Virgin Media Television (VMTV) has announced details of its Spring 2021 TV schedule with a major revamp of Virgin Media’s free Player with more premieres, box sets and binge watch series than ever before, expanded News and Current Affairs coverage, brand new entertainment shows, top class free-to-air sport and the best of international drama and entertainment.
This Spring sees Virgin Media Player become the home of free online content and the gateway to all of VMTV programmes, anytime, anywhere, with a brand new 90 day catch up window.
The player will be revamped and will offer viewers a wide-ranging choice of free online content from live TV and sport, unmissable crime drama boxsets like The Pembrokeshire Murders and The Bay series 2 to guilty pleasures like Love Island USA - all premiering first on Virgin Media’s free Player.
VMTV will expand its News and Current Affairs output with The Tonight Show moving from three to four nights a week with Ciara Doherty and Matt Cooper at the helm, deconstructing the news and stories that have the country talking.
Entertainment and escapism is top of the agenda as nation’s favourite TV critics are back as we launch a new series of Gogglebox Ireland with more of the hugely popular ‘Look Back’ shows in February, where Ireland’s rich and often colourful TV archives become the focus of our often awe-struck Gogglebox families.
Ivan Yates returns with his new weekly entertainment sports show, The Green Room, Kicking off this week with the legendary Peter Crouch. Other guests that will feature include Jamie Redknapp and Shane Lowry.
Brand new Eating With The Enemy launches in March. This new provocative format sees strangers with extreme opposite views paired together for a meal to see what happens when they come face to face. They may disagree on paper, but can the act of honest conversation and breaking bread form unlikely bonds in this new social experiment.
The highly anticipated TV premier of Finding Jack Charlton airs in March. Filmed during the last eighteen months of the late sporting hero’s life, this emotional and inspiring documentary looks at one of Ireland’s biggest football icons and details his undocumented life with dementia, offering an intimate and compelling insight into Jack the man and the challenge faced by thousands of families universally, with contributions from Jack’s family including his wife Pat and son John.
New 24-Hour Pet Emergency will offer viewers an insight into the Veterinary Hospital in UCD, where we’ll meet sick animals and their desperate owners as they look for cures for their beloved pets. Irish people look on their pets as a member of the family and with more people staying at home due to Covid-19, more and more of us are adopting an animal to keep us company through these isolating times. But animals, like humans can get sick too – some dangerously so. From a paralysed dog who finally gets the chance to walk again to a parrot who needs a magnet retrieved from its stomach, no two days are ever the same at the Vet Hospital.
Crash Scene Investigates is a four-part series telling real life stories of Irish car crashes, how they happened and the long term impact they caused. The new series will deconstruct and re-tell the stories of shocking Irish road incidents with contributions from bereaved families, first-responders, Garda and forensic investigators. These major collisions happen in the blink of an eye and result in life changing circumstances. Could they have been prevented or is it simply wrong place, wrong time?
VMTV will continue to be the home of premier live free-to-air sport with the best of European football, international rugby, and the biggest and best horse racing meetings from across the water. With the Guinness Six Nations kicking off in February, Virgin Media One will have live coverage of every game, as well as the Heineken Champions Cup. The knock-out stages of the UEFA Champions League and Europa League begin next month with all games exclusively live on Virgin Media Sport. We’ll also show the best of UK horse racing including the Aintree, Cheltenham and Goodwood Festivals.
Viewers will enjoy the very best of international entertainment this Spring with The Masked Singer as Rita Ora, Jonathan Ross, Davina McCall and Mo Gilligan guess who the mystery singers are; Brand new dating show The Cabins on Virgin Media Two which gives contestants just 24 hours to find love; And a brand new series of Love Island USA starts on Virgin Media Two with a new cast of singletons or you can binge watch the full series on the free Virgin Media Player.
The Voice UK is back with Tom Jones, Will.i.am, Anne-Marie and Olly Murs and Dancing on Ice starts this Sunday with a brand new line-up of celebs taking to the rink including Myleene Klass, Jason Donovan and Denise Van Outen. Ant and Dec return for a brand new series of Saturday Night Takeway in February along with six brand new episodes of Who Wants To Be A Millionaire with Jeremy Clarkson.
This January sees Virgin Media One air a number of true crime series including Honour; A two-part crime drama inspired by the shocking real-life events of the honour killing of Banaz Mahmod, whose murder was arranged by her own family; The Pembrokeshire Murders, a three-part series based on the murders by Welsh serial killer John Cooper which starts tonight with the full boxset available first on Virgin Media’s free player and hit drama The Bay; returns for a second series on 25th January with the full series also dropping on Virgin Media Player.
Virgin Media Originals, VMTV’s brand new podcast series will offer even more great content with a host of new podcast series launching soon, from The Tonight Show to Zara King’s compelling Room 631 which was No 1 in the news podcast charts, we’ll have something for everyone to listen too.
Supporting and championing the Irish film and television sector has been a key strategy of Virgin Media and today the 10 shortlisted projects, who will receive funding as part of the Virgin Media Discovers & Screen Ireland Short Film Competition with a prize fund of some €150,000, were also announced.
Bill Malone, Virgin Media Television, Director of Content said: “Following on from a very strong performance in the second half of last year which saw significant audience growth, VMTV has a great Spring schedule to kick start 2021.
“Trusted news and information has never been more important and we are expanding our News and Current Affairs output, as The Tonight Show goes to four nights a week.
“And while there is no shortage of entertainment from The Masked Singer and Dancing on Ice to Ant and Dec’s Saturday Night Take Away, it is Irish programming that is at the heart of the schedule. Gogglebox Ireland is back, as is Ivan Yates in The Green Room, along with a host of new series such as 24-Hour Pet Emergency, Crash Scene Investigates and Eating With The Enemy.
“One of the highlights of VMTV’s Spring schedule is undoubtedly the stunning documentary Finding Jack Charlton which is a co-production between VMTV and the BBC.
“And VMTV continues to be the home of live sport including Guinness Six Nations, UEFA Champions League, Europa League, Heineken Champions Cup, Cheltenham, Aintree.
“We also announce a major revamp of our free Virgin Media Player, where we are dropping full box sets of our content like new series of Love Island USA, The Bay and The Pembrokeshire Murders and an expanded 90 day catch up service.”