Marty Whelan recalls production crew standing in as dancers for Coolio on his RTÉ show

'To have him dancing with the staff was quite the moment'
Marty Whelan recalls production crew standing in as dancers for Coolio on his RTÉ show

Marty Whelan and Coolio on Open House

Tributes are being paid to US rapper Coolio who has died aged 59. Among those sharing memories of their encounters with the star is RTÉ presenter Marty Whelan.

A clip of Whelan’s show Open House, which ran on RTÉ One between 1999 and 2004, has resurfaced following news of Coolio’s death showing a bizarre performance from the star.

In the clip, Coolio is seen performing with three backing dancers, but those dancers aren’t what they seem.

Sharing the video on Twitter, comedy writer James Cotter says Coolio is rumoured to have been “booked by mistake” and the crew realised too late that no backing dancers had been booked.

“They hadn't arranged backing dancers, so he made the middle-age production crew dress up and do it instead. Best TV ever,” Mr Cotter says.

And Marty Whelan has confirmed the rumours about the dancers.

“Ah Coolio, I remember him with great fondness,” Whelan writes on Twitter.

“To have him dancing with the staff was quite the moment. Which they did willingly. The very idea of introducing Coolio on afternoon television shows you how innovative RTÉ has always been…” 

 

Cotter later tweeted that someone involved with the production team told him Coolio was not booked by mistake but rather mistaken for another music star by one of the crew.

“The producer misheard at a meeting and thought we'd booked Julio (Iglesias). Upon being set straight he uttered the immortal words: 'Coolio? Who the f**k is Coolio?'" they clarified.

Coolio spent much time in Ireland and spoke of his fondness for the country, and Dublin in particular,

in a recent interview

with the Irish Examiner while in Dublin to work on a track with Christy Dignam.

“On my days off on tour, when I’m in Europe — instead of going back to America for a couple of days, I come to Dublin,” he said. “And I spend my time here.” He added he was proud of his pint-pulling skills too. “I can pull a proper pint. I can do it with the best of them.”

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