Half of Christmastime is spent in front of the box and don't you even try to deny it! And this year, the RTE Christmas schedule is not half bad
Christmas is all about family and friends and... what you sit around and watch with them on the telly. While there is usually plenty to keep us entertained on the box, it's good to know what's on our own channels, and this festive season, RTE haven't done too badly.
Angela's Christmas (RTÉ One, 24 December)
A funny and heart-warming half-hour animation by acclaimed Brown Bag Films based on Frank McCourt’s book and featuring the voices of Ruth Negga and Lucy O’Connell.
Baz and Nancy’s Holy Show (RTÉ One, 20 December)
Everyone’s favourite mammy and son duo, Baz Ashmawy and Nancy, go in search of one of Nancy’s heroes in a special new one-off, Baz and Nancy’s Holy Show, which sees the pair on a quest to see Pope Francis at the Vatican.
Mrs Brown’s Boys Christmas and New Year's Specials (RTÉ One, Christmas Day and New Year’s Day)
As usual we're getting not one but two Mrs Brown's Boys Christmas Specials this year which will feature your usual festive style shenaigans from the famous Irish mammy - and quite the multi-purpose Christmas Tree.
Senior Moments (RTÉ One, 28 December)
The comedy show in which seniors prank unsuspecting young folk also returns this Christmas for a three-episode run.
Bridget & Eamon Christmas Special (RTÉ2, 24 December)
Bridget works out that with the widow’s pension and life assurance, Eamon would be worth more dead than alive.
Fairytale of New York (RTÉ One, 21 December).
This December, Fairytale of New York – the song Shane MacGowan calls with some glee ‘the nastiest Christmas single ever’ – will be 30 years old. RTÉ marks the anniversary with a new documentary looking back at the making of Fairytale in the company of Shane MacGowan – who turns 60 on Christmas Day - as he reminisces about the writing of the song. Paul Simon, Billy Bragg, Christy Moore, Imelda May and Bob Geldof are among the musicians and songwriters interviewed, along with former members of The Pogues.
Carols from the Castle (RTÉ One on Christmas Eve)
Mary Kennedy is joined by a glittering cast representing every age and part of the island, as they deck the magnificent halls of Dublin Castle for this festive musical treat, featuring Ralph McTell, MayKay, Rita Connolly and the RTÉ Concert Orchestra, conducted by David Brophy.
The Nathan Carter Christmas Special (RTÉ One - Date TBC)
Ireland's favourite country star is joined by a host of special guests for a night of music, dance and plenty of laughs for a festive episode of his show. As well as performing duets with Spice Girl Melanie C and American singer Curtis Stigers, Nathan is joined by Una Healy, and his younger brother Jake Carter.
Pat Shortt’s Music from d’Telly Christmas Special (RTÉ One - Date TBC)
Pat has been busy rummaging through the RTÉ Archive to share his very own Christmas music favourites.
Christmas Then and Now (RTÉ One, 19 December)
Sinead Kennedy delves into the magical RTÉ Christmas archive unearthing gems including John B Keane reminiscing on his Christmas childhood in Kerry and actor Des Keogh discovering a 200 year old festive tradition in North County Dublin.
RTÉ’s Celebrity Home of the Year (RTÉ One, 2 January)
In a one-off Christmas special, RTÉ’s Home of the Year will feature retired Leinster and Ireland rugby player Mike Ross, TV and radio presenter Eoghan Mc Dermott, writer Melissa Hill, broadcaster Lorraine Keane and Senator David Norris.
Donal’s Christmas Meals in Minutes (RTÉ One, 21 December)
Award-winning food writer and TV presenter Donal Skehan shows viewers how to reduce the long process of prepping and making your Christmas dinner by hours with his clever and simplified menu.
How To Cook Well with Rory O'Connell Christmas Special (RTÉ One - Date TBC)
Rory O’Connell brings a Christmas flavour to his popular series How To Cook Well with a selection of elegant dishes for cooks who want something a little different.
It’s a rollercoaster of emotions on Fair City this Christmas. After a difficult first year of marriage, Kerri-Ann receives an unexpected surprise. And as Damien and Caoimhe continue to clash over Saoirse, Damien sends the community into chaos as he takes matters into his own hands.
RTÉ Sport Awards 2017 (RTÉ One - Date TBC)
Darragh Maloney and Joanne Cantwell celebrate a year of Irish sport honouring the Sportsperson of the Year, Team of The Year and Young Sportsperson of the Year.
Know the Score Christmas Special (RTÉ One - Date TBC)
Presenter Jacqui Hurley teams up with Ruby Walsh and Shane Byrne for a Christmas edition of Know the Score. They will be joined in studio by the Dub who scored the winning point in the All Ireland Football Final, Dean Rock; MMA coach, John Kavanagh; star of the Irish Women’s rugby team, Jenny Murphy; and the recently retired Irish soccer superstar, Kevin Doyle.
Ireland's Fittest Family - All Star Coaches (RTÉ One - Date TBC)
Features a look behind-the-scenes of this year's final, as well as an extended hanging tough challenge. We find out what our all-star coaches - Donncha O' Callaghan, Davy Fitzgerald, Derval O' Rourke and Anna Geary - really think of each other, and what their families think of them!
The Imelda May New Year’s Eve Special (RTÉ One)
This year will feature The Corrs, The Strypes, Finbar Furey and Gavin James, and the RTÉ Concert Orchestra, as Imelda May gets the nation ready to ring in the New Year with a lively selection of performances and chat, followed by The New Year’s Eve Countdown Concert featuring Kodaline, live from Custom House Quay in the heart of Dublin.
Movies on RTÉ One
- Gone Girl (23 December)
- Spectre (Christmas Eve)
- Finding Nemo (Christmas Day Matinee)
- Big Hero 6 (Christmas Day Matinee)
- Brooklyn (Christmas Night)
- Cinderella (St Stephen’s Day)
Movies on RTÉ2
- Love & Mercy (23 December)
- Guardians of the Galaxy (Christmas Night)
- Kingsman: The Secret Service (St Stephen’s Night)
- The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies (27 December)
- Birdman (28 December)
And Harry Potter fans will be treated to a run of Harry Potter films airing across RTÉ2 during Christmas week, plus a special hour-long Harry Potter: a History of Magic on New Year's Day.
Catch the promo video below.