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BBC NI Announce Christmas Schedule
09 Dec 2008 :
‘The Nolan Live Christmas Special’, ‘ House Traders2: Business on the Brink’, ‘Our Wee World at Christmas’ and The Hole in the Wall Gang’s latest creation are only some of the programmes lined up as part of the BBC NI Christmas schedule.

Stephen Nolan is gearing up to be the ultimate host of Christmas for a seasonal special of ‘The Nolan Live Christmas Special’, on Monday, December 15 at 9pm on BBC One. Stephen says: “Not only is this our Christmas special, it’s also the last programme in the series of Nolan Live so we want to put on a cracker of a show to thank all our viewers for making it the biggest show in the country. We have had a brilliant time putting together a fantastic line-up of guests and one or two surprises and can promise all our viewers a great show to remember!”

‘House Traders 2: Business on the Brink’ to air on BBC1 NI on Tuesday, December 9 at 10.40pm and produced for BBC Northern Ireland by Waddell Media, follows estate agent Philip Johnston as he and his staff cope with the harsh market environment. Philip Johnston returns to the business he left in 2005 – just as the market was about to begin its boom period. He sold the firm in 2005 after being arrested on charges relating to alleged money laundering. A year later the charges were withdrawn and he decided to leave Northern Ireland. The company that once bore his name was now MCW Residential. But as the economic climate declined, he came back to take charge of the agency again and try to turn around its failing fortunes.

The work of the late James Young is celebrated in ‘An Evening with James Young’ on BBC1 NI at 9pm. The 60-minute programme features local comedy actor William Caulfield paying tribute to James Young in a one-off show filmed specially for television in front of a celebrity audience at the Grand Opera House, Belfast earlier this year. It features a mixture of live stage performance and pre-recorded comedy sketches.

Children from around Northern Ireland look forward to the festive period through music, drama and chat in ‘Our Wee World at Christmas’ on Monday, December 22 at 7pm. Following the successful screening of the series ‘Our Wee World’ earlier this year, the drama in ‘Our Wee World at Christmas’ centers on Nativity play that goes wrong. Baby Jesus goes missing and one girl ends up with the wrong costume -a bear. The cast of the drama come from St John’s Primary School in Moy Co. Tyrone. The narration for the drama is delivered by Primary One and Two pupils from St Joseph’s Primary School in Garvagh. Music in the programme comes from Mossley Primary School, Carrickfergus Grammar School, Dominican College, Portstewart and young tenor Ciaran Kelly. Along with old favourites, ‘O Holy Night’ and ‘The Wexford Carol’.

The Hole in the Wall Gang’s latest creation, the motor cycle mad McDowell brothers, will be returning with a one-hour special ‘Oh Brother Where Art Thou?’ on Monday, December 22 at 9pm. The programme, from the creators of BBC Northern Ireland’s hugely successful ‘Give My Head Peace’ follows on from the success of the gang’s ‘Dry Your Eyes’ series and sees Jonjo 1 and Jonjo 2 (Marty Reid and Michael McDowell) back on local screens. The programme includes footage filmed at this year’s Northwest 200 and also sees the welcome return of Damon Quinn as Angry Steve, the shock jock DJ; with guest appearances from BBC Sport Northern Ireland’s Stephen Watson; Helen Madden who plays the McDowell brothers’ ailing mother, and Emma Little who plays CIA agent Hari Lemon and Carol, Angry Steve’s long suffering researcher.

Earlier this year, more than 4000 people descended upon the grounds of City Hall, Belfast for BBC Proms in the Park which will broadcast on Monday, December 29 on BBC Two Northern Ireland at 6.15pm. BBC Proms in the Park in Belfast was hosted by BBC Northern Ireland’s Noel Thompson and features performances from some of the most accomplished and well known names in classical and operatic music, including internationally acclaimed Irish traditional music group Altan; top Irish soprano Cara O’Sullivan; 12-year-old trombonist Peter Moore, winner of this year’s BBC Young Musician of the Year and multi talented violinist Jennifer Pike, herself a winner of the BBC Young Musician of the Year in 2002.

Other programmes to screen over the festive period include the Irish drama series ‘Seacht’, the animated series ‘Days Like This’, ‘Féile an Phobail – Twenty Years On’, a one off Irish Language documentary ‘Isteach Chun an Oileain/Into The Island’ which featuring the natives of Inishbofin Island off the coast of Donegal and music programme ‘Blas Ceoil’.

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