Al Porter resigns from Today FM, is ‘sorry’ for any distress caused

‘Up until now, I had been unaware of these complaints or the impact of my conduct’

Al Porter:  ’While my conduct, which had been in keeping with my flamboyant and outrageous public persona may be regarded as offensive and unacceptable by many people, I at no time intended to upset anyone.’  Photograph:Brian McEvoy

Al Porter: ’While my conduct, which had been in keeping with my flamboyant and outrageous public persona may be regarded as offensive and unacceptable by many people, I at no time intended to upset anyone.’ Photograph:Brian McEvoy

 

Comedian Al Porter has resigned from Today FM with “immediate effect” following allegations of inappropriate behaviour .

Porter said he was “ completely taken aback by reports in the media and on the social networks over the weekend, and by the scale and tone of the vitriol”.

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

Porter said that “up until now, I had been unaware of these complaints or the impact of my conduct and I am truly sorry for any distress I may have caused in what I had regarded as light-hearted and good-natured circumstances.

“Although, on legal advice, I cannot comment on specific allegations at the present time, I nonetheless sincerely apologise to anyone I may have genuinely offended”.

Porter said he was very grateful to Today FM, the Olympia Panto and TV3 for “the space and time” he had been granted to deal with the situation.

Al Porter has presented the lunchtime 12pm to 2.30pm show on Today FM since February this year. He is also the host of TV3 television show Blind Date, which started this October and is set to star in the Olympia’s Christmas Panto.

“ I have however come to the personal decision that I need time away from the spotlight after decades in the entertainment industry. I have informed Today FM that I am resigning from the station with immediate effect,” he said.

St Patrick’s Mental Health Services earlier on Sunday issued a statement to say it has received “no complaints or concerns” in relation to allegations of inappropriate behaviour by Al Porter.

Allegations of inappropriate behaviour by a former patient against the Irish comedian and radio presenter were reported in a Sunday newspaper.

In a statement the service said it first became aware through the newspaper report of allegations by a service user against Porter “while engaging in an awareness-raising event” .

The organisation said it “would encourage the people making these allegations to report them directly to the Garda Siochana and to the organisation itself so that they can be thoroughly investigated.”

It “applies the highest standards of supervision to all activities involving service users.”

“St Patrick’s Mental Health Services is committed to providing the highest quality mental health care and to ensuring the safety of its service users,” it said.

On Saturday Today FM confirmed that Porter will be taking some “personal time” away from presenting his lunchtime radio show, following allegations of inappropriate behaviour made against the presenter.

On Friday the radio station released a statement which said: “Today FM has spoken with Al Porter and his management team concerning these allegations”.

“We take any comments of this nature extremely seriously. Likewise, we take the welfare of our presenters and staff extremely seriously” a spokesman said.

On Saturday evening the radio station released a statement confirming Mr Porter would be taking some time off the air from his show.

“In light of recent events, Today FM and Al Porter have agreed that Al will take some personal time from his lunchtime radio show” a statement from the station said.

TV3 cancelled a repeat broadcast of the final episode of the Blind Date show which aired last week. The repeat was scheduled to run on Saturday evening.

A spokeswoman for the station said: “TV3 is aware of the allegations made against Al Porter. TV3 takes any allegations of this nature very seriously and decided it would be inappropriate to broadcast the repeat of the final episode of Blind Date scheduled for this evening (Saturday 18th November).”

“TV3 has no further comment to make at this time” a spokeswoman said.