The comedian and TV presenter Al Porter has said he needs time away from the spotlight and is resigning from Today FM with immediate effect.

The announcement follows allegations of inappropriate behaviour published online and in some newspapers.

In a statement, Mr Porter said he had been completely taken aback by the weekend's reports and that while his conduct, which had been in keeping with his "flamboyant and outrageous public persona", may have been regarded as offensive and unacceptable by many people, he had at no time intended to upset anyone.

He said he had been unaware of complaints or the impact of his conduct and that he was truly sorry for any distress he might have caused in what he had regarded as light-hearted and good-natured circumstances.

He said he could not comment on specific allegations due to legal advice, but nonetheless sincerely apologised to anyone he may have genuinely offended.

He said he was grateful to Today FM, the Olympia Panto and to TV3 for the space and time to deal with the situation, however he had come to the personal decision that he needed time away from the spotlight after decades in the entertainment industry.