Sunday 27 May 2018

Al Porter to 'stand aside' from leading role in panto

Al Porter. Photo: Gerry Mooney
Al Porter. Photo: Gerry Mooney
Melanie Finn

Melanie Finn

Al Porter will no longer be appearing in the Olympia's Christmas pantomime in the wake of several complaints of inappropriate behaviour.

The producers of 'Polly and the Beanstalk' confirmed that "due to recent developments" the stand-up comedian (24) is "standing aside" from his leading role in the production.

The statement on behalf of Pat Egan Management and his manager Stuart O'Connor, it added that a replacement star will be found shortly and will be announced in due course.

The Tallaght man was due to be the star of the panto, which he co-wrote with Karl Spain, and the curtain was due to rise on the show on December 15 and run until January 14.

But in light of recent events, the decision was taken to remove him from the Christmas production. 

The fallout from the scandal has continued to engulf the star's career, after allegations of indecent behaviour first emerged last Friday.

The situation culminated in Porter resigning from his €140,000 a year lunchtime slot with Today FM at the weekend, while TV3 moved swiftly to distance itself from the star.

He had been presenting its flagship Sunday night show, 'Blind Date', which was pulling in an average viewership of more than 200,000 people.

TV3 pulled a repeat of it that was due to air on Saturday night after releasing a short statement saying it would be "inappropriate" to broadcast it.

On Sunday, Porter confirmed he had handed in his resignation to Today FM and was giving up his lunchtime slot, which only started last February.

He also apologised to anyone that had been upset by his behaviour and said he had decided to take some time away from the spotlight.

"While my conduct, which had been in keeping with my flamboyant and outrageous public persona, maybe regarded as offensive and unacceptable by many people, I at no time intended to upset anyone," he stated.

He was due to make a BBC Radio 4 comedy - but the station said the show had not yet begun production.

Irish Independent

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