RTÉ delivers a New Year schedule packed with new shows, new faces and returning favourites that promises something for everyone.
From the glamour of Dancing with the Stars, to the anticipation of a new season of Six Nations Rugby and GAA, a dramatic second season of Smother, new documentaries, new voices on radio, and brand new series on Player
As another year beckons, RTÉ offers a feast of glamourous entertainment, comedy, new documentaries, and sensational sports coverage to look forward to. With programming to get the nation up and running into 2022, there’s something for everyone with new and familiar programmes packed with fresh starts and new beginnings, as RTÉ continues to tap into the mood of the nation.
The entertainment on RTÉ continues as we high-kick our way onwards into the new year with a much-needed splash of glitz, glitter, and glamour to brighten up the dark evenings when Dancing with the Stars makes a welcome return to RTÉ One on Sunday 9th January.
Comedy King Tommy Tiernan is back in January with a brand-new series of the chat-show that’s full of surprises for Tommy as well as his viewers. A master of improvisation, The Tommy Tiernan Show sees Tommy meeting with people from all walks of life, for unique and intimate chats. There’s more comedy with the return of Clear History on RTÉ2 fronted by comedian Kevin McGahern, joined by Joanne McNally and Jason Byrne each week, where the past is rewritten purely in the name of comedy.
There’s plenty of drama returning for Val and the Ahern family on the rugged west coast of Ireland with the new series of Smother premiering Sunday, January 9th. And there are lots of brand-new Irish language programming in store in the New Year including Bog Amach, Le Chéile and An Tír Tairngire.
If it’s a New Year challenge you want, then Operation Transformation provides the motivation we all need to transform our bodies and our minds, returning to our screens on Wednesday 5th January. And there’s a different level of physical challenge ahead for those taking part in Ultimate Hell Week, back with a new batch of recruits diving headlong into the New Year in the biggest, baddest, maddest series yet.
If a bit more style and glamour for 2022 is your thing, then Suzanne Jackson is back delivering more Style Counsellors make-overs, as six new candidates get the fashion and lifestyle transformation that they deserve. Or if your fresh start includes a financial audit then who better than financial planner Eoin McGee to help us get our finances in order when he returns with How to be Good with Money. Faoi Bhláth is a new series for weeknights that celebrates Ireland’s rich biodiversity. And for home style and inspiration, there’s plenty of that when Room to Improve returns to RTÉ One for its 13th season in February 2022. Home of the Year is also back for its eighth series with judges Hugh Wallace and Amanda Bone at the helm along with a new judge who will be announced soon.
There’s even more of the very best in entertainment and comedy for viewers in 2022. First Dates Ireland returns to light up our Thursday nights and this year the team has a new face – chirpy cheerleader and barman Neil, the new resident mover, shaker and cocktail maker.
Documentaries on our screens in early 2022 will include Donie O’Sullivan: Capitol Man, a brand new one-hour documentary that tells the story of journalist Donie O’Sullivan and how he went from a small town in Co. Kerry to become an international household name at CNN. And as January 7th marks 100 years to the day of the Anglo-Irish Treaty, Treaty Live with David McCullagh and Sinead Carroll re-imagines how this event might have been reported through the medium of modern television.
In another retrospective, we look at the playwright Brian Friel, who stands among the giants of Irish literature and when he died in October 2015, he left Irish theatre changed forever. Seven years after his death, a landmark film for RTÉ and BBCNI, Brian Friel – Shy Man, Showman a literary legacy. In a brand new six-part series, Droichid Na hÉireann, presented by Lochlann Ó Mearáin, tells the story and history of Ireland’s beloved bridges.
2022 will see top sporting action across RTÉ channels and we start the New Year with live racing action from Gowran Park in Kilkenny followed by the Dublin Racing Festival from Leopardstown live in February.
The GAA Club Championships return with the Leinster Football final on RTÉ2 on January 8 and the first of eight GAA Hurling and Football National League Games to be shown exclusively on Saturday nights on RTÉ2 sees Dublin face Armagh on January 29.
In rugby, live URC action continues on January 8th featuring the interprovincial meeting of Munster and Ulster from Thomond Park. Against the Head will also return with highlights and analysis of all the top games.
There’s more top international rugby when RTÉ, in collaboration with Virgin Media Television, will provide Irish audiences with a fantastic serving of Six Nations action across TV, radio and online. This jam-packed schedule will showcase the agonies and ecstasies of the tournament as the Irish Men, Women and U20 rugby teams battle to become the Six Nations Rugby Champions.
Football returns to your screens with the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 ties live on RTÉ2 in February and March while the SSE Airtricity League Premier Division also kicks-off in February with live games throughout the season.
New content for 2022 on RTÉ Player includes The Talk, starting on January 18th and from January 24th weekly on RTÉ2. An RTÉ Player Original, The Talk is and open and honest conversation about real life issues like racism, body image, IVF and Surrogacy.
A series of short but essential Women’s Health Guides will be available to watch in March to coincide with International Women’s Day, presented by Dr Monica Peres Oikeh. For St Patrick’s Day, Our Land – a follow up to This Land – is a three-part documentary series that explores the changes within Irish identity, focusing on Asian, Black, Eastern European and Traveller communities. And there will lots more Player Originals coming soon in dating and travel and comedy.
Cosy up with box sets on RTÉ Player with Cillian Murphy and the Peaky Blinders series 1-4 box set or binge on US drama Friday Night Lights. Check out classic comedy with every single episode available of Father Ted, Frasier and Community. The noughties revival is here with every episode of Skins, The O.C., Gossip Girl and Pretty Little Liars. And why not re-watch season 1 of Smother before the new series starts on RTÉ One? See Notes to the Editor for further information on box sets.
Over on RTÉ Radio 1, from New Year’s Day, the number may have changed but the Liveline is still open. Listeners can still Talk to Joe on the new number 0818 715 815. Liveline continues to capture the hearts and reflect the views of the nation weekdays from 1.45pm on RTÉ Radio 1. On New Year’s Day at noon a one off documentary If This Is Rock And Roll, I Want My Old Job Back sees broadcaster Anne Marie Kelly meet the original Saw Doctors members. They discuss the inception and legacy of their debut album 30 years on.In a new 6-part series starting 9th January, Supercharged with Anna Geary is for active and inactive adults in Ireland. It is an all-inclusive community that will address health and wellbeing in the current climate (and react to its ever-changing status). It will debunk ‘health’ myths, but mostly it will provide tangible and attainable advice for everyone.
2FM Rising is back for a 4th year and launches on January 17th. The initiative continues to endeavour to support chosen Irish artists and music on their journey in a number of ways across RTÉ platforms including on-air, online, digital/ social, live events and ancillary projects. The project aims to give promotional support via RTE’s platforms as well as developmental tools such as talks/ seminars and industry contacts to the artists chosen in order to augment their professional capacity and career momentum. Some of the alumni from 2FM Rising in recent years are Fontaines DC, Denise Chaila, Dermot Kennedy, Jafairs, Lyra, Pillow Queens, Wild Youth, JC Stewart, The Murder Capital, For Those I Love, Monjola and Gemma Dunleavy.
The RTÉ Choice Music Prize will return in 2022 and continues its principal role in championing Irish music. The RTÉ Choice Music Prize Event will be celebrated in an exclusive live broadcast on RTÉ 2FM, along with a TV-special on RTÉ2 later that month.
Traditional musician Liam Ó Maonlaí will present the new series, Cuan an Cheoil on RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta starting on January 20th. Each week, Liam will be joined by a guest for a relaxed conversation about music and musicianship, as they will play a few tunes. The guestlist is drawn from some of the top trad and folk musicians in the country, including Mairéad Ní Mhaonaigh, Colm Mac Con Iomaire, Rónán Ó Snodaigh, Mary Bergin and Peadar Ó Riada. The ten-part series is produced by Stiúideo Cuan and funded by the BAI.
Other popular series returning to our screens in 2022 include nature favourites Eco Eye and Ear to the Ground, and cookery favourite Neven Maguire returns with Neven’s Irish Seafood Trails.