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RTÉ announce Christmas and early 2016 schedule
04 Dec 2015 : Seán Brosnan
‘Mrs Brown’s Boys’ Christmas specials will be airing on Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve
RTÉ has unveiled its festive line-up with a wide range of brand new home-produced programming across television, radio and online.

Highlights on RTÉ One include two new ‘Mrs Brown’s Boys Christmas Specials’ (from recent IFTA Lifetime recipient Brendan O’Carroll), airing on Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve, plus ‘Mrs Brown’s Boys D’Movie’ will screen on Christmas Night.

Also airing will be ‘Well Holy God It’s Glenroe’ as cast and crew fondly remember the national Sunday night drama ritual, while on a brand new four-part quiz show, ‘Play it By Year’, Mike Murphy challenges contestants with trivia from past decades. ‘The Tommy Tiernan Show’ sees the comedian take the ingredients of his recent 2FM radio show and bring it to television in this one-off special.

Brand new music programming will also air this Christmas featuring some of Ireland’s mostp popular artists. On Christmas Eve, Mary Kennedy meets President and Mrs. Higgins as they bring Carols from Áras an Uachtaráin with musicians including Imelda May, John Sheahan and Mick Flannery. Christy Moore joins the Higher Hopes homeless choirs in Dublin and Waterford to record a two track EP for release this Christmas.

‘Daniel O’Donnell and Friends’ will air on St Stephen’s night as they celebrate Christmas with a night of music and craic at Powerscourt House in Wicklow. On 30 December, ‘The Nathan Carter Show’ sees the star perform his biggest hits and duets in a one-hour special with musicians including Mary Black and Paddy Casey. And there are new documentaries with footage from the RTÉ archives ‘Luke Kelly: Prince of Dublin’ and ‘Fab! The Night the Beatles Came To Dublin’.

Darragh Maloney will be presenting the RTÉ Sport Awards on 19 December which will celebrate this year’s sporting heroes and look back on the dramatic and memorable sporting moments of 2015.

On Christmas Day, Francis and John Brennan are back to undertake a special Christmas project on ‘At Your Service’, while on Christmas Eve, Dublin's Shelbourne Hotel gears up to celebrate its 191st Christmas in ‘The Shelbourne at Christmas’.

‘Fair City’ fans can look forward to an hour long special on Christmas day. Debbie’s wayward son Emmet arrives home and causes more trouble for the O’Briens. The Dillons get an unexpected surprise when Neasa arrives home for Christmas, Paul pulls out all the stops to give the Brennans a Christmas they will never forget while Eillie takes ill and ends up in hospital giving Heather the opportunity to bask in the reflected attention.

Film fans can look forward to premieres including ‘Gravity’, which will air on Christmas Eve, Christmas day premieres ‘Oz The Great and The Powerful’ and ‘Brave’, and ‘The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey’ on St Stephen’s Day along with ‘Captain Philips’ and ‘Lincoln’.

The New Year will be rang in with Kathryn Thomas and 2FM’s Keith Walsh on New Year’s Eve Live as they soak up the atmosphere from the VIP Lounge at the New Year’s Festival Dublin Three Countdown Concert featuring The Coronas along with special guests Fatboy Slim and Ryan Sheridan. Plus the RTÉ News Review 2015 looks back on the stories that made the year.

What’s coming up on RTÉ One in 2016

In the early New Year, drama fans can look forward to ‘Rebellion’, a five-part serial staring Charlie Murphy, Brian Gleeson and Sarah Greene and set over three weeks in Easter 1916 which charts the violent birth of modern Ireland.

‘Operation Transformation’ will see five new leaders take on the challenge to lose weight, get fit and transform their lives, and ‘The Voice of Ireland’ returns for a fifth series.


RTÉ2 has a host of comedy, music and sports this festive season starting with ‘The Al Porter Show on Christmas Eve’ while U2 will be taking centre stage on Christmas Day with their rescheduled U2 iNNOCENCE + eXPERIENCE concert recorded live in Paris.

St. Stephen’s Day sees Panti Bliss looking through the highs and lows of 2015 in ‘Panti Does 2015’. Other highlights over the festive period include all the racing highlights from the racing from Leopardstown, comedy from ‘Republic of Telly’, ‘Sketch!’ and ‘Apres Match Of The Day – Best Bits’; and concerts from Kodaline and Ed Sheeran.

And on the cusp of the centenary of 1916 is ‘The Rubberbandits’ Guide to 1916’ as the boys crash through Irish history from Brian Boru, through the Famine and right up to Irish independence. Plus there is a huge selection of family movies and classics through the festive period including ‘ET’ to ‘One Direction: This is Us’.


This Christmas on RTÉjr there is a selection of festive family programming including a special Twigín Christmas Panto!, along with old classics, new favourites and films of RTÉjr viewers at Christmas time.

On RTÉ Player, there is also a selection of Christmas specials, classic boxsets, and online extras over the festive season with Christmas, New Year and Family collections available on-demand.

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