Bosco (TV series)
|Created by||Raidió Teilifís Éireann (RTÉ)|
|Country of origin||Ireland|
|No. of episodes||386|
|Original channel||RTÉ Two (formerly Network 2)|
|Original run||1978 – 1987|
Bosco was an Irish children's television programme produced during the late 1970s and 1980s. It was produced by the Lambert Puppet Theatre. Designed by Jan Mitchell, Bosco was voiced by Jonathan Ryan initially, in the pilot series that was broadcast, with four presenters per show, in 1978. 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.
A shared cultural experience for children in Ireland at the time, it ran for 386 episodes, ending production in 1987. The show however was continually repeated before (and later during) The Den daily until 1996, when it was replaced by The Morbegs before officially ending in 1998.
Bosco (born 25 August) is the main character in the programme. He/she was a small red-haired puppet, supposedly a five year old boy/girl with bright red cheeks and speaks with a real squeaky voice. Bosco's gender was ambiguous. Bosco and the other presenters usually spoke English, but (to help young children learn Irish) Bosco often peppered English speech with Irish phrases, much as Dora the Explorer often speaks Spanish.
The roster of presenters included Jonathan Ryan, Marian Richardson (now an RTÉ programme producer), Frank Twomey (later of Bull Island), Grainne Uí Mhaitiú, Philip Tyler, Susie Kennedy, Gertrude Kerrigan, Mary Garrioch, David Byrne, Marcus O'Higgins and Peter Fitzgerald. Philip Tyler preceded Brian Dowling as the first openly gay children's TV presenter, though this was not widely known during the 1980s.
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 well-modelled characters each with distinctive traits, such as Fiachra the Frog. There was also a cartoon featuring a potato family, The McSpuds, that live in a supermarket (Savers). 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.
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,
Knock knock, any more,
Album, CDs and DVDs
- 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 to at http://www.boscoisback.ie[dead link]
- 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".)
- About Bosco, at boscosbox.com
- Bootboy (20 June 2007). "Reasons to be cheerful". Hot Press. Retrieved 20 June 2007. "Little Brian Dowling, the first openly gay children's TV show presenter. (Although, that’s not strictly true. The late Philip Tyler used to present Bosco. The parents of Ireland, however, may not have been aware that he was a regular presence on the gay scene in the early '80s..."