Marty Whelan on Ireland’s new Eurovision entry: ‘We have to get out of the semi-finals and I think we can do that with this song’

RTÉ presenter Marty Whelan said he believes Ireland’s Eurovision entrant Brook Scullion will do very well in next month’s showdown in Italy.

The Derry performer will perform “That’s Rich” in the second semi-final in Turin, Italy on May 12 and compete on the international stage in front of an audience of millions.

“I think they’re great. I interviewed her when we were doing the Late Late Show special with Ryan (Tubridy).

“She’s going to be an interviewer’s dream because she’s just so into it,” Marty said, adding, “She’s crazy and when I met her on the Late Late Show, I was amazed by her.

“She just has this attitude of positivity and ‘let’s try.’ I watched her before she went to judge and I could see she was nervous and then she went out and she just did it.”

Ireland have won the competition a record seven times but have only made it out of the semi-finals once since 2013, when Ryan O’Shaughnessy advanced to the next stage in 2018.

“We have to get out of the semifinals and I think this song will get us there and once we get to the finals I’ll be the happiest boy there is,” Marty said.

“We have to be in the final or it’s another kick and we haven’t been in the final for a while. That’s why it’s so easy for Britain and the French and the Germans and the Italians and the Spaniards, they all go into the final automatically.”

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Last June, the Lyric FM presenter celebrated his 65th birthday, but he hasn’t expressed any desire to retire anytime soon. Unlike some of his RTÉ peers, he is not employed by the channel but works as a contractor so is not bound by the same terms of employment, meaning he will have to retire at 65.

“No, I’m not retiring. We’re awaiting word on Winning Streak at the moment because we want it to come back,” he said.

“I’m also very happy with Lyric FM – jumping out of bed in the morning to play music, how bad can that be? It feels good and there’s nothing quite like it out there. It’s a complete oasis and sanctuary and we won’t blow your ears off. We want to entertain, laugh and the music invites you to have breakfast. I love it down to the smallest detail.”

He was speaking as he partnered with Specsavers for his Hearing Hearing campaign, which aimed to encourage people to take care of their hearing and address any concerns or changes they notice.

Changes to the PRSI scheme in 2021 mean that beneficiaries can now get a pair of hearing aids up to a value of €1,000.

He said he recently had his hearing checked for the first time and was “very happy” that his hearing is perfect, despite wearing headphones almost every day for the past 40 years.

“They said my hearing was fine. I’m fortunate that I haven’t damaged it over the years. I can’t imagine not being able to hear people or listen to music. I listen to music all the time. My life is music, so I can’t imagine not being able to hear it or not enjoy it,” he said. Marty Whelan on Ireland’s new Eurovision entry: ‘We have to get out of the semi-finals and I think we can do that with this song’

Fry Electronics Team

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