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'It outsold U2' - an album of Bosco songs was one of RTÉ's biggest hits in 1984

Did you have Bosco Sings in your house?


BOSCO WILL ALWAYS have a place in Ireland’s hearts, but will the flame haired wonder ever reach the dizzy heights of 1984?

Newly released government documents reveal how RTÉ was faring back in the early-mid eighties and specifically pinpoint Bosco’s album sales as a particular boon to the national broadcaster.

Bosco Sings: This Is Where I Live, made and released in 1983, was RTÉ’s second biggest hit in terms of record sales for the year, moving 17,500 copies. It was runner-up to Paddy Reilly Live, which sold 40,000 copies in a year described as “particularly successful for record sales” for RTÉ.

Bosco’s puppeteer (then and now) Paula Lambert told DailyEdge that she has very fond memories of recording the album “although I made very little money off that. I think I got £100 for it”.

We had great craic making it. Lots of musicians were involved, and Rita Connolly and Shaun Davey sang with me.

Lambert also remembers that the talk at the time was that Bosco Sings “outsold U2 that year”.

The original vinyl boasted 21 songs, including the iconic TV theme tune. A kind soul has uploaded the entire thing you YouTube, for your listening pleasure.

Paul Murphy / YouTube

Other top selling recordings for 1984 included The Morrisseys On Stage, The Fureys, Davy Arthur in Concert and Makem and Clancy Live.

1984 also saw the RTÉ Guide rake in the pennies for the broadcaster, with the magazine achieving record average sales of 124,000 copies per issue. The RTÉ Guide took in over £3m in revenue for the first time, and made a profit of almost half a million pounds.


For comparison’s sake, the average circulation of the RTÉ Guide in 2015 was 54,413 (jumping to 300,000 for the Christmas double edition in December).

See National Archives, Reference 2016/51/380

Read: Bosco had the best response to RTÉ’s decision to stop making kids’ programmes

More: Bosco: ‘I don’t trust the bosses in RTÉ and I’d give them the sack’

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