herald

Wednesday 21 November 2018

I'm back - but only for Christmas, Maxi

RADIO presenter Maxi will be back on the air for one day to celebrate the festive season with listeners.

The 61-year-old, who eased Ireland awake for more than a decade, is set to return for a Driving Home For Christmas show that will air tomorrow at 5.15pm.

Maxi suddenly disappeared from the airwaves in October 2011 after falling ill, which took months to recover from.

RTE revealed that the popular veteran broadcaster will take "us home with music, chat and travel news, keeping an eye on Santa's progress from the North Pole".

Maxi, whose real name is Irene McCoubrey, presented The Risin' Time slot which airs from 5.30am to 7am for 11 years before her illness.

The early shift, which is regarded as one of the toughest gigs on radio, forced her to get up at 3.30am every day to travel from her home in Blackrock to the nearby radio studios.

Flattened

She needed five alarm clocks to wake her up and she had a pre-recorded tape of her show which clicked on automatically if she was not in the studio in time.

She explained the reason for her extended sick leave last summer, saying she had got a "wallop".

"I just couldn't get out of the bed at all," she said.

"I was about five months flattened. So I had to throw in the towel," she said.

"First of all, I was totally confused -- I didn't know what the heck had happened.

"So I had to call in the experts, and my advisers were saying, 'well, first you have to completely rest, and that takes about five or six months. And then you go into the exercise regime of kicking the body into action again'.

"I am exercising as we speak," she told Radio 2 presenter Dave Fanning at the time.

She added that experts later explained that her incredibly early-morning stint was against the "circadian rhythm" and led to chronic exhaustion.

hnews@herald.ie

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