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“Brightly Ornamented Slovak Easter Eggs” -TV in 1975 July 14, 2011

Posted by irishelectionliterature in Film and Television.
Tags: , , , ,

From September 1975, very different times in TV land than today. When many parts of the country had just one channel this was a typical weeks viewing pleasure.
The earliest it came on air was on Sunday at 12 for mass and it must have been some Mass as it was scheduled for two and a half hours.
The country would have been well tucked away before midnight with the Late News generally well over by midnight. Interestingly the 6.01 news slot was An Nuacht with the News as Bearla at 6.40.

Some choice shows too in “An evening with Nana Mouskouri” and I’m sure I sat through “Brightly Ornamented Slovak Easter Eggs” on more than one occasion.


1. Phil - July 14, 2011

What are those weird 4-minute programmes scheduled for 6.06? I’m curious, because two of them are called ‘Columbo’ – which also gets a 105-minute slot on Saturday. Presumably the short ones were nothing to do with Peter Falk.


2. Jon - July 14, 2011

Sunday Mass was followed by a Closedown – coincidentally that closedown coincided with Sunday pub opening hours of 1230-1400, then the pub closed down until 4pm.


3. sonofstan - July 14, 2011

The juxtaposition of ‘10.20: People and Power’ and ‘10.50: Mart and Market’ seems obscurely significant with regard to Sins of the Father…..


4. ejh - July 14, 2011

So what were the Slovak eggs all about?


Budapestkick - July 14, 2011

Clue’s in the title🙂


irishelectionliterature - July 15, 2011

Like the Polish Cartoons there were all sorts of craft related documentaries from Eastern Europe on regularly of which “Brightly Ornamented Slovak Easter Eggs” was surely an example.


5. crocodile - July 15, 2011

Many short hiatuses (and there were many) in RTE’s TV schedules in those days used to be filled with short animated films from Eastern Europe. Anyone remember Lolek& Bolek?
Presumably these were purchased for very little at international TV conferences and were just the thing to plug the gap between Maurice O’Doherty and Michael Dillon.


LeftAtTheCross - July 15, 2011

I used to work with a Polish guy who went to school across the street from the animation studio where Lolek i Bolek was produced. He was amazed that Irish people knew about it. Another guy, a Russian, joined the conversation at that stage. There was a great feeling of nostalgia all round and somehow, just far a minute or so, it seemed like a little mini triumph of socialist internationalism. Then we all got back to working for the man…


ejh - July 15, 2011

We had Mole in the UK. I was pleased to see him, several feet high, standing outside one of the shops in Prague airport in 1997.

I don’t think i’ve seen it, but I believe there was a show with a couple of puppets that ran for decades on Russian TV, in the evenings until it was closed down some years ago. Anybody got any idea what I’m talking about?


6. B. Rand - July 15, 2011

In 1975 a lot of foreign stuff was shown. In 2011 a lot of foreign stuff is shown. Home produced drama, home produced short films, docu films and feature films were all dreadfully in short supply in 1975. One articulate ex-employee of RTE TV, the independent cineaste Bob Quinn, complained about the derivative impact on Irish culture of a TV station failing to encourage, subsidise and screen material produced by talented Irish film makers. Are his strictures still appropriate in the context of a 4-channel television scene today in 2011? One good influence of Irish television in the past few decades has been the increase in the number of independent cineastes, some of them like Quinn making a frugal living, some of the luckier ones getting welcome grants from British and continental television stations. Are the independent producers getting a remunerative frequency of screenings, however? Chances of getting feature movies into commercial cinemas are restricted by vested distribution practices.

frequency of RTE screenings, however?


Michael Carley - July 15, 2011

But did RTE ever again make anything as good as Strumpet City?


Gerryboy - July 15, 2011

Thanks for the reminder. Strumpet City, done on a moderate budget and in three parts, was an artistic achievement of RTE television. It kept fairly close to Plunkett’s very readable and well researched historical novel. A pity it wasn’t the first of several home produced made-for-tv movies.


Budapestkick - July 15, 2011

It was no Strumpet City but Rebel Heart was a pretty good historical drama.


7. irishelectionliterature - July 15, 2011

Another thing that struck me from the schedule and related to what LATC says is that there were very few RTE TV ‘celebrities’. It was Gay Byrne, the current affairs people ,continuity announcers and newsreaders.
I remember seeing Charles Mitchell in the street and being almost starstruck.


8. Dr. X - July 15, 2011

‘And for those of you watching in black and white, it’s the one behind the red’.


9. irishelectionliterature - July 15, 2011

The opening sequences for Elephant Boy. Rings a few bells .


10. Dr. X - July 15, 2011

Does anyone remember a show called ‘Freewheelers’? I think RTE ran it 1978/1979.


Starkadder - July 15, 2011

“Freewheelers”? Heard of it, but never saw it:



Dr. X - July 15, 2011

Thanks, I was beginning to wonder if I’d imagined the whole thing (because I’ve never met anyone else who recalls that show).


11. LeftAtTheCross - July 15, 2011

“Marine Boy” was a favourite cartoon of mine. I think I may have had a crush on his mermaid friend.

What about Chuck Connors in “Cowboy in Africa” (UTV, Sunday afternoon before “The Big Match”?), or “Branded”.

Our first colour TV was delivered in the middle of an episode of “Branded”. The things one remembers!


irishelectionliterature - July 15, 2011

We got our First Colour TV for The Popes Visit……


LeftAtTheCross - July 15, 2011


That really does sum up the 70s in Ireland doesn’t it!


irishelectionliterature - July 15, 2011

It sure does…..
Luckily we had BBC, UTV as well but were only allowed watch RTE after 9’O’Clock.
We were banned from watching Dallas because it might corrupt our morals. Needless to say any opportunity we had, we watched it.
Invariably we’d be caught as my Mother walked in and what would be on the screen only two people in bed……
“Whats that you’re watching?”
My mother looks back at the screen and asks “Are they married?” …….

Different times indeed.


12. Dr. X - July 15, 2011

And the strange thing is that forty years on, ‘Reeling in the years’ is the only good thing on RTE.


13. Michael Carley - July 15, 2011

GerryBoy: watching Strumpet City now, the low budget is obvious when you notice there are no long shots of Dublin in the crowd scenes, but they obviously spent the cash on the script (wasn’t it Hugh Leonard?) and the actors (the scene with Peter O’Toole and Donal McCann, say). If somebody had had the nerve, it might have been the first of a number of cheap, high quality, dramas.


Gerryboy - July 16, 2011

Yes, Michael Carley, Strumpet City was even more remarkably an artistic success seeing as it was a low-budget production. The actors (I can’t remember any names)who portrayed Jim Larkin and the socially aware whiskey priest were well picked for their parts. If somebody “had the nerve” (i.e. artistic imagination combined with skilful budgetary management) there could have been several more Irish made-for-tv successes. I forgot to mention The Year of the French, based on Flanagan’s historical novel, shot around Killala and other Mayo parts. It was low-budget but not as artistic a success as Strumpet City. Telegraph poles and one-off hacienda bungalows made long shot footage of marching French soldiers impossible. I felt the 1798 film was not too convincing.


14. Dr. X - July 15, 2011

Last year I was doing some work up around the Gardiner street area, and it struck me that it hadn’t changed much, or at all, since the 1970s, and in the 1970s it (and the other parts of Dublin where Strumpet city was filmed) hadn’t changed much in the interval between the events depicted in SC and the filming of the series.


15. Scott West - July 15, 2011

I was interested in the “Story of a Rail Mad Granpa”. No trace of it online.

This schedule reminded me of South Carolina public television’s programming in the 70s. Public TV was only started in the 1960s and as broken up by state or metro market. So, the homemade programming was very low-budget and intended mostly for educative purposes. For example I found this puppet show warning children about parasitic worms. This was probably broadcast during school hours.


Some interesting depictions of what the countryside looked like, the importance of using outhouses (or “privies”), and public health concerns. Different times indeed.


16. noelwade - July 15, 2011

This is the summer schedule I think? RTE had a more detailed autumn schedule in the late afternoon . This is a really good post btw. If you have other schedules from 1975/1976 I would love to see them.Elephant boy seems to be full of dodgy Nordic blokes in Land Rovers? I don’t think it would pass a present day neo-colonial litmus test?


17. 1798Mike - July 15, 2011

Try going back to 1965. One of the most popular shows on RTE was ‘Mr. Ed’ . The star was a talking horse – believe it or not. Out of the horse’s mouth etc. etc.


18. sonofstan - July 16, 2011

I’d love to see ‘Arabs and Israelis’ (Mon 10.45) to compare Irish attitudes then and now (assuming it was Irish made of course)


Dr. X - July 16, 2011

Wasn’t this the era when An Taoiseach said ‘I appeal to Jews and Muslims to settle their differences in accordance with Christian principles’?


RepublicanSocialist1798 - July 16, 2011

Thought he was Foreign Affairs Minister during the second interparty government when he said it. Open to correction on it.

Anyone else buying and imbibing an obscenely expensive bottle of drink when he finally ceases being a burden to the taxpayer (pension) and pops his clogs? Wonder if he instructed that he be buried in concrete.


Dr. X - July 16, 2011

Hmmm, I hadn’t heard that one, but I only read that story in Brendan O’hEithir’s Begrudger’s Guide to Irish Politics, which I don’t think cites any dates.


19. Brian Hanley - July 16, 2011

‘F-Troop’, ‘The Beverley Hillbillies’, ‘McCloud’ (a cop on a horse), plus Columbo, Kojack, Mannix etc…then Sports Stadium with Fred Cogley, Mick Dunne and Brendan O’Reilly (?).
‘Murphy’s America’ which was repeated a few years ago wasn’t a bad show. Another home made documentary was ‘Southie’ about the Busing crisis in Boston which was shown about 1977/78.
‘Roots’ was a big show for a while around the same time…needless to say it inspired numerous playground taunts about ‘Chicken George’ and ‘Kunte Kinte’…


20. HAL - July 16, 2011

When was Halls Pictorial Weekly on,it never seemed to be off in our house.


21. TH - July 16, 2011

I was too busy at meetings to progress the revolution to watch TV in 1975 ! TH


22. baalthor - July 18, 2011

For comparison, here is the RTE1 schedule for the same period for today, Monday July 18th 2011

16.45 Murder She Wrote
17:40 Nuacht and News for the Deaf
18:00 Angelus
18:01 News
19:00 Nationwide
19:30 Rachel Allen’s Dinner Parties
20:00 Eastenders
20:30 Mamo
21:00 News
21:35 Climb for Kids
22:30 Who Do you Think you Are (US) ?

Comparing it with Monday September 15th 1975:
Today, there are 2.5 hours of Irish produced programs (apart from the news). In 1975 it’s hard to be sure but maybe one hour if “On the Floor” and “Arabs and Israelis” were Irish produced. There are actually only three non Irish produced programs on today’s schedule.

News accounts for almost 2 hours of the 2011 schedule while it takes up 50 mins(?) of the 1975 schedule.

The 75 list seems more balanced between “serious” items and entertainment though I suppose it had to be since it was the only channel. Today’s schedule is generally lighter and more entertainment/magazine focussed.

Looking at the while week for 75, it’s amazing how short “Mart and Market” and “Garda Patrol” were; 5 mins and 10 mins each respectively per week. Yet for many people looking back, they seemed to be far more prominent …


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