By Mary Sheerin
To those among us of a certain age Bunny Carr will always be remembered as the avuncular host of TV shows such as Teen Talk, The Politicians, Going Strong and most famously as the quizmaster of Quicksilver – that show that gave birth to the catch-phrase or indeed cant ‘STOP THE LIGHTS’.
It was used everywhere and for everything. It was a great phrase!
It was the early days of Irish television and Quicksilver for us was like a high-tech quiz with a board of lit bulbs at the back. The bulbs went out if contestants gave a wrong answer or ran out of time. The prizes were modest; starting with 10 old pence but, if you were lucky, you might win an old pound or two!
And to to add to the excitement contestants were given musical clues, on the organ no less – by Norman Metcalfe, who held a degree in divinity from Trinity.
To the youth of today it might seem a crazy show but back then, in our less sophisticated days, we all loved it and found it compulsive viewing.
Bunny (Bernard) Carr was born in Clontarf, Dublin, on 31 July, 1927. He was educated at O’Connell’s Christian Brothers and joined the Bank of Ireland after school.
His father was a civil servant – who hated his job but unfortunately died before he could enjoy his retirement. Bunny vowed he would never find himself in the same position as his father.
Always interested in broadcasting, Bunny applied successfully for a job in RTÉ when television was in its fledgling years. He was not sorry to leave the bank which, on his own admission, he hated.
Bunny was a successful broadcaster and won a couple of Jacob’s Awards and was one of RTÉ’s most successful stars.
He also met the love of his life Joan at a tennis club in Sutton and it seems like it was love at first sight. He said Joan was a hopeless tennis player but that “she had lovely legs.”