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Monday 26 June 2017

'I only told my folks this morning', says new Today FM star Al

Comedian Al Porter
Comedian Al Porter

Al Porter has added yet another string to his bow after he was announced as the new lunchtime host on Today FM.

The comedian had kept the news secret and only told his parents hours before it was made public.

"I only told them this morning and they're absolutely delighted," he told Dermot and Dave on Today FM.

"It's a huge sigh of relief for my parents that I'm not moving to England."

The Tallaght star (23) has become one of Ireland's most popular comedians in only a few short years and was the youngest performer to ever headline Vicar Street in 2015.

The lunchtime hot-seat became vacant when Today FM announced earlier this month that Dermot Whelan and Dave Moore were to host a brand new mid-morning show.

"Today is a huge day for me," said Al.

"I grew up listening to radio and any time I've been into Today FM, whether it's to talk to Ian, Matt or Dermot and Dave, who have been interviewing me since I was a kid, I've enjoyed each and every visit.

While best known for his comedy, Al has displayed a more serious side to his personality in recent months.

He appeared on Brendan O'Connor's Cutting Edge, where he revealed he had suffered from depression.

Stigma

Al admitted he used to hide his antidepressants due to the stigma surrounding depression and the difficulties of coming to terms with being diagnosed.

His new radio job seems to have come at the perfect time, as audiences have got to know him better thanks to his candid admissions.

"I've come to realise that it's such a personal and intimate thing to have a relationship with listeners and, over the past 12 months, I think people have got to know me better," he said.

"I brought people into my home at the end of last year and now I'm looking forward to being in their homes every day, not as a comedian but as a friend."

Speaking shortly after admitting his battle with depression, Al said he did not buy into the belief that it is something all comedians struggle with.

"Everyone, no matter who you are, has their own issues in life and everyone's life is a melting pot of good and bad, and some people have more of one than the other," he said.

Al said he has "always really wanted to do radio".

Although he's nervous about presenting the show, he believes that "if you're not scared by something, you're not pushing yourself".

It is the latest change in the Today FM shake-up since former host Anton Savage departed the station last month.

Al previously presented on 2fm with Colm Hayes before Colm left the station last year.

He received one of the most important accolades of his career last year when he was awarded IFTA's TV Rising Star Award.

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