The village of Emo in Laois and its people are the stars of the opening sequence for 'Hall's Pictorial Weekly'.

Located near Portlaoise, Emo is 'Ioma' in the Irish language meaning bed or resting place.

Young and old go about their day and children at the local national school wave enthusiastically for the camera.

School Children in Emo, County Laois (1978)
School Children in Emo, County Laois (1978)

Once a week, from June to September, the ‘Hall’s Pictorial Weekly’ film crew would arrive at a town or village in Ireland. They would film the people and the place and return to RTÉ where the footage was edited and put to music.

This short film of around one minute’s duration formed part of the opening sequence for that week’s episode. No one knew which location had been chosen, and it was not advertised as part of the programme billings in the RTÉ Guide or newspapers.

People the length and breadth of the country tuned in religiously, in case it was the turn of their town or village to have a few minutes of fame.

Frank Hall’s amusing and satirical series began on 29 September 1971 with the full title ‘Hall’s Pictorial Weekly Incorporating the Provincial Vindicator’ which became known as ‘Hall’s Pictorial Weekly’.

The series allowed Frank Hall to follow his own interest in the lives of viewers throughout the country.

Regarded as RTÉ’s flagship comedy show, it featured satirical sketches on current news stories and popular culture, as well as parody songs, comedy sketches, re-edited videos, cartoons and spoof television formats.

The show ran for nine series until 1980.

This episode of 'Hall's Pictorial Weekly' broadcast on 1 February 1978.