Festive film and television fans can finally start planning their Christmas television viewing as the country’s main broadcasters have released their seasonal schedules.
The Today Show team has three new Christmas specials at 6.30pm on RTÉ One from Cork. Guests include singer Lyra and comedian Jon Kenny, while chefs Rachel Allen, Paul Flynn and Kevin Dundon cater for all your Christmas needs in the kitchen. Meanwhile, How to Cook Well at Christmas with Rory O'Connell returns with Rory preparing delicious dishes in a two-part seasonal special.
RTÉ has confirmed viewer favourite Tommy Tiernan is back with a one-off special this month, while Adam Saves Christmas is a festive short animation starring Adam King that will premiere on Christmas Eve on RTÉjr.
Mrs Brown’s Boys returns for two more seasonal specials, airing Christmas Day and New Year’s Eve and music fans are in for a treat too thanks to a special Christmas edition of The Heart of Saturday Night with artists and presenters Loah and Una Healy.
Bowie – Starman sees the RTÉ Concert Orchestra and Irish and international stars, including Imelda May and Christy Dignam, join with Bowie's own band to honour his legacy and play some of his greatest hits.
On Christmas Day, movie showings include Dr. Seuss’ The Grinch (RTÉ One 6pm), Abominable (RTÉ 2, 11am), The Secrets Life of Pets 2 (RTÉ One 12.35pm), and Bohemian Rhapsody (RTÉ One 10.10pm).
Documentaries this festive season include The Toy Shop, featuring 16 independent toy shops across the country, and Daniel at Sixty, following Daniel O’Donnell, his family and friends on a trip down memory lane to mark the star’s 60th birthday.
Ireland's Fittest Family culminates in an epic final as well as two specials. On December 29, Grainne Gallanagh, The Happy Pear’s Flynn twins, and comedians Neil Delamere and Sinead Quinlan will compete for the title of Ireland’s Fittest Family in the celebrity special. In Hall of Fame, Mairead Ronan and the coaches look back on the most memorable moments over the past nine series.
The 2 Johnnies will present RTÉ’s New Year's Eve Countdown Show live from Dublin Castle, where Picture This will ring in the New Year, and comedian Oliver Callan rounds off the year with Callan Kicks the Year 2021.
On TG4, documentary Peter O'Toole - Réalta & Rógaire on Christmas Day features stories from those who knew the star best: his friends, family and fans. Broadcaster and musician Doireann Ní Ghlacáin resolves to find out more about her grandfather, the 20th century’s most influential Irish composer and cultural figure, in Seán Ó Riada - Mo Sheanathair on St Stephen’s Day. The life of Cork GAA figure Éamonn Ryan will be remembered in new documentary Éamonn Ryan - An Máistir on December 30.
Over on Virgin Media Television, Battle of the Christmas Lights airs this Saturday and sees two Cork families as they go head-to-head to create the best possible Christmas on their street. Marco Pierre White and Rachel Allen are back for The Restaurant Christmas Special with Mary Black in the kitchen. On Christmas Day, the highs and lows of 2021 will be shown in Don’t Look Back In Anger.