Looks like there will be more than just repeats on RTE this summer as the national broadcaster has today revealed its schedule with highlights including a Niall Horan music special, a new series of All Round to Mrs Brown's, some interesting new documentaries as well as plenty of sport.
Taking centre stage is Niall Horan with the RTÉ Concert Orchestra, airing on RTÉ One at 6.55pm on Saturday 12 May. The special one-off show sees the singer-songwriter and his band joined by 45 members of the RTÉ Concert Orchestra as they perform a selection of songs from Niall’s debut solo No.1 album ‘Flicker’, with special arrangements by conductor Gavin Murphy.
This special was recorded in RTÉ’s iconic Radio Studio 1 last month and features an exclusive interview with Niall by 2FM’s Eoghan McDermott.
Later that evening on RTÉ One the Eurovision Song Contest final takes place in Lisbon, with hopes high that Ryan O’Shaughnessy will bring some luck to the Irish when he takes part in the first semi-final next Tuesday night on RTÉ2.
Mrs Brown is back on RTÉ One this summer with a new series of All Round to Mrs Brown’s featuring celebrity guests, games, music and audience surprises.
In a bumper summer of sport on RTÉ, The Sunday Game throws-in on Sunday 13 May with Michael Lyster in the chair for his final season while the FIFA World Cup in Russia begins on June 14 and all 64 games from the Greatest Show on Earth will be live on RTÉ with RTÉ2 showing 56 live games and eight games on RTÉ Player.
RTÉ will also broadcast coverage of the first ever multi sport European Championships taking place in Berlin, Glasgow and Edinburgh from August 1 to 12. Set to be staged every four years, it will feature world class sporting action in athletics, aquatics, cycling, gymnastics, rowing and triathlon as well as golf.
Summer sporting action also includes cricket, with highlights of Ireland’s historic first ever test against Pakistan and T20 internationals against India, plus racing from Galway and the Curragh, live international soccer as the Republic of Ireland take on France and the USA, as well as SSE Airtricity League Live.
There's a Tommy Bowe documentary called The End Game that follows the rugby playe in the months leading up to his retirement from professional sport. It's set to be an honest and personal account of what sports people must face when it comes to the end of their career.
There will also be a new three-part social history series called The Game which will provide a definitive history of hurling, celebrating and chronicling a truly unique part of Irish culture through more than 100 years of bitter rivalries, dominance, triumphs, upsets and comebacks.
Bryan Dobson will lead RTÉ One's live coverage of the Papal visit to Ireland in late August. Ahead of this, in Mary McAleese’s Modern Family (working title) the former President will take as her benchmarks the two papal visits to Ireland, in 1979 and 2018, in order to chart what’s changed in the Irish family, and what hasn’t. Mary meets different Irish families and talks about her own, infusing the film with insights about diversity, economics, faith, gender politics, sexuality, the role of women and much more.
Claire Byrne Live and Prime Time will host special live studio debates on the upcoming referendum in the two weeks leading up to polling day. RTÉ News and Current Affairs will also be broadcasting extensive live referendum results coverage on RTÉ One hosted by Miriam O'Callaghan and Bryan Dobson on Saturday 26 May. This summer will also see more reports from RTÉ Investigates.
In a special one hour documentary, The Long March, Miriam O’Callaghan presents an intimate and human account of the 1968 Civil Rights movement – as told by the people caught up in a tumultuous time. It is about injustices, big and small, real and perceived, and how a sense of discrimination brought about a movement, and how that movement ignited a time-bomb.
In the Name of Peace: John Hume in America, a film by Maurice Fitzpatrick, is the story of the extraordinary work of Nobel Prize-winner John Hume to harness and leverage US support to help to secure peace in Ireland. It includes interviews with President Bill Clinton President Jimmy Carter, many US Senators and Congressmen, as well as Irish leaders and British Prime Ministers Tony Blair and John Major, and is narrated by Liam Neeson and scored by Bill Whelan.
Filmed over the course of two years, My Trans Life on RTÉ2 on 17 May will offer an intimate portrait of the lives of five young (18-25), transgender people on their journey to transition.
In Raised by a Village, two troublesome teenagers are swapping city living and their parents’ rules for a two week dose of discipline Irish village style.
Stressed is a new two-part series for RTÉ One presented by journalist Jennifer O’Connell featuring a cast of volunteers whose stress levels are assessed and monitored as they engage in a range of interventions. During the series, findings from the recent How are you Ireland? survey of mood and wellbeing – developed by the Insight Centre for Data Analytics in UCD – will be revealed.
In My Broken Brain, five people allow cameras into their lives as they seek to cope with their respective illnesses – the early onset of Alzheimer’s Disease, Parkinson’s Disease, Epilepsy and Motor Neurone Disease.
Our Lives in Property: Oxmantown Road uses the experiences of those living on one Dublin street to paint a picture of the Irish property market across the past fifty years and chart its course from boom to bust and back again through the stories of those who bought here at different times.
For those of you missing Room to Improve, Hugh Wallace fronts a brand new series for RTÉ One, The Great House Revival this Sunday 6 May, which follows six homeowners who are transforming derelict buildings into comfortable modern homes fit for the 21st century.
Daniel and Majella are on the road again later this month to experience the hidden treasures that only locals know best.
Tour flag in hand Francis Brennan heads off to a mystery destination for a brand new series of Francis Brennan’s Grand Tour while John Creedon is taking The Road Less Travelled a new series in which he motors on three different routes to meet the people and hear the stories that lie beneath the tarmac.
Lords & Ladles is back for a third series, with Derry Clarke, Catherine Fulvio and Paul Flynn packing up the pots and pans and embarking on a historical journey that celebrates Ireland’s past through the wonders of food.
On 19 May, get your fancy hats ready and tune into RTÉ One as Maura Derrane, Evelyn O’Rourke and Darren Kennedy provide commentary on the Royal Wedding which takes live place at Kensington Palace.
Perennial favourite The Rose of Tralee airs this August, along with Up for the Match. And this summer Once More With Meaning celebrates Gay Byrne’s 60th anniversary in broadcasting, by focusing on the latest chapter of that career, his 13 series of The Meaning of Life. A star-studded collection of former guests talk about Gay and the experience of being interviewed by him on the show.
This Sunday, 6 May, Ireland hosts Nature LIVE, anchored by RTÉ presenter Derek Mooney from the banks of Dublin’s River Liffey, with wildlife film-maker Colin Stafford-Johnson presenting from the Blasket Islands, and featuring stunning coverage of Europe’s most spectacular animals in their natural habitats.
Then on May 13, a new four-part series A Wild Irish Year offers perfect Sunday evening family viewing on RTÉ One, with each show featuring the glories of wild outdoor Ireland through one beautifully filmed season. And Turf Life – A Day on the Bog airing this coming Friday on RTÉ One is all about Ireland’s boglands, presented by Derek Mooney and Sinéad Kennedy from Lough Borra Bog in Co. Offaly.