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The Den's Christmas Special and Fungie's disappearance - Highlights from RTÉ's festive schedule

We may be spending a bit more time with our screens this Christmas.

Billy Keane goes in search of the truth behind the murder that inspired his father’s most famous work.
Billy Keane goes in search of the truth behind the murder that inspired his father’s most famous work.
Image: RTE

THIS YEAR’S VERY special Late Late Toy Show well and truly kicked off the festive season and with its Christmas schedule, RTÉ has promised more fun content to keep you entertained.

Announcing the highlights of its schedule today, the broadcaster said it has “something for everyone”, including new music shows, animation, comedy, festive soap drama, movies premieres and live sport as well as documentaries and family entertainment.

Here are just some of those highlights:

Movies

  • The Irish TV premiere of Angel’s Christmas Wish on Christmas Day. This animation from Brown Bag Films tells the story of a determined little girl who sets out to reunite her family in time for Christmas.
  • Dublin Old School, a film about a man who reconnects with his estranged brother, a recovering addict living on the streets
  • Zoo, a movie which tells the story of a young boy and his friends who rescue a baby elephant from Belfast Zoo during World War II.

Family Entertainment

  • A Dancing with the Start special, with Jennifer Zamparelli and Nicky Byrne who remember more footloose and fancy-free times
  • Join Ray, Zig, Zag and Dustin for some festive mayhem on The Den’s Christmas Special as the latest series comes to a close.
  • On 31 December the whole family can join in a special New Year’s Eve Countdown with music, comedy, and chat live from The Gaiety Theatre in Dublin.

Comedy

  • Two new episodes of Mrs Brown’s Boys on RTÉ One on Christmas Day and New Year’s Eve. We’ll see how Mrs Brown and the crew in Finglas are coping with lockdown life.
  • Oliver Callan will take you through a year we’ll all be glad to see the back of, in Callan Kicks the Year.
  • On the RTÉ Player, Reeling in the Fears, written by Joanne McNally and presented by Doireann Garrihy is a satirical look back at the year in a desperate attempt to find the positives.

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Documentary

  • In Fungie’s Kingdom, Baz Ashmawy makes the trip to Dingle in the aftermath of the Dingle dolphin’s disappearance to explore the magic and the mystery of the cheeky, solitary, wild dolphin who made Dingle Bay his home for 37 years.
  • In The Real Field, John B Keane’s son, the broadcaster and writer Billy Keane goes in search of the truth behind the murder that inspired his father’s most famous work.
  • 2020: A Year in Review looks back at a strange year in which the world watched as America voted in a new President, the UK prepared to leave the EU forever and Ireland’s rotating Taoisigh battled to save lives
  • Growing Up at the End of the World follows three teen climate change activists over a year and a half as they demand change in a bid to save their future.

Music

  • Nicky Byrne presents Soundtrack of My Life featuring the RTÉ Concert Orchestra playing a selection of greatest hits and familiar floor-fillers with Kodaline and special guests.
  • The Queen of Nashville, Dolly Parton, joins Ryan Tubridy for a star-studded Late Late Show Country Christmas Special on 11 December
  • This year marks the 25th anniversary of Riverdance with a special anniversary show.
  • For Clannad: A Celtic Dream, Bláthnaid Ní Chofaigh travels to Donegal to meet the band and reflect on a remarkable fifty-year journey.

Live Sport

  • The first-ever winter GAA Championships climax with All Ireland Finals in football, hurling, and cmogie all showing live on RTÉ2 and RTÉ Player on The Saturday Game Live and The Sunday Game Live.
  • Live coverage of the men’s and women’s FAI Cup Finals, Champions League Live and the Leopardstown Christmas Festival, beginning on St Stephen’s Day.
  • On Saturday, 12 December, the All Ireland Camogie Final and the Women’s FAI Cup Final will take centre stage on a super Saturday of women’s sport across RTÉ.

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