RTÉ festive line-up features a few turkeys

RTÉ could well have been called Ebenezer Scrooge for announcing in recent weeks that it was outsourcing all of its young people’s programmes, but its line-up for the festive season shows the broadcaster really is turning into the grinch.
RTÉ festive line-up features a few turkeys

When the press release announcing the schedule drops into newsroom inboxes and the first programme one sees is Mrs Brown’s Boys, it is likely there is no blockbuster announcement to follow in the ensuing lines.

And when Mrs Brown’s Boys is followed by Bridget & Eamon for some “belly laughs”, the sense of impending disappointment increases.

Obviously, both these programmes are homegrown and that could be seen as good thing — but when the musical highlights come courtesy of Christmas with Daniel and Nathan Carter, patriotism may not be enough for many to tune in — and an hour-long programme on how Johnny Logan won Eurovision?

Films are often the staples of family entertainment during the Christmas break and one always hopes for a decent number of new-release blockbusters.

If that is what you are looking for prepare to flick over, because if you have satellite television or access to the British channels you will likely have seen the RTÉ offerings before (often more than once), they include Tinker, Tailor, Soldier Spy, Bad Neighbours, and Rush.

And when Die Hard 2, Love, Actually, and Notting Hill (in fact anything with Hugh Grant) makes the station’s festive highlights, levels of anticipation drop even further.

The offering for children is marginally better, including The Lego Movie, Despicable Me 2, Rio 2 and How to Train Your Dragon 2.

A decent watch is also likely with one of the broadcaster’s sporting offerings Pull Like A Dog which documents the O’Donovan brothers’ triumph at the Olympics while EURO 2016: Two Shades of Green will look back on those few weeks last summer through the eyes of Irish and Northern Irish fans who descended upon France.

As the 1916 Centenary comes to an end, on New Year’s Eve, Claire Byrne, Bryan Dobson, and Kathryn Thomas will look back at how the year went as well as welcoming in 2017.

Byrne will be in Iveagh House on St Stephen’s Green, Dobson will broadcast live from New York, and Thomas from the heart of London.

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