Sunday 9 December 2018

WATCH: As the legend that is Maxi retires, we look back at her career through the 70s and 80s

Maxi singing 'My Love and You' with Sheeba during the Eurovision in 1984
Maxi singing 'My Love and You' with Sheeba during the Eurovision in 1984
Aoife Kelly

Aoife Kelly

Like Gay Byrne before her, Maxi is something of an Irish broadcasting legend and as she retires after 50 years, she says she wants a retirement just like Gay.

Speaking to Gaybo on the John Murray Show this morning, she said, "I want to retire the way you retire" and said she will "still work on radio proposals, radio programmes" and she has a "novel written which is way too long and needs editing".  Not only that but she plans to write more songs with Charlie McGettigan.

Maxi, whose real name is Irene McCoubray, shot to fame as a member of the girl band Maxi, Dick and Twink with Barbara Dixon and Adele King in the late 1960s. They met in the school choir.

Of their numerous appearances on the Late Late Show, Gaybo said, "I was just thinking of times when you used to come on the Late Late Show and there you were in your little short skirts and all with legs from here to Newry and we absolutely adored looking at you and listening to you and oompa oompa all around the studio.  It was wonderful."

At one point they performed in Louis Walsh's hometown of Kiltimagh in Mayo, and he popped along to wangle his way in to the show.

Maxi revealed, "He came to see us and he said, 'I love showbusiness, I really want to be in showbusiness.  Can I sit in the sound box?'  And we said, 'Yes, if you keep quiet Louis' but he didn't and he hasn't stopped talking since."

In 1970 Maxi, Dick and Twink entered the National Song Contest with this song, Things You Hear About Me.  They were beaten by Dana who went on to win Eurovision for Ireland with 'All Kinds of Everything'.

Maxi went on to sing as one of three members of Sheeba - with Marion Fossett and Frances Campbell but in 1973 she represented Ireland at Eurovision as a solo artist with the song 'Do I Dream'.

She also represented Ireland at Eurovision with Sheeba in 1981 with the song 'Horoscopes' and they came fifth.  They don't make costumes like this anymore!

Given their success with Horoscopes they tried again the following year but their song, Go Raibh Mait Agat, only came 7th in the Irish final.

In 1982, former Maxi, Dick and Twink member Adele King had her own TV show and she hosted a reunion of the group during the finale:


Even though Sheeba had decided to split in 1983 they had one more Eurovision attempt in 1984 and came fourth with this, My Love and You:

Those who grew up in the 1980s might remember Maxi from this milk ad!

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