@herald.ie


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