Bosco (TV series)

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.[3]

Bosco (TV series).jpg
Created byRaidió Teilifís Éireann (RTÉ)
Country of originIreland
Original languages
  • English
  • Irish
No. of episodes386[1]
Running time25–28 minutes
Original networkRTÉ2
Picture formatPAL
Audio formatMono
Original release4 June 1979 (1979-06-04)[2] –
1987 (1987)

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.


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, bosca being Irish for "box"), 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.[citation needed]

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.


The roster of presenters included Paul Burton,[4] David Byrne,[5] Peter Fitzgerald,[6] Mary Garrioch,[7] Susie Kennedy,[citation needed] Gert Kerrigan,[5] Marcus O'Higgins,[citation needed]Marian Richardson[8] (later a current affairs and radio presenter and producer at RTÉ),[4]Jonathan Ryan,[7]Frank Twomey (later of Bull Island),[9]Philip F. Tyler,[10] and Gráinne Uí Mhaitiú.[11]


Production staffEdit

  • 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".)

In other mediaEdit

  • 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 [12]

Recent appearancesEdit


  1. ^ About Bosco, at Archived 20 February 2010 at the Wayback Machine
  2. ^ "Paul Burton in 'Bosco' publicity shot (1979)". Archived from the original on 11 April 2015. Retrieved 11 April 2015.
  3. ^ "On the other side of the magic door". RTE. Archived from the original on 22 July 2014. Retrieved 25 October 2020.
  4. ^ a b Richardson, Marian (24 April 2012). "On the other side of the magic door". RTÉ TV50. RTÉ.
  5. ^ a b "2282/031". RTÉ Still Library. 1979. Retrieved 4 September 2018.
  6. ^ Cullen, Clare (22 October 2015). "Former Bosco presenter says Jimmy MacCarthy's dad wrote 'racy letters' that 'disgusted and frightened' his mother -". Irish Independent. Retrieved 4 September 2018.
  7. ^ a b "2075/083". RTÉ Still Library. 1979. Retrieved 4 September 2018.
  8. ^ "2003/062". RTÉ Still Library. 1979. Retrieved 4 September 2018.
  9. ^ "1970s". RTÉ TV50. RTÉ. 2012. Retrieved 4 September 2018.
  10. ^ "2282/023". RTÉ Still Library. 1979. Retrieved 4 September 2018.
  11. ^ "2282/025". RTÉ Still Library. 1979. Retrieved 4 September 2018.
  12. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 15 December 2007. Retrieved 12 January 2022.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  13. ^ "Robbie, Mary, Bosco and cups…The Late Late Toy Show 2013 as it happened". 1 December 2013. Retrieved 2 December 2013.
  14. ^ "Bosco visits Late Late Toy Show 2013". RTÉ. 1 December 2013. Retrieved 2 December 2013.
  15. ^ "Late Late Toy Show 2013 best bits… in pictures and video". The Daily Edge. 1 December 2013. Retrieved 2 December 2013.
  16. ^ "Bosco returns on Late Late with charity single". Irish Examiner. 6 December 2014. Archived from the original on 26 February 2015. Retrieved 11 December 2014.

External linksEdit