Sunday 22 April 2018

RTE's Christmas schedule is an eclectic line-up of Mrs Brown's Boys, Ruth Negga, Shane MacGowan and Nathan Carter

Melanie Finn

Melanie Finn

An intriguing combination of ‘Mrs Brown’s Boys’, Ruth Negga, Shane MacGowan and Nathan Carter will be served up to Irish viewers this Yuletide.

RTÉ has unveiled what’s on the menu for its Christmas festive schedule this year with an eclectic mix of televisual offerings in store. 

Mrs Brown's Boys New Year 2017
Photographs by Alan Peebles
Mrs Brown's Boys New Year 2017 Photographs by Alan Peebles

Oscar-nominee Ruth Negga will be lending her talents to voice a new feature-length animation based on Frank McCourt’s only children’s book ‘Angela’s Christmas’.

Made by the award-winning Brown Bag Films, it’s a tale that was inspired by a story that McCourt’s mum Angela told him when he was a child.

As ever, Brendan O’Carroll’s hit series ‘Mrs Brown’s Boys’ will feature strongly on the station’s prime-time schedule with two specials, running one on Christmas Day and one on New Year’s Day.

Baz Ashmawy will return to our TV screens as he goes on a spiritual pilgrimage with his mum Nancy as they travel to Rome for a one-off programme ‘Baz and Nancy’s Holy Show’.

It sees the popular duo going on a quest to see Pope Francis at the Vatican in a bid to fulfil a life-long dream of Nancy’s.

Nostalgia-filled comedy series ‘Bridget & Eamon’ will also be back, in which we will see Jennifer Zamparelli’s character having some decidedly uncharitable thoughts about her other half.

Singer Shane MacGowan will help mark the 30th anniversary of his iconic hit song ‘Fairytale of New York’ with a new documentary looking back on the making of the song.

As well as the Pogues frontman, who turns 60 on Christmas Day, a number of top musicians will be interviewed for the show including Paul Simon, Christy Moore and Bob Geldof.

Down in Cork, Maura Derrane and Dáithí Ó Sé will be helping everyone get prepared for Christmas with their live ‘Today’ show featuring the best chefs, wine experts and music. 

Mary Kennedy will present ‘Carols from the Castle’ on Christmas Eve with a musical broadcast from Dublin Castle, while Nathan Carter will front a Yuletide special and he’ll be joined by several musical guests.

Opening the doors of their plush houses for ‘Celebrity Home of the Year’ will be Lorraine Keane, Senator David Norris and Eoghan McDermott, while Donal Skehan will show us how to go about preparing the perfect Christmas dinner.

New movie releases will include ‘Brooklyn’, ‘Gone Girl’, ‘Spectre’, ‘Jurassic World’ and ‘Finding Dory’ in addition to an hour-long special ‘Harry Potter: A History of Magic’ on New Year’s Day.

Celebrating the best in sport will be Darragh Maloney and Joanne Cantwell, who will front the RTÉ Sports Awards live from Studio 1.

Your festive TV schedule sorted - here's what's new to Netflix for December 

Irish Independent

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