Maxi: new year return

RTÉ Radio One presenter Maxi will not return to the airwaves for at least another two months as she continues to battle a virus, the station has confirmed.

The Risin' Time presenter has now been missing from her morning slot for the last month as she struggles to fully recuperate from the virus which she contracted earlier in the year.

It is understood she had partially recovered from the illness after the summer and returned to work only to fall ill again.

Maxi, real name Irene McCoubrey, had previously spoken about the pressure of having to wake at 3am every day for the 5am-7am show. She said she has to position five alarm clocks at different points around her bedroom to ensure she can get up.

A spokesman for RTÉ said: "I can say that Maxi is currently on extended leave. Maxi had a virus earlier in the year and she is taking further time out until she feels 100%. We have no definite return date as yet, however we anticipate at this stage it will be the new year."

The show is currently being presented by Lillian Smith, while Michelle Harding is now filling in for Smith on her Radio One show Late Date. Maxi has missed 29 shows since October and also took a month off in June as well as her annual leave from 2-13 August.

Last October, she was forced off the airwaves again when she came down with a chest infection. Prior to this, she had only missed her slot once due to oversleeping.

The presenter originally came to fame as part of girlband Maxi, Dick and Twink in the late '60s and twice represented Ireland in the Eurovision. She joined RTÉ radio in 1984.