The following is an excerpt from Grainne Ní Chonchobhair’s tell-all autobiography “Bosco: The Man in the Box”
It started innocently enough, he’d go out for a pint with Dempsey after work. Then on Tuesdays he might head out with Derek Davis. Eventually he was on the town, drinking, every night with god knows who. When I was three months pregnant it got very bad, but I didn’t want to nag him because I knew how much pressure he was under.
The producers had been leaning on him to update the Magic Door routine. Apparently the animal rights people were complaining about the zoo, and the HB factory just wasn’t cutting it any more. Also the past few months had seen the relationship between the McSpuds falling apart and Flaherty from Flaherty Gardens was becoming unpopular for his “indiscretions”. B would come home, night after night, drunk and agressive; I was afraid and suspicious but I never imagined he was seeing rent boys.
Grainne, his former colleague, lover, and the mother to his raven-haired lovechild; finally reveals her side of the story in this heartbreakingly honest retelling of their life both together, and apart. She provides an intimate glimpse into the man behind the publicity; and gives a behind-the-scenes account of the personal life of one of RTE’s biggest stars.
Bosco’s career has been a turbulent one which started with a nervous educational recording in 1978, after which he quickly developed bulimia to adhere to the strict aesthetic guidelines for the presenters of Ireland’s national broadcaster. At the height of his career, or his “rockstar days“ which followed the release of his album “Bosco Sings”; he shared musical ideologies with the likes of Bono as well as attending drug-fuelled orgy-parties with other well known musicians of the era.
His problems began to surface publicly with his depression at the cancelation of the Bosco series in the late 80’s. Outraged at the lack of support he had received from his colleagues on the show, he went on to focus on a career in radio with Action Saturday Action. He was let go after three seasons. Bosco believed this was due to constant criticism about his voice.
The late nineties and naughties were his darkest years; filled with debts, deceit, and a destructive drug addiction, all of which were worsened when his show was replaced by the “Morbegs”. He fell into a downward spiral which often featured in the headlines, his alleged one night threesome with Jodie Marsh and Jordan at the Meteor awards was the last straw for his parter Grainne. She finished their relationship, taking her daughter, Ciúb, with her back to her mother’s in Liverpool. The UCD kidnapping, and subsequent unrequited Stockholm syndrome, was believed to have pushed him over the edge; and he overdosed in January 2003.
In her book, Grainne implores that this was not a suicide attempt, but was but a cry for help which eventually led to his recovery. After his stint in Rehab, he befriended and began a close friendship with comedian Russel Brand, who helped him get his career back on track. Bosco was introduced to Scientology through his good friend Wallace, of Wallace and Gromit fame, and has since been working again in the theatre. There are talks of him hosting a political debate progamme for RTE 1 in 2011.
The Bosco Story is one that has gripped the nation for over three decades, and this candid piece of writing reveals the man behind the legend. “Bosco: the Man in the Box” is released this friday at all good book stores priced at €13.99.
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