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Al Porter is 'standing aside' from this year's Olympia panto

A replacement star will be announced for the production, which starts on 15 December.

Image: Brian McEvoy

COMEDIAN AL PORTER won’t be appearing in this year’s Olympia Theatre panto in the wake of allegations about his conduct.

The news was confirmed in a statement from the production’s promoters today.

“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,” the statement said.

A replacement star will be announced shortly.

The Christmas panto – Polly and the Beanstalk – is due to start on 15 December and will run into January. Porter has had a starring role in the seasonal production for several years.

It was confirmed yesterday that Porter was resigning from his Today FM lunchtime show with immediate effect in the wake of the allegations.

He issued this statement last evening:

“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. 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.

“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.

“I am very grateful to Today FM, the Olympia Panto and TV3 for the space and time I’ve been granted to deal with the situation. 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.

To my family, colleagues, friends and fans I thank you for your many, many messages of support.

Today FM also released a statement yesterday. It reads: “Today FM this afternoon accepted the resignation of our lunch time presenter, Al Porter. Today FM will not be commenting any further at this time.”

Weekend presenter Muireann O’Connell filled in for Porter in today’s lunchtime slot on the Communicorp station. Signing off, she thanked her listeners and said she and the team really appreciated people tuning in.

Read: Al Porter: I am truly sorry for any distress I may have caused’ >

Read: Al Porter to take ‘personal time’ away from Today FM show >

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