Claims have emerged alleging that Irish comedian, TV and radio presenter Al Porter has been involved in several instances of sexual misconduct.
Today FM issued a statement last night indicating that they had spoken to Porter and his team regarding the allegations.
“Today FM has spoken with Al Porter and his management team concerning these allegations,” the radio station said in the statement.
“We take any comments of this nature extremely seriously. Likewise, we take the welfare of our presenters and staff extremely seriously.”
Porter and his management team have yet to issue a statement on the alleged sexual misconduct, with attempts at contacting them unanswered.
Four performers have come out against the Blind Date presenter, alleging that Porter has been engaged in inappropriate behaviour, reports The Times UK.
In one instance, the well known gay comedian has been accused of groping an employee named Davey Reilly.
Reilly has appeared on RTÉ, BBC, and MTV television shows.
Reilly, 27, said that Porter’s behaviour was an “open secret” in the entertainment industry in Ireland, with Reilly claiming that Porter touched him beneath his underwear on two separate occasions.
"Other comedians don't like me because I got successful quickly"
Or maybe it's due to the joke stealing and constant sexual assaults. https://t.co/kigROgDAOn
— Davey Reilly (@DaveyReilly) November 17, 2017
At a comedy night in Dublin’s Woolshed Baa and Grill in May 2014, when Reilly worked for Porter, the twenty-seven-year-old alleges Porter put his hand down his trousers.
“As he was paying me, he put his hand straight down the front of my jeans,” said Reilly.
“He said something along the lines of: ‘Oh you’re still not single are ya.’ I batted him away. I kind of just laughed it off because it was so uncomfortable.”
Both times he touched me was under underwear, straight down
The second alleged incident of inappropriate sexual behaviour took place at an Edinburgh nightclub in August 2015. In a bathroom of the Gilded Balloon nightclub, Reilly claims that the comedian put his hand down the back of his pants.
“I ran into him and he went to hug me. As he did so, he put his hand down the back of my jeans. Both times he touched me was under underwear, straight down.
“This was in the public bathroom. There were other people around, that was how brazen it was. I was like, OK, and pulled away and went straight into a cubicle and locked the door. He shouted: ‘Aw, what are you going in there for?’
“I said: ‘You just put your hand down my pants in front of people. I’m not going to stand at a urinal when I’m exposed, effectively.'”
At a gig last year (the date of which I have noted):
Him: "A lot of comedians don't like me. You like me though right?"
Me: "I mean, you've sexually assaulted me twice so…”
— Davey Reilly (@DaveyReilly) November 17, 2017
Don’t Do That
Another comedian, Conor O’Toole, claimed that Porter groped him at the Ha’penny Bridge comedy club.
In the Dublin club, Porter grabbed his fellow comedian’s crotch mid-conversation, O’Toole has alleged.
He's groped me too. I wonder have al of us had this experience … https://t.co/NW7RbhtA6i
— Conor O’Toole (@ConorOToole) November 17, 2017
“I was sitting on the stairs backstage as comedians do and I was chatting away to Al and a few of the people. I was sitting with my legs in the birthing position on the stairs,” O’Toole said, “and he grabbed my balls and I was like: ‘Hey, don’t f***ing do that.’ He stopped and that was it.
“He grabbed my balls through my jeans, under my jeans, I was talking to him, we were having a conversation, I don’t remember what it was about. But he put his hand between my legs and I told him not to and he stopped.”
Add my name to the list of guys who have been groped by this individual. And unfortunately far from an isolated incident.
Once even grabbed me in front of my girlfriend and asked "How come you don't get hard for me!?".
He's THAT sure of zero repercussions. https://t.co/hVoeI3vbF5
— George FoXmas (@Comedyfox) November 17, 2017
Thirty-three-year-old George Fox claimed that in 2012, Porter groped him at a bar in Kilmainham, Dublin 8.
“We were doing a show and that was the first time. He walked up to the bar to say hello and grabbed me by the crotch,” said Fox. “I said not to do it and laughed like it was a hilarious joke but made it very clear that it wasn’t.”
Two years later, Porter allegedly groped Fox’s penis in front of his girlfriend.
“He walked over and saw me and saw my arm was around her and he put his hand straight down and put it on my penis and said: ‘How come you don’t get hard for me?'”
Oh, I’ve awfully busy hands don’t I?
Musician and writer Eoin O’Faogain claimed that Porter engaged in inappropriate sexual behaviour with him in October 2015.
“It was a routine chit chat and then he put his hand down my trousers from the back. He pinched me and I froze. Everyone talks about why people don’t scream from the rooftops but the experience I have had is that your experience is shock and silence. My inclination was not to scream: ‘What did you do?’
“He whispered to me, in his flamboyant style: ‘Oh, I’ve awfully busy hands don’t I?”
At the time, O’Faogain laughed it off because of Porter’s standing in the comedy world.
GCN will continue to cover this story as more information comes to light.
Update: Al Porter is due to take time off the air from Today FM it was announced this evening.
The radio station issued a statement announcing the news:
“In light of recent events, Today FM and Al Porter have agreed that Al will take some personal time from his lunchtime radio show.”
© 2017 GCN (Gay Community News). All rights reserved.