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Things you'll ONLY understand if you grew up with Irish TV

Roll it there Roisin!

GETTING TO WATCH TV when you’re growing up is a treat.

Fighting over the remote aside, a lot of great childhood memories come from watching TV – sitting happily in the living room together as a family, arguing over what to watch next. Was RTÉ a part of your life when you were growing up? Let’s take a look.

Hall’s Pictorial Weekly

Broadcast from 1971 to 1980, Hall’s Pictorial Weekly provided the best in policial spoof, satire and sketches. Here’s the Minister for Hardship (in black and white for reasons of economy, of course).


Wanderly Wagon

And who could forget Wanderly Wagon? This aired on Saturdays on RTÉ from 1967 all the way down to 1982. Fortycoats and Foxy were our favourite characters.

BEWARE, listening to this theme tune might provoke strong and uncontrollable bursts of nostalgia and joy.


Blackboard Jungle

The spirit of the early 90s, down to the scruffy uniforms and Ray D’Arcy not having grey hair yet. A lo-fi and hugely less intimidating version of University Challenge.

John Murphy

The Den

The Den is an institution, responsible for bringing us people like Zig and Zag, Dustin the Turkey, Podge and Rodge and of course the well-known puppets Ray D’Arcy and Ian Dempsey.

Originally Dempsey’s Den, it took on many different forms throughout the years and always kept Irish kids entertained. Here’s one of our favourite moments from the quiz What’s Snots.


Don’t Feed The Gondolas

If you were let stay up to watch Don’t Feed The Gondolas, you were truly on your way to being a proper grown-up at last. Hosted by Sean Moncrieff, this ran from 1997 to 2001, featuring panellists such as Dara Ó Briain and Brendan O’Connor.

Bonus tip: check out the old “funky” continuity bit for Network 2 in this video. It’ll take you right back!

PeteTop Carton

Anything Goes

RTÉ’s flagship Saturday morning shows in the 80s. Relive the mullets and shellsuits. Did you ever get your birthday read out? Lucky pup.

David Wall


Mailbag was around for a whopping fourteen years. Can you imagine the kind of letters Arthur Murphy would be reading out if they had Mailbag around today?

Source: RTÉ


“I love the Magic Door!” Us too, Bosco. US TOO.


Italia 90

Unless you were lucky enough to be at the match in question, you almost certainly watched Ireland in Italia 90 on telly. And what matches they were.


Echo Island

After-school classic. Our first introduction to Dara Ó Briain! And look at him now.

It’s also where we met Derek Mooney and Bláthnaid Ní Chofaigh. Would you fancy being stuck on Echo Island with that lot?



Those fuzzy monsters with the floppy ears and innocent outlooks. (Reminiscent of another TV classic, Muzzy. Anyone else learn Gaeilge with Muzzy at school?)



Or was it The Riordans for you? Or Bracken perhaps? Arguably the best soaps RTÉ ever produced.



What are your favourite Irish TV classics?

Read: 12 classic TV moments that make Ireland… unique>

Read: 10 Irish TV shows that should be brought back>

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