Good impression | 

Marty Morrissey is grateful to Oliver Callan and Mario Rosenstock for making him a celebrity

Popular broadcaster is set to hit the road with his own countrywide tour featuring special guests

Marty Morrissey© SPORTSFILE

TV’s Marty Morrissey is touring the country with new show© SPORTSFILE

Marty says that he is always looking to diversify – whether that be taking to the dance floor on Dancing With The Stars or commenting on sports occasions© SPORTSFILE

Marty taking to the dance floor on Dancing With The Stars

Marty commenting on sports occasions© SPORTSFILE

Eddie RowleySunday World

He’s one of Ireland’s best-loved broadcasters, but Marty Morrissey credits top comics Oliver Callan and Mario Rosenstock for turning him into a showbiz character.

Marty is now set to tour the country with his own live variety show, The Marty Party, playing top venues and featuring special guests.

“It’s a mixed cocktail that I hope will appeal to everybody from the age of 18 to 80,” Marty tells the Sunday World.

“It’s born out of Oliver Callan and Mario Rosenstock taking the p*ss out of me on their programmes.

"They were there with my pink shirt and my shiny white teeth and the hair all over the place and they started the catchphrase, ‘I’m Marty and I like to party’. “Little did they know they were going to start something.

Marty says that he is always looking to diversify – whether that be taking to the dance floor on Dancing With The Stars or commenting on sports occasions© SPORTSFILE

“Everywhere I went for the last number of years it wasn’t Marty Morrissey. Kids would say to me, ‘Marty, how’s the party!’ And then when I was on Dancing with the Stars we had a WhatsApp group called The Marty Party.”

When he got the chance to do a live show, Marty grabbed it with the enthusiasm of a GAA footballer in an All-Ireland final.

“Life is short, as we all learn along the way, and there’s no point being six-foot under or being cremated saying, ‘God, I should have done that show,’ and regretting it.

"Let’s just do it and have a laugh and see where it goes,” he says.

“I’ve never wanted to be a one-trick pony. I always wanted to diversify. My passion would still be the GAA and my primary purpose would be to be as good a commentator as I can be, a sports commentator because I did boxing as well.

“People say to me, ‘’Oh, what was your proudest moment?’ Actually, it was the radio commentary in Katie Taylor’s gold medal fight at the Olympics in 2012. I had been embraced by the boxing people at the time.

“The great Jimmy Magee was the main man and I was coming behind him.

"I was on radio and he was on TV. Just to be beside Jimmy was an honour, but then to be there and see this young woman from Bray win a gold medal in London, the very first one to do it, is phenomenal to be a witness.”

Marty taking to the dance floor on Dancing With The Stars

When we speak he’s down in his native Co. Clare walking the dog in the rain. “I was down here for Christmas and, do you know what, it was good for me.​

“I went out a couple of times with the local lads and I caught up with people. When you’re in Dublin you get wrapped up in your own world of broadcasting and sport and all that, and every now and then it’s good to press the refresh button and see what’s going on.”

An only child, Marty has lost both his parents – his father, Martin, in 2004 and his mother, Peggy, in a December 2021 car crash.

“You’ve got to be thankful for everything we had,” he says of his most recent bereavement.

“There are others who are worse off. You hear terrible stories of young children getting cancer and things like that.

"So I think being grateful and thankful is the main emotion, but you’re still regretful that you don’t have her around because you’d be so used to her being around.”

Both his parents were proud of his success in RTÉ as a sports broadcaster. “Dad saw Clare win two All-Irelands and was there because I was able to get him tickets,” Marty says.

“There was a funny moment where I was doing a piece to camera over at the Cusack Stand side, and the next thing I could hear his voice. And there he was three rows up shouting at me.

"I knew he was in the Cusack Stand, but I didn’t know where he was,” he laughs at the memory.

“Dad was very positive and very encouraging. He was a real gentleman, and I’m not saying that because he was my dad, but he was never in a bad mood, never. He was always smiling.”

For Marty to step into the shoes of his father’s GAA sports broadcaster idol Michael O’Hehir was a proud moment. “Oh, he couldn’t believe it,” Marty says. “Sure I could hardly believe it myself. And I’m still getting away with it.”

Marty commenting on sports occasions© SPORTSFILE

Speaking with Marty you get a sense of his passion for the job. “You have to have the passion to succeed,” he says.

“And you have to have the determination, without being a pain in the arse, to persevere no matter how many rejections you get and the lows you get. You dust yourself down and go again, it’s part of the process.”

During lockdown he filled part of his time doing Marty in the Shed shows for RTÉ Player, with online guests that included Hollywood actor Chris O’Dowd and Westlife’s Nicky Byrne and his family.

Now he’s relishing interacting with audiences on his live shows on The Marty Party tour, where guests include Eurovision winners Paul Harrington & Charlie McGettigan.

“I love people and if I was to do a psychoanalysis on myself, the fact that my parents and I were all only children and I don’t have aunts or uncles or first cousins, I rely on friends and I’ve always loved people to talk to, and have a laugh and have the banter. So because of my situation they are my extended family,” he adds.​

  • The Marty Party plays Killarney’s INEC Club (Feb 10), Royal Theatre, Castlebar (Feb 11), Limerick’s University Concert Hall (March 10), Leisureland, Galway (March 25) and Letterkenny’s Clanree Hotel (March 31).

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