26 January 2022 The Irish Film & Television Network
     
Festive TV Schedule Highlights on Virgin Media Television
02 Dec 2021 : News Desk
Dave Fanning at Whelan's
Virgin Media Television has revealed the contents of its Christmas line-up with a festive TV schedule featuring brand new Irish content, international entertainment, live sport, boxsets on Virgin Media Player, and a host of movies for everyone to enjoy.

Below is some of the highlights from Virgin Television’s Christmas schedule. 

Irish

Original Irish entertainment is top of the list with brand new specials like Battle of the Christmas Lights airing at 7pm this Saturday. This season special sees two Cork families as they go head-to-head to create the best possible Christmas on their street. The primary challenge is the decoration of the exterior of their houses, and along the way the families will compete in other challenges involving baking, tree decoration, and setting an eye-catching Christmas table. The Restaurant Christmas Special airs on Tuesday, 14th December at 9.30pm. Marco Pierre White and Rachel Allen are back and this time its Mary Black’s turn to be put through her paces. 

Irish Music series Fanning at Whelan’s airs on Virgin Media Two from Saturday, 4th December at 10pm. Each episode features live performances from some of Ireland’s top music acts along with our most promising up and coming performers including Inhaler, Kodaline, Paddy Casey, Lyra, and Mick Flannery.  

Without a Trace: Ireland's Missing Women is the latest documentary from Virgin Media News and airs on Tuesday, December 7th at 7.30pm. Crime Correspondent Sarah O'Connor explores the most recent search for evidence in the disappearance of Deirdre Jacob, Jo Jo Dullard, and Annie McCarrick. The three young women were all last seen alive in the Wicklow/Kildare area, before vanishing without a trace. In the case of Deirdre Jacob and Jo Jo Dullard, a cold case review has reclassified both as murder inquiries and, even after 25 years, new evidence is being uncovered leading many to believe the killer could still be found. 

Sports Stories continues throughout the month of December, starting with Joe Brolly on Tuesday, 28th December and Wednesday, 29th December at 10pm on Virgin Media One, with Nina Carberry and Ian McKinley airing on Virgin Media Two. An activist, a barrister and a renowned pundit, Joe opens up in a rare and emotional interview about his life, his trauma, and his football controversies.

On Christmas Day, VMTV will chronical the highs and lows of 2021 as Don’t Look Back In Anger revisits some of the biggest news stories of the year and everything in between at 5.30pm. 

Entertainment

On Sunday, 12th December at 9pm, audiences will find out who’ll be crowned the winner of I’m A Celebrity…Get Me Out of Here! And if you’re having Ant and Dec withdrawal symptoms, they’ll be back on Irish screens on Wednesday, 15th December at 9.30pm with I’m A Celebrity…Legends Of The Castle, which combines the best bits from the series as well as interviews with the celebrities once they've left the castle. 

A brand-new family entertainment show Walk the Line lands on Sunday, 12th December at 8pm, airing nightly for six episodes and sees one act walk away with half a million pounds. Hosted by Maya Jama, with judges Gary Barlow, Craig David, Dawn French and Alesha Dixon, in each episode, acts will perform to win the audience vote, but they will then be faced with a tough decision. They can Cash Out of the competition for £10,000 or Walk The Line and compete again against another batch of hopefuls. 

Another brand-new family entertainment show, The Voice Kids returns on Monday, 27th December at 7.30pm for three special episodes airing consecutively on Virgin Media One. Melanie C joins Danny Jones, Pixie Lott and Will.I.Am as the blind auditions begin and the coaches get ready to push their buttons for some of the most talented 7–14-year-old singers.  

Two of the biggest names in entertainment come together for a very special one-off show, as music legend Paul McCartney is interviewed by Golden-Globe winning actor Idris Elba on Monday, 20th December at 9pm. Gordon, Gino & Fred reconvene after their European adventures to rediscover the spirit of Christmas in two specials as they head to Sweden and Morocco on Tuesday 21st and Thursday 23rd December at 9pm. 

Ireland’s legendary talk show host Graham Norton is back on New Year’s Eve with his annual show at 11.55pm on Friday, 31st December featuring a host of celebrities.

The Royal Variety Performance returns to the Royal Albert Hall on Sunday, 19th December at 9pm. The show will be hosted by Alan Carr and feature exclusive performances from Ed Sheeran, Sir Rod Stewart, Elvis Costello, Anne Marie, Years & Years, as well as US jazz singer Gregory Porter and musician James Blunt. In his last ever Piers Morgan's Life Stories, Piers is joined by Good Morning Britain presenter Kate Garraway on Tuesday, 21st December at 10pm. In a powerful and emotional interview, Kate reveals the latest on husband Derek's battle to recover from the impact of Covid. 

On Christmas Eve, VMTV has a host of brand-new gameshows available from 6pm with The Celebrity Chase Christmas Special, The Cube Celebrity Special and Alan Carr’s Epic Gameshow. On St Stephen’s Day, VMTV has brand new specials airing from 5.10pm with Saturday Night Takeaway: Double Trouble, Celebrity Catchphrase 2021, and All-Star Musical – Christmas Special.  

Festive Sports

The UEFA Champions’ League Group stage concludes on Wednesday, 8th December. Watch live coverage of Manchester Utd’s final group game against Young Boys, as Ralf Ragnick takes over the reins at Old Trafford. The UEFA Europa League and Europa Conference League group stages culminate on Thursday, 9th December. Tottenham, West Ham, Leicester City and Celtic are all live across Virgin Media Television channels. VMTV will also bring ou live coverage of the Champions League Round of 16 draw on Saturday, 13th December with the Europa League and Europa Conference League playoff draws the same day. 

The Heineken Champions Cup returns this month too. Champions Toulouse kick off their title defence with a tricky trip to Cardiff on Saturday, 11th December. Round two sees Cardiff away to Harlequins on Saturday, 18th December. Highlights of all matches involving Munster, Leinster, Connacht and Ulster both weekends will also be available. 

Films

VMTV will offer an array of classics and family favourites including the award-winning Finding Jack Charlton on Saturday, 27th December at 10pm, commissioned by VMTV and the BBC, and supported by The Alzheimer Society of Ireland. The emotive and compelling documentary looks at this Irish sporting legend like no other and his undocumented life with dementia.

Bad Santa 2 on Saturday, 18th December at 9.30pm. Madagascar: Escape to Africa on Christmas Eve at 4.05pm and action comedy Central Intelligence starring Dwayne Johnson and Kevin Heart at 10pm on Virgin Media One, with Man About Dog over on Virgin Media Two at 9pm.

On Christmas Day, the midday movie is A Dog Named Christmas, followed by pop culture classic Dirty Dancing, while John Wick 3 airs over on Virgin Media Two. Plus, ring in the New Year with Ryan Gosling and the romantic classic, The Note Book at 9pm. 

On Demand

Virgin Media Player is offering a wide range of content this festive season, from crime and drama to reality TV. Brand new boxsets landing on the player this December include Real Housewives of Miami (S1-S3) and Real Housewives of Orange County (S10/11). Also, Love Island Australia S3, The Masked Singer (S1/S2), Wags LA (S1/S2), RuPaul’s Drag Race (S1/2), Eating with the Enemy, The Long Call, Manhunt S2, Angela Black and Gogglebox S7





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