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G-una be good Una Healy to replace 2 Johnnies as host of New Year's Eve countdown special on RTE

RTÉ’s planned event for New Year’s Eve was thrown into chaos when an outdoor concert at Dublin Castle was cancelled

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Una Healy

Una Healy

Una Healy

UNA Healy has stepped in to replace fellow Tipperary stars the 2 Johnnies as the presenter of RTÉ s New Year’s Eve countdown show.

And it will be a double whammy for the Saturdays’ singer on RTÉ 1 on Friday as Una’s festive version of ‘The Heart of Saturday night’ has been slotted into the slot directly before the countdown special.

The mum-of-two will present the Near Year’s Eve special from 11.45pm from a studio Donnybrook, with guests including Lyra, Mick Flannery, Susan O’Neill and stars from sport and comedy.

RTÉ’s planned event for New Year’s Eve was thrown into chaos when an outdoor concert at Dublin Castle, featuring Picture This and Lyra among others, was cancelled due to the latest government Covid restrictions.

The 2 Johnnies had been meant to present that show.

‘The Heart of Saturday night’ special had originally meant to air at 9.10pm on Friday night, but that has now been moved up to 10.45pm.

The hour-long programme, which was recorded several weeks ago, is co-presented by Una and Loah and features Mary Black and Nathan Carter among others.

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Una Healy with her son Tadhg and daughter Aoife Belle (Una Healy/Instagram)

Una Healy with her son Tadhg and daughter Aoife Belle (Una Healy/Instagram)

Una Healy with her son Tadhg and daughter Aoife Belle (Una Healy/Instagram)

The Mrs Brown’s Boys New Year’s Special is at 10.10pm, with Callan Kicks The Years at 9.10pm.

The countdown show is just half an hour long and will be followed at 12.15pm by a showing of 1991 movie City Slickers.

A huge TV audience is expected this year, similar to last year, given pubs and restaurants have to close up at 8pm on Friday night and most people will be stuck at home.

Last year’s presenters of the New Year Countdown show on RTÉ included Katherine Thomas, Deirdre O’Kane and Nicky Byrne, while music was supplied by Kodaline, Jack L and the RTÉ Concert Orchestra, Lyra, Sharon Shannon, Mary Coughlan and Brian Kennedy.

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Other channels have lined up their own offerings this year.

Virgin Media One is ringing in the New Year with the Graham Norton Show (which will be screened earlier on BBC1) with including Game of Thrones star Peter Dinklage, Jessica Chastain and Claire Foy, with music by Cush Jumbo.

BBC1 will screen ‘Big New Years and New Year’s Eve Party’ with surprise guests

Jools Holland front a Hogmanay special on BBC2, with music from Ed Sheeran and Lulu among others.

TG4 features We Banjo 3 – Live in Dublin, which was shot on location at the Pearse Lyons Distillery, in the heart of the Liberties.

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