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tis the season finale

Bridget, Eamon and a beautiful animation star in RTÉ's Christmas schedule

Cosy up and book some space on your couch – here’s the state broadcaster’s festive line-up.

AS WE STEP closer to Santa season, we’ve got another reason to get excited about the holidays – RTÉ’s newly released line up of bumper Christmas specials and festive matinees.

The RTÉ regulars including Mary Kennedy, Baz Ashmawy and Sinead Kennedy are in the line-up, while musicians Shane MacGowan and Nathan Carter will be putting on a show to a great soundtrack.

And there’s also a beautiful short film on the list. Take a look:

Angela_pose_bed RTÉ RTÉ

  • Angela’s Christmas (RTÉ One, 24 December). The half-hour animated film is based on Frank McCourt’s only children’s book inspired by a story his mother told him as a child. Featuring the voice of Oscar-nominated Ruth Negga, the film is set in Ireland in the early 1900s.

Nativity-scene-Ashmawy-family RTÉ RTÉ

  • Baz and Nancy’s Holy Show (RTÉ One, 20 December). Baz Ashmawy and his 75-year-old mother Nancy head of together to see Pope Francis at the Vatican. Appropriately religious.
  • Christmas Then and Now (RTÉ One, 19 December). Presented by Sinead Kennedy, the show scours the RTÉ archives to replay moments like John B Keane’s recalling his Christmas childhood in Kerry, and actor Des Keogh discovering a 200-year-old festive tradition in North County Dublin.

Shane McGowan RTÉ RTÉ

  • Fairytale of New York (RTÉ One, 21 December). This December, Fairytale of New York will be 30 years old. RTÉ marks the anniversary with a new documentary which looks back at the making of the song with its writer Shane MacGowan. Christy Moore, Imelda May and Bob Geldof are among the musicians and songwriters giving their response to Fairytale in the programme.


  • Mrs Brown’s Boys (RTÉ One, Christmas Day and New Year’s Day) Agnes Brown is snowed under, Dermot needs an elf for his Santa’s grotto, grandad thinks the house is haunted, Cathy’s got herself an internet date, and Rory is undergoing plastic surgery! The usual antics from MBB – this time with a sprinkle of holly.

Mary Kennedy_s Christmas Carols - Dublin Castle 03-11-17-49 Dan Butler Photography Dan Butler Photography

  • Carols from the Castle (RTÉ One, 24 December) Mary Kennedy and the RTÉ Concert Orchestra are joined by legendary folk singer Ralph McTell; teenager Síbeal Ní Chasaide; Irish Country’s band of brothers, The Three Amigos; and many more under the baton of conductor, David Brophy.

Bridget and Eamon Christmas Special 2 RTÉ RTÉ

  • 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. So she fakes his death, but Eamon can’t resist going to his own wake.
  • Senior Moments (RTÉ One, 28 December). This comedy series featuring senior members of our society display their charm, warmth and wit when they hit the streets with hidden cameras and regale us with more jokes, anecdotes and sharp wisdom.

Nathan Carter with Mel C and Una Healy RTE RTE

  • The Nathan Carter Christmas Show (RTÉ One) Nathan will belt out festive songs and special duets with his famous musical guests – including former Spice Girl Melanie C, legendary American singer Curtis Stigers, and Una Healy. The show will also feature Nathan’s younger brother Jake.

We all love a good movie binge over the Christmas season – here’s a taster of what will be on offer:

On RTE 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).


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).

Read: RTÉ has just revealed its autumn schedule – here are the highlights 

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