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RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra LIVE Postponement of concerts on Friday 22nd and Friday 29th January 

In light of the ongoing situation with regards to Covid-19 and considering the latest public health advice, RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra LIVE performances on Friday 22nd and Friday 29th January at the National Concert Hall have also been postponed.

Decisions regarding RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra performances beyond these dates will be reviewed in line with government guidelines and public health advice.

RTÉ Launches Eye On Nature, A New Wildlife Photography Competition

Cash prize for winner, plus finalists exhibited at Botanic Gardens


RTÉ has joined forces with The National Botanic Gardens to launch an exciting new wildlife photographic competition, ‘Eye On Nature’.

The overall winner will receive a cash prize of €1000 and the 12 finalists’ photographs will be exhibited at The Botanic Gardens from mid-March. The finalists will also receive an annual family pass to all OPW attractions.

So if you’ve snapped a beautiful butterfly, a delightful deer or a fantastic fox in 2020 you could be in with a chance of winning.

The opening date for ‘Eye on Nature’ is today, Monday 11 January, and people have until Friday 5 February to submit their entries to, where full details are available plus terms and conditions and photography requirements (largest resolution possible, please)

The finalists and winners will be chosen by a panel of three judges: award-winning wildlife and nature photographer Sheena Jolley, Niall Hatch from Birdwatch Ireland and Dr Matthew Jebb, Director of The National Botanic Gardens.

The competition and lots of great nature and wildlife content will be featured on RTÉ’s Today Show, Radio 1’s Mooney Goes Wild and from now until March.  The finalists and overall winner of ‘Eye on Nature’ will be announced live on a special edition of The Today Show from The Botanic Gardens in March.

Presenter Derek Mooney said: “It is said that a picture is worth a thousand words. Nowhere is this truer than in the art of wildlife photography. Sometimes pictures can make us feel like we are riding on an emotional rollercoaster. They can make us feel happy or sad, even outraged but most of all they make us curious. As a species, humans are curious, we want to know what lead to that moment captured in the photograph. Sometimes, we want to be part of the action but mostly we are content to just enjoy the spectacle. Have you ever seen a Robin puff up its feathers in order to keep warm on a really cold day? Young fox cubs playing together in the park? The perfect heart shape that Mute swans make when they bow to each other during the courtship ritual? I’ll bet you’re curious to see them now.’ 


RTÉ Have Announced The Appointment Of Richard Downes As Editor Of Flagship Current Affairs Programme Prime Time

RTÉ have announced the appointment of Richard Downes as Editor of flagship current affairs programme Prime Time.

Richard Downes has been a reporter with the Prime Time team since 2014. Prior to this he was RTÉ’s Washington Correspondent. Richard joined RTÉ in 1999 after 10 years of working as a foreign correspondent for the BBC in war zones and developing countries. During his time at RTÉ, he has also spent time presenting Morning Ireland on RTÉ Radio 1 and working as a correspondent in the Middle East and Africa. Most recently Richard reported on the US Presidential Election from Washington across RTÉ and has also stood in as a presenter on Prime Time.

Announcing the new appointment, Managing Editor, Current Affairs RTÉ David Nally said: “Richard will bring all of his considerable energy, ideas and talents to this very central role in RTE’s News and Current Affairs output. Working with Deputy Editor, Paul Tanney and a dedicated team of first rate journalists, production staff and crew, he will be responsible for harnessing those talents to ensure that Prime Time is fully attuned to the needs of today’s viewership.  That means putting what our audiences want first and working every day to show them that Prime Time is on their side in cutting through spin, diversion and fake news and pointing them towards the truth in an increasingly complex world.”

Commenting on his appointment, Richard Downes said: ” I’m delighted to be taking over as editor of Ireland’s premier journalism-driven current affairs television programme. Audiences are looking for quality content from a team of highly experienced and committed reporters and producers. They have turned to us in large numbers during this pandemic and our aim is to continuously improve in order to serve them. Our commitment is to bring our best journalism for the benefit of our viewers on tv and our followers online and to innovate and change in order to stay at the cutting edge of public affairs in Ireland.”

Richard is from Raheny in Dublin and left to pursue a journalism career in London during the 1980s where he worked for the Press Association, Reuters and then the Financial Times. He is married with two children and lives on the northside of Dublin. He has written two books, one a financial textbook (Japanese Equity Warrants, 1987) and the other a memoir of life in Iraq, called, In Search of Iraq, published in Ireland and the U.S. in 2007

The appointment was made following an internal competition. Richard will commence his new role from 22 January.

RTÉ Commissions 12 Original Short Stories On The Theme Of Independence To Mark Ireland’s Decade of Centenaries

Anne Enright, Neil Jordan and Kevin Barry among contributors to the series  

Academy Award Nominee Saoirse Ronan to read Sue Rainsford’s story ‘Shorn’ 

In a landmark contribution to the Decade of Commemorations, RTÉ Radio 1 has commissioned a series of 12 half hour stories from the finest writers associated with Ireland and the short story for a radio and podcast series. Spoken Stories Independence starts Sunday 10 January at 7pm on RTÉ Radio 1.

Among the writers are Dublin Literary Prize winners, a Booker Prize winner, an IFTA award winner, an Oscar winning writer, authors whose work has been awarded Irish short story of the Year, as well as numerous other international awards and short-listings, along with major national and international publishing contracts. Their stories originate from a consideration of Independence, a hundred years after Ireland’s War for Independence and illustrate how an idea or concept can be so variously and entertainingly interpreted while collectively shed light on us and our times. The commissions are shared across geographies, genders, those whose first language is neither English nor Irish as well as an Irish language writer.

Anne Enright, Roisín O’Donnell, Eoghan Mac Giolla Bhríde, Yan Ge, Kevin Barry, Danielle McLaughlin, Wendy Erskine, Sue Rainsford, Mary Costello, Colin Barrett, Mike McCormack and Neil Jordan have written stories on the theme of ‘Independence’ for the radio and podcast series.

The stories will be voiced either by their authors or by actors. Four-time Oscar nominee Saoirse Ronan reads Sue Rainsford’s story ‘Shorn’ which will be broadcast on Sunday 31st January.

The Spoken Stories concept and this series was originated by Clíodhna Ní Anluain, who is also its producer. She said: “New fiction is such a dynamic strand of contemporary Irish cultural expression. Spoken Stories is a brand-new concept for short fiction to be commissioned and produced under a common theme or thread, and through which the listener is treated to readings of them by their authors or by invited actors, cast to best serve the stories and audiences.” 

Spoken Stories Independence is being made with support from the BAI and RTÉ.

All stories can be enjoyed by audiences on their first broadcasts from 7-7.30pm starting on Sunday 10 January 2021 and running through until Sunday 28 March 2020 on RTÉ Radio 1. This scheduling allows for the story An Authentic Conversation by Yan Ge to be broadcast during Chinese New Year. A commission for a version in Chinese Mandarin has been given to Sally Rooney’s translator, Naomi Zhong. This will also be made available as a text and as an audio story. Snáithíní Solais by Eoghan Mac Giolla Bhríde is the Irish language story commission in the series. This story is also being translated into English and accordingly made available as a text and as an audio story, following its first radio broadcast in Irish during Seachtain na Gaeilge 2021. The 12 stories will be podcast and available on and wherever you get your podcasts.

The themes, styles, timelines, locations, as well as the voices of the stories are as varied as the writers involved.  The spread of years figuring in the stories literally spans across a hundred years from 1938 to 2038.

RTÉ Announces Significant Range Of New Educational Programmes And Resources Across TV, Radio And Online

RTÉ renews commitment to support young people and parents during restrictions

RTÉ will air a range of programmes across RTÉ television, RTÉ Player, RTÉ Radio 1, 2FM, and RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta, as well as additional resources on RTÉ.ie, to meet the needs of all school-going children, including Junior Cert and Leaving Cert students, and parents.

Dee Forbes, Director-General, says: “We are pleased to expand RTÉ’s educational programming for children and students as they continue to learn remotely. Our aim is to assist parents, children and educators by ensuring that all children and students can access curriculum-based learning, and complementary content, through our broadcasts and digital channels. We will also be offering opportunities to hear from parents, educators and students on Radio1 and 2FM with new slots and shows in the weeks ahead.”

Next Monday, January 11, RTÉ’s Home School Hub and After School Hub will make a return to RTÉ2 and RTÉ Player, delivering three hours of television daily, with a mix of new material and previously aired shows, offering a helping hand to parents. Young viewers can find John, Ray, Cliona, Seamus and all the gang on RTÉ2 between 10am and noon, with their fun and interactive curriculum-based learning, which was warmly received when it first aired last March. At 3.20pm daily After School Hub will re-show its daily activities, ranging from music lessons to science experiments, dance classes, art and crafts, and books and culture. All corresponding worksheets, podcasts and third-party content will be housed on and can be watched back on the RTÉ Player. An Irish Sign Language version of the programme will air on RTÉjr on weekdays at 1pm and an ISL programme, After School Hub Best Bits, airs on Saturday and Sundays at 6.05pm on RTÉjr from 16 January. All ISL versions of Home School Hub are also available on RTÉ Player.

On RTÉ2’s news2day at 4.20pm, younger viewers can continue to be informed about the news of interest to them, presented in a friendly and accessible format by Aisling Moloney and Mícheál Ó Scannáíl.

Next Tuesday, 2fm is starting new multi-platform programme series called LC 21 with Carl Mullan, which will run Monday to Thursday from 7pm to 8pm for three weeks. The show will create a community for students and will deal with study planning, with advice on looking after themselves over the next few months, and how to focus on what they can control. Full of brilliant contributors, experiments, craic, and great music, the show will also be available wherever you listen to your podcasts or On Demand audio.

On RTÉ Radio 1’s Drivetime, each Tuesday and Wednesday at 6.30pm, Evelyn O’Rourke will present the Drivetime Study Hub, an interactive half-hour of advice and support for second-level students, especially those preparing for the State Examinations.  Along with advice on planning, study tips and online resources, Study Hub will feature some of the country’s best teachers, taking students step-by-step through the key Leaving Certificate subjects and exam papers.  Study Hub will also reflect the opinions and concerns of students, and Evelyn will be keeping a sharp eye out for all the latest news and developments, as the class of 2021 face into another disrupted exam season.

On RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta there will be a regular slot on Tús Áite each week when Fachtna Ó Drisceoil will speak to various guests about the challenges they are facing at the moment and how they are dealing with home schooling.  Parents and young people at home will get tips and advice that they can use and they will have the opportunity to get in touch with the programme and share their experiences and ask questions they may have.  Other programmes across the service will also provide more information to help support young people and parents during these tough times.

On 12 January the all-new DreamSpace TV for secondary schools starts on RTÉ.ie/learn. With six episodes, aimed at students aged 12-18, it brings students on a STEAM (Science-Technology-Engineering-Arts-Maths) learning journey with a focus on computational thinking, creativity and problem-solving leading students towards entry into the micro:bit educational foundation’s global challenge, and hopefully winning the title for Ireland! Many other DreamSpace coding challenges for primary students are also available at RTÉ.ie/learn.

RTÉ is also extending its digital art competition, This is Art, in partnership with Creative Ireland.  The initiative is open to all children and young people aged 0 – 18 years of age. The new closing date is January 31st and all details can be found here

For older students, RTÉ is making available a range of on-line teaching modules and work-sheets for the Junior Cycle syllabus, devised and produced in association and partnership with Junior Cycle Teachers. The subjects covered, as part of an on-going BAI/JCT/RTÉ initiative are: History, Religious Education, Gaeilge, English, Geography, Business Studies, CSPE, SPHE and Digital Media.

RTÉ2 will be airing the following Shakespeare productions during Sundays in January:

For Leaving Cert Students: The Tempest (Leaving Cert 2021); King Lear (Leaving Cert 2021); Othello (Leaving Cert 2022)

For Junior Cert Students: A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Junior Cert 2021 and 2022); As You Like It (Junior Cert 2021 and 2022); Much Ado About Nothing (Junior Cert 2021 and 2022); Julius Caesar (Junior Cert 2021 and 2022); Romeo and Juliet (Junior Cert 2021 and 2022)

RTÉjr continues to be home to a range of fun and educational shows available for younger viewers: The Body Brothers use song and dance to explore how the human body and animal bodies work, with the help of their inventor friend Auntie B; Let’s Find Out has fun experiments for curious children, with Zoom and her Crew; on Tir na Nog, join Niamh, Oisín and friends as they discover nature and the world around them through games, challenges, songs and adventures; join the Wildlife Warriors on Wild Kids as they explore different Habitats up and down the country, from the coast to the city, discovering the plants, animals, bugs, birds and bees that live around us; and on Critters TV, the animals of the forest gather around to watch their favourite show.

Watch for further updates around education content and initiatives over the coming months.

—-Further details about Shakespeare productions:

Leaving Cert: The Tempest Leaving Cert 2021 (1978 with Andrew Sachs); King Lear Leaving Cert 2021 (1982 with Brenda Blethyn, Michael Hordern); Othello Leaving Cert 2022 (1981 with Anthony Hopkins, Bob Hoskins and Penelope Wilton)

Junior Cert: A Midsummer Night’s Dream Junior Cert 2021 and 2022 (2016 with Bernard Crippons, John Hannah and Matt Lucas); As You Like It Junior Cert 2021 and 2022 (1978 with Helen Mirren); Much Ado About Nothing Junior Cert 2021 and 2022 (1984 with Charie Lunghi and Jon Finch); Julius Caesar Junior Cert 2021 and 2022 (1979 with Charles Grey); Romeo and Juliet Junior Cert 2021 and 2022 (1978 with Alan Rickman, Anthony Andrews and Rebecca Saire)

—More information about DreamSpace and STEAM:

New Nativity Short Film Celebrating Cork Places And Faces To Air On RTÉ This Christmas

Watch preview here:

Cork-based production company Bo Media have teamed up with RTÉ this Christmas to create a unique short film, celebrating the people and places of Cork in all their rich diversity.

In The Cork Nativity, people from all walks of Cork life give voice to the Christmas story, bringing the ancient Gospel words to life in a contemporary setting.

The five-minute film features some of the Rebel County’s best and brightest, including the inspirational Caitriona Twomey and her amazing team at Cork Penny Dinners, Crosshaven’s RNLI, the crew of Midleton Fire Station and the fun-loving kids of the Rebel Wheelers. Another special contributor to the film is Late Late Toy Show star, Adam King, who stole the hearts of the nation with his wonderful personality, his virtual hugs and his passion for space exploration.

Some of the county’s best known landmarks also feature in the film, including the Shandon Bells, St Colman’s Cathedral, Cobh, and the magical Christmas lights of Midleton.

The Cork Nativity, a story of hope and peace for Christmas, airs on Christmas Eve (Thursday 24th December) at 8:00pm and Christmas Day at 9:55am on RTÉ One.

RTÉ Announce Lesley Roy As Ireland’s Artist For Eurovision In Rotterdam Next May

This year’s Eurovision in The Netherlands may not have happened, but Eurovision organisers are determined to make up for it in 2021.  Due to the ongoing pandemic, the Eurovision was cancelled for the first time in its 65-year history, disappointing hundreds of millions of fans worldwide, meaning Irish-born New York resident Lesley didn’t get the chance to compete with her uplifting pop tune, Story of My Life.

Lesley has spent the past three months in studio working on a new song to represent Ireland with, and Ireland’s Eurovision 2020 song has now been chosen and will be revealed in the New Year. The song was written and produced by Lesley, along with Eurovision producer Lukas Hallgren (She Got Me – 4th place ESC 2019), Philip Strand producer/songwriter Normandie, Deepend, and Emelie Eriksson (known as EEVA ) a Stockholm-based songwriter at Baggpipe Studios.

Lesley Roy said: “It was a real shame we didn’t get to showcase Story of My Life on the Eurovision stage, but had the show not been cancelled, then this new song would never have emerged. I’ve been working on new material 24/7 and this song was clearly the strongest out of all of the demos. I believe that it is even bigger than Story of My Life, and will reach an even wider audience. I am just so excited to finally get my shot on the Eurovision stage after months and months of work and can’t wait to reveal more information about our song in the New Year.”

Michael Kealy, Head of the Ireland Delegation for Eurovision 2021, said: “We were all very excited about bringing Lesley and Story of My Life to Rotterdam this year so it was a real shame that it wasn’t to be. However, Lesley’s new song is every bit as catchy as the last one and I can’t wait for her to perform it in Rotterdam next May to the biggest live music audience on the planet”. 

Details of the song and the first airplay will happen at a date to be announced early in the New Year. Ireland will perform in the first semi-final at the upcoming Eurovision Song Contest on Tuesday, May 18th at the Rotterdam Ahoy Arena with the final taking place on Saturday, May 22nd.

About Lesley Roy 

Lesley Roy is a singer/songwriter from Balbriggan Co. Dublin, who splits her time between her home in the East Village in NYC and Ireland. Lesley released her debut album, Unbeautiful, in 2008 on Jive/Sony Records, which was executive produced by Max Martin. As a songwriter, Lesley’s career has been prolific, lending her talents to numbers performed by artists including Adam Lambert, Miss Montreal, Medina, Jana Kramer, Marlee Scott, and Deorro. A lifelong fan of Eurovision, Lesley Roy said that finally getting to represent Ireland with a song she worked extremely hard on has meant that one of her lifetime ambitions has been fulfilled.

“I’m very lucky that I am from the era of Niamh Kavanagh, Paul Harrington, Eimear Quinn, Riverdance years,” Lesley said.

“I feel like the back-to-back years watching it live from the Point Depot with Gerry Ryan hosting and the explosion of Riverdance left a very deep impression on me as a kid. I definitely made a mental note that this is something I would love to do for Ireland when I grew up. I think I have a very high standard of what a Eurovision song should be because of those memories and that definitely informed the type of song I would send.” 

Further details will be announced in early 2021 and interview opportunities will be available then.

About Eurovision 2021 

The Eurovision Song Contest 2021 will be the 65th edition of the Eurovision Song Contest. The contest will take place in Rotterdam, Netherlands, following the country’s victory at the 2019 contest in Tel Aviv, Israel, with the song, Arcade, performed by Duncan Laurence. The 2020 contest was cancelled in March for the first time in Eurovision’s 65-year history due to the ongoing COVID pandemic. Organisers are determined that the contest will proceed as normally as possible in 2021 with strict anti-COVID protocols in place before and during the events.

Ireland still holds the record for most Eurovision wins, with a tally of seven victories at the contest. Ireland first entered the Eurovision Song Contest in 1965. Ireland famously won 4 out of 5 contests in the 1990s and became the first country to win 3 times in a row.

Ireland’s Eurovision Winners

– Dana All Kinds of Everything -1970

– Johnny Logan What’s Another Year -1980

– Johnny Logan Hold Me Now – 1987

– Linda Martin Why Me? -1992

– Niamh Kavanagh In Your Eyes -1993

– Paul Harrington and Charlie McGettigan Rock n Roll Kids -1994

– Eimear Quinn The Voice -1996

Artists Unite to Shine Their Light for Solstice

WATCH our promo here.

An incredible roll-call of Ireland’s finest artists are uniting to celebrate the winter solstice with RTÉ TV and radio specials this Sunday, 20 December.

This point of the year has always captured our imaginations, symbolising new beginnings and a turning of faces to the sun. On the eve of the solstice, a joyful half-hour TV special full of colour, music and movement opens with a dance spectacular delivering a thrilling contemporary take on an ancient theme.

The exhilarating fusions continue with Damien Dempsey and Erica Cody each performing with Crash Ensemble, and Sharon Shannon and a bodhrán band coming together with the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra for a tune. New writing includes an exploration of solstice by Marina Carr and Manchán Magan’s testament to the power of human touch.

There will a memorable moment from Clannad – and just announced, the national treasure that is Christy Moore joins the line-up to mark this rounding of the corner towards brighter days. (Shine Your Light – Solstice, RTÉ One, 8.30–9pm.)

Artists joining Ruth Smith for a magical hour on RTÉ Radio 1 include Lisa Hannigan, Saint Sister, Jafaris, Stephen James Smith, DJ Kormac, Dana Masters, the RTÉ Concert Orchestra and more. (Shine Your Light – Solstice, RTÉ Radio 1, 8.30–9.30pm.)

Threaded throughout is the theme of lighting up – artists, people and buildings around Ireland and around the world shining a light, and six spectacular projection installations by Irish artists lighting up around the country. RTÉ and the Creative Ireland Programme are inviting people to join in on the night. Whether it be a candle, lantern, torch or Christmas lights, you can shine a light in your window, on your doorstep or within your community to mark new beginnings.

Presented by RTÉ and the Creative Ireland Programme.

RTÉ Player Launches Love Is In The Air – Socially Distanced Singles Take Dating Offline And Into The Great Outdoors

RTÉ has today announced a brand new RTÉ Player Original series, Love is in the Air landing on Sunday December 13th. Six couples take their first dates outside in this new socially distanced dating format with locations including the Phoenix Park, Dun Laoghaire Pier and Lough Key Forest and Activity Park in Roscommon, showcasing the beauty of Ireland and the reality of dating outdoors in Irish weather – expect inside out brollies and muddy falls (thank you Covid!).

Tired of Tinder and swiping left and right, Covid 19 has introduced a brand-new way of dating to the twenty somethings of Ireland no longer able to meet for a drink in the pub, this is a heart-warming series that confirms it is always worth looking for love in the great outdoors!

While we have been living in a bubble these past few weeks; our daters don their hats, coats, and gloves – it is Winter after all – and get to know each other with a cycle by the sea, painting in the woods and plenty more. Will it be love overboard or picture perfect?

All six Love is in the Air episodes will be available to stream on RTÉ Player from the 13th December.

Operation Transformation is back and the search is on for new Leaders

Presented by Kathryn Thomas, the 14th series Operation Transformation will return to RTÉ One television in January 2021.

The nationwide search for the five new Operation Transformation Leaders is on.  Are you ready for change?  Do you think you have what it takes to lead the nation into 2021? Then we want to hear from you.

Returning to set the health and wellness plan for the new leaders is fitness coach Karl Henry; principal clinical psychologist Dr Eddie Murphy; dietitian Aoife Hearne and general practitioner Dr Sumi Dunne.

We can all agree that 2020 has been a year like no other.  Since the arrival of Covid-19 to Ireland at the end February, we are all still trying to find ways of getting and staying healthier in body and mind while living with restrictions.

Have you always struggled with your weight? Are you struggling more since the arrival Covid-19? Are those extra stones and pounds keeping you from leading the life you want? Do you want to make your bad habits a thing of the past?

If you are ready to make the change then apply now at or for more information email the casting team at

In accordance with Government and HSE Covid-19 guidelines all production team and crew members are committed to personal safety for the duration of the production.  We will abide by all Government and HSE guidelines with regards to Covid-19 restrictions and guidelines throughout the production.

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