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Festive Highlights on RTÉ One, RTÉ Two and RTÉjr....

There's a big festive line-up of programming this Christmas on RTÉ One, RTÉ Two and RTÉjr with something for everyone during the Christmas season.

With schedules packed with home-produced entertainment, big movie premieres, lifestyle, drama, young people's, documentaries and sports programming, as well as special seasonal versions of viewer favourites, RTÉ Television brings you a bumper Christmas schedule.

Christmas Is Here

 

 

Big Christmas entertainment on RTÉ One comes courtesy of some of Ireland's top television and comedy talent.

The multi-award-winning comedy phenomenon Mrs Brown's Boys is back on RTÉ One this December with two hilarious specials. In the Mrs Brown's Boys Christmas Special, Christmas is just round the corner, and no-one knows what Mrs Brown's grandson Bono wants for a present. Meanwhile, at her family games night, Agnes struggles to control her temper when none of the guests will play by her rules. But at least there shouldn't be any problems with the Christmas tree this year - she's having a very special one delivered... And the Mrs Brown's Boys New Year Special sees Agnes as a Mammy on a mission - trying to make sure grandson Bono isn't sent to the infamous local primary school (despite what his parents want). And as if her house isn't normally noisy enough, she finds herself lumbered with a brand new houseguest - a homeless parrot.

The most prolific songwriter and producer to emanate from this Island joins Gay Byrne For One Night Only. During his 50 year career Phil Coulter has produced and written songs for a galaxy of Irish an international stars. From Cliff Richard through the Dubliners to Glee Star Damian McGinty Coulter has been the catalyst for some of the biggest names in the music world. On the show he talks candidly to Gay about his career and personal life, and is joined by many stars from the world of show business including Louis Walsh, Eamon Dunphy and Bay City Rollers Star Les McKeon.

In RTÉ One's Dermot Morgan-Fearless Funnyman a selection of his family, friends, colleagues and admirers, including Pat Shortt, Oliver Callan and Pauline Mc Lynn, look back on the life of the comedian, writer, satirist and actor whose savage wit belied a caring nature and reflect on his place in the annals of comedy greats.

On RTÉ One Good Year/Bad Year is a one-off brand new show that takes a satirical look back on the last twelve months as celebrity team captains along with guest panellists look at everything from global politics and insurrections to the goings on in the Dail bar, Irish sports and Joe Duffy's head.

In the final show of the year RTÉ One's Irish Pictorial Weekly includes a revealing interview with Mick Wallace, a visit by Michael D Higgins to the Chocolate Factory, a look back at the year just gone and some Christmas greetings from the Germans.

Oliver Callan brings his acerbic mix of comedic satire to life on television for the first time, sending up events from 2013 and figures from the world of politics, sport and entertainment. The Monaghan mimic's one-hour Christmas special Callan Kicks the Year includes Taoiseach Enda and his Cabinet, Michael D, new characters Joe Brolly and Katie Taylor and a look back at Tom Cruise on the Late Late Show

Also on RTÉ One Zig, Zag and Aidan Power are back with Zig and Zag's Super Festive Bloopers, a seasonal Superbloopers special. It's still all the fun of the best clips from your home videos, TV and the web, but now with 50% extra festive madness thrown in.

And Daithi O'Shea, Sinead Kennedy and Will Leahy countdown the final moments of 2013 and ring in the brand new year with New Year's Eve Live - The Ultimate Gathering on RTÉ One at the 3 NYE concert in College Green with artists such as Ryan Sheridan and Madness. Will Leahy welcomes Limerick City of Culture from a concert on the banks of the Shannon with special guests Dolores O'Riordan, The Coronas and The Strypes. RTÉ Radio 1 will also be broadcasting live from the 3 NYE Concert in Dublin while RTÉ Digital will stream the entire Limerick concert live on the RTÉ Player.

The drama on RTÉ One continues in Fair City as Ireland's most popular soap ramps up the drama for the festive season, including an hour-long Christmas Day edition. This Christmas in Carrigstown, Dermot and Jo struggle with their new family. Orla interferes in Wayne and Dolores' relationship with surprising results. Charlie and Esther are shocked when TJ brings a surprise visitor to their door. Dan inadvertently jeopardises Yvonne's case and Callum faces a horrifying ordeal trying to save a lying Jane.

For lovers of food and lifestyle programming the festive line up is sure to appeal with Christmas specials from many of RTÉ One's favourite food series. In the Rachel Allen Christmas Special, Rachel prepares a Christmas breakfast treat of French toast with cinnamon mascarpone, a full glazed ham, and shows us a way of using up leftovers after the feast. In the Kitchen Hero Christmas Special Donal visits Rovaniemi in Finland, the official home of Santa Claus to deliver some homemade edible gifts - fudge, Florentines, gingerbread. But finding Santa Claus is easier said than done... Neven Maguire brings the Home Chef style to Christmas and offers recipes ideal for entertaining: roast lamb, redcurrant compote, chocolate mousse and crown of turkey marinated in buttermilk which he promises is the moistest, most delicious turkey you've ever tasted. And the At Your Service - To the Rescue follows the Brennan Brothers as they work together to transform the CASA respite care centre in Malahide for a ve

For lovers of food and lifestyle programming the festive line up is sure to appeal with Christmas specials from many of RTÉ One's favourite food series. In the Rachel Allen Christmas Special, Rachel prepares a Christmas breakfast treat of French toast with cinnamon mascarpone, a full glazed ham, and shows us a way of using up leftovers after the feast. In the Kitchen Hero Christmas Special Donal visits Rovaniemi in Finland, the official home of Santa Claus to deliver some homemade edible gifts - fudge, Florentines, gingerbread. But finding Santa Claus is easier said than done... Neven Maguire brings the Home Chef style to Christmas and offers recipes ideal for entertaining: roast lamb, redcurrant compote, chocolate mousse and crown of turkey marinated in buttermilk which he promises is the moistest, most delicious turkey you've ever tasted. And the At Your Service - To the Rescue follows the Brennan Brothers as they work together to transform the CASA respite care centre in Malahide for a very special fan of their show. And fans of The Zoo will be delighted to catch up with their favourites in an hour-long The Zoo Christmas Special.

Christmas the RTÉ Two way

 

Christmas on RTÉ Two brings in the festive season with a whole host of favourites, brand new comedy and moving documentaries.

Republic of Telly celebrates Christmas this year with a specially extended programme. Host Kevin McGahern, Bernard O'Shea and Jennifer Maguire celebrate Christmas the traditionally Irish way - by having a row - and inviting the extended family over to witness it. Yes - they're joined by the Rubber Bandits, The Viper and all of the other show regulars to round off the season with a big musical number. The Republic of Telly Orchestra is back on the prowl and we hear Christmas Confessions all the way from Australia.

Filmed in front of a live audience, The Mario Rosenstock Show on RTÉ Two returns with a Christmas Special packed full of your favourite characters. Unpredictable and unmissable, Mario is joined by a host of surprise guests during this one-hour seasonal treat.

Also on RTÉ Two the laughs keep coming as Totes Amazeballs - 2013 looks back at the year and shows us the moments that made us gossip, gasp and giggle. And it wouldn't be Christmas without the Fr Ted Christmas Special plus more Fr Ted treats.

We ring in the New Year with Next Year's News is a new comedy panel show with a twist. Host Eoghan MacDermott and team captains, PJ Gallagher and Neil Delamere will take a look at the biggest stories of this year, and offer their comedy predictions of what is going to happen next. What's next for Miley Cyrus? Will Enda see out the year? Who will replace Nidge as the man we Love to Hate in 2014? Next Year's News has the answers!

There's lots of music and festive fun on RTE Two with highlights including the Lady Gaga and The Muppets' Holiday Spectacular while One Direction fans will be entertained with One Direction: A Year In The Making.

RTÉ Two's Reality Bites series offers #Missing You, a moving portrayal of how people now keep in contact in an era of emigration. Compiled from Skype video calls over the course of six months we follow a number of Irish people far from home, as they keep in touch with their loved ones and look at the patterns of everyday life from Terenure to Malmo, Clonakilty to Perth, and Mullingar to New York.

By the time he died of cancer, aged just 16, Donal Walsh from Blennerville in Tralee, Co Kerry had touched the whole nation with his simple message - it's good to be alive. RTÉ Two's Donal Walsh - My Story tells Donal's story in his own words, as well as those of his friends, his family and the many other people whose lives he touched. A fun loving young boy becomes a brave teenager who is dealt a terminal diagnosis but refuses to give up on life. In the last few months of his life, he lived life to the limit, while trying to change the world as he did.

Sports fans will be spoiled for choice as RTÉ Two brings a variety of great sports documentaries and live coverage. The RTÉ Sports Awards in association with The Irish Sports Council will see a host of Irish sporting stars in attendance for one of the best sport events of the year. Darragh Maloney will host the awards ceremony. Awards presented on the night will be RTÉ Sports Person of the Year, RTÉ Sports Team of the Year, the RTÉ Sports Manager of the Year and the RTÉ/Irish Sports Council's Hall of Fame Award. Making History - Ireland's Grand Slam relives the highs and lows of Ireland's Women's Rugby team as they made sporting history when they claimed their first ever Grand Slam. 2013 - The Magic of Hurling looks back at a vintage year for hurling with a Championship that saw old rivals reacquainted in battles for survival, the emergence of new champions in Munster & Leinster, a classic semi final and two nerve tingling All Ireland Finals that eventually yielded new Champions. 2013 - A Summer in Blue looks back at the year the Dubs claimed the National Football League and the Leinster title before going on to claim Sam Maguire for the second time in 3 years. Their semi-final meeting with Kerry will go down as one of the greatest football matches in the annals of GAA history. On the provincial front Monaghan secured their first Ulster title in 25 years, while London's epic journey brought them all the way to their first ever Connacht final. Prepare To Féile follows the pupils of St Paul's Academy, a comprehensive school in one of the UK's most deprived areas, take on the challenge of learning Gaelic football and competing in the prestigious Féile Peil na nÓg [Festival of Youth Football] in Ireland. Gaelic-obsessed head teacher Pat Winston assembles a team of teachers from Ireland - including the Westmeath hurling captain, Brian Smyth - to impart the skills of Gaelic Football to the most gifted athletes in his school. They might have raw talent and physicality, but can they pick up the skills quickly enough to take on the best GAA youth teams in Derry in June? And we bring viewers live Racing From Leopardstown plus all the action from the RaboDirect PRO12.

With over 100 movies, many in HD, on the Christmas schedules across RTÉ One and RTÉ Two, there's a movie for everyone to curl up with over the Christmas period.

Movie premieres on RTÉ One this Christmas include, Shrek Forever After, Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2, Kung Fu Panda 2, Bridesmaids, Robin Hood and The Guard. Other great titles on RTÉ One include Four Christmases, Quantum of Solace, Avatar, Sherlock Holmes and The Perfect Storm.

Classic movies on RTÉ One include It's A Wonderful Life, Gone With The Wind, Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, High Society, The Sound Of Music, Doctor Zhivago, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, Murder On The Orient Express, Australia, The French Connection and To Kill A Mocking Bird.

Over on RTÉ Two the movie premieres include The Dark Knight, along with other great movies like Anchorman, Sex and the City 2, While You Were Sleeping , Pearl Harbor, Little Miss Sunshine, Blades of Glory, The Social Network, Terminator Salvation, Spider-man 3, G.I. Joe Rise of Cobra, Jackass 2, Die Hard 2 and Burn After Reading.

Classic Movies on RTÉ Two include Winnie The Pooh, The Fantastic Mr Fox, Charlotte's Web, Kung Fu Panda Holiday, The Borrowers, The Fox and The Hound, The Sword in the Stone, Dinosaur, The Secret Of Kells, Bee Movie, Coraline and Barbie: A Perfect Christmas.

And Children's movies on RTÉ Two include Winnie The Pooh, The Fantastic Mr Fox, Charlotte's Web, Kung Fu Panda Holiday, The Borrowers, The Fox and The Hound, The Sword in the Stone, Dinosaur, The Secret Of Kells, Bee Movie, Coraline and Barbie: A Perfect Christmas.

Unwrap the Magic with RTÉjr

 

RTÉjr packs in lots to look forward to for our youngest viewers as Christmas arrives for all their favourite programmes.

Sixteen small slices of love and feel-good this Christmas come in the form of Made With Love, a touching, funny celebration of the joy of giving and of saying thank you. This Christmas on Tell Me A Story we have an enchanting new set of specially-written stories and we'll also hear about the Hindu festival of Diwali and the story of a little girl called Fei who is bringing some Chinese dumplings to her Granny. With stories in English, Irish, Hindi and Mandarin, the holiday season on Tell Me A Story will be teeming with all your favourite faces reading stories by writers like David Maybury and Dee Roycroft.

Sharon Shannon is the Beo Theatre's star guest on The Beo Show. On Christmas Eve, Sharon helps Donie choose the perfect Christmas song for the performance inspired by Christmas cards. On Christmas day Donie Gerty and Santa make someone's Christmas wish come true. On St Stephens day Donie and Gerty are treated to a performance by The Wren Boys and Sharon returns to perform her famous tune 'Pigeon on the Gate'. It's the holiday season in The Curious World of Professor Fun and Dr. Dull where all the crew - Professor Fun, Dr. Dull and Artist Laura (and Little Miss Hap) - are in festive mood and striving to make every day a party. In Reubini Master of Magic it's Christmastime again but Reuben doesn't see it like his young assistants do - he's no good at wrapping presents and somehow he gets attacked by the Christmas decorations! On the other hand, he attempts to make his Christmas stocking bigger but it all goes wrong and he gets trapped in it. Next thing, he gets lost under a pile of tinsel. Good thing his assistants are is more level-headed! On Storytime Emma O'Driscoll, Muireann Ní Chíobháin, Reuben and Miriam Devitt bring a selection of enthralling new stories for young children, specially-written for Christmas and read by your favourite RTÉjr presenters. This Christmas, on Sing-along with Emma O'Driscoll Emma will be travelling around to junior schools and singing-along in the classroom with some very excited schoolchildren! Seasonal favourites Jingle Bells and Rudolf the Red-Nosed Reindeer are the highlights. On Spraoi presenter Muireann Ní Chíobháin will be celebrating Christmas in the tree with Oli and the gang and the theme will be 'Sharing is Caring'. On The Why Guy Albie calls on his expert friends to help find out the answers to questions such as: Is the North Pole is a real place? Do reindeer live in Ireland? and Do penguins' feet freeze on the ice? Emma and Reuben will be in jolly good form on Hubble Bubble Club with some extra festive fun mixed with our usual birthdays and news.

And RTÉ Two has lots of Christmas cheer for young people with new programmes and old favourites bringing lots of festive fun. On RTÉ TWO Una's Dream Ticket will see The Saturdays Una Healy making dreams come true in this brand new show this Christmas. With a sprinkling of popstar magic, Una and The Saturdays are guaranteed to make this one of the most feelgood shows on TV this Christmas as the long-held dreams and ambitions of the nation's youngsters become amazing realities! On 20th September we asked Irish teens to turn their cameras, iPhones, webcams on themselves and capture their lives as the weekend took off and the fun began! Using contributions from hundreds of teens in a combination of user-generated clips, teenage film-makers' contributions and some crew-shot stories Life's Like This captures what it is to be a teenager on a Friday in Ireland right now. On elev8 presenters Seán Regan, Diana Bunici and Ivan Minnock have written their letters to Santa, hung up their stockings in the elev8 loft and baked their home-made mince pies (but we can't promise they're edible) - they're all set for a Christmas-tastic week of festive fun! Christmas Week on RTÉ Two's Two Tube and the dynamic duo, Bláthnaid Treacy and Stephen Byrne will be meeting the stars on ice where they'll be interviewing, or attempting to interview, celebs as they go ice-skating. For the season that's in it, a mega mix of celebrities will reveal their favourite Christmas memory and there'll be tons of amazing giveaways throughout the week. One lucky viewer's dream will come true when they get to meet their favourite band. Two Tube: Bláthnaid and Stephen will also see another side of Irish life at Christmas time when they go to help behind the scenes at the intergenerational project, ALONE.

In the news2day Review of the Year Conor McNally and Orla Walsh take a look back at all the big news and sports stories of 2013, including Conor taking to the high seas with the RNLI and Orla enjoying a day at the Ploughing Championships. 2013 will be remembered as the year we got a proper summer and we spent a day with Met Eireann to find out how they forecast the weather. News2day was also there for the launch of Ireland's first dedicated children TV channel RTÉjr. Throughout the year we met some extraordinary children who stunned us with their courage and kindness to others and we met lots of schoolchildren who got up to so many wonderful things, proving that creativity is alive and well in our schools!

Highlights from this year's
Christmas Religious programmes

Highlights from this year's Christmas religious programmes on RTÉ One include Carols From Dublin Castle as Mary Kennedy introduces a glittering, festive show from St Patrick's Hall, the Castle Chapel and other State Rooms, featuring Finbar Furey, Celine Byrne, Tommy Fleming, Nathan Carter, the RTÉ Concert Orchestra, the DIT Chamber Choir, the Choir of St Bartholomew's, Dublin and, to mark the centenary of the Dublin Lock-out, the Band of the Communications Workers' Union, performing carols old and new. Midnight Mass is celebrated by Fr John Cummins, Administrator of the Cathedral of the Assumption, Carlow, in a simulcast with RTÉ Radio 1 and digital platforms, with music led by Marian Gaynor and the Cathedral Parish Choir. Mass for Christmas Day is celebrated by the Most Rev. Denis Nulty, Bishop of Kildare and Leighlin, with a simulcast Mass from the Cathedral of the Assumption, Carlow, with music from the Cathedral Parish Choir, directed by Marian Gaynor. The Mass will be shared with broadcasters across Europe via Eurovision and is also simulcast on RTÉ Radio 1xtra / LW252 and RTÉ Digital Platforms. Urbi et Orbi brings live coverage of Pope Francis' first Christmas Message "to the City and the World," from St Peter's Square in Rome, with English translation and commentary by Fr Thomas McCarthy, O.P. The Rev. Gary Mason leads a Worship Group from the East Belfast Mission in a Service for Christmas Day, a Methodist Service of celebration, in the RTÉ Studios, Donnybrook. In A Christmas Message from The Archbishops of Armagh., his Eminence Cardinal Séan Brady and the Most Rev. Richard Clarke, the Catholic and Church of Ireland Primates and Archbishops of Armagh, share their thoughts and prayers for the Christmas season. And the Rev. Ian Horner leads a multi-denominational celebration of Christmas through the eyes of children, with RTÉ Cor na nÓg, directed by Mary Amond O'Brien.

 

RTÉ One - TV | Movies | Movie Premières

 

Celtic Woman: Home For Christmas: live From Dublin (Saturday 21 December, 2.25pm)

A festive, musical enchantment to be enjoyed by the entire family.


Kitchen Hero: Homecooked - Christmas Special (Sunday 22 December, 2.25pm)

A Christmas special from Finland: Donal visits Rovaniemi in Finland, the official home of Santa Claus to deliver some homemade edible gifts - fudge, Florentines and gingerbread. But finding Santa Claus is easier said than done...
Click here to view Donals recipes...

Rachel Allen Everyday Kitchen Christmas (Sunday 22 December, 8.00pm)

Clever and crafty cooks know how to get the most out of Christmas left-overs, and Rachel Allen is no exception.
Click here to view Rachel's recipes...


Christmas Eve Matinee: Willy Wonka And The Chocolate Factory (Christmas Eve, 1.50pm)

(1971, Fantasy) Gene Wilder, Jack Albertson. Director: Mel Stuart. A poor boy wins the opportunity to tour the most eccentric and wonderful candy factory of all.


Christmas Eve Matinee: Raiders Of The Lost Ark (Christmas Eve, 3.45pm)

(1981, Action/Adventure) Harrison Ford, Karen Allen. Director: Steven Spielberg. Archeologist and adventurer Indiana Jones is hired by the US government to find the Ark of the Covenant before the Nazis.


The Zoo Christmas Special (Christmas Eve, 7.15pm)

In this special festive episode Tom Dunne, narrator of The Zoo, shares Christmas dinner with your favourite zookeepers and hears all about their personal highlights and the animal stories that meant most to them this year.


Irish Pictorial Weekly (Christmas Eve, 9.30pm)

The final show of the series includes a revealing interview with Mick Wallace, a visit by Michael D. Higgins to the Chocolate Factory, a look back at the year just gone, and some Christmas greetings from the Germans.


Carols From Dublin Castle (Christmas Eve, 6.15pm)

Mary Kennedy introduces a glittering, festive show from Dublin Castle


For One Night Only - Phil Coulter (Christmas Eve, 10.00pm)

Gay Byrne is joined by one of Ireland's greatest songwriters, the legendary Phil Coulter.


 

 

Morning Movie: It's A Wonderful Life (Christmas Day, 7.45am)

(1946, Fantasy/Drama) James Stewart, Donna Reed. Director: Frank Capra. An angel helps a compassionate but despairingly frustrated businessman by showing what life would have been like if he never existed. (Followed by Weather)


Christmas Day Matinee: Happy Feet (Christmas Day, 12.55am)

(1946, Fantasy/Drama) James Stewart, Donna Reed. Director: Frank Capra. An angel helps a compassionate but despairingly frustrated businessman by showing what life would have been like if he never existed. (Followed by Weather)


Première - Shrek Forever After (Christmas Day, 2.35pm)

(2010, Animation) Mike Myers (Voice), Cameron Diaz (Voice). Director: Mike Mitchell. Rumpelstiltskin tricks a mid-life crisis burdened Shrek into allowing himself to be erased from existence and cast in a dark alternate timeline where Rumpel rules supreme. (HD)


Première - Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 (Christmas Day, 4.00pm)

(2010, Fantasy/Adventure) Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson. As Harry races against time and evil to destroy the Horcruxes, he uncovers the existence of three most powerful objects in the wizarding world: the Deathly Hallows. (HD)


Zig & Zag Superfestivalbloopers (Christmas Day, 7.20pm)

Zig, Zag and Aidan Power are back with a seasonal Superbloopers special. It's still all the fun of the best clips from your home videos, TV and the web, but now with 50% extra festive madness thrown in!


Christmas Special 2013 - Buckin' Mammy (Christmas Day, 9.25pm)

Christmas is just round the corner, and no-one knows what Mrs Brown's grandson Bono wants for a present.

Première - Bridesmaids (Christmas Day, 9.50pm)

(2011, Comedy) Kristen Wiig, Maya Rudolph. Director: Paul Feig. Competition between the maid of honour and a bridesmaid, over who is the bride's best friend, threatens to upend the life of an out-of-work pastry chef.(HD)



Première - Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 (St Stephen's Day, 4.50pm)

(2011, Fantasy/Adventure) Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson. Director: David Yates. Harry, Ron and Hermione search for Voldemort's remaining Horcruxes in their effort to destroy the Dark Lord. (HD)


St Stephen's Day Matinee: Indiana Jones And The Temple Of Doom (St Stephen's Day, 12.40pm)

(1984, Action/Adventure) Harrison Ford, Kate Capshaw. Director: Steven Spielberg. After arriving in India, Indiana Jones is asked by a desperate village to find a mystical stone. He agrees, and stumbles upon a secret cult plotting a terrible plan in the catacombs of an ancient palace.


St Stephen's Day Matinee: Tangled (St Stephen's Day, 2.50pm)

(2009, Animation) Mandy Moore, Zachary Levi. Directors: Nathan Greno, Byron Howard. The magically long-haired Rapunzel has spent her entire life in a tower, but now that a runaway thief has stumbled upon her, she is about to discover the world for the first time, and who she really is.


Première - The Guard (St Stephen's Day, 9.20pm)

(2010, Crime/Comedy) Brendan Gleeson, Don Cheadle. Director: John Michael McDonagh. An unorthodox Irish policeman with a confrontational personality is teamed up with an uptight FBI agent to investigate an international drug-smuggling ring. (HD)


Four Christmases (St Stephen's Day, 11.55pm)

(2008, Comedy/Romance) Reese Witherspoon, Vince Vaughn. Director: Seth Gordon. A couple struggles to visit all four of their divorced parents on Christmas Day.


At Your Service - To The Rescue (Friday 26 December, 8.00pm)

Ireland's top hoteliers John and Francis Brennan are back to undertake their biggest, and most personal project to date.


Dermot Morgan - Fearless Funnyman (Friday 27 December, 10.05pm)

A selection of Dermot Morgan's family, friends, colleagues and admirers, including Pat Shortt, Oliver Callan and Pauline Mc Lynn, look back on the life of the comedian, writer, satirist and actor whose savage wit belied a caring nature and reflect on his place in the annals of comedy greats.


Première - Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides (Friday 27 December, 6.30pm)

(2011, Fantasy/Adventures) Johnny Depp, Penelope Cruz. Director: Rob Marshall. Jack Sparrow and Barbossa embark on a quest to find the elusive fountain of youth, only to discover that Blackbeard and his daughter are after it too (HD)


Kung Fu Panda 2 (Saturday 28 December, 6.35pm)

(2011, Animation) Jack Black (Voice), Angelina Jolie (Voice). Director: Jennifer Yuh. Po and his friends fight to stop a peacock villain from conquering China with a deadly new weapon, but first the Dragon Warrior must come to terms with his past. (HD)


Robin Hood (New Year's Day, 9.30pm)

(2010, Action/Adventure) Russell Crowe, Cate Blanchett. Director: Ridley Scott..In 13th century England, Robin and his band of marauders confront corruption in a local village and lead an uprising against the crown that will forever alter the balance of world power. (HD)


RTÉ Two


The Republic of Telly (Monday 23 December, 9.30pm)

This Christmas, some of the best actors and film crew in Ireland have come together for a sketch-show comedy special in aid of St Francis Hospice, Raheny.The Republic of Telly celebrates Christmas early this year with a specially extended programme on the 23rd December 2013.

Host Kevin McGahern, Bernard O'Shea and Jennifer Maguire celebrate Christmas the traditionally Irish way - by having a row - and inviting the extended family over to witness it. Yes - they're joined by the Rubberbandits, The Viper and all of the other show regulars to round off the season with a big musical number. The Republic of Telly Orchestra is back on the prowl and we hear Christmas Confessions all the way from Australia.


Mario Rosenstock Show: Christmas Special (Tuesday 24 December, 10.00pm)

Filmed in front of a live audience, The Mario Rosenstock Show returns with a Christmas Special packed full of your favourite characters. Unpredictable and unmissable, Mario is joined by a host of surprise guests during this one hour seasonal treat.


Una's Dream Ticket (Christmas Eve, 11.00am)

Starting on Christmas Day, in each of the eleven shows Una Foden of the Saturdays makes dreams come true for lots and lots of Irish children - from meeting their favourite Premier League football star to hanging out with their pop idols, to getting a trolley dash in a toy shop - Una's waving her magic wand across the land!


The Dark Knight (Christmas Day, 9.25pm)

(2008, Action/Crime) Christian Bale, Heath Ledger. Director: Christopher Nolan. When Batman, Gordon and Harvey Dent launch an assault on the mob, they let the clown out of the box, the Joker, bent on turning Gotham on itself and bringing any heroes down to his level.


David Blaine - Fearless Funnyman: Magic Or Real? (Friday 27 December, 8.50pm)

This special follows David Blaine's signature brand of street magic and mystifies the most recognisable celebrities in the world


Totes Amazeballs 2013 (Friday 27 December, 10.00pm)

"Totes Amazeballs 2013? is a light-hearted show that counts down the 20 most amazing moments of 2013, from the world of television, online, twitter, music, sport and entertainment. Presented by Eoghan McDermott and featuring a host of funny folk, including Mario Rosenstock, Jennifer Maguire, Bressie, Angela Scanlon, Bernard O'Shea and PJ Gallagher, "Totes Amazeballs 2013? gives us the stories that made us gasp, giggle and gossip.


RTÉ Two & RTÉjr

ON RTÉ TWO THIS CHRISTMAS: elev8 Presenters Seán Regan, Diana Bunici and Ivan Minnock have written their letters to Santa, hung up their stockings in the elev8 loft and baked their home-made mince pies (but we can't promise they're edible) - they're all set for a Christmas-tastic week of festive fun!


elev8 - RTÉ TWO at 4.00pm daily
Monday 16th December - Friday 20th December

This Christmas on RTÉ Two, Jedward will once again make dreams come true for children from all over Ireland on their IFTA nominated Irish television show - 'OMG! Jedward's Dream Factory'.For three months the country's most talented mini-bakers have been putting their skills to the test in Ireland's Best Young Baker - and now the winner will have their prize-winning cupcake go on sale in Avoca Food Halls for the festive season, with proceeds donated to Our Lady's Children's Hospital in Crumlin and special deliveries sent to the patients within!

Seán, Ivan and Diana are all about spreading Christmas cheer - ESPECIALLY to those who need it most - so they'll also be visiting Temple Street Children's Hospital and The National Children's Hospital in Tallaght to bring viewers some elev8 favourites with a twist!

Counting down to Christmas is always fun - but it's set to get even MORE fun this year with elev8's very own take on 'The 12 Days of Christmas'! elev8's roving reporter Ted always has his floppy ears to the ground for a scoop - and with four legs instead two he never misses a beat - BUT there's a lesson to be learned when he decides he doesn't believe in Santa and then comes face-to-face with The Man himself! Plus, one lucky elev8 viewer will get to live the dream of running a Trolley Dash around a toy store - one minute to nab as many toys as possible for charity - ready, steady, DASH!

Of course all of the traditional elev8 favourites will be out in festive force - The BFF Quiz, Parents Under Pressure and a special Christmas edition of Ready, Steady, Sport as the two top teams on the leaderboard go head-to-head! PLUS, the elev8 bumper-Christmas-hamper giveaway will be back - tune in to find out details on how to enter YOUR name for this amazing competition - if you're not in, you can't win!

All of this and much, much more on elev8, LIVE from the loft on RTÉ Two.


TWO TUBE - RTÉ TWO at 17.30, 18.00 & 18.30 daily
Monday 16th December - Friday 20th December

Christmas Week on Two Tube and the dynamic duo, Bláthnaid Treacy and Stephen Byrne will be meeting the stars on ice where they'll be interviewing, or attempting to interview, celebs as they go ice-skating. For the season that's in it, a mega mix of celebrities will reveal their favourite Christmas memory and there'll be tons of amazing giveaways throughout the week. One lucky viewer's dream will come true when they get to meet their favourite band. Blathnaid and Stephen will also see another side of Irish life at Christmastime when they go to help behind the scenes in a soup kitchen.


ON RTÉjr THIS CHRISTMAS:

Tell Me A Story - RTÉjr at 12.30 & 16.05
Monday 16th December - Sunday 29th December

This Christmas on Tell Me A Story we'll be encountering an enchanting new set of specially-written stories. As well as enjoying some winter warming tales and Christmas crackers, we'll also hear about the Hindu festival of Diwali and the story of a little girl called Fei who is bringing some Chinese dumplings to her Granny. With stories in English, Irish, Hindi and Mandarin, the holiday season on Tell Me A Story will be teeming with all your favourite faces including Bryan Dobson and Ryan Tubridy reading stories by writers like David Maybury and Dee Roycroft. So sit back, get comfy and lose yourself in our festive fables.


The Beo Show - RTÉjr
Monday 16th December - Sunday 29th December

This Christmas, Sharon Shannon is the Beo Theatre's star guest. On Christmas Eve, Donie is getting excited and leaving food out for Santa. He's hoping someone can set the right mood so Sharon and our young guest set about choosing the perfect Christmas song which they perform together. On Christmas Day, Donie and Gerty are excitedly opening their presents - but the radio is broken! Along comes Sharon who teaches her new Christmas song to today's young performer and this is what they sing for Donie's Christmas Concert! On St. Stephen's Day, Donie and Gerty are feeling pretty sleepy after all the fun but this soon changes when The Wren Boys pay a visit to the theatre. The occasion takes wings when Sharon returns to perform her famous tune 'Blackbird' with another young guest performer.

Actually, every day's a celebration throughout the Christmas season at The Beo Theatre. We've all kinds of completely new stuff to show our young guest artists. Beginning on Monday 16th December, Donie and Gerty welcome the uniquely talented New Zealander, Gerry Paul, who performs his hilarious songs about animals along with several visiting child singers. He demonstrates how you can begin writing songs of your own and he shows the children how to make an original musical instrument at home. In one show, he teaches a young boy how to sing like Elvis!

Also playing at the Beo Theatre is broadcaster, author and musician Tadhg Mac Dhonnagáin who appears with his daughter, Róise. This is a great opportunity to teach our young guests a little about how songs are like conversations and about learning new songs. There'll also be some traditional songs to perform, among them 'Beidh Aonach Amárach.'

Throughout the festive fortnight, there are further musical encounters for the children with cellist Nicola Geddes and also a good look at the violin - or is that the viola? - with ace string player, Beth McNinch. Amongst other lessons, Beth shows one young performer how judging the right weight on the bow is a little bit like... stroking a cat!

The Curious World of Professor Fun and Dr. Dull - RTÉjr
onday 16th December - Sunday 29th December

It's the holiday season in The Curious World where all the crew - Professor Fun, Dr. Dull and Artist Laura (and Little Miss Hap) - are in festive mood and striving to make every day a party.

On Christmas Eve,Dr. Dull is busy hanging up lots of his boring, grey decorations as a 'surprise' for Professor Fun - but the Professor is nowhere to be seen! That's because she's travelled all the way to the Artlings' world to help them get ready for Santa's arrival. But she hasn't forgotten about Doctor Dull and she's even sent a surprise guest to keep an eye on him and bring some colour back into his world. Dr. Dull also travels over to Artist Laura to make a lovely Santa to finish off his decorations.

Christmas Day has arrived and Dr. Dull and Little Miss Hap are opening presents. Doctor Dull is curious to see what Professor Fun and the Artlings are getting up to in their world. Little Miss Hap convinces Dr. Dull that they need a Christmas Tree - just like the Artlings - and that he should ask Artist Laura for her help to make one.

St. Stephen's Day, the day after Christmas and Little Miss Hap is playing with all the leftover wrapping paper, wondering what to do with all the lovely colours. Meanwhile, Dr. Dull is looking in on the Artlings and trying to work out what mischief Professor Fun has been getting up to with them! He decides to visit Artist Laura in the hope that Little Miss Hap will clean-up while he is away...


Reubini Master of Magic - RTÉjr
Saturday 21st December & Saturday 28th December

It's Christmastime again but Reuben doesn't see it like his young assistants do - he's no good at wrapping presents and somehow he gets attacked by the Christmas decorations! On the other hand, he attempts to make his Christmas stocking bigger but it all goes wrong and he gets trapped in it. Next thing, he gets lost under a pile of tinsel. Good thing his assistants are is more level-headed!

Storytime - RTÉjr
Saturday/Sunday, 21st/22nd December & Saturday/Sunday, 28th/29th December

Presented by Emma O'Driscoll, Muireann Ní Chíobháin, Reuben and Miriam Devitt
A selection of enthralling new stories for young children, specially-written for Christmas and read by your favourite RTÉjr presenters! This year's stories are: Elf-tastic, read by Emma ODriscoll; Granny Saves Christmas, read by Reuben; Magic Mittens, read by Muireann Ní Chíobháin; and The Cheeky Robin, read by Miriam Devitt.

Sing-along - RTÉjr
aturday/Sunday, 21st/22nd December & Saturday/Sunday, 28th/29th December

Jingle Bells - TX Saturday 21st
Rudolf the Red Nosed Reindeer - TX Sunday 22nd
These will be repeated on Saturday and Sunday 28th & 29th of December

Spraoi - RTÉjr

Presented by Muireann Ní
We will include lots of seasonal + celebratory themes in Spraoi throughout the ten days with a big emphasis on Christmas on 24th, 25th& 26th
"Oli's getting ready for Christmas" - Christmas eve - 24th
" Let's celebrate" - Christmas Day - 25th
"Sharing is caring" - St. Stephen's day - 26th

The Why Guy - - RTÉjr

presented by Albie (Tommy Baker) + host of experts
Is the North Pole a real place? - TX 24th December
Do Reindeers live in Ireland? - TX 25th December
Do Penguin's feet freeze on the ice? - TX 26th December

Hubble Bubble Club - RTÉjr
Monday 16th - Friday 20th & Monday 23rd to Friday 27th December

We will have our usual birthdays and news with lots of extra festive fun for the 'RTE jr. 10 days of Christmas'


Click here for more of our Christmas TV schedule......