Crack open the tins of sweets, there's a shedload of festive content on the way.

Next Monday, December 6 is when the RTÉ Guide will be available in stores across the country, which will be your complete compendium of everything hitting our screens this festive season. However, to tide us over until then, RTÉ, Virgin media and TG4 have all released their upcoming TV Christmas specials for us to look out for over the coming weeks.

Here's a quite rundown of what we can look out for over the month of December and into the New Year.


Kicking things off in a mysterious manner this Christmas for RTÉ will be 'The Tommy Tiernan Show', which will be back for a one-off special. A master of improvisation, Tommy thrives on the adrenaline of surprises. A wholesome watch, Tommy meets with people from all walks of life, some well-known personalities, some lesser so. 

There will also be a brand new family entertainment show with 'Big Night In'. Hosted by Dermot Whelan and Doireann Garrihy, the hosts promise audiences will be laughing out loud with celebrity pranks, nail-biting studio games and audience surprises.

'Mrs Brown’s Boys' will return for two more seasonal specials, airing Christmas Day and New Year’s Eve, which see Agnes recruited to the church choir, but under strict instructions, and a Christmas tree shortage which means Buster has to get even more creative than usual. 

Loah and Una Healy return to the iconic Round Room of the Mansion House for a very special Christmas edition of 'The Heart of Saturday Night'; 'Ireland's Fittest Family' will culminate in the most epic final yet; and Oliver Callan rounds off the year with some much-needed laughs in 'Callan Kicks the Year 2021'.

'Mrs. Brown's Boys' Christmas Special

The 2 Johnnies will present RTÉ’s New Year's Eve Countdown Show live from Dublin Castle, with Picture This ringing in the New Year in front of a crowd of 5,000 people.  

Christmas specials for documentary lovers include 'Daniel at Sixty', which will feature exclusive access to Daniel O’Donnell and his life at the age of 60; 'The Toy Shop', featuring 16 independent toy shops across the country; 'Rachael Blackmore: A Grand Year' sees award-winning filmmaker Ross Whitaker tell the remarkable tale of Rachael Blackmore’s rise to the pinnacle of horse racing and her historic year; and 'How Ireland Rocked the 70s', which looks at the evolution of the festival circuit in Ireland during the 1970s with exclusive interviews with Eric Bell, Barry Devlin, Christy Moore, Moya Brennan, Donal Lunny and Donal Gallagher.

Movies on RTÉ over the Christmas include new movie premieres like 'The Secrets Life of Pets 2', 'Bohemian Rhapsody', 'Rocketman', 'Dating Amber' and 'Stan and Ollie'. There will also be classics such as 'Love Actually', 'Four Weddings and a Funeral', 'Die Hard' and 'Casablanca' too.

Virgin Media

For Virgin Media viewers, 'Battle of the Christmas Lights' will see two Cork families go head-to-head to create the best possible Christmas on their street. The primary challenge is the decoration of the exterior of their houses, and along the way the families will compete in other challenges involving baking, tree decoration and setting an eye-catching Christmas table.  

Dave Fanning will host a new music series called 'Fanning at Whelan’s'. Each episode will feature live performances from some of Ireland’s top music acts including Inhaler, Kodaline, Paddy Casey, Lyra and Mick Flannery. 

'The Restaurant Christmas Special' will see Marco Pierre White and Rachel Allen are back in the kitchen, and this time it's Mary Black’s turn to be put through her paces. Will she get the wrath of Marco or can she add another hit to her career?  

'Fanning at Whelan's'

'Without a Trace: Ireland's Missing Women', is the latest documentary from Virgin Media News, which explores the most recent search for evidence in the disappearance of Deirdre Jacob, Jo Jo Dullard and Annie McCarrick - three young women all last seen alive in the Wicklow/Kildare area before vanishing without a trace.

'Don’t Look Back In Anger' will air on Christmas Day, chronicling the highs and lows of 2021; 'I’m A Celebrity…Get Me Out of Here!' will crown a winner on December 12; a brand-new family entertainment show 'Walk the Line' begins later this month, hosted by Maya Jama; 'The Voice Kids' will also return; 'The Royal Variety Performance' is back once again this year; while a one-off special where music legend Paul McCartney is interviewed by Golden-Globe winning actor Idris Elba will air on December 20.

Finally, Ireland’s legendary talk show host Graham Norton is back on New Year’s Eve with his annual show. Jessica Chastain, Claire Foy, Peter Dinklage, Cush Jumbo, Joe Lycett, and The Divine Comedy will all be getting merry for the host's traditional Hogmanay chat.

Expect all of this plus plenty more, including the latest drama from soaps 'Coronation Street' and 'Emmerdale' throughout December.


TG4 will be hosting plenty of musical and documentary feasts for TV viewers over the Christmas period too. The 'Junior Eurovision Final' will broadcast live from Paris on December 19, with Ireland's young hopeful Maiú Levi Lawlor from Greystones, Co. Wicklow competing against 19 other countries. The 14-year-old will be singing Irish language song 'Saor', hoping to bring the title home.

'Mná na bPíob' will be a feature-length documentary film following renowned musician Louise Mulcahy who uncovers the neglected stories of a group of incredible female pipers that were airbrushed out of our cultural history.

'Coldplay: Live in Dublin' documents Coldplay's acclaimed 'Mylo Xyloto' world tour and includes footage from Coldplay's shows at Paris's Stade de France, Montreal's Bell Centre and their triumphant Pyramid Stage headline performance at Glastonbury Festival in 2011.

'Amazing Grace' is the critically acclaimed must-see concert documentary all about Aretha Franklin's career in 1972. Shot 47 years ago by Sydney Pollack, the audio recording went on to become the biggest selling live gospel concert of all time.

'Amazing Grace'

'Fáilte 2022' will ring in the new year with hosts Dáithí Ó Sé and Orla Ní Fhinneadha. Featuring the best of traditional music and entertainment from Matt Molloy's pub in Westport, expect plenty of craic agus ceoil as we welcome 2022. 

Movie highlights on TG4 are a fine selection as always, and includes 'Pulp Fiction', 'Scent of a Woman', 'The Muppets Take Manhattan', 'Spongebob Squarepants -  An Scannán', 'Notting Hill', 'Into the West', 'Sing Street', 'Bridesmaids', 'Whitnail & I', 'An American in Paris', 'Good Morning Vietnam' and 'A Christmas Carol'.

Remember that if you miss any of the Christmas specials, you can watch them on catch up via the RTÉ Player, Virgin Media Player, and the TG4 Player.