IT'S a staple in homes across the country. And today RTE's 'Six One' news celebrates its silver anniversary after 25 years on the air.
The hour-long nightly news programme's first broadcast was on October 3, 1988.
Since then it has been beaming the national news, sport and weather nightly into sitting rooms all over the country leaving viewers with memories of iconic interviews including when Bertie Ahern broke down crying while being interviewed by presenter Bryan Dobson, as well as coverage of landmark world events like 9/11.
The programme was originally co-presented by Sean Duignan and Eileen Dunne while the sports news was anchored by the late Colm Murray and Vere Wynne Jones. Bryan Dobson, Liam Cahill and Michael Ronayne covered business news.
At the time, RTE's head of television news, Rory O'Connor, called the creation of the programme, which was originally a 10-minute bulletin, "one of the most important developments in news broadcasting since the foundation of the station".
"Well, back in 1988 this whole idea of an hour-long tea-time news programme was viewed with a great deal of scepticism right across the organisation," said former 'Six One' presenter Sean Duignan yesterday.
"Our big worry was that the viewers wouldn't stick with it after 15 or 17 minutes, they'd say we've seen all the main news stories now so we can switch off or switch channels."
He described how he was a very nervous newscaster in the beginning. "Jiggy diggy they called me," he said. "And of course Eileen and Anne were cool as a breeze. If the entire set fell on them they wouldn't turn a hair."
Current co-presenter Sharon Ni Bheolain said she often describes the programme as a "beast".
"It's fairly tame on a news day where the agenda is more or less set, but when the running order gets thrown out the window, and when all hell breaks loose, that beast can take off – and all you can do as a presenter is just hang on for dear life."
Her co-presenter Dobson said: "I like it when we tear up the running order, and we grab the story, grab the ball on the hop and go with it. That's the aspect of the job I enjoy the most."
RTE veteran Gay Byrne commended 'Six One' on its longevity. He told the Irish Independent the programme is "an Irish institution".