Maxi (singer)

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Maxi (born 23 February 1950) is an Irish radio disc-jockey and producer; actor, journalist, and singer. Her real name is Irene McCoubrey. She was nicknamed Maxi in school because of the "McC" letters in her name. She came to fame in Ireland as part of the popular girl band, Maxi, Dick and Twink, in the late 1960s.

She grew up in Dublin's Harold's Cross. At school she sang in the Little Dublin Singers before joining the Young Dublin Singers. It was in that choir that she was teamed with Barbara Dixon and Adele King - Dick and Twink respectively. The trio toured Ireland, the UK and Canada and recorded two singles. They also worked a session singers in Motown studios in Detroit, Michigan, before disbanding.

Maxi pursued a career with Danny Doyle and Music Box before going solo. She represented Ireland twice in the Eurovision Song Contest: in 1973[1] singing "Do I Dream", and again in 1981 with Sheeba and their entry "Horoscopes".

During her singing days she was under contract to the Holiday Inn group of hotels in Canada and the USA as well as headlining her own shows in such far-flung shores as Florida and Greece.

In the late 1970s, Maxi became part of the all-girl trio Sheeba, with Marion Fossett and Frances Campbell. After making several records, appearing all over Ireland and Europe, the 1981 Eurovision Song Contest, Sheeba's career came to halt following a road accident in 1982 in Mayo in the west of Ireland.

Despite a short tour of Japan in 1983, the group realised they could no longer tour and broke up. Maxi embarked on a career in broadcasting with the Irish national broadcaster Raidió Teilifís Éireann (RTÉ). Working mainly on radio, she also took on some television work including a quiz show, presenting Ireland's lottery and fronting the Miss Ireland contest. In 1987 Maxi presented the selection contest for Eurovision alongside Marty Whelan.

As an actor, she has performed in Dublin's Abbey Theatre and Cork Opera House. As a celebrity journalist, her favourite interviewees include Roger Moore, Bianca Jagger, Paul Young, Gerry Adams, Louis Walsh, José Carreras and Gene Pitney.

Maxi was appointed special representative for UNICEF Ireland, and one of her first public engagements was to highlight the situation is on several disaster fronts, particularly in sub-Sahara Africa.

Attending the fifth annual UNICEF International Mother's Day Lunch held in Dublin, she appealed with stories of the deprivation and disasters facing the people in AIDS-ravaged Zambia, where she spent two weeks.

In 2006 she continued to work as the early morning presenter on Risin' Time on RTÉ Radio 1.


In 2010 she left Risin' Time because of chronic exhaustion brought about by her daily battles against the circadian rhythm. She rang Dave Fanning on RTÉ 2fm in August 2011 to explain her behaviour, saying she had got a "wallop [...] just couldn't get out of the bed at all" [...] "was about five months flattened [...] had to throw in the towel". She further described her experience: "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'." She also informed Fanning that she was "exercising as we speak".[2]


  1. ^ "Online Photographic Archive". RTÉ Libraries and Archives.
  2. ^ Campos, Adelina (23 December 2011). "I'm back - but only for Christmas, Maxi". Evening Herald (Independent News & Media). Retrieved 23 December 2011. 

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Awards and achievements
Preceded by
Sandie Jones
with "Ceol an Ghrá"
Ireland in the Eurovision Song Contest
Succeeded by
Tina Reynolds
with "Cross Your Heart"
Preceded by
Johnny Logan
with "What's Another Year?"
Ireland in the Eurovision Song Contest
1981 (as a member of Sheeba)
Succeeded by
The Duskeys
with "Here Today Gone Tomorrow"