Festive gremlins take over RTÉ Radio 1

RTÉ Radio 1 gave listeners a taste of Christmas six months early on Sunday as the station played almost three hours of festive tunes.

The station played Christmas music overnight from around 3:20am and past the scheduled start time for The Weekend on One, continuing till 6:20am when live programmes and ‘normal’ music resumed after a brief apology for the alternative tunes.

One listener told RadioToday.ie: “I was getting up early for travelling and woke up to hear Silent Night blasting out of the radio. I thought I was still asleep dreaming of Christmastime.”

Uninterrupted songs including “Last Christmas”, “Silent Night”and “Happy Christmas (War is Over)” meant the station sailed through the top of hours at 4am, 5am and 6am without idents.

RadioToday understands the Christmas music started playing in the 3am hour and lasted till 6:20am when Cathal Murray started his “The Weekend on One” programme 20 minutes late. He apologised to listeners saying: “You’re tuned to RTE Radio 1 – it is the weekend on one and apologies we were unable to begin the programme at the normal broadcast time of 6am this morning – some festive gremlins in the system shall we say but right now let’s go over to the newsroom.”

Michael Murphy then started the 6am news at 6:20am by saying: “Good morning from the newsroom”. Five minutes later Cathal announced “I promise you one thing, between now and 8 o’clock there will be no Christmas music.”

RadioToday has asked for a comment from RTÉ but nothing was received at the time of publishing.

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