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Irish Mirror
Irish Mirror
Katie Gallagher

Marty Whelan recalls iconic Irish TV moment with Coolio with 'great fondness' in tribute to late rapper

Marty Whelan said he remembers Coolio with 'great fondness' as he recalled the memorable moment he met the late rapper whilst hosting RTE show Open House.

The Winning Streak host first crossed paths with the hip hop star back in the 2000s, when he was booked to perform on the afternoon chat show at the time.

A clip of the iconic performance, featuring the show's staff as last minute backing dancers, has now resurfaced and gone viral online, following the news of his shock passing on Wednesday, aged 59.

Read more: Coolio stunned people with performance in McGregor's pub months before death

Sharing the video on Twitter, comedy writer and director James Cotter said: “They hadn't arranged backing dancers, so he made the middle-age production crew dress up and do it instead. Best TV ever."

Marty reshared the video as he recalled the his meet with the star with 'great fondness' in his own tribute.

He said: "Ah Coolio, I remember him with great fondness.

"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…"

Irish comedy puppet duo 'Podge and Rodge' also paid tribute, and shared a video clip of an interview with the late hip hop star on their RTE show.

The talent behind the scenes, Ciarán Morrison and Mick O'Hara of Double Z Creative, who are also the voices behind popular Irish TV puppets 'Zig and Zag', said:

"In 1995 when Gangsta’s Paradise broke we interviewed Coolio and L.V (‘Luncheon Voucher’ as Zig called him) in a tent outside the Big Breakfast house as it was midterm #zigandzag and he was lots of fun.

"Then in 2009 we got to interview him again as Podge and Rodge on our chat show! Always a great guest and very funny."

The US rapper died on Wednesday afternoon, his manager at Trinity Artists International, Sheila Finegan, confirmed.

"We are saddened by the loss of our dear friend and client, Coolio, who passed away this afternoon," she said in a statement.

"He touched the world with the gift of his talent and will be missed profoundly.

"Thank you to everyone worldwide who has listened to his music and to everyone who has been reaching out regarding his passing.

"Please have Coolio’s loved ones in your thoughts and prayers."

The rapper was found unresponsive on the bathroom floor of a friend’s house in Los Angeles, according to US media outlet TMZ.

Rap world legends, including Snoop Dogg, Ice Cube and MC Hammer, have also paid their respects to the late hip hop star online.

Ice Cube said: "This is sad news. I witnessed first hand this man’s grind to the top of the industry. Rest In Peace @Coolio."

MC Hammer described Coolio as "one of the nicest dudes I’ve known" as he shared a picture of the pair together with Tupac and Snoop.

Snoop Dogg shared a picture of the two on Instagram, posing on the set of the music video for their collaborative track Gangsta Walk, released in 2006 in his tribute, writing: "Gangstas paradise. R I P."

New York rapper Flava Flav also penned a tribute after learning of the loss of Coolio, writing: "Coolio was the West Coast Flavor Flav,,, He loved telling everyone that.

"We was supposed to perform together this Tuesday. RIP my friend.

"Rest in Gangsta’s Paradise my friend.”

Coolio recorded the hit Gangsta's Paradise for the 1995 film Dangerous Minds, starring Michelle Pfeiffer.

Pfeiffer said she was "heartbroken" to hear the news of his death, adding that she remembered him as "nothing but gracious" when they worked together.

"A life cut entirely too short.

"I remember him being nothing but gracious. 30 years later I still get chills when I hear the song.

"Sending love and light to his family. Rest in Power, Artis Leon Ivey Jr."


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