Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Shrek 2, Finding Nemo, Lemony Snickett, Hulk and The Polar Express line up alongside more premiere’s for young people with Spongebob Squarepants and High School Musical. Of course, no Christmas movie schedule would be complete without a range of classics, family movies and musicals and RTÉ Television will broadcast old favourites, including The Wizard of Oz and The Sound of Music.
Highlights for Christmas Day include the new Killinaskully as well as a brand-new RTÉ One presentation, Fair City Sings presented by Bláthnaid Ni Chofaigh. The hour-long entertainment show will feature the cream of singing talent from the popular home-produced soap.
Fair City itself will broadcast to its legion of loyal fans throughout the holiday season along with a brand new instalment of home-produced two-part drama, Single-Handed. Hugely popular when introduced earlier this year, in this story Garda Sergeant Jack Driscoll (Owen McDonnell) investigates the sudden disappearance of a two-year-old boy.
Desperate Housewives’ avid followers will be particularly thrilled with the return to our screens of the winsome women of Wisteria Lane in January.
RTÉ will introduce several new series over the Christmas and New Year period. Guerilla Gourmets is a six-part series featuring some of Ireland’s most accomplished chefs as they strive to create a guerrilla restaurant from scratch in just one week, while It’s My Show will see younger viewers competing for the chance to present an episode of Young People’s programme Ice.
How Long Will You Live returns, as does Kathryn Thomas with No Frontiers. There will also be special celebrity editions of The Restaurant and Living the Dream, while Richard Corrigan will offer his own Christmas Countdown.
Viewers can expect a wealth of home-produced comedy this Christmas on RTÉ Television. The Panel Unwrapped will offer a wry look back at the year that was, while Jake Stevens will tell his story so far, as only he can.
Soupy Norman, the hit spoof Polish soap makes a welcome comeback and viewers who missed out on Pat Kenny’s head-to-head with Podge and Rodge, as well as Charlie Bird’s incognito stint for Anonymous, will get a second chance with The Best of Telethon.
Other entertainment highlights for music fans include new specials with Westlife, Sinead O’Connor and Dervish, as well as special coverage from this year’s summer proms.
Factual programming highlights include Jack Doyle: A Legend Lost and Charlie Bird Explores: The Ganges, a new two-part series in which RTÉ’s Chief News Correspondent goes to the heart of India.