Panti Bliss to deliver 'Queen of Ireland' message this Christmas

Panti Bliss celebrating the Yes vote in same sex marriage referendum at Dublin Castle
Panti Bliss celebrating the Yes vote in same sex marriage referendum at Dublin Castle

TV3 have announced that Panti Bliss will deliver a Queen of Ireland message to their viewers this year.

After a year in which Panti became a genuine national icon, it is a smart move by the channel.

Across the water the Queen's Christmas message is a central part of Christmas Day so TV3 will be hoping to start a similar institution over here. It even kicks off at the same time, 3pm on Christmas Day.

In the release announcing the news TV3 give us a hint of what we can expect: 'In her famously poignant and inclusive style, she will address the nation, as we say goodbye to the year that voted yes to marriage equality and ponder on what challenges or possibilities lie ahead. Whatever awaits us, the Queen of Ireland, Panti Bliss, invites us to join together around the TV screen to share in her vision for 2016 in this special Christmas message.'

Meanwhile the channel have also announced a few other special shows.

Most interesting might be Ivan's Celebrity Pub Crawl, hosted by Ivan Yates. The Newstalk presenter will visit four pubs and discuss the year with a host of big names over a drink. Celebrities set to appear include Stephen Ferris, Brian Kerr, Eamon Dunphy, Eleanor McEvoy, Francis Brennan, Katie Walsh, Lucinda Creighton and Pat Rabbitte. 

St Stephen's Night will also see the station broadcast a recording of night of live music celebrating the iconic DJ Tony Fenton called 'A Tribute to Tony Fenton - All the Young Dudes'.

A home produced fly-on-the-wall documentary, Evicted at Christmas, follows the lives of three Irish families battling eviction from their homes and another home produced TV3 programme tells the story of those who have to cope without their loved ones this Christmas in 'Leaving Ireland for Good'.