Friday 2 December 2016

Sad day for Dustin the Turkey as RTÉ pulls the plug on children's television department

Published 25/11/2016 | 02:30

Children's television is part of our national DNA: a country's popular culture and its collective memory
Children's television is part of our national DNA: a country's popular culture and its collective memory

How many of us many of us remember the Wanderly Wagon on RTÉ TV in the 1970s? Many of us, I'd imagine. Judge the Dog, Crow - living inside a cuckoo clock - and Fortycoats, the amiable tramp.

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These were vivid children's TV personalities, crafted from cloth and wood, and speaking in distinctive Irish accents. Children's television is part of our national DNA: a country's popular culture and its collective memory. It is especially resonant as we see these magical stories and creatures during our formative years, and they never leave us.

Later generations feel equally about other characters, like Bosco, or Zig and Zag, who even went cross channel (like our footballers - what pride!) and, of course, Dustin the Turkey. And other countries feel the same about their children's TV characters, like the British with Basil Brush or the Clangers, or the Americans with The Muppet Show and Sesame Street.

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