Irish television plays host to an eclectic range of Irish film and television projects over Christmas with film highlights including ‘The Secret of Kells’ and ‘The Quiet Man’ and television highlights including two new ‘Mrs Brown’s Boys’ Christmas specials.
On Wednesday, December 23rd, Oscar nominated and IFTA-winning animated feature ‘The Secret of Kells’ will air on RTÉ2 at 5.05pm while RTÉ One will run a special following on from David Brophy’s IFTA-winning television series ‘The High Hopes Choir’. ‘Higher Hopes’ will air on RTÉ One at 9.35pm. Over on TG4, Daniel O’Donnell show ‘Opry an Iuir’ will introduce musical guests Nathan Carter and Niamh McGlinchey.
A major highlight on Christmas Eve is the return of ‘Mrs Brown’s Boys’ in the first of two Christmas specials. The special will screen on RTÉ One at 9pm while RTÉ2 will air ‘The Al Porter Show’ featuring appearance from some of Ireland’s top comedians. On TV3, Andrea Hayes will profile families being re-united for Christmas at Dublin Airport in ‘Coming Home for Christmas’ while there is also a comedy special in ‘Brendan Grace – Live From Gleneagles’.
On Christmas Day, the recently passed Maureen O’Hara will be profiled in the TG4 special ‘Maureen O’Hara and The Quiet Man’, which airs at 5.45pm. ‘Mrs Brown’s Boys D’Movie’ will also air at 9.40pm on RTÉ One and on RTÉ2 there is a music special with ‘Hozier – Other Voices’ at 10.20pm. TG4 will air a festive edition of the show ‘Hup’ at 9.15 followed by a profile of ‘Jaws’ actor Robert Shaw in ‘Robert Shaw – Jaws, Deoch and Deora’ at 10.10pm. Panti Bliss will also record a Christmas message on TV3 at 3pm in ‘Queen of Ireland’s Christmas Message’. On Irish TV, ‘Matt Cunningham Around The House’ will also air.
Sport will feature heavily on St. Stephen’s Day with ‘RTÉ Racing From Leopardstown’ at 1pm and in Rugby, Connacht will play Ulster at 5.50pm live on TG4. ‘An Klondike’ will screen their film version (with an alternate ending to the series) at 9.40pm on TG4. On TV3, the IFTA-winning soap ‘Red Rock’ will look back over their dramatic first year in ‘Red Rock: The Story so Far’. Also airing will be Panti Bliss looking through the highs and lows of 2015 in ‘Panti Does 2015’ om RTÉ2.
On Sunday, December 27th, Gerard Barrett’s debut feature ‘Pilgrim Hill’ will air on RTÉ2 at midnight. On the television side, TG4 will air specials ‘Liam Clancy Mo Chara’ and ‘I mBéal na Stoirme’ (A Turning Tide in the Life of Man) back to back (starting at 7.15pm). Continuing their Rugby coverage, Munster will play Leinster at 4.30pm on TG4. Also airing on St Stephen’s Day will be GAA show ‘Thank GAA it’s 2015 on RTÉ2 at 6.30pm. On RTÉ One, four Irish shows will air which include Mike Murphy’s new game-show ‘Play it by Year’ at 7pm, ‘The Night The Beatles Came to Dublin’ at 8pm. Irish soap ‘Glenroe’ will be remembered in the special ‘Well Holy God, it’s Glenroe’ at 9.30pm and Tommy Tiernan will present his new chat show ‘The Tommy Tiernan Show’ at 10.30pm.
On Monday, December 28th, Irish film ‘Evelyn’ starring Pierce Brosnan will air on TV3 at 9pm. ‘Deoch an Dorais’ which tells the tale of the man nicknamed the Rasputin of The Bronx will screen on TG4 at 9.30pm.
Oscar-nominated and IFTA-winning period drama ‘Albert Nobbs’ (featuring Glenn Close) screens on Tuesday, December 29th on BBC Two at 10.30pm.
On Wednesday, December 30th, ‘Watermelon’ - featuring Oscar winner Brenda Fricker – will screen on TV3 at 9pm. Other highlights include ‘Gaybo Laughs Back’ on RTÉ One at 7.30pm as well as ‘Bocsail I mBoston’ on TG4 at 8.15pm – a documentary which follows young boxers from Galway as they travel to America to take part in a tournament.
On New Year’s Eve, Irish classics are to the fore with ‘War of the Buttons’ airing at 1.35pm on RTÉ One and John Ford’s Maureen O’Hara starrer ‘The Quiet Man’ screening at 3.20pm. Other New Year’s Eve specials include ‘The Rubberbandits Guide to 1916’ and Kathryn Thomas will present the countdown live from the 3Arena on RTÉ One.
On New Year’s Day, TV3 will screen both ‘The Commitments’ (9pm) and ‘Rewind’ (11.25pm) while RTÉ2 will feature the inspirational story of teenager Donal Walsh in ‘Donal Walsh: My Story Reality Bites’ at 7.30pm.