Comedian Al Porter steps aside from Christmas Panto role

Panto company confirms Porter was stepping aside ‘due to recent developments’

Al Porter: “At no time intended to upset anyone”

Al Porter: “At no time intended to upset anyone”

 

The producers of the Olympia Theatre Christmas Pantomime have confirmed Al Porter is stepping aside from his lead role in the show, following claims of inappropriate behaviour.

A statement from public relations firm Pat Egan Management and the show’s producer Stuart O’Connor of Spotlight Productions, confirmed “due to recent developments, Al Porter is standing aside from his role in this year’s Pantomime ‘Polly and the Beanstalk’ at the Olympia Theatre.”

Porter was to star in the production, and co-wrote this year’s pantomime show alongside comedian Karl Spain. Porter has performed in the Olympia Christmas pantomime for more than a decade.

The statement said “a replacement star will be announced shortly.”

The show was scheduled to open on Friday December 15th, and to run until Sunday January 14th.

On Sunday Al Porter resigned from Today FM, where he had presented a lunchtime show since February this year, after allegations of inappropriate behaviour.

The comedian said that “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.

“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.”

Today FM accepted his resignation on Sunday afternoon.

In a tweeted statement Porter said, “I have been 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. 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.”

The 24-year-old comedian, who has been on stage since he was a child, said he had “come to the personal decision that I need time away from the spotlight after decades in the entertainment industry”.

He also hosted the TV3 television show Blind Date, on Saturday evening TV3 cancelled its repeat of the final episode of Blind Date. The station said it would be inappropriate to broadcast it.

He was due to make a BBC Radio 4 comedy to air in 2018, although the British broadcaster said the show had not yet begun production.