TV not to miss: Abhainn

SATURDAY

The Guns Of Navarone

RTÉ Two, 3.45pm

Classic war film from 1961 in which David Niven and Gregory Peck lead an Allied team to German-occupied Greece to try and destroy a massive gun emplacement protecting a key sea passage. Though there is no such place as ‘Navarone’, the story was loosely based on a similar campaign in the area.

Splash!

UTV, 7pm

The celebrity diving competition reaches the semi-final stage.

Gaeil Nua Eabhrac

TG4, 8.15pm

A repeat of the second part of the series about Irish people in New York. This episode has a 9/11 theme, with Donal O’Sullivan on the site of 9/11 memorial which he helped build and Aggie McCaffrey who shares with us the last heroic moments of her brother fire chief Orio Palmer.

Howard Goodall’s Story of Music

BBC Two (not Northern Ireland), 9.30pm

New six-part series in which the composer looks at the history of music. He begins way back in the Stone Age, when music began to take on a huge importance for human societies, and takes us up the hugely important arrival of Gregorian chant.

The Jonathan Ross Show

UTV, 9.45pm

Guests include music man Jools Holland, actress Rose Byrne and singer Alicia Keys.

The Hurt Locker

Channel 4, 10pm

Kathryn Bigelow is big news at the moment for Zero Dark Thirty, but this is another chance to see her earlier Oscar winner, the tale of a US bomb disposal squad in Iraq.

SUNDAY

At Your Service

RTÉ One, 8.30pm

Six years ago, Mairead and Brendan Tierney bought a pub in Terryglass on the shores of Lough Derg, Co Tipperary. Despite their backgrounds in banking and farming, they’ve expanded the business into self-catering accommodation, and a gift-shop, but are quite surprised at what the Brennan brothers suggest they should do.

Call the Midwife

BBC One, 8pm

The death of a newborn puts Cynthia under scrutiny while Chummy and PC Noakes try to pursue a dream that would bring exciting changes.

Holocaust: A Music Memorial Film from Auschwitz

BBC Four, 8pm

Today is the anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz by Soviet troops, and has thus been designated Holocaust Remembrance Day in the EU. As part of a number of broadcasts to mark the occasion, this show features three survivors of the camp’s own orchestra who talk about the role of music in their internment. There are also Holocaust-themed pieces from the likes of Gorecki and Messiaen. Earlier, Britain’s Holocaust Survivors (More 4, 8pm) has Daisy Asquith meeting three people with amazing stories of survival who ended up in England after the war. Among them are Gena Turgel, who was sent to Belsen where she also worked as a nurse. While there, she was even sent to a gas chamber but for some unknown reason, her group was allowed to emerge alive. Unfortunately, her four siblings and her mother were murdered by the Germans.

The Fighter

Channel 4, 9pm

Mostly-true portrayal of the rise and fall of Irish-American boxer Micky Ward. Melissa Leo and Christian Bale picked up Oscars for their supporting roles, while Mark Wahlberg is also excellent as the fighter.

Wonders of Life

BBC Two, 9pm

Brainy pin-up Brian Cox begins a new series in which he travels around the world to tease out the links between physics, chemistry and the beginning of life. For instance at a volcanic lake he shows how the first spark of life may have been generated when heat from the inner Earth forced its way to the surface.

Sé Mo Laoch

TG4, 10pm

Tonight’s show features box player Bobby Gardiner from Co Clare, also a teacher on the traditional music programme at UCC.

MONDAY

Abhainn

RTÉ One, 7.30pm

A new series of the show about Irish rivers begins with the Barrow, a body of water that is the second longest in Ireland. We follow the river from its source in Co Laois all the way to its mouth in Waterford, along the way hearing about its associated flora, fauna and local lore.

Dispatches

Channel 4, 8pm

The British branch of Weight Watchers is investigated for the effectiveness of its diet plans and food products.

TUESDAY

Fíorscéal: The Cod Game

TG4, 9.55pm

There was a time when cod were considered so plentiful that they could never be overfished. How wrong we were. This documentary from the Polish port of Darlowko looks at the difficulties faced in trying to save the cod population in the Baltic, with the need of local fishermen to make a living. At the centre of the film is Marcin Cholewinski, who chooses to ignore an EU ban and catch as many cod as he can.

The Following

Sky Atlantic, 10pm

Episode two of Kevin Bacon’s gory thriller series has serial killer Joe Carroll still pulling strings from prison as his followers carry out his bidding. Tonight’s episode is preceded by a repeat of the pilot.

WEDNESDAY

Rachel Allen’s Cake Diaries

RTÉ One, 7.30pm

In the final episode of the series, the celebrity chef dips into some of her favourite American recipes with a range of cakes that includes classic NYC crumb cake, and chocolate and pecan muffins with maple glaze.

Arsenal v Liverpool

Sky Sports 2, ko 7.45pm

With both former contenders now outside the top four and being on the receiving end of some disappointing defeats by the teams above them, the pressure will be on to show they can still produce a decent performance. Draw, anyone?

Grey’s Anatomy

Sky Living, 10pm

Season nine returns from its mid-season break and resumes with episode eight and the visit of guest star Neve Campbell.

THURSDAY

Adoption Stories

TV3, 8.30pm

Another two engaging stories from a series that has become a weekly source of such tales. First up is Tressa who tries to trace the son she gave up for adoption, she’s told there is no record of his birth. We also hear from Tom and Breege and their experience of adopting in Russia.

The Works

RTÉ One, 11.15pm

The show goes behind the scenes in Guggi’s art studio, and talks to author Adrian McKinty.

FRIDAY

Six Nations Under 20s

RTÉ Two, ko 7.10pm

See how the next generation of Irish rugby players is shaping up in this clash with Wales in Colwyn Bay.

House of Cards

Netflix

Kevin Spacey stars in the Netflix-financed American remake of the British political thriller. All 12 episodes available from today.

TV News

* If you’re watching Al Jazeera over the next few days and notice some familiar faces and places popping up in between the stories from the Middle East, that could be because the Qatari channel is sending a crew to Cork this weekend to film the 100th week of protests in Ballyhea against the bank bail-out.

* Following in the footsteps of In Treatment and Homeland, another US studio has given the green light to an Americanised version of an Israeli TV show. CBS is going to prepare a pilot episode of Hostages, a thriller in which Toni Collette will play a surgeon about to operate on the US president when she learns her family have been kidnapped as part of a conspiracy.

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