IT’S not every day a few West Cork lads get to feature on one of the biggest shows on one of the biggest channels in the world.
But that’s exactly what will be happening next Tuesday night, when Discovery Channel’s top-rated show Gold Rush: The Dirt will feature a watch party from Bantry and Clonakilty.
Martin McCarthy, owner of Designs & Signs at William Street in Bantry, came to the attention of the show’s host Christo Doyle when he created a Twitter page – @thedirtGR – which now has more than 5,600 followers.
Two years ago, Martin, as a ‘super fan’, was invited on to the show that dishes the dirt on the miners featured on Gold Rush.
Martin started his own business 12 years ago at the start of a recession, and identified with the miners battling the elements in the wilds of Alaska and beyond. He’s not alone. Millions of viewers tune in for each episode. Next Tuesday, there will be a bigger than usual West Cork contingent as people tune in to see Martin’s return to the show – this time with his mates, Stephen O’Donovan, Shane Casey, John Allman, Denis O’Brien, Damien Hicks and Diarmaid Murphy.
Martin described the show as a kind of treasure hunt.
‘You see guys who started out with little or nothing progress to maybe making a few thousand, but end up making millions.’
After spending ‘half a lifetime’ in a factory, Martin is also doing well. He was 34 when he made a break – after 17 years of a 9-to-5 existence – and went into business for himself.
‘Everyone told me I was mad, but that was all the more reason to prove them wrong,’ said Martin, who together with his wife, Laura, has gone from renting to owning three local businesses.