ABC has outlined Easter programming highlights to help housebound Australians worship, reflect and relax this long weekend.
Joe Gelonesi, ABC Manager Religion & Ethics, said, “With so many Australians unable to attend the traditional services of Christian Holy Week, the ABC is proud to provide connection and comfort through this challenging time as part of our evolving offer to people of all faiths,” he said.
“We are committed to keeping Australians informed and entertained, no matter what they believe. Beyond Easter, the ABC is looking at ways to bring ongoing religious services to Australians impacted by COVID-19, in addition to our rich weekly slate of religion and ethics content on television, radio and online.”
For those unable to attend Easter services due to the impact of COVID-19, the ABC will broadcast the Good Friday service from St John’s Anglican Cathedral in Brisbane (on ABC TV at 4pm) and the Pope’s Easter Saturday Vigil Mass from the Vatican (on 12 April at 2.30pm).
The ABC’s Religion & Ethics online portal will also feature articles, discussions and opinion pieces across the week, covering multiple faiths and beliefs.
Highlights on ABC TV include:
- Gardening Australia’s Easter special, on Good Friday at 7.30pm, will help socially distanced Australians get the best out of their backyards.
- Compass special “Stories of Sacrifice” links the Easter story of renewal and the ANZAC story of sacrifice, on Sunday at 6.30pm.
- Three-part series Pilgrimage: Road to Santiago follows celebrities as they set out on the medieval pilgrimage, the Camino de Santiago, from Friday at 5pm.
- An Easter Sunday edition of Songs of Praise, at 11.30am.
With the cancellation of the Melbourne International Comedy Festival due to COVID-19, the ABC’s Comedy Care Package will bring home the best Australian comedians this Sunday at 8.20pm, including Dave Hughes, Kitty Flanagan and Tom Gleeson. “Nothing can stop Australians laughing, even if we have to do it into our elbows, sitting 1.5 metres apart,” said host Denise Scott.
ABC iview’s Easter comedy binge will keep the laughs going with new series of Motherland, Sick Of It and The Young Offenders, alongside programs we know and love such as Frayed, Squinters, Superwog and State of the Union.
Also catch up on this week’s premiere of Easter in Australia, which explores the ways Australians, religious and secular, relate to the Easter story.
For children, ABC ME’s Best Fest, which runs to 30 April, features programs such as Prank You Very Much, First Day and The Demon Headmaster. ABC ME is also offering movie nights over the long weekend, starting with Early Man on Friday at 6.30pm.
ABC Kids’ “Special Treats” Easter collection includes the premiere of The Snail and the Whale, on Friday at 5.15pm, and a special new episode of Bluey called “Sleepy Time”, on Saturday at 8am and 6.20pm.