Festive Feast Is Served as RTE Cook Up a Treat
PREPARE for a televisual feast of festive entertainment including movies, comedy, sitcom classics and plenty for the children.
On the film front, box office biggies like Braveheart, Babe and Hook share the air with golden oldies like The Sound Of Music and Mary Poppins.
The rest of the schedules are a mix of music - pop, classical, stage- musical, modern and old - and a round-up of riotous Christmas comedy that deserves to be recorded on video and watched again and again.
And, in case we forget what these days of indulgence are really about, there's an impressive annual offering of religious programming, including a live prison mass.
It will be a very happy Christmas night indeed if you tune into Network Two's comedy night. From 8.01pm until 2.15am there's plenty to laugh about.
The comedy kicks off with The Simpsons and Homer deciding to gamble on a hunch at the dog track when his annual Christmas bonus is cancelled.
That's followed by Friends, the one where Pheobe hates PBS and Monica gets upset when Chandler gloats about sex.
Rowan Atkinson's Ebenezer Blackadder at 8.50 takes us back to Christmas 1850 and presents a tale of almost unbearable cuteness.
If you're not laughed out by that time, there's still Father Ted, One Foot In The Grave, Comedy Store Irish Special, Men Behaving Badly and Porridge.
The Comedy Store special, filmed in London's premier comedy club, includes hilarious comics Owen O'Neill, Kevin Hayes, Kevin Gildes and Ed Byrne.
If that line-up of stand-ups doesn't give you a stitch in your side, nothing will.
RTE1 serves up some Christmas Day musical fare with Donegal crooner Daniel O'Donnell singing gospel at 1.20pm and MTV Live at 5.30pm, featuring Boyzone, for those who can't get enough of the boy band.
IF a little music and dance is your thing, Torvill And Dean's Ice Adventure (12.20pm) will set the Christmas tone.
This beautiful ice show is made up of five interwoven stories with the skaters playing the main roles in each tale.
There's more dance in Riverdance - The Show (RTE1 11.15 Christmas Day) featuring the original cast with Michael Flatley and Jean Butler with the Riverdance dance troupe as well as international acts from Russia and the US.
On Christmas Eve, the wonderful Michael Crawford showcases his talent in a concert entitled The Music Of The Night (RTE1 10pm).
This concert includes highlights from Phantom Of The Opera, Jesus Christ Superstar, Aspects of Love, West Side Story as well as a number of traditional Irish and religious songs.
Earlier in the day (1.30), Christmas In Vienna is a star-studded ensemble of the world's top performers in a celebration of Christmas music from classic to modern. …