RTÉ unwraps array of festive fun and frolics across television, radio and online

Bridget & Eamon Christmas Special Image Name: Bridget & Eamon Christmas Special Description: Bridget & Eamon Christmas Special Bernard O'Shea as Eamon, Jennifer Zamparelli as Bridget & Katherine Lynch as Eamon’s Mammy. Copyright: RTÉ
Christmas - Celebrity Home of the Year 2016 judges, design legend Hugh Wallace, acclaimed architect Declan O'Donnell and award winning interior designer Deirdre Whelan. Image Name: Christmas - Celebrity Home of the Year 2016 judges, design legend Hugh Wallace, acclaimed architect Declan O'Donnell and award winning interior designer Deirdre Whelan. Description: Celebrity Home of the Year 2016 Judges, design legend Hugh Wallace, award winning interior designer Deirdre Whelan and acclaimed architect Declan O'Donnell RTÉ One Photography by Ruth Medjber Copyright: Photography by Ruth Medjber www.ruthlessimagery.com
Christmas Movies 2016 2415_fp_p1920r Image Name: Christmas Movies 2016 2415_fp_p1920r
Christmas at the Cathedral Image Name: Christmas at the Cathedral Description: The choir of St Patrick's Cathedral Dublin.
Enya performing in the Honan Chapel, Christmas Carols from Cork on RTÉ One Image Name: Enya performing in the Honan Chapel, Christmas Carols from Cork on RTÉ One
The Nathan Carter Show Christmas Special Image Name: The Nathan Carter Show Christmas Special
Christmas: Christmas with Daniel on RTÉ One, Daniel O'Donnell Image Name: Christmas: Christmas with Daniel on RTÉ One, Daniel O'Donnell
Mrs Brown's Boys .. The Xmas Show Photographs by Alan Peebles Image Name: Mrs Brown's Boys .. The Xmas Show Photographs by Alan Peebles Description: Mrs Brown's Boys .. The Xmas Show

**EMBARGO – the information contained in this press release cannot be published in print, online or via social media until 6am on Thursday December 1st  2016**

 

As you’re digesting your turkey and ham and contemplating yet another mince pie tune in for Brendan O’Carroll’s Mrs Brown’s Boys latest antics in two new festive specials. Agnes Brown has had enough hassle with Christmas trees to last a lifetime, so this year she refuses to have one. Join Bridget & Eamon on RTÉ2 for some belly laughs as the duo get the turkey treatment in their festive special entitled The Day After Christmas.

 

Music fans can look forward to a jam packed festive playlist on RTÉ One and RTÉ2. Join Daniel O’Donnell for a festive celebration Christmas With Daniel, exclusively recorded at his sold out Christmas show at the Convention Centre Dublin. There are also plenty of treats lined up as Nathan Carter hosts a special Christmas edition of his show; recorded in Dublin’s Mansion House with performances from Billy Ocean, KT Tunstall, Paddy Moloney, Eleanor Shanley and Al Porter.

Set beside the River Lee in the beautiful grounds of University College Cork Mary Kennedy presents Christmas Carols from Cork. Musical guests include a rare performance and interview with Enya plus Martin Hayes, Dennis Cahill, Celine Byrne, Micheal Ó Muircheartaigh, The Priests, Brian Kennedy and the RTÉ Concert Orchestra. In a one hour profile, Johnny Logan: Hold Me Now Johnny tells how he became the most successful participant in the history of Eurovision. Music fans can also look forward to Other Voices – Gavin James special and Christmas at the Cathedral – traditional carols with the choir of St Patrick’s Cathedral Dublin.

Sports fans can tune in to watch Darragh Maloney present the RTÉ Sport Awards 2016 live from Studio 4 in RTÉ as an array of Irish sports stars gather to celebrate another year of Irish sporting excellence. EURO 2016: Two Shades of Green will look back on those heady few weeks last summer through the eyes of Irish and Northern Irish fans who descended upon France. Pull Like A Dog documents the O’Donovan brothers triumph at the Olympics. Sporting enthusiasts can also watch Know the Score: Sports Quiz of the Year, Ireland’s Fittest Family: Blood Sweat and Tears, Thank GAA it’s 2016 and Racing from Leopardstown.

Fair City viewers can expect a gripping hour-long special of their favourite soap on Christmas Day.  It’s a case of the ghosts of Christmas past for Paul Brennan this year as Niamh plans the ultimate Christmas dinner with Paul’s ex-lovers and children.

 

On Celebrity Home of the Year our panel of three expert judges are invited into the homes of five well known Irish faces: Norah Casey, Helen Cody, Darren Kennedy, Brent Pope and Terri Prone. In Today with Maura and Dáithí the pair will return after the Six One News from Tuesday to Friday, with leading Irish cooks, for thirty minutes of recipes, tips and tastings. On Big Year on the Farm Áine Lawlor and Ella McSweeney return to John Fagan’s sheep farm on the shores of Derravaragh Lake to catch up on how life on the land has been since Big Week on the Farm.Meanwhile Strange Occurrences in a Small Irish Village, is a feature length documentary which explores the big question of faith, in the small Irish village Knock.

Grab some mistletoe for Carrick-on-Stag where we join brides and grooms-to-be as they embark on one last raucous weekend before they get married. In the last episode of Don’t Tell the Bride before Christmas Owen plans a Game of Thrones-themed wedding. Senior Moments is a comedy show where the older generation display their charm, warmth and wit, both out on the street pranking unsuspecting young folk and in the comfort of their own homes where they regale us with jokes and anecdotes.

 

Film fans can look forward to a range of movies including Irish comedy caper The Flag with Pat Shortt, Calvary with Brendan Gleeson, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, Tinker,Tailor, Soldier Spy, Bad Neighbours, Captain America: Winter Soldier, Rush, 300: Rise of an Empire and firm favourites including Love, Actually, While You Were Sleeping, Notting Hill, Pitch Perfect and Die Hard 2. Keep the little ones entertained with movies including Frozen, The Lego Movie,Monsters University, Despicable Me 2, Rio 2, How to Train Your Dragon 2 and Muppets Most Wanted

 

On New Year’s Eve, as the 1916 Centenary year comes to a close, join Claire Byrne, Bryan Dobson and Kathryn Thomas as we look back on a momentous year for Ireland and ring in the New Year. Claire Byrne hosts proceedings in Iveagh House on St. Stephen’s Green while Aidan Power brings us the best from Dublin’s NYF Festival including the “3 Countdown Concert” featuring Walking on Cars. We also embrace Ireland’s community abroad with Bryan Dobson broadcasting live from New York and Kathryn Thomas from the heart of London. Plus the RTÉ News Review 2016 looks back on the stories that defined the year.

In the early New Year, drama fans can look forward to Striking Out which follows the tumultuous professional and personal life of Dublin-based solicitor, Tara Rafferty (Amy Huberman), and her fledgling legal firm. The tenth series of Operation Transformation will see five new leaders take on the challenge to lose weight, get fit and transform their lives, and Dancing with the Stars will shimmy its way onto Irish screens for the first time in January 2017. Get your glitter on!

 

RTÉjr

For younger viewers there will be lots of festive fun on RTÉjr Christmas with highlights including a brand new Irish animation featuring penguin pair Harry and Bip, latest episodes from documentary series What Makes My Day and Christmas specials from award winning series The Day Henry Met and our weekend entertainment show Pop Goes the Weekend.

 

RTÉ Radio 1

Ryan Tubridy kicks off Christmas on RTÉ Radio 1 this December 23rd with his annual broadcast live from Dublin Airport. On Christmas Eve, Joe Duffy will be in his usual spot, just off Grafton Street, and will be joined by your favourite Funny Friday gang plus lots of special guests for an eclectic cabaret of music, chat and comedy. On Christmas Day, The Leap of FaithChristmas MiscellanyChristmas with MiriamCreedon’s Christmas and Into the Mystic: An Irish Christmas bring you up to turkey time! Then, celebrate the season with Daniel O’Donnell’s Christmas and let Lisa Hannigan’s beautifully distinctive voice provide your Christmas lunch soundtrack in a special Christmas edition of In Session. St. Stephen’s Day sees Joe Duffy and guests look back on the Legacies of those who have passed away during 2016; St. Stephen’s Day Sport is a bumper edition including coverage of Munster V Leinster and the Christmas race meetings; the first of our Late Date Takeoverspecials as legendary football pundit Joe Brolly takes over the microphone. On New Year’s Eve, The Michael Littleton Memorial Lecture, recorded in front of a live audience in RTÉ’s radio studios, will be broadcast. The lecture, entitled Citizens of the World: The power of connectedness in an age of alienation, was delivered by Professor Louise Richardson, Vice Chancellor of Oxford University and a global authority on terrorism.

RTÉ 2fm

Jenny Greene and the RTÉ Concert Orchestra lead the way in an exclusive range of live concert recordings on 2fm over the Christmas period including shows by ColdplayWalking on Cars and Jess Glynne.  Also featuring on 2fm over Christmas is the annual music quiz featuring some of the 2fm DJs pitted against each other in the ultimate music challenge. On New Year’s Day at 10pm, we bring you an exclusive interview with techno giant Jeff Mills followed by the broadcast of his sell-out gig with the RTÉ Concert Orchestra that took place in October.

RTÉ lyric fm

Marty Whelan gets into the spirit of things this Christmas season on RTÉ lyric fm with lots of special guests including singer Rumer and Neven Maguire. On St. Stephen’s Day, Marty meets Van Morrison. On Christmas Day, Join the host of Vox Nostra, Vlad Smishkewych, for RTÉ lyric fm’s dedicated early music programme for tunes familiar and new, spanning over a thousand Christmases. On St. Stephen’s Day, Carl Corcoran revisits some of our favourite Blue of the Night Sessions from the past year; Marty Whelan visits Torre del Lago, home of Puccini, and home to the opera festival presented in his name on the shores of Lake Massaciuccoli.

RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta

Some of the highlights of the RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta Christmas schedule include the radio premiere of Peadar Ó Riada’s work Onóir performed at the NCH in late October, highlights from the Lorient festival, and a programme with the King of Tory Island. Music fans will have plenty to enjoy in the RTÉ RnaG Christmas schedule, including a concert in honour of the legendary Connemara box player Johnny Connolly which will be broadcast on Tuesday 27th December at 7pm. Sports enthusiasts may be interested in a special programme remembering the gifted Connemara boxer Máirtín Thornton, who was born 100 years ago this year, which will be broadcast on Christmas day at 8pm.

RTÉ Player

RTÉ Player will be showing a host of Christmas, New Year and Family collections featuring Christmas specials, classic boxsets, and online extras which will be available over the festive season.  For those spending Christmas abroad and missing home, you can stay in touch with RTÉ Player International for iPhone and iPad. For more details on how to watch RTÉ Player outside Ireland go to www.rte.ie/playerinternational

 

Press queries:

 

Television: Rayna Connery, Senior Press Officer, RTÉ Television, (01) 208 3169, M: 087 9862902 E: rayna.connery@rte.ie

Radio: Maureen Catterson, RTÉ Radio Communications Manager, (01) 208 2255  M: 087 7800 737  E: maureen.catterson@rte.ie

 

Digital: Marika MacCarvill, RTÉ Digital Communications Manager T: (01) 208 4665 M: +353861712568 E: marika.maccarvill@rte.ie

Images: A selection of programme images have been sent to picture desks and additional images are available on our press-pack site

https://presspack.rte.ie/2016/11/30/rte-unwraps-array-of-festive-fun-and-frolics-across-television-radio-and-online/

 

NOTES TO EDITORS – TV AND RADIO SCHEDULE 

**Please note that times and dates are subject to change – please check against final listings**

 

RTÉ One

 

The 2016 RTÉ Sport Awards (RTÉ One – Saturday December 17th 21:00) Darragh Maloney presents the RTÉ Sport Awards 2016 live from Studio 4 in RTÉ as an array of Irish sports stars gather to celebrate another year of Irish sporting excellence. Awards to be presented on the night are the RTÉ Sport Sports Person of the Year Award, the RTÉ Sport Team of the Year Award and the RTÉ Sport Manager of the Year Award.

 

Today with Maura & Dáithí (RTÉ One – Tuesday December 20th to Friday 23rd 18:30) In addition to their usual daytime slot From Tuesday to Friday, Maura and Dáithí will return after the Six One News, with a leading Irish cook, for thirty minutes of recipes, tips and tastings to help viewers enjoy the best of Christmas food and drink. Featured cooks are: Eunice Power, Catherine Fulvio, Rachel Allen, Kevin Dundon and Paul Flynn.

Christmas at the Cathedral (RTÉ One – Tuesday December 20th 20:30) Traditional carols with the choir of St Patrick’s Cathedral Dublin as they prepare for the Christmas season.  The Cathedral’s Choir School has been training choristers for centuries and blends adult and children’s voices to spine tingling effect.  Choirmaster Stuart Nicholson leads the singers in a popular selection of music ancient and modern in one of the most visually and acoustically stunning buildings in Ireland.

 

Strange Occurrences in a Small Irish Village (RTÉ One – Wednesday December 21st 21:35) An apparition of the Virgin Mary; A multi-million euro restoration project; A plane full of American pilgrims en route; thousands of faithful seeking a miracle. Strange Occurrences in a small Irish village explores the big question of faith, in a small Irish village.

 

Christmas Carols From Cork (RTÉ One – Christmas Eve 20:10) Presented by Mary Kennedy, this year the Christmas carols show is set beside the River Lee in the beautiful grounds of University College Cork. The performances will come from the Aula Maxima  – the Great Hall in UCC and the Honan chapel, which is celebrating its centenary this year. The very talented guests on on show include, Martin Hayes, Dennis Cahill, Celine Byrne,  Micheal O Muircheartaigh, The Priests, Brian Kennedy,  Prodijig, The RTÉ Concert Orchestra under the baton of the wonderful David Brophy and The Band of the Defence Forces, conducted by Lieutenant Cornel Mark J Armstrong. There are also very special performances from Enya in the Honan Chapel, who performs Adeste Fideles, Oiche Chuin and The spirit of Christmas past. Enya also chats to Mary Kennedy about Christmas traditions.

 

Christmas With Daniel (RTÉ One – Christmas Eve 21:30) Join Daniel O’Donnell this Christmas Eve for a festive celebration, exclusively recorded at his sold out Christmas show at the Convention Centre Dublin. Following their success on Britain’s Got Talent, the Presentation School Choir Kilkenny will add some extra sparkle to the evening, as they join Daniel for a jam packed festive playlist that will be sure to have you singing along to all your favourite Christmas songs.

Midnight Mass (RTÉ One – Christmas Eve 23:15) Midnight Mass live from Sacred Heart Church, Donnybrook, Dublin, as it celebrates its 150th anniversary.

Eurovision Mass for Christmas Day (RTÉ One – Chrismas Day 10:00) Live Eurovision Mass for Christmas Day from Le Locle, Switzerland, with commentary from Michael Comyn.

Urbi et OrbiPope Francis’ Christmas Message (RTÉ One – Chrismas Day 11:00) Delivered from St Peter’s Basilica, Rome, with commentary and translation from Fr Thomas McCarthy, OP.

Service for Christmas Day (RTÉ One – Christmas Day 11:30)The Rev. Alan Mitchell leads a congregation from Sligo Presbyterian Church in celebration of the birth of Jesus, with music from the Sligo Gospel Choir, led by Richard Mitchell.

A Christmas Message from the Primates of All Ireland (RTÉ One – Chrismas Day 12:20) The Roman Catholic and Anglican Primates of All Ireland, Archbishop Eamon Martin and Archbishop Richard Clarke, offer a seasonal message of faith, hope and charity.

Fair City (RTÉ One – Christmas Day 20:25) It’s a case of the ghosts of Christmas past for Paul Brennan this year as Niamh plans the ultimate Christmas dinner with Paul’s ex-lovers and children.  Meanwhile in the O’Brien household secrets are exposed which leave Eoghan feeling more alone and isolated than ever.   As Dermot’s health continues to deteriorate he plans the perfect last Christmas with his family.   And Carrigstown welcomes a new face which is bound to cause havoc for Ama and Jake. 

 

Mrs. Brown’s Boys – Mammy’s Forest (RTÉ One – Christmas Day 22:25) Something isn’t quite right in the Brown household this Christmas. Agnes Brown has had enough hassle with Christmas trees to last a lifetime, so this year she refuses to have one. But with Grandad’s health a worry for everyone, is there something else missing this Christmas apart from just the tree?

Know the Score: Sports Quiz of the Year (RTÉ One – St. Stephen’s Day 18:20) In an hour-long Christmas special Jacqui Hurley alongside team captains Shane Byrne and Ruby Walsh with some very special guests take a look back at the sporting year.

Big Year on the Farm (RTÉ One – Tuesday December 27th18:30) Earlier this year, RTÉ spent a week on John Fagan’s farm in Castlepollard giving viewers a unique insight into farming life in Ireland as nature sprang to life. In Big Year on the Farm, presenters Áine Lawlor and Ella McSweeney return to John’s farm to find out how the year has gone since April covering all the trials and tribulations of agriculture life from fluctuating prices to unpredictable weather and the dangers of disease. We’ll find out how John is overcoming nature’s obstacles, battling the tragedy 0f disease, and what happened to those 120 lambs born during that busy week in April.

 

Senior Moments (RTÉ One – Tuesday December 27th 20:30)Senior Moments is a comedy show where the senior members of our society display their charm, warmth and wit, both out on the street pranking unsuspecting young folk and in the comfort of their own homes where they regale us with jokes, anecdotes and much more.

Pull Like A Dog (RTÉ One – Tuesday December 27th 21:30) In August 2016 Gary and Paul O’Donovan, two young rowers from West Cork, came from nowhere to become household names after bolting their way to silver medal success at the Rio Olympics. Not only did they become the first ever Irish rowers to bring home Olympic medals but within a week Paul also went on to become the fastest singles lightweight rower on the planet by winning gold at the World Championships. This special one-hour documentary follows the O’Donovan brothers as they return to their parish of Lisheen and Skibbereen rowing club in the aftermath of their success.

Celebrity Home of the Year (RTÉ One – Wednesday December 28th 18:30) This Celebrity Home of the Year has a special festive offering. Follow our panel of three expert judges; design legend Hugh Wallace, acclaimed architect Declan O’Donnell and award winning interior designer Deirdre Whelan as they are invited into the homes of five well known Irish faces: presenter and stylist Darren Kennedy, broadcaster and publisher Norah Casey, writer Terry Prone, fashion designer Helen Cody and broadcaster Brent Pope.  Looking for individuality, functionality and clever design, the judges will individually score each of the homes out of 10. The Celebrity Home of the Year will receive a donation for a charity of their choice.

Ireland’s Fittest Family: Mud, Sweat and Tears (RTÉ One – Wednesday December 28th 19:30) Since exploding onto our screens in 2014, 48 super fit families have tackled the mud, the sweat and the tears, all with the aim to become Ireland’s Fittest Family.  Mairead Ronan invites us to join her on this fun and exciting journey through four epic years of the hit show, as she shines a fresh light on some of the biggest moments from TV’s toughest challenge show. Our favourite coaches and families from over the years gather, to give us a candid and unique insight into the toughest obstacles, the bravest families, the tricks of the trade and what it really takes to be Ireland’s Fittest Family.

 

The Nathan Carter Show Christmas Special (RTÉ One – Wednesday December 28th 21:30) There are plenty of festive treats lined up as Nathan Carter hosts this special Christmas edition of his show.  Recorded in front of a lively audience in Dublin’s Mansion House, it’s jam-packed with music, laughs and chat. Nathan sings some of his favourite tracks, the legendary Billy Ocean drops in to perform two of his most popular songs, and KT Tunstall delights the audience with an acoustic version of her biggest hit, ‘Suddenly I See’.   Paddy Moloney and Eleanor Shanley join Nathan for a very special rendition of a 150 year-old folk song, while comedian Al Porter and his dancing Santas take to the stage for an unmissable performance of festive favourite ‘Jingle Bell Rock’.

 

The Year of the Rising (RTÉ One – Thursday December 29th18:30) The Year of the Rising looks back at the year of commemoration that saw the biggest ever public events in Ireland. This special programme presented by Mary Kennedy features the TV highlights of the year commemorating the events of 1916, and takes us behind the scenes with those who organised the events and those who took part in them.

 

Johnny Logan: Hold Me Now (RTÉ One – Thursday December 29th 21:30) In this one hour profile, which includes exclusive footage of his working life in Scandinavia and Germany alongside material from his recent sell out gig in Dublin’s Vicar Street, Johnny outlines the unusual and occasionally bizarre career of Sean Sherrard, the one -time electrician who changed his name to Johnny Logan on the suggestion of songwriter/producer Roberto Denova- who penned many of Joe Dolan’s biggest hits – and went on to become the most successful participant in the history of Eurovision. Featuring exclusive behind the scenes footage, this highly personal one hour profile see’s Johnny open up about his tumultuous life and times, while talking in detail about his successful and enduring singing career and life as a family man.

 

RTÉ News Review 2016 (RTÉ One – December 30th 18:30)We look back at 2016, a year of seismic change and shock: a reality TV star is to enter the White House, Britain is to leave the European Union but on a happier note, back home, Ireland celebrated its centenary.

 

New Year’s Eve Live – Centenary Special (RTÉ One – Saturday December 31st TBA)

As the 1916 Centenary year comes to a close join Claire Byrne, Bryan Dobson and Kathryn Thomas as we look back on a momentous year for Ireland. Claire Byrne hosts proceedings in Iveagh House on St. Stephen’s Green while Aidan Power brings us the best from Dublin’s NYF Festival including the “3 Countdown Concert” featuring Walking on Cars. We also embrace Ireland’s community abroad with Bryan Dobson broadcasting live from New York and Kathryn Thomas from the heart of London.

 

Mrs. Brown’s Boys – Chez Mammy (RTÉ One – TBA) Agnes Brown’s grandson Bono is being bullied by a boy at school. And when Agnes makes matters worse, a mediation session is called. Meanwhile, Cathy has a new, French boyfriend. He doesn’t make the best first impression, which might be an issue if he is to survive meeting Mrs Brown. Grandad is back from hospital. As well as a new stair-lift, he also has a prescription for medical marijuana. What could possibly go wrong?

 

RTÉ2

Carrick-On-Stag (RTÉ2 – Wednesday December 21st 21:30)In Carrick-On-Stag we join ‘brides & grooms to be’ for one last raucous weekend before they get married. Every weekend Carrick-On-Shannon is besieged with an influx of likely lads and good time gals, determined to show their brides and grooms a good time. The Leitrim town has quickly become the unofficial stag & hen capital of the country. Over the course of one hectic weekend we join the mayhem as we follow three groups of hens and stages; from the Conor McGregor of the stripping world to catching cocks on a local farm to a Brazilian nude model who is more than happy to let it all hang out, we get down and dirty on this weekend to remember.

Don’t Tell the Bride (RTÉ2 -Thursday December 22nd 21:35)

Apart from being head over heels in love with his blushing bride Lisa Toner, groom Owen Walsh is self-professed “nerd”. The big loves in his life are: Doctor Who, Star Wars and the fantasy TV series, “Game of Thrones”. While Lisa dreams of an elegant, lakeside wedding, Owen is thinking of a ceremony on the side of a mountain with his bride arriving on horseback, while sporting a cape! As his budget gets tighter and tighter, Owen’s vision of a medieval spectacle is looking less and less likely. Will this wedding end up being more game of moans, than Game of Thrones?

 

Bridget & Eamon’s Christmas Special (RTÉ2 – Christmas Eve 22:05)

It’s St. Stephen’s Day and Eamon’s Mammy has called over to make Bridget’s life even more miserable. When Bridget accidentally kills her with an electric carving knife, can they hide the body from all the neighbours, and the Gardaí, that have called over to watch the big film on the telly? Guest starring Katherine Lynch as Eamon’s Mammy.  Written by Jason Butler, Bernard O’Shea and Jennifer Zamparelli.

 

Other Voices: Gavin James Christmas Special (RTÉ2 – Christmas Day 20:30) Recorded live at the Other Voices festival in Dingle earlier this month. Choice music prize winner Gavin James gives an intimate performance from one the most unique music festivals in Ireland.

 

Racing From Leopardstown (RTÉ2 – Monday December 26thto Thursday 29th)

Robert Hall presents four days of festive racing action from Leopardstown alongside Ted Walsh, Brian Gleeson, Tom Lee and Tracy Piggott with Tony O’Hehir on commentary.

Monday 26 December – St Stephen’s Day kicks off four days of National Hunt action with the feature race the Racing Post Novice Steeplechase.

Tuesday 27 December – Day two from Leopardstown features the Paddy Power Chase.

Wednesday 28 December – The Lexus Chase is the feature on day three of the Christmas Festival.

Thursday 29 December – The Ryanair Hurdle is the feature race on the final day’s racing from the Leopardstown Christmas Festival.

EURO 2016 – Two Shades of Green (RTÉ2 – Thursday December 29th 21:30) Last summer, for the time ever, both the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland competed at a major soccer tournament at the same time. For an island with such a small population it was a remarkable achievement, and while many great moments came on the field of play, our fans also made many more. As over 100,000 supporters from both sides of the border descended on France, they sang their hearts out, and stole the hearts of their hosts and the world over for their behaviour during their time there. Two Shades of Green will look back on those heady few weeks through the eyes of those who were there.

Thank GAA It’s 2016 (RTÉ2 – Thursday December 29th 22:30)Special programme looking back at the story of the Championship summer and delivering a festive hamper of GAA goodness.

MOVIES ON RTÉ One

Arthur Christmas (RTÉ One – Saturday December 17th 18:35)

(2011, Animation) Stars: James McAvoy, Jim Broadbent. Directors: Sarah Smith, Barry Cook. Santa’s clumsy son Arthur gets put on a mission with St. Nick’s father to give out a present they misplaced to a young girl in less than 2 hours. 

22 Jump Street (RTÉ One – Sunday December 18th 21:30)

(2014, Comedy) Stars: Channing Tatum, Jonah Hill. Directors: Phil Lord and Christopher Miller. After making their way through high school (twice), big changes are in store for officers Schmidt and Jenko when they go deep undercover at a local college.

 

Love, Actually  (RTÉ One – Friday December 23rd 21:25)

(2003, Comedy) Stars: Hugh Grant. Director: Richard Curtis.Follows the lives of eight very different couples in dealing with their love lives in various loosely interrelated tales all set during a frantic month before Christmas in London, England.

The Lego Movie (RTÉ One – Christmas Eve 18:15)

(2014, Animation) Stars: Chris Pratt, Will Ferrell. Directors: Phil Lord, Christopher Miller. An ordinary Lego construction worker, thought to be the prophesied ‘Special’, is recruited to join a quest to stop an evil tyrant from gluing the Lego universe into eternal stasis.

Muppets Most Wanted (RTÉ One – Christmas Day 13:30)

(2014, Adventure) Stars: Ricky Gervais, Ty Burrell. Director: James Bobin. While on a grand world tour, The Muppets find themselves wrapped into a European jewel-heist caper headed by a Kermit the Frog look-alike and his dastardly sidekick.

Monsters University (RTÉ One – Christmas Day 15:10)

(2013, Animation) Stars: Billy Crystal, John Goodman. Director: Dan Scanlon. A look at the relationship between Mike and Sulley during their days at Monsters University — when they weren’t necessarily the best of friends.

Despicable Me 2 (RTÉ One – Christmas Day 16:55)

(2013, Adventure) Stars: Steve Carell, Kristen Wiig. Director: Pierre Coffin, Chris Renaud.  When Gru, the world’s most super-bad turned super-dad has been recruited by a team of officials to stop lethal muscle and a host of Gru’s own, He has to fight back with new gadgetry, cars, and more minion madness.

Frozen (RTÉ One – Christmas Day 18:35)

(2013, Animation) Stars: Kristen Bell, Idina Menzel. Directors: Chris Buck, Jennifer Lee. When the newly crowned Queen Elsa accidentally uses her power to turn things into ice to curse her home in infinite winter, her sister, Anna, teams up with a mountain man, his playful reindeer, and a snowman to change the weather condition.

The Flag (RTÉ One – Christmas Day 23:00)

(2016) Pat Shortt plays sad sack Harry Hambridge, a London-based builder living alone in a dingy apartment. Harry returns home for his father’s funeral and, rummaging through his father’s effects, learns that his grandfather was the man who placed the tricolour atop the GPO in 1916.

 

Rio2 (RTÉ One – St. Stephen’s Day 16:00)

(2014, Animation) Stars: Jesse Eisenberg, Anne Hathaway. Director: Carlos Saldanha. It’s a jungle out there for Blu, Jewel and their three kids after they’re hurtled from Rio de Janeiro to the wilds of the Amazon. As Blu tries to fit in, he goes beak-to-beak with the vengeful Nigel, and meets his father-in-law.

Calvary (RTÉ One – St. Stephen’s Day 21:15)

(2014, Drama) Stars: Brendan Gleeson, Chris O’Dowd. Director: John Michael McDonagh. After he is threatened during a confession, a good-natured priest must battle the dark forces closing in around him.

New Year’s Eve (RTÉ One – Friday December 30th 00:40)

(2011, Comedy) Stars: Sarah Jessica Parker, Jessica Biel. Director: Garry Marshall. The lives of several couples and singles in New York intertwine over the course of New Year’s Eve.

 

Mrs. Brown’s Boys D’ Movie (RTÉ One – Friday December 30th 21:30)

(2014, Comedy) Stars: Brendan O’ Carroll, Dermot O’ Neill. Director: Ben Kellett. A company tries to shut down Mrs. Brown’s fruit and veg stall.

 

How To Train Your Dragon 2 (RTÉ One – TBA)

(2014, Action) Director: Dean DeBlois. Stars: Jay Baruchel, Cate Blanchett. When Hiccup and Toothless discover an ice cave that is home to hundreds of new wild dragons and the mysterious Dragon Rider, the two friends find themselves at the centre of a battle to protect the peace.

MOVIES ON RTÉ2

Die Hard 2 (RTÉ2 – Saturday December 17th 21:00)

(1990, Action) Stars:Bruce Willis, William Atherton. Director:Renny Harlin. John McClane attempts to avert disaster as rogue military operatives seize control of Dulles International Airport in Washington, D.C.

Notting Hill (RTÉ2 – Tuesday December 20th 21:30)

(1999, Romantic Comedy) Stars: Hugh Grant, Julia Roberts. Director: Roger Michell. The life of a simple bookshop owner changes when he meets the most famous film star in the world.

While You Were Sleeping (RTÉ2 Thursday December 22nd14:50)

(1995, Comedy) Stars: Sandra Bullock, Bill Pullman. Director: Jon Turteltaub.
A hopeless romantic Chicago Transit Authority token collector is mistaken for the fiancée of a coma patient.

300: Rise Of An Empire (RTÉ2 – Friday December 23rd21:30)

(2014, Action) Stars: Sullivan Stapleton, Eva Green. Director: Noam Murro. Greek general Themistokles leads the charge against invading Persian forces led by mortal-turned-god Xerxes and Artemisia, vengeful commander of the Persian navy.

Chariots Of Fire (RTÉ One – Friday December 23rd 14:35)

(1981, Drama) Stars: Ben Cross, Ian Charleson. Director: Hugh Hudson. Two British track athletes, one a determined Jew and the other a devout Christian, compete in the 1924 Olympics.

Pitch Perfect (RTÉ2 – Christmas Eve 18:20)

(2012, Comedy) Stars: Anna Kendrick, Brittany Snow. Director: Jason Moore. Beca, a freshman at Barden University, is cajoled into joining The Bellas, her school’s all-girls singing group. Injecting some much needed energy into their repertoire, The Bellas take on their male rivals in a campus competition.

Bad Neighbours (RTÉ2 – Christmas Eve 22:35)

(2014, Comedy) Stars: Seth Rogen, Rose Byrne. Director: Nicholas Stoller. After they are forced to live next to a fraternity house, a couple with a newborn baby do whatever they can to take them down.

Star Trek: Into Darkness (RTÉ2 – Christmas Day 18:30)

(2013, Action) Stars: Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto. Director: J.J Abrams. After the crew of the Enterprise find an unstoppable force of terror from within their own organization, Captain Kirk leads a manhunt to a war-zone world to capture a one-man weapon of mass destruction.

Captain America: The Winter Soldier (RTÉ2 – Christmas Day 21:25)

 (2014, Action) Stars: Chris Evans, Samuel L. Jackson. Director: Anthony Risso, Joe Russo. As Steve Rogers struggles to embrace his role in the modern world, he teams up with a fellow Avenger and S.H.I.E.L.D agent, Black Widow, to battle a new threat from history: an assassin known as the Winter Soldier.

 

Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (RTÉ2 – St. Stephen’s Day 18:00)

(2012, Fantasy) Stars: Martin Freeman, Ian McKellen. Director: Peter Jackson. A reluctant hobbit, Bilbo Baggins, sets out to the Lonely Mountain with a spirited group of dwarves to reclaim their mountain home – and the gold within it – from the dragon Smaug.

Rush (RTÉ2 – St. Stephen’s Day 21:30) 

(2013, Action) Stars: Daniel Bruhl, Chris Hemsworth. Director: Ron Howard. The merciless 1970s rivalry between Formula One rivals James Hunt and Niki Lauda.

Hobbit: Desolation Of Smaug (RTÉ2 – Tuesday December 27th 21:00)

(2013, Adventure) Stars: Ian MKellen, Martin Freeman. Director: Peter Jackson. The dwarves, along with Bilbo Baggins and Gandalf the Grey, continue their quest to reclaim Erebor, their homeland, from Smaug. Bilbo Baggins is in possession of a mysterious and magical ring.

Tinker, Tailor, Soilder Spy (RTÉ2 Friday December 30th21:30)

(2011, Thriller) Stars: Gary Oldman, Colin Firth. Director: Tomas Alfredson. In the bleak days of the Cold War, espionage veteran George Smiley is forced from semi-retirement to uncover a Soviet agent within MI6.

 

RTÉ Radio 1

Ryan Tubridy kicks off Christmas on RTÉ Radio 1 this December 23rd with his annual broadcast live from Dublin Airport. On Christmas Eve, Joe Duffy will be in his usual spot, just off Grafton Street, and will be joined by your favourite Funny Friday gang plus lots of special guests for an eclectic cabaret of music, chat and comedy. Brenda Donohue presents a special edition of Like Family, meeting the families of Ireland’s newest residents, babies born during 2016. At 2pm, Derek Mooney puts in his annual call to the big man in the red suit himself and, at 3pm, Christmas CAKE brings arts, culture and fun to the kids of Ireland. Cathal Murray is Driving Home for Christmas with you between 5.15-7pm, then Radio 1 helps you unwind ahead of The Big Day with a soothing mix of music and  reflective programming: The Poetry Programme, A Magical Musical Christmas, CéilI House and A Millennium of Christmas Music. At 11.15pm, we keep with tradition by bringing you Midnight Mass.

 

On Christmas Day, The Leap of Faith, Christmas Miscellany, Christmas with Miriam, Creedon’s Christmas and Into the Mystic: An Irish Christmas bring you up to turkey time! Then, celebrate the season with Daniel O’Donnell’s Christmas and let Lisa Hannigan’s beautifully distinctive voice provide your Christmas lunch soundtrack in a special Christmas edition of In Session. The Book Show, South Wind Blows, Pantisocracy, Drama on One, The Best of Mooney Tunes and Sandy’s Country Christmas see you through to nightfall.

 

St. Stephen’s Day sees Joe Duffy and guests look back on the Legacies of those who have passed away during 2016; St. Stephen’s Day Sport is a bumper edition including coverage of Munster V Leinster and the Christmas race meetings; the first of our Late Date Takeover specials as legendary football pundit Joe Brolly takes over the microphone. Three further special guest presenters will feature before the year is out. Between St. Stephen’s Day and New Year’s Day, there is an array of seasonal specials on offer:

 

The Faces of Grace, looking at the life of Grace Gifford, is presented by singer and songwriter Róisin Ó. Grace Gifford has long been known as Joseph Mary Plunkett’s wife from the song made famous by Jim McCann – but there was a lot more to her than merely a grieving widow; Donal Ryan visits Syria; John Murray spends the day with singer-songwriter Luka Bloom; Ken Sweeney goes In Search of The Blue Nile; The Ties That Bindsees award-winning reporter Brian O’Connell explore community life in Ireland today; Shay Byrne meets some of Ireland’s top country artists including Robert Mizzell, Hurricane Highway and Michael English; Oliver Callan Kicks the Year; Jim Lockhart will be extra busy in this year’s look back at the music stars who have passed away; Marty Morrissey and guests look at Reasons to be Cheerful; we find out about Maureen Flanagan’s Life with the Kray Twins; and Bronagh Gallagher captures the drama that unfolded during the year in A Year in the Life of the Bord Gais Energy Theatre.

 

On New Year’s Eve, The Michael Littleton Memorial Lecture, recorded in front of a live audience in RTÉ’s radio studios, will be broadcast. The lecture, entitled Citizens of the World: The power of connectedness in an age of alienation, was delivered by Professor Louise Richardson, Vice Chancellor of Oxford University and a global authority on terrorism. John Creedon rings in the New Year with a mix of music both uplifting and reflective between 10pm and a quarter past midnight.

 

New Year’s Day sees programming looking at issues around emigration in A Place Called Home; Will Hanafin trawls through the archives to find out if life really was better in the old days; and Marty Morrissey looks to the year ahead.

 

RTÉ 2fm

Jenny Greene and the RTÉ Concert Orchestra lead the way in an exclusive range of live concert recordings on 2fm over the Christmas period including shows by Coldplay, Walking on Carsand Jess Glynne. Also featuring on 2fm over Christmas is the annual music quiz featuring some of the 2fm DJs pitted against each other in the ultimate music challenge. There’s Fanning’s Fab 50, the very best of Chris and Ciara, a music profile of Gavin James and the story of the legendary 2fm Sessions as told by those who took part in them. On New Year’s Day at 10pm, we bring you an exclusive interview with techno giant Jeff Millsfollowed by the broadcast of his sell-out gig with the RTÉ Concert Orchestra that took place in October. This programme will be simulcast on RTÉ 2fm’s digital sister station, RTÉ Pulse.

 

RTÉ lyric fm

Marty Whelan gets into the spirit of things this Christmas season on RTÉ lyric fm with lots of special guests including singer Rumer and Neven Maguire. On St. Stephen’s Day, Marty meets Van Morrison. Choirs from all around the country submit their choral recordings to the RTÉ lyric fm Choirs for Christmas Competition presented by Evelyn Grant; The Lyric Concert with Paul Herriot features some beautiful repertoires including Bach’s Christmas Cantatas and Gounod’s Sacred Trilogy Mors et Vita. We have some great editions of The Lyric Feature over Christmas including Vocal Chords: Iarla Ó Lionáird in Conversation with Paul Brady and Ireland’s National Anthems.

On Christmas Eve, Santa Claus is coming to town and so is Classical Kids, for a special live request programme. Later that evening, Opera Night brings you a special gala concert recorded with star soprano Angela Gheorghiu at the National Concert Hall, Dublin earlier this year. Accompanied by the RTÉ Concert Orchestra under the baton of Tiberiu Soare, the world’s most glamorous opera star and tenor Calin Bratescu perform a selection of popular arias including favourites from Carmen, Tosca, Adriana Lecouvreur and Madama Butterfly.

On Christmas Day, Join the host of Vox Nostra, Vlad Smishkewych, for RTÉ lyric fm’s dedicated early music programme for tunes familiar and new, spanning over a thousand Christmases. That evening, The Rose Ensemble‘s celestial voices team up with a Baroque band to present this unique seasonal programme of glorious 17th century music from Italy, preserved in the Mdina Cathedral archives on the Island of Malta and now being heard for the first time in hundreds of years. Afterwards, Bernard Clarke plays contemporary music by the trinity of Holy Minimalists Henryk Górecki, Arvo Pärt and John Tavener. At 10pm, our Vespertine Christmas sparkles with Christmas music from around the world, and includes a very special concert, recorded for RTÉ lyric fm as part of the Waltons’ World Masters Series.

 

On St. Stephen’s Day, Carl Corcoran revisits some of our favourite Blue of the Night Sessions from the past year; Marty Whelan visits Torre del Lago, home of Puccini, and home to the opera festival presented in his name on the shores of Lake Massaciuccoli.

 

Other highlights on RTÉ lyric fm over the Christmas season include a tribute to the late jazz guitarist Louis Stewart; part one of a fantastic concert held in association with Music Network on Culture Night; and a Lyric Concert highlight from earlier in the year celebrating 100 years of Irish culture, Irish Culture in Britain – A Centenary Celebration.

 

RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta

Some of the highlights of the RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta Christmas schedule include the radio premiere of Peadar Ó Riada’s work Onóir performed at the NCH in late October, highlights from the Lorient festival, and a programme with the King of Tory Island. Onóir was commissioned by Gael Linn as part of the 1916 commemorations, and was performed by Peadar Ó Riada together with Téada, Mick O’Brien, Oisín Morrison, Cór Chúil Aodha and Cór Ban Chúil Aodha. The premier of Onóir will be broadcast on Friday 30th December at 7pm. Cearbhall Ó Síocháin travelled to the Festival Interceltique de Lorient in Brittany in the summer, and we’ll hear highlights from the festival in a special show on Monday 2nd January at 5pm. King of Tory Island, Patsy Dan Mac Ruairí, will be interviewed by Áine Ní Churráin on Monday 26th January at 11am, and on Wednesday 28th January at 11am tune in for a programme about musician Pádraig Ó Dúgáin from Clannad who passed away during the year. If you’ve ever wondered how to make poitín, tune in to Tús an Phota on Christmas day at 9pm to learn from the experts in Connemara!

 

Music fans will have plenty to enjoy in the RTÉ RnaG Christmas schedule, including a concert in honour of the legendary Connemara box player Johnny Connolly which will be broadcast on Tuesday 27th December at 7pm. Sports enthusiasts may be interested in a special programme remembering the gifted Connemara boxer Máirtín Thornton, who was born 100 years ago this year, which will be broadcast on Christmas day at 8pm. Football fans can tune in on 2nd January at 11am for a programme about Donegal footballers Éamonn McGee and Colm McFadden, who both announced their retirement from inter-county football during the year.

 

RTÉ Player

 

RTÉ Player will be showing a host of Christmas, New Year and Family collections featuring Christmas specials, classic boxsets, and online extras which will be available over the festive season.  For those spending Christmas abroad and missing home, you can stay in touch with RTÉ Player International for iPhone and iPad. For more details on how to watch RTÉ Player outside Ireland go to www.rte.ie/playerinternational