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Irish Content on RTÉ continues to lead Top 50 Most Watched Programmes in Ireland

Throughout the highs and lows of 2021, there was one for everyone in the audience as Irish viewers watched over 3.7 billion hours of TV and continued to choose Irish content above all else available.

RTÉ was home to 44 of the 50 most watched TV programmes in 2021, as audiences turned to RTÉ in their droves for its unique offering of live sport, entertainment, trusted news, local Irish drama as well as, gripping factual programmes and documentaries.

The average Irish adult in a TV home, watched TV for 2 hours 47 mins every day, almost 20 hours a week in 2021.

As audience viewing and listening evolves, RTÉ continues to offer a range of platforms for Irish people to watch and listen to content, when and how they want. Tam Ireland research confirms that Irish audiences spend twice as much time on broadcaster content than any other form of content, including content from international streaming services such as Netflix and Amazon.

RTÉ Player continues to grow its on-demand content offering of boxsets and curated catalogue and saw a substantial 48% increase in time spent streaming in 2021 compared to the previous year. Over 67 million streams were accessed subscription free on RTÉ Player last year.

As live TV remains king, The Late Late Toy Show retained the crown at the top of the Irish TV viewing chart with over 1.7 million viewers and an impressive €6.6million raised for good causes on the night of The Lion King themed show.

2021 was a bumper year for Ireland as a nation of sports fans, with seven of the top ten most watched programmes all free-to-air sport. The All-Ireland Football Final  Tyrone V Mayo on RTÉ2 was the second most watched programme overall, while nearly a million streams of The Saturday Game / The Sunday Game Live were watched on the RTÉ Player during the year.

RTÉ Sport’s coverage of UEFA Euro 2020 also scored big with Irish fans as 2.5 million streams from the action-packed tournament were streamed on the RTÉ Player, and the final of Italy v England attracting 941,000 viewers on RTÉ2, making it the third most watched TV programme of the year.

Irish drama proved a huge draw for audience in 2021 as viewers turned to RTÉ’s unique offering of the best of local TV writing, acting, and producing. Hit crime drama Kin proved the top favourite among viewers of all TV dramas in 2021, with 687,000 viewers watching on RTÉ One, and a phenomenal 2.5 million streams on RTÉ Player. The gripping opening episode was also the most watched programme on the RTÉ Player across 2021 with over 515,000 streams alone.

RTÉ One on Sunday nights became the must-watch home of new Irish drama in 2021 with Hidden Assets (537,000 viewers) and Smother (481,000) also both featuring among the Top 50 most watched programmes. While audiences continued their love for RTÉ local drama from Carrigstown with Fair City, as it was streamed over 3.3 million times on the RTÉ Player last year.

2021 saw Irish audiences come together for pivotal TV moments across RTÉ, generating a real sense of community and collective watching with programmes such as The Late Late Show (695,000), the new series of Reeling in the Years (654,000), Ireland’s Fittest Family (604,000), The Tommy Tiernan Show (546,000) and Operation Transformation (496,000).

The public continued to choose RTÉ for trusted News & Current Affairs in 2021 with the most watched news programme of the year on any channel being the RTÉ Six One News on 5th January with 798,000 viewers watching, as the government considered closing schools for the month of January due to Covid-19, while 7th January saw 689,000 viewers watch the biggest rated RTÉ Nine O’Clock News as the government reversed the decision for Leaving Cert students return to school and US President Biden addressed the storming of Capitol Hill. The two evening bulletins collectively also generated over four million streams on the RTÉ Player throughout the year as people sought to be informed when and where suited them best.

Our interest as a nation, in current affairs and factual content was clearly evident with RTÉ programmes The Case I Can’t Forget (No. 28), Let the Rest of World Go Bye telling the story of two elderly male best friends marrying (No.30), RTÉ Investigates: Stuck in the Rough revealing the plight of rough homeless sleepers (No.31), Dr Cassidy’s Casebook from the former state pathologist (No.36), Prime Time (No. 42) and Marian recounting the life of broadcaster Marian Finucane (No. 48) all featuring among the Top 50 programmes.

RTÉ licensing of international content which was made available free-to-air also appealed hugely to the public. The broadcast of Oprah with Meghan and Harry was watched by 837,000 on RTÉ2, making it the sixth most watched programme of the year, and generated over 269,000 streams on the RTÉ Player. While drama series’ including Home and Away (4.9m), Eastenders (3.5m), and box sets of Line of Duty (2.5m), and The Good Wife (1.1m) all generated millions of streams on the RTÉ Player.

RTÉ also offered audiences of all ages the chance to enjoy nostalgic programmes or discover classics for the first time as The Man Who Came Around: Johnny Cash in Ireland documentary on RTÉ One (No. 49), They Way We Were (No.50) and enjoying entertaining boxset bingeing with Love/Hate (1.7m) and Frasier (1m) both streaming over a million times on the RTÉ Player.

In 2021, Irish audiences spent twice as much time consuming broadcaster content than any other form of content including content from international streaming services.

Operation Transformation, the GAA and Get Ireland Walking team up to light up the Nation for ‘Ireland Lights up’

The GAA’s popular Ireland Lights Up walking initiative returns, beginning tomorrow night, Wednesday 12 January, in partnership with RTE’s Operation Transformation and Get Ireland Walking. Operation Transformation prides itself on bringing communities together and getting them up and out in order to improve both their physical and mental health. The programme has evolved considerably over the years, and this initiative will be launched tomorrow night at 9.35pm on RTÉ One as part of its holistic approach to adopting and maintaining a healthy lifestyle as well as losing weight.

Ireland Lights Up encourages GAA clubs across the 32 counties to turn on their floodlights and open their walking tracks to enable their local communities to come together to walk and talk in a safe environment during the long dark evenings of winter. As ever, Operation Transformation will shine a light on this great initiative by showcasing each week on the show GAA clubs that are participating in Ireland Lights Up.

With over 500 GAA clubs already signed-up, participating clubs will be asked open their gates on any or all evenings for the duration of the campaign from tomorrow, Wednesday 12th January, to Wednesday 2nd March 2022.

Get Ireland Walking is a national initiative of Sport Ireland, funded by Healthy Ireland, supported by Mountaineering Ireland, Irish Heart, HSE Health Promotion and Improvement, Age and Opportunity, the GAA, Ireland Active, Arthritis Ireland and others that aims to maximise the number of people participating in walking – for health, wellbeing, and fitness – throughout Ireland.

Operation Transformation 2022

Operation Transformation returned to screens on Wednesday 5th January on RTÉ One. Five brand new leaders from all over the country are taking on a health and wellness plan with the aim of resetting and kick starting a new chapter in their lives. Presented by Kathryn Thomas, she will be on hand to encourage the leaders every step of the way.

Over the course of eight weeks the audience will see what transformation means to each leader. All of them are looking to the experts for guidance and information that can help them to begin and sustain a healthy lifestyle. Some are seeking work/life balance, while others want to find the energy to keep up with their kids. No matter what their motivation the five leaders are here to inspire the nation to find their own transformation and start the year as they mean to go on.

Devising the health and wellness plan and guiding the new leaders are fitness coach Karl Henry, principal clinical psychologist Dr. Eddie Murphy, dietitian Aoife Hearne, and general practitioner Dr. Sumi Dunne.

The five leaders began their transformation back in November when they were fully assessed by the experts. They also underwent the minimum fitness test with Prof Niall Moyna of DCU and his team. All the information from this stage will assist the experts in charting the safest way for each leader to become healthier.

Operation Transformation is delighted to announce that this year it will be based in Mullagh in Co Cavan. Each week the leaders will meet the experts here as they chart their weekly progress. In partnership with Cavan County Council, the county will host the weekly ad break challenges where Karl Henry gets a group of Cavan people moving as well as the audience at home.

During the series Dr Eddie Murphy will also highlight some useful tips to help with mental wellness. As we all navigate our way through these difficult times Eddie will offer simple, practical advice that we can all use in our everyday lives.

Also back for 2022, is Ireland Lights Up. This popular initiative by the GAA encourages clubs from the 32 counties to open their grounds and allow people to safely walk under their lights with public health advice adhered to at all times. After a tough couple of years, the GAA and Get Ireland Walking are delighted to invite communities back into the safe outdoor spaces where everyone can get moving at their own pace.

RTÉ and Operation Transformation are delighted that Healthy Ireland will sponsor the series again this year.

Having had to postpone some outdoor events last year, Sport Ireland, The Local Sports Partnerships and Operation Transformation are happy to say they will again work to bring communities safely together for events. They aim to bring Nationwide Walks back on 16th January 2022 as well as the 5K in The Phoenix Park.

This year Operation Transformation will encourage the leaders and the nation to improve their wellbeing and look after themselves now and in the months ahead.

Audiences turn to RTÉ to beat the January blues with high ratings across Entertainment, Drama, Sport and History

RTÉ’s packed first weekend schedule of 2022 proved to be a big hit in the ratings, with a something for everyone in the audience. There was glitz and glamour courtesy of Dancing with the Stars, compelling drama on Smother and Fair City, unmissable sporting action in GAA and URC, history brought to life on Treaty Live, the return of the much-loved Tommy Tiernan Show with more insightful conversations of the heart, and an outpouring of love from Charlie Bird’s friends and walking buddies ahead of his big climb this spring.

Treaty Live drew 258,000 (22% share) viewers on Friday night as David McCullagh, Sinead O’Carroll and panel broadcast as live the unfolding of events 100 years ago to the day after a month of impassioned debates members of the 2nd Dáil voted on whether or not to ratify the The Anglo-Irish Treaty. With live satellite links and detailed explainers Treaty Live brought this historical event back to life through contemporary retelling. 

The Late Late Show’s first show of 2022 kicked off with a bang as host Ryan Tubridy welcomed back RTÉ stalwart Charlie Bird and friends including Vicky Phelan, Baz Ashmawy, Karl Henry to name a few as they prepare to embark on their ‘Climb with Charlie’ later this spring. Bosco popped in for a catch up with Ryan while comedian Jason Byrne gave us a laugh through his trials and tribulations of the last year. Viewers tuned in, in their droves on Friday night as The Late Late Show was watched by 492,800 and scored 43% share of the audience.

Saturday evening saw a live sporting double-header on RTÉ2. First up was the Leinster Club Football Final on Saturday GAA Live as Dublin’s Kilmacud Crokes beat Naas from Kildare, watched by an average of 106,000 and a 12% share of those watching TV at the time. URC Live later on Saturday was seen by an average of 215,000 viewers with an 18% share as Munster edged out Ulster.

The Tommy Tiernan Show returned to Saturday nights on RTÉ One for its sixth season. 458,000 viewers (39% share) watched as Tommy’s guests included former State pathologist Dr Marie Cassidy, Broadway star Kieran Donnelly, former boxer Barry McGuigan with music by Ye Vagabonds.  Over the next several weeks, Tommy will meet a variety of guests, unaware of who he will be faced with until they join him on stage.

Dancing with the Stars made its eagerly anticipated return to screens for series five, with six celebrity dancers including Nina Carberry, Gráinne Seoige, and Neil Delamere taking to the stage on Sunday evening. The series is hosted by Jennifer Zamparelli and Nicky Byrne, with judges Loraine Barry, Brian Redmond, and Arthur Gourounlian and 525,000 (40% share). Six new celebrities will take to the stage next Sunday on RTÉ One in a bid to impress those in studio and at home with their skills on the dancefloor.

462,000 (34%) viewers tuned into Fair City last night as fan favourite Cristiano gave a fond fair well to Carrigstown as he chose to follow his heart with new love Patrick while Alex, excited for his future, takes over the running of Brewzers.  From this week, Fair City will now broadcast three nights a week on RTÉ One, Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday.

331,900 viewers, 30% share (A further 47,000 viewers (6% share) watched on RTÉ One +1) tuned in to see the latest chapter in the Ahern family drama unfold in series 2 of Smother last night. Still picking up the pieces after Denis’ death and the cover up that followed, Val Ahern’s world was rocked once again when Denis’ estranged son Finn arrived on her doorstep. Finn’s existence is an unwelcome surprise for the family and his appearance coincides with what seems to be an orchestrated campaign against the family. Can Finn break up the family Val has fought so hard to protect? And just what other family secrets has Val buried along the way as she strives to protect the family name?

Dancing with the Stars returns to RTÉ One

Tonight, six couples took to the floor for the first show of the new series of the eagerly anticipated return of Dancing with the Stars on RTÉ One.

First up, it was the turn of Neil Delamere, Missy Keating, Nicolas Roche, Cathy Kelly, Nina Carberry, and Gráinne Seoige to take to the stage. Erica Cody, Aengus Mac Grianna, Matthew Mac Nabb, Ellen Keane, and Jordan Conroy are set to perform for show 2 next Sunday evening.

Kicking off the show, a selection of the pro-dancers performed a routine to Clean Bandit’s Symphony. Presenters Jennifer Zamparelli and Nicky Byrne were back at the helm, and tonight was the first show for new judge, Arthur Gourounlian, who joined the panel alongside returning judges Loraine Barry and Brian Redmond.

First to take to the stage for the new series was comedian Neil Delamere and his professional partner, Kylee Vincent. The pair hit the ground running with a paso doble performed to the music of I Believe in the Thing Called Love. 

Loraine said: “You, me, and the whole nation have been waiting for the first dance on series five of Dancing with the Stars, and what a powerful number you have. There’s a lot of power here and a lot of strength. First dance out, at the beginning of the season, I’m very impressed”
Brian said: “It wouldn’t be week one without them booing me already… The intensity is great, it just needs to be a little bit calmer, a little bit more relaxed.”

Neil and Kylee scored a total of 17 from the judges.

– Next up were Missy Keating and her partner Ervinas Merfeldas, who danced an American Smooth to Baby Love.

Arthur said: “Oh my God, that was so cute, I really enjoyed that. I can tell there’s a little chemistry forming, you are like the high school sweethearts. As a refugee, I never went to prom, so that was my prom.”

Brian said: “Taking on the lifts in week one is a real challenge, and all of the lifts independently you nailed them all. Try and make that flow a little better.”

Missy and Ervinas scored 16 from the judges.

– The third couple to take to the floor were pro-cyclist Nicolas Roche and partner, former DWTS champion, Karen Byrne, who danced a jive to Blinding Lights.

Loraine said: “To get jive, it is a tough dance but it’s also a great dance. It just needed a bit more foot pressure – keep it going with Karen and keep it going with the music – back to the floorboards on Monday…”

Brian said: “When you are out on the bike at your own, you can pedal at your own pace, when you are on a tandem, if you are out of sync, you are going nowhere. A lot of work to do technically in terms to trying to improve that dancing.”

Nicolas and Karen scored 11 from the judges.

Next up were author Cathy Kelly and pro-dancer Maurizio Benenato who danced the Cha Cha Cha to Whitney Houston’s How Will I Know?

Arthur said: “We all felt the sass in the room, honestly, that was brilliant. I have a new title for your book ‘The Girl in the Pink Dress’, welcome to your new chapter.”

Brian said: “I did love your character – your characterisation – you have got all that going on already.”

Cathy and Maurizio scored 14 from the judges.

Couple five tonight were Nina Carberry and partner Pasquale La Rocca who danced the quickstep to KT Tunstall’s Black Horse and the Cherry Tree.

Loraine said: “There is something here, I can’t quite put my finger on it yet…I’m agreeing with Arthur – I think you are the dark horse.”

Arthur said: “Oh Nina, you are definitely the dark horse of the night, that was beautiful. You said you are not girly? I completely disagree. The only thing I will say, work on your upper body…relax more, enjoy!”

Nina and Pasquale scored 19 points.

And finally, it was the turn of TV presenter Gráinne Seoige with partner John Nolan, who danced a waltz to With You I’m Born Again.

Arthur said: “This reminded me of a scene from an old french movie – think of Grace Kelly. I can tell you really enjoyed it – you could be my femme fatale.”

Dance partner John Nolan said: “I couldn’t be more proud of Grainne.”

Gráinne and John scored 14 from the judges.

There was a surprise in store for the audience as the reigning Dancing with the Stars champion Lottie Ryan made a sensational comeback with her former dance partner Pasquale La Rocca to perform their Dora the Explorer inspired salsa, which was a huge hit for the pair during the last season of the show.

Speaking before taking to the stage, Lottie said: “I’m absolutely thrilled to be back performing with Pasquale, it’s such an honour to have the opportunity to return to the ballroom – I didn’t have to be asked twice. Dora was one of our favourite routines, albeit the hardest. I’m so so grateful to be able to be back”

Viewers were also treated to a stunning contemporary pro-dance from couple Stephen and Kylee Vincent to Dermot Kennedy’s “Better Days”.

Votes from show one and show two of Dancing with the Stars will be carried over to show three, the first show where one of the dancers will be eliminated.

Dancing with the Stars is proudly sponsored by Muller Corner.

Charlie Bird with his army of volunteer climbers, Leitrim’s Seamus O’Rourke, comedian Jason Byrne, Bosco and the music of the Beatles

Don’t miss the first Late Late Show of 2022 – live from RTE Studio 4, as the iconic show prepares to mark its 60th anniversary later this year.

RTÉ stalwart Charlie Bird has been candid about his recent Motor Neuron Disease diagnosis, and tomorrow evening, Charlie will be back in studio, with Ryan Tubridy and a cast of willing volunteers to launch the inaugural “Climb with Charlie” event.  Charlie, along with Vicky Phelan, hopes to inspire thousands of Irish people to climb Croagh Patrick and other peaks around the country (and across the world!) on April 2nd next. We’ll have all the details about how you can get ready for the challenge in the twelve weeks between now and then and how to register for the Croagh Patrick event. We’ll hear from Charlie, Vicky, Mary McAleese, Davy Fitzgerald, Baz Ashmawy, Joanna Donnelly, Dr Harry Barry, Dermot Bannon, Karl Henry and many, many more who are throwing their full support behind the epic climb. Ní neart go cur le chéile, so come along and get involved at your own pace.

Leitrim actor and writer Seamus O’Rourke, beloved by Late Late Show audiences, will be giving us his inimitable take on “new year, new you”, while comedian Jason Byrne will be giving us all a laugh through his trials and tribulations of the last year.

We’ll be showcasing the magnificent music of the Beatles with stunning performances by Niamh Farrell and Somebody’s Child.

And we may even get to have a look inside Bosco‘s box…All will be revealed!

Join us Friday night, 9.35pm on RTÉ One, straight after the Nine O’Clock News.

Remaining six pairings for Dancing with the Stars revealed

RTÉ has revealed the pairings of the remaining six couples competing on the upcoming series of Dancing with the Stars, which returns to RTÉ One this Sunday, January 9th, at 6.30 pm.

– Cathy Kelly and Maurizio Benenato

Author Cathy is no stranger to topping best-seller lists with her novels, and she will be attempting to top the dancing leaderboard with her partner – newcomer Maurizio Benenato – this year on Dancing with the Stars.

– Billy McGuinness and Hannah Kelly

Aslan star Billy has been paired with newcomer Hannah Kelly from Dublin and the duo will be hoping to hit the right note with the judges and the audiences at home. Light on his feet, Billy is looking forward to taking centre stage to perform with Hannah, a new pro on the line-up, who has been dancing since the age of 3.

Matthew MacNabb and Laura Nolan

Love Island star Matthew will be hoping that his slick moves when looking for love on the Island last summer can translate to the dancefloor as he teams up with returning pro Laura Nolan  this season. Laura joined the show in 2020 when she danced with Brian Dowling.

Nina Carberry and Pasquale La Rocca

Reigning Dancing with the Stars champion Pasquale has been putting top sportswoman Nina through her paces, with the pair hoping they can gallop home with top scores when comes to the judges and viewers alike.

Neil Delamere and Kylee Vincent

Comedian Neil and returning dancer Kylee are sure to entertain when they take to the floor. Kylee was most recently teamed with Fr Ray Kelly for the last series of the show. Kylee and Neil will find themselves competing against her husband Stephen Vincent, paired with Ellen Keane.

Erica Cody and Denys Samson

Singer Erica has been paired with Dancing with the Stars newcomer Denys Samson. Denys has already competed on the Ukrainian version of the show, and has been putting dance-lover Erica through her paces in rehearsals. Viewers will soon see if they are in tune with one another!

Dancing with the Stars returns to RTÉ One at 6.30 pm, this Sunday, January 9th.

RTÉ Statement: Operation Transformation

Now in its 15th season, Operation Transformation has evolved considerably over the years and now encompasses a more holistic approach to adopting and maintaining a healthy lifestyle as well as losing weight.

In this year’s series, for example, the weekly check in (the part of the show where the Leaders meet the experts) incorporates an overall health check looking at a range of health indicators including blood pressure, cholesterol, hydration, sleep quality and psychological wellbeing. Weekly targets for the Leaders will now be set in a variety of areas. This further demonstrates the holistic nature of the series and all the areas of support and advice our health experts give to our leaders throughout.

In 2021, Healthy Ireland commissioned independent qualitative market research to evaluate the effectiveness of the programme. This confirmed, among other findings, that of those who watched the show:

  • 74% said that they had made one or more positive lifestyle changes as a result of watching the show, including 41% being more active, 33% eating healthier food and 23% looking after their mental wellbeing.
  • Over 98% of this group said that they were likely to continue with the health behaviour changes that they had made;
  • 63% of respondents stated that they have made the changes with their household or family, which demonstrates that the impact is much wider that just the one viewer but rather the entire household.

Operation Transformation prides itself on bringing communities together and getting them up and out in order to improve both their physical and mental health. In previous seasons the leaders have spoken about the long-standing positive influences this experience has given them and viewers have spoken about how the leaders inspired them to do the same.

RTÉ Choice Music Prize Irish Album of the Year 2021 – Shortlist Announcement

RTÉ Choice Music Prize
In association with IMRO and IRMA
Irish Album of the Year 2021 – Shortlist Announcement
Live in Vicar St, Dublin and an Exclusive RTÉ Broadcast – 3rd March
Tickets on sale Friday

The shortlist for this year’s RTÉ Choice Music Prize Irish Album of the Year 2021, in association with IMRO & IRMA, was announced today on RTÉ 2FM’s Tracy Clifford Show by Jim Carroll, chairman of the judging panel.

The shortlist is as follows:

Bicep – Isles (Ninja Tune)
Mick Flannery & Susan O’Neill – In the Game (Rosaleen Records / Rosa Productions)
For Those I Love – For Those I Love (September Recordings)
Orla Gartland – Woman on the Internet (New Friends Music)
HousePlants – Dry Goods (Bone China Records)
Kojaque – Town’s Dead (Soft Boy Records)
Elaine Mai – Home (Elaine Mai)
Saint Sister – Where I Should End (Saint Sister)
Soda Blonde – Small Talk (Velveteen Records)
Villagers – Fever Dreams (Domino)

Shortlist Album artwork via

As part of RTÉ’s continued commitment to promoting Irish music, RTÉ 2FM again celebrates the announcement of the shortlist across its schedule throughout the day with All Irish Music All Day from 6am to midnight.

Commenting, Adam Fogarty, Head of Music, RTÉ 2FM, said “The sheer quality of this year’s RTÉ Choice Music Prize shortlist highlights the incredible standards now being reached routinely by musicians and artists in Ireland across a range of genres. While it has been an extremely challenging year for the music industry, so many Irish artists, not just those who have made the shortlist, have used this time, much of it in the absence of live shows, to produce some incredible music.”

The Irish Album of the Year 2021 will be announced live from Vicar St on RTÉ 2FM in a special show 7-11pm on Thursday 3rd March. The show will feature live performances from some of the shortlisted acts, further details on the line-up to be announced soon.

Tickets on sale this Friday via

A special RTÉ Choice Music Prize highlights programme will be broadcast on RTÉ2 television the following week. The Song of the Year shortlist will be announced on 26th January.

“Despite the enormous challenges, 2021 proved to be an incredible year for new music releases in Ireland. RTÉ Choice Music Prize provides a snapshot of the vast amount of creativity and diversity to be found in Irish music right now. IMRO is delighted to continue its longstanding association with this prestigious music prize which champions some of our finest songwriters and performers”, Keith Johnson, Director of Marketing & Membership, IMRO.

The 17th annual RTÉ Choice Music Prize will once again celebrate the best in Irish recorded music. The Prize has become one of the music-industry highlights of the year since its inception in 2005. The Irish Album of the Year award is chosen from a shortlist of ten albums by a panel of eleven Irish music media professionals and industry experts. The full list of judges is listed on

The winning act will receive €10,000, a prize fund which has been provided by The Irish Music Rights Organisation (IMRO) and The Irish Recorded Music Association (IRMA). All shortlisted acts will receive a specially commissioned award.

RAAP and Minding Creative Minds are also official project partners of the RTE Choice Music Prize as are Culture Ireland and First Music Contact (FMC).

Through its funding of FMC’s Music From Ireland programme, Culture Ireland support of the RTÉ Choice Music Prize will be directed towards participant artists, as well as assisting the online RTÉ Choice Music Prize “Conversations”.


Stay up to date with the latest RTÉ Choice Music Prize news by following @choiceprize, @rte2fm, @rte and @rte2 on Twitter and Facebook and @explorerte and @rte2fm on Instagram using #rtechoiceprize.

Further information can be found at:

Six couples for Dancing with the Stars revealed

RTÉ can reveal the names of six of the brand new couples for series five of Dancing with the Stars which returns this Sunday night at 6.30 pm to RTÉ One.

The remaining six couples will be announced on Thursday.

Celebrity and Pro Dancer Couple Reveal:  Aengus Mac Grainna and Emily Barker 

Aengus Mac Grainna is partnered with Emily Barker for series five of Dancing with the Stars.  Having made it to the final last season, Emily will be hoping this year she can go one step further and take home the glitterball trophy with this year’s partner Aengus.

Celebrity and Pro Dancer Couple Reveal:  Ellen Keane and Stephen Vincent 

Swimmer Ellen Keane is partnered with Stephen Vincent as he returns to Dancing with the Stars for his second series. They’ll be going for gold once they take to the dancefloor in January.

Celebrity and Pro Dancer Couple Reveal: Jordan Conroy and Salome Chachua 

Ireland’s Rugby Seven’s star Jordan Conroy will dance with new pro dancer Salome Chachua.  They are hoping that Jordan’s positive and hardworking attitude combined with Salome’s wealth of experience from the Dancing with the Stars in Georgia will lead them to the grand final.

Celebrity and Pro Dancer Couple Reveal: Missy Keating and Ervinas Merfeldas

Missy Keating is beginning the New Year by taking to the dancefloor with new Irish pro dancer Ervinas Merfeldas.  This enthusiastic duo will be hoping that they will present their best foot forward as the competition unfolds.

Celebrity and Pro Dancer Couple Reveal: Gráinne Seoige and John Nolan

Television presenter Gráinne Seoige will dance with returning pro-dancer John Nolan for the upcoming series. The television presenter will be hoping that by  learning to jive with John, they will be the waltz away with the glitterball.

Celebrity and Pro Dancer Couple Reveal: Nicolas Roche and Karen Byrne

It’s been revealed that cyclist Nicolas Roche is paired with Karen Byrne for series five of Dancing with the Stars.  The former olympian and former winner of the series are working hard in studio and are ready to to shimmy their way to the dancefloor with full force.

The remaining six couples names will be revealed on Thursday.

Wake up to a New Year of entertainment with RTÉ

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

Watch: A New Year on RTÉ

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.

RTÉ Player
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.

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