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Staying in tonight? Here's what to watch on the box

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Ed Sheeran

Ed Sheeran

Ed Sheeran

It's New Year's Eve. You've had enough of the parties and booze so sitting in on the couch is the best way to ring in the new year. And why not try these shows on for size

Jools' Annual Hooteanny

BBC2, 11.20pm

JOOLS Holland presents the 22nd edition of his New Year’s Eve musical extravaganza and New Year's Eve wouldn't be the same without it. The line-up features singer-songwriters Ed Sheeran, Paolo Nutini, Ellie Goulding, Paloma Faith and Joss Stone, while America is represented by 1960s pop singer Ronnie Spector, blues musician Boz Scaggs, soul singer William Bell and country band Hayseed Dixie. Clean Bandit with Jess Glynne perform their chart-topping single Rather Be and there are appearances by former Dr Feelgood guitarist Wilko Johnson and Ruby Turner, while the Pipes and Drums of the 1st Battalion Scots Guards play in the new year.

The Ballad that Bewitched the World

BBC4, 7pm

Documentary charting the origins and development of Danny Boy, revealing how the ballad was created when English barrister Fred Weatherly put words to traditional melody The Londonderry Air. Contributors including Gabriel Byrne, Rosanne Cash, Brian Kennedy and Barry McGuigan explain the song’s enduring appeal and what it has come to symbolise.

Rita and Me

UTV, 8pm

Fifty years after Barbara Knox’s first appearance on Coronation Street, this programme looks back on her character Rita’s greatest mo¬ments and tells the story of the Oldham girl who became one of the long-running soap’s biggest stars. Cameras follow the actress as she retraces her childhood holidays on the coast, steps back into Blackpool Tower’s Ballroom, where she first caught the performing bug, and returns to Oldham Coliseum Theatre to relive her earliest appearances on stage. Featuring contributions from a host of Corrie cast members past and present, alongside fans and colleagues.

The Life and Times of Shay Healy

RTE1, 7.25pm

A look back at the distinguished and occasionally turbulent life and career of the songwriter, broadcaster and journalist who wrote one of Ireland’s most enduring Eurovision winners, What’s Another Year. He also published numerous books, won two Jacobs Awards, produced and presented countless TV pro¬grammes and, in an odd turn of events, had a hand in the resignation of former politician Charles J Haughey. Featuring contributions from friends, colleagues, family members and Shay himself.


Queen and Adam Lambert Rock Big Ben

BBC1, 11.15pm

PROVING you can never keep a good band down, veteran rockers Brian May and Roger Taylor join forces with US singer Adam Lambert –runner-up in 2009’s American Idol – at the Central Hall in Westminster. They blast out a number of Queen classics to a 2,000-capacity crowd, only pausing to take a break for the chimes of Big Ben and the fireworks over the Thames. Resumes at 12.10am.


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