Maxwell: 'egg all over my face'

A comedian who was too drunk to perform his stand-up show in Dublin last weekend has defended his refusal to appear on RTé radio show Liveline to explain himself.

Andrew Maxwell – a regular on RTé television's The Panel – was forced to abandon his stand-up routine during the Carlsberg Comedy Festival in Iveagh Gardens because he had drunk too much.

Angry audience members, who had paid €29.50 per ticket, rang Monday's Liveline to complain. "I've already said I'm sorry," Maxwell said. "Why would I have needed to go on Liveline? Anyone who's still unhappy can get free tickets to my show in Vicar Street. Other than that, I'm mortified. Psychologically, I've paid the price. It was horrible, a nightmare, and it's given anyone with a beef against me in Ireland the chance to have a go. This happened in my hometown. I couldn't be more distraught and upset."

Booked as the headline act on the Friday night, the Dublin comedian says his below-par performance was due to him having gone drinking earlier in the day.

"It was just the sauce," he said. "I started drinking in one of the local pubs and it ran away on me. I had scheduled to have a nap before the show, which I thought would get my head together, but it didn't happen. Now I have egg all over my face."

Maxwell said the organisers, having seen the condition he was in, had offered him the option of pulling out of the performance but he insisted on going on.

"I thought I would give it a try because so many people had turned up to see me. I didn't want to let them all down," he said.

Members of the audience who contacted Liveline said that as soon as Maxwell took to the stage it was apparent "he couldn't string a sentence together" and that the award-winning comedian had forgotten all his punchlines.

Maxwell agreed: "The gig was in the hugest marquee you have ever seen. I really wanted to make them laugh but halfway through I blanked and couldn't remember any jokes. It was hell."

To make matters worse, Maxwell's inebriated performance was witnessed by a large number of his fellow comedians.

"Every comedian in Ireland was in Iveagh Gardens last Friday night and when word got around, they all ran in to have a look. I could see all these familiar faces," he said.

But with the audience growing restless and confused, Maxwell soon abandoned his slot, tottering off the side of the stage as his support act, Bernard O'Shea, took over. The next morning he says he suffered an "internal horror show" remembering the previous night's events.