House Rules: On hiding your telly

It’s back to ‘Generaton Game’ with Neptune’s new version of the home entertainment centre

Neptune’s totally elegant solution to storing TV and media equipment, the Henley 5ft AV media cabinet in Smoke, price €4,100/£2,700, and Caspar armchair, price €2,080/£1,700. See neptune.com for Irish stockists.

Neptune’s totally elegant solution to storing TV and media equipment, the Henley 5ft AV media cabinet in Smoke, price €4,100/£2,700, and Caspar armchair, price €2,080/£1,700. See neptune.com for Irish stockists.

 

Once upon a time people of all ages gathered around the television set of a Saturday night to gaze in wonder at the phenomenon that was The Generation Game. In its heyday in the 1970s, hosted by Bruce Forsyth and “the lovely” Anthea Redfern, it regularly attracted more than 20 million viewers in the UK, plus whoever in Ireland was lucky enough to have a very tall aerial. Bruce would ask Anthea to “give us a twirl”, and tell viewers with black and white what colour her dress was.

After spinning plates, making wobbly pottery and acting in mini dramas, the winner would get to experience The Conveyor Belt. Items flowed by and at the end, everything you could remember, you could keep. There was always a cuddly toy, often a fondue set, then you could be pretty confident of a dinner service, carriage clock, picture frame, candlesticks, table lamp and kettle. Portable televisions appeared, and later, huge lumpy video players.

The rise of cheap consumer electronics did for the popularity of the Generation Game. Suddenly you could just buy a new TV, rather than have to save up; but it was from the Generation Game that I learned about Hostess Trolleys, which I always thought were the ultimate in louche entertaining. Eventually we got a Kenwood Hotplate, the poor cousin of the Trolley. Ours didn’t cover itself with glory when “someone” plugged it in with a pile of plastic bags on top, but that’s another story.

If you guessed enough items right, you also got a chance at the Grand Prize. This was often a holiday, but also frequently featured a home entertainment centre, which turned out to be a sort of fake antique cabinet hiding an enormous (for then) telly, plus stereo and speakers.

These days, I had thought people were proud of their TVs, displaying massive flat screens like art on their walls. But wait, it looks like the home entertainment centre is back, with the Henley Media Cabinet from Neptune. At €4,100, it’s sleek and elegant, and with the doors closed, you could even pretend that you preferred to read books of an evening (neptune.com for stockists). Maybe it’s time to dust off my fondue set too?   

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