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Bosco
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Bosco
Created by Raidió Teilifís Éireann (RTÉ)
Starring Bosco
Country of origin Ireland
No. of episodes 386
Release
Original network RTÉ2
Original release 4 June 1979 (1979-06-04) – 1987 (1987)

Bosco is an Irish children's television programme produced during the late 1970s and 1980s. It was produced and shown by RTÉ in Ireland. Designed by Jan Mitchell, Bosco was voiced by Jonathan Ryan initially, in the pilot series that was broadcast, with four presenters per show, in 1979. When the show went into full-time production in 1980, with two presenters per show, Miriam Lambert took over. From the 1981 season onwards, Paula Lambert took over. Bosco's name was chosen by Helen Quinn, sister of presenter Marian Richardson.

It ran for 386 episodes, ending production in 1987. The show was continually repeated before (and later during) The Den daily until 30 September 1996, when it was replaced by The Morbegs before officially ending on 26 November 1998.

Plot

The show was presented by Bosco (born 25 August), a small red-haired puppet, supposedly a five-year-old child with bright red cheeks and a really squeaky voice. Bosco and the other presenters usually spoke English, but to help young children learn Irish Bosco often peppered English speech with Irish phrases, much like the way Dora the Explorer often speaks Spanish. Bosco lived in a brightly painted wooden box (hence the name, the Irish for "box" is "bosca"), only ever wandering far from it to go on excursions to such places as Dublin Zoo or the HB Ice Cream factory. The show also had a number of other segments.

There are various short animations, usually stop-motion, as part of the show. The Plonsters were plasticine critters, which are continually engaged in fights or schemes against each other. Faherty's Garden, created by David Byrne, starred the eponymous Faherty a dog, plagued by an amateur crow magician (Cornelius, who would often turn purple, much to his distress) in a series of shorts featuring stop-motion models. Freddy the Fox features a host of characters each with distinctive traits, such as Fiachra the Frog, Gregory Grainog and Sile Seilide. There was also a cartoon featuring a rather strange potato family, The McSpuds, that live in a supermarket (Savers) owned by Mr McGinty. At night, the potato children, Sheila and Seamus, run amok. The Tongue Twister Twins were also regularly featured. These animations were created by Jim Quin from Thurles, County Tipperary.

The show featured arts and crafts segments which were called make and do, in the style of the BBC's children's programme Blue Peter. Another prominent part of the show was story-time and each show featured a song.

Cast

The roster of presenters included Paul Burton, David Byrne, Peter Fitzgerald, Mary Garrioch, Susie Kennedy, Gert Kerrigan, Marcus O'Higgins, Marian Richardson (later a current affairs and radio presenter and producer at RTÉ), Jonathan Ryan, Frank Twomey (later of Bull Island), Philip Tyler, and Gráinne Uí Mhaitiú.

Production

Production staff

  • Joe O'Donnell (Series Director/Producer 1979–1980.)
  • John Lynch (Series Director/Producer 1980–1982.)
  • Michael Monaghan (Series Director/Producer 1982–1987.)
  • Paul Barrett (Musical Director/Composer 1979–1980. Composer of the Bosco signature tune.)
  • Garvan Gallagher (Musical Director/Composer 1981–1987. Producer of the 1983 album "This is Where I Live".)

The Magic Door rhyme

Each episode had an on-location section of footage, this was introduced as "The Magic Door". The presenter would step through a chroma keyed door beyond which the footage would be shown. This section opened with the following rhyme:

Knock knock, open wide,
see what's on the other side,

Knock knock, any more,
come with me through the Magic Door.

Another song frequently featured was:

Tidy up goodbye, goodbye,
put everything back in its box,
see you soon goodbye, goodbye
and remember now you're the tops

In other media

  • In 1983, Bosco recorded an album, released on LP and cassette. Entitled "This is Where I Live (Bosco Sings!)". This reached number two on the Irish charts at Christmas 1983.
  • A DVD containing episodes of Bosco was officially released in November 2005. This was followed up by a second DVD which was released in the run-up to Christmas 2006.
  • There was also a CD released in 2006 called Bosco - Songs & Stories which featured some of Bosco's favourite songs.
  • For Christmas 2007, Vodafone used the theme "Bosco is back" for a seasonal campaign

Recent appearances

  • Bosco appeared on The Late Late Toy Show 2013 with Ryan Tubridy.
  • Bosco performed a tune on The Late Late Show in December 2014.
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