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Dublin: 6 °C Thursday 13 December, 2018

12 memories you'll have if you grew up in Ireland pre-digital TV

Did you tape that for me?

FROM TRAWLING THE RTÉ Guide to amassing mountains of blank video tapes, a childhood pre-digital TV in Ireland warranted some serious organisational skills.


Sure look, our obsession with certain shows meant that many of us kissed goodbye to extracurricular activities and after-school hobbies in order to worship at the alter of terrestrial TV, but that was the price you willingly paid.

Simpler times, lads. Simple times.

And without the benefits of digital TV, you relied on your wits and memory to ensure you got the most out of the box back in the 90s because, Christ knows, time in front of it was precious.

1. You can still rattle off your after-school schedule without missing a beat.

California Dreams at 4. Sweet Valley High at 4.30. Sister Sister at 5. Sabrina at 5.30.

Stop for homework lest your mam bate you at 6. Home and Away at 6.30.

Source: dream517/YouTube

2. You actually used your pocket money to buy blank tapes.

You could get packs of three for an absolute steal in the local newsagents.

And so what if you got a thrill applying the sticky label to the tape? We all did.

3. You Played Bamboozle when you were bored.

Bamber Boozler posed just 15 questions, so outsiders would be forgiven for thinking it could entertain you for 30 minutes, maximum.

You, however, could easily while away a rainy Sunday afternoon playing it over and over until you were awarded your true status of ‘Super star’.


4. Everything stopped on a Saturday evening for Baywatch and Gladiators.

And you generally found yourself staying put to watch Blind Date with your mam.

Source: James Morris/YouTube

5. You religiously read the sneaky soap insights in your mam’s magazines.

It was like getting a look into the future.

We mean, what WAS Rita from The Kabin going to make of Norris’s latest scheme?

6. You were kind of creeped out by CITV’s offerings.

Round the Twist.  ZZZap! Woof! Why were they all a little unsettling?

If it wasn’t for Art Attack, you’d have probably gone back to Camogie.

Source: Rewind TV/YouTube

7. You used the TV page of the newspaper.

Handily placed at the back of the paper to avoid any time wasting, the TV page was your bible.

And Christ, if there wasn’t excitement when the RTÉ Guide landed in the house.

8. You used Aertel when you couldn’t find the paper.

On those days when someone in the house used the newspaper to line the cat box, you’d have to rely on Aertel.

And, Jesus, thing was slow to update.

9. You spent most evenings cursing  your parent’s TV schedule.

6 and 9 were off-limits for the news.

Everyone knew that.

10. You picked up ‘insider’ clues along the way.

In other words, when that small black and white symbol appeared in the top right corner of the screen, you knew the ads were about to start meaning you could top up your glass of Mi Wadi without missing a beat.

Professional viewer.

11. The pressure of being the Designated Taper.

You were told umpteen times to record the match while your brother was at GAA training, but you forgot.

And now you need to find somewhere else to live.

12. You consider Julian on UTV a close, personal (and gloriously flamboyant) friend.

“And now on UTV, Gail has only gone and caught Martin somewhere he shouldn’t have been. It’s all kicking off on the cobbles of Coronation Street.”

Source: AlanMcB/YouTube

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About the author:

Niamh McClelland

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