Shoppers take time off last-minute tasks for radio special

‘It’s a lovely way to start Christmas,’ woman among hundreds at Grafton Street show says

Hundreds of people on Grafton Street in Dublin took time off last-minute Christmas shopping to watch this year’s RTÉ Radio 1 Liveline Christmas Special programme, which was broadcast live from outside the Bailey on Duke Street this morning.

Hundreds of people on Grafton Street in Dublin took time off last-minute Christmas shopping to watch this year’s RTÉ Radio 1 Liveline Christmas Special programme, which was broadcast live from outside the Bailey on Duke Street this morning.

 

Hundreds of people on Grafton Street in Dublin took time off last-minute Christmas shopping to watch this year’s RTÉ Radio 1 Liveline Christmas Special programme, which was broadcast live from outside the Bailey on Duke Street this morning.

The show was hosted by Liveline presenter Joe Duffy, together with Brendan O’Carroll, star of Mrs Brown’s Boys, and the ‘Funny Friday’ crew.

Comedian June Rodgers, in a rotund reindeer costume, performed a song about Santa’s troupe of hoofed helpers. Oliver Callan cracked a string of jokes as, among other public figures, ‘Jenda’— Joan and Enda and singer Paul Byrom performed in a jumper that must never be worn earlier than mid-December.

The comedians joked about water charges protesters and water meter installation workers calling their own Christmas truce by embracing and sharing mince pies.

Other musicians who appeared include Gavin James, the Delorentos and the Riptide Movement. From the traditional “O Holy Night” to Slade’s “Merry Xmas Everybody,” there wasn’t a song that the sporting audience didn’t sing along to.

Sinead O’Connor, or Grenade O’Connor, as Oliver Callan renamed her during his routine, was scheduled to appear during the programme, but she did not, as one of her children was unwell, said RTÉ Radio communications manager, Maureen Catterson.

The area outside the Bailey was jammed during the programme’s broadcast, Ms Catterson said. “It was a lot bigger than last year, likely because the weather was better than last Christmas, when it was raining and cold,” she said. There were easily a couple of thousand of people in the audience, she added.

Anne O’Keeffe, from Co Kildare, said it was usually more crowded. “People make it a point to be here for the show,” she said. Ms O’Keeffe said she livedsome 30km away so she used not attend the programme, but after she did it once she has been coming to Dublin for the past few years to be part of it. “It’s good humour,” she said. “It’s a lovely way to start Christmas.”