September 28, 2023
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TV Christmas guide: All your favourite classics on the box this week

ONE of the best parts of Christmas is vegging out in front of the TV, remote in hand, after a traditional festive helping of turkey, ham and all the trimmings.

But with all of the TV viewing options out there now, the hardest part is often trying to decide what to watch. With so many films on every channel and streaming network, you could easily spend half your day skimming through stations trying to decide what to settle on.

So, the team at has done some of the hard work for you – here are some of the best picks we’ve singled out from year’s Christmas TV menu, starting with this evening:

MARY POPPINS Christmas Eve, BBC One, 5pm

The classic version of the film tells the story of the world’s most famous nanny, Mary Poppins. After his kids cause another nanny to leave, George Banks wants someone strict. Kind-hearted Mary convinces him to hire her and takes the kids on a whirlwind adventure.

FINDING NEMO Christmas Day, RTE Two, 10.25am

Nemoi is on his first day of school and is ­captured by a scuba diver. His dad Marlin chases after the boat and meets Dory, a blue tang who has short-term memory loss and they look for Nemo together. Nemo, meanwhile, is in a fish tank in a dentist’s office and finds out he is to be given as a gift to the dentist’s niece Darla, who has killed her previous fish.

THE JUNGLE BOOK Christmas Day, RTE One, 4.30pm

The 2016 live-action adaption of the Disney classic features Mowgli, a boy raised by a family of wolves. When he is forced to flee into the jungle under threat from a tiger, he has to learn to fend for himself but makes some friends along the way — including a very free-spirited bear called Baloo.

ANNIE New Year’s Eve, RTE One, 9.40am

Orphan Annie is convinced her parents left her in the care of mean Miss Hannigan by mistake. When rich man Oliver ‘Daddy’ Warbucks decides to let an orphan live at his home to promote his image, Annie is chosen. She charms the household and even wins over cold-hearted Warbucks. But when frauds come forward to claim a reward offered, Annie is put in great danger

ARTHUR Christmas Day, RTE One, 6.35pm

While we all know that Santa makes it around the world every Christmas night to deliver a present to every boy and girl, most people don’t know it takes a high-tech operation to make the magic happen. But when one child doesn’t receive a gift, it’s up to Santa’s son Arthur to find the child and deliver a present before it’s too late.

MIRACLE ON 34TH STREET Christmas Eve, RTE One, 3.35pm

Kris Kringle has been given the job of Santa at Macy’s flagship store on New York’s 34th Street after the resident Santa turns up drunk. Soon, all the children begin to think he is the real Santa, except six-year-old Susan. Her mom’s boyfriend Bryan tries to get her to believe and when Santa is arrested, he needs the help of Bryan and Susan to prove he does exist.


The new Grinch movie is in cinemas, so perfect timing to watch the Jim Carrey classic. The Grinch hates all the festivities and decides to put a stop to it, but a little girl called Cindy Lou is not letting him crush the Christmas spirit. And when she is in trouble, it seems to work when he comes to her rescue.

LOVE ACTUALLY Christmas Day, RTE One, 11.10pm

Eight different groups of ­people are trying to deal with their lives and loves in the run up to Christmas. Colin is fed up with London girls and flees to America, Natalie runs into trouble as the new assistant for the Prime Minister, and Juliet realises why her husband’s best friend Mark hates her so much.

HOME ALONE Christmas Day, RTE One, 2.55pm

Kevin is sent to his room after fighting with his family and makes a wish that his family disappears. They wake up late for their flight to Paris the next morning and bundle everyone into the car and onto the plane, before they realise they have forgotten him. Kevin, meanwhile, is happy to be home alone, until two burglars target the house and he has to protect it

SANTA CLAUS: THE MOVIE Christmas Eve, UTV, 3.25pm

Santa is exhausted as there are so many children to deliver presents to every year. He tries to get an assistant to help out but he believes that there is no need to continue as kids do not care enough anymore. Santa meets a homeless boy named Joe and takes him in the sleigh. And when Santa is reunited with one of his best elves it turns Christmas around

SING STREET Christmas Eve, RTE Two, 10.20pm

It is south inner-city Dublin in 1985 and Robert Lawlor is struggling with money. He pulls his youngest son Conor out of fee-paying school and sends him to the local Christian Brothers school. Conor tries to impress a girl and asks her to be in a music video.

THE COMMITMENTS St Stephen’s Day, VM1, 9pm

The first of the Roddy Doyle trilogy is a cult classic. Jimmy Rabbitte wants to set up a band and make them superstars. With his mismatched group, the Commitments, they slowly begin to have some success but it comes at a price as egos get in the way.

CONOR McGREGOR: NOTORIOUS New Year’s Day, RTE One, 9.30pm

This film follows the life of Ireland’s most famous fighter, Conor McGregor. Filmed over four years, it shows him from when he was on benefits and living in his parents’ spare room with his girlfriend Dee, to the self-titled ‘King of the UFC’. It shows him at his lowest and his highest, and how he made himself a name worldwide.

E.T. Christmas Eve, RTE Two, 12.25pm

A group of aliens land on Earth during the night to collect plant specimens but when they are forced to run, one is left behind. A 10-year-old boy Elliott — whose family life at home has become strained after his dad leaves — argues with his brother, then walks through his garden and sees something in his shed. He lures him into the house using Reese’s Pieces and shows his brother and sister, but hides it from his mother.

DIRTY DANCING Christmas Eve, VM3, 8.15pm

It is 1963 and Baby ­Houseman is spending the summer with her family at a ballroom dancing resort in the Catskills. Bored with hanging round the resort, she discovers a hidden party held by the staff where guests are not allowed go and meets dancer Johnny Castle. She quickly falls for him after a dance-related rescue mission — but when he’s accused of robbing and is fired from the hotel, she is left heartbroken.

THE WIZARD OF OZ Christmas Day, VM1, 4.05pm

Dorothy has always dreamt of leaving Kansas and her dream comes true when a tornado hits her home and transports her to a new land. But when the house lands on the Wicked Witch’s sister, she and her dog Toto need to meet the Wizard of Oz to bring them home. She meets a scarecrow, a tin man and a cowardly lion who help her and have adventures along the way.

BRIDGET JONES’ DIARY Christmas Day, VM1, 9.15pm

Bridgit is single and unlucky in love but her mother is determined to set her up. When she gets involved with a man she works with, Daniel, it is all fun and games but it could ruin her chances at real love with her childhood neighbour and present-day dream boat Mark D’Arcy, who likes her “just the way she is”. But she soon learns that both men have history, as one of them slept with the other’s fiancee and both claim it was the other.

RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK Friday December 28, RTE One, 1.35pm

Indiana Jones is hired by the government to find a ­headpiece known as the Staff of Ra before the Nazis do. The Staff of Ra is used to project a beam of sunlight on a building which will open the Well of Souls, a secret ­chamber containing the Ark of the Covenant — which the Nazis believe will make their armies invincible. Can Indiana uncover the mysteries of another archaeological wonder?





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