RTÉ has this morning announced its Christmas television line-up across RTÉ One, RTÉ2 and RTÉjr.

The Young Offenders, Mrs Brown, Bridget and Eamon and Podge and Rodge will be among the highest ranking shows backed up by strong family watching in the shape of Ireland’s Fittest Family and Celebrity Home of the Year.

The Young Offenders Christmas Special is one to grab the headlines, just as it did with the first series earlier this year. Filmed in Cork, the show will star Alex Murphy, Chris Walley and Hilary Rose, with Robert Sheehan guest starring.

Produced by Vico Films for the BBC, in association with RTÉ, the show follows on from the TV series and feature film.

There is a neat and unexpected collaboration with the RTÉ Concert Orchestra which has recorded the musical score by composer Ray Harman for the seasonal special.

In another co-production with the BBC Mrs Brown’s Boys is back with two brand new episodes, airing on Christmas Day and New Year’s Eve.

Over on RTÉ2 on Christmas Eve, with their TV destroyed and being held at gunpoint, we see Bridget & Eamon recreating a popular TV show to stay alive while another pair of popular characters in Podge and Rodge will be festive as well, up to a point.

In a first for this Christmas, RTÉjr and RTÉ One will air a specially commissioned pantomime. Written by Karl Spain and featuring RTÉjr stars and some special guests, including Teresa Mannion and Rosemary Smith, The Greatest Show That Never Was, was recorded in front of a live audience of 500 kids and their parents in the Tommy Leddy Theatre in Drogheda.

Conor and Sean Price and Brian Redmond from Dancing With the Stars are putting not only themselves but their families as well through their paces in a celebrity version of Ireland’s Fittest Family, together with the regular line up of coaches led by Davy Fitzgerald.

The Zoo has a Christmas special as does Celebrity Home of the Year which wil be dropping in on writer John Boyne, and meteorologist Jean Byrne among others for a one-off special.

The BFG, The Jungle Book, Conor McGregor documentary Notorious, Antman, Zootopia, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, The Magnificent Seven, Deadpool, and Creed are among the movie premieres while there will also be the usual Christmas suspects in Home Alone, Love Actually, Miracle on 34th Street and seasons of Harry Potter and James Bond.

A documentary telling the story behind the 1982 making of Old Town, one of Phil Lynott’s most loved songs with an iconic promo video made exclusively for RTÉ will be popular among fans 36 years after the singer’s death.

As they say it’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas…


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