Ear To The Ground returns for a 20th series, Thursday on RTÉ One. Presenters are Helen Carroll, Darragh McCullough and Ella McSweeney.
Sharon Shannon And The RTÉ Concert Orchestra
RTÉ One, 11pm
An event recorded at the National Concert Hall, Dublin in April this year.
The Graham Norton Show
If you don’t catch the original on BBC on Fridays, this regular repeat slot offers a handy catch-up. Guests in this episode include Arnold Schwarzenegger, Ben Affleck and Usher.
Andrew Marr’s History Of The World
BBC One, 9pm
Episode five of the excellent history series looks at the Age Of Plunder, as Dutch and English pirates and businessmen began to develop limited companies and the stock exchange as European capitalism spread across the globe.
Room To Improve
RTÉ One, 9.30pm
Dermot Bannon has a tough time on a project in Bishopstown in Cork. Marion Roche Martin has returned with her American husband Engel and their two daughters to her family home where her mother Kathleen still lives. There’s a healthy budget, but Bannon has to consider the needs of all three generations as he tries to come up with a layout that suits everybody.
RTÉ Two, 9pm
Jason Reitman’s excellent teen pregnancy comedy-drama from 2007 stars Ellen Page and Michael Cera.
The Meaning Of Life With Gay Byrne
RTÉ One, 10.30pm
Sean Gallagher’s hopes to become president of Ireland evaporated during an infamous TV debate, but he’s putting himself back in the public eye tonight by appearing on Gay Byrne’s show. As well as the bid for the Áras, the former Fianna Fáiler talks about his childhood and how sight-loss issues didn’t deflect him from setting lofty goals in his life.
Louis Theroux: Extreme Love — Dementia
RTÉ Two, 10.40pm
Louis Theroux’s interesting trip to Phoenix, Arizona — billed as ‘the capital of dementia care’ — included a trip to Beatitudes, a residential institution offering some of the most progressive care for patients suffering from various forms of the condition.
Something Special — We’re All Friends
The latest series of Justin Fletcher’s excellent show has some new features as Mr Tumble and co appeal to kids with special needs and beyond.
TV50: Flights Of Fancy — World Of The Pigeon Men
RTÉ One, 7.30pm
There are a number of archive shows on offer this week as part of RTE TV’s 50th anniversary celebrations. Among them is this 1985 documentary by Margaret Gleeson’s on a pigeon-fancier and his dedication to his birds.
Jamie’s 15 Minute Meals
Channel 4, 5pm
OK, so various journalists have discovered that 15 minutes is a big ask for some of these dishes, but the daily show may still provide you with some useful ideas. First up is chilli con carne meatballs, plus sticky kicking chicken, watermelon radish salad and crunchy noodles.
BBC Two, 9pm
Professor Alice Roberts is one of those presenters worth watching no matter what show she’s fronting and this three-parter from now until Wednesday looks set to be another fascinating exploration of our past. Tonight’s episode re-creates a Neanderthal from the bones up, while tomorrow’s show focuses on another of our close ancestors, homo erectus. Finally, Wednesday’s episode looks at Australopithecus Afarensis, the early being who traded life in the trees for life on the ground.
Sky Atlantic, 10pm
The first two episodes from a promising new comedy series from the HBO stable. Nominated for five Emmy awards, it follows the fortunes of four cash-strapped Brooklyn twentysomethings. See p12.
TV50: Bells and Blue Berets
RTÉ One, 11.35pm
A repeat of a documentary on the Irish UN troops in Cyprus and the Middle East made over Christmas in 1966.
TV50: Isles Of Aran
RTÉ One, 11.15pm
A 1963 documentary from the Aran Islands portrays a way of life that still hadn’t experienced the huge transformation of recent decades.
The Food Hospital: Kids Special
Channel 4, 8pm
The final show in the current series looks at classic party food: cakes, crisps, fizzy drinks, etc. Dr Pixie McKenna is also looking at milk — nature’s ultimate sports drink — investigating if it can really rehydrate us better than water.
Off The Rails
RTÉ One, 8.30pm
Robbie Williams is yet another music biz figure who’s turned to fashion design, and in tonight’s show he talks about his work on his Farrell label. There’s also advice for new mums on flattering clothes for their post-baby bodies.
Sky Living, 9pm
Pilot episode of a new US series from NBC. Reviews have been mixed, but we are promised loads of beautiful people and bare-chested action.
Páistí na Réabhlóide
Documentary on the lives of children born in Ireland between the 1916 Rising and the foundation of the Free State in 1922. As well as those tumultuous early years, many of them would have lived through such events as the Emergency of the Second World War, our accession into the EU and perhaps even into the recent bubble and bailouts. Participants include writer Máire Mac an tSaoi, former GAA president Pádraig McFlynn and the late Máire MacSwiney Brugha.
RTÉ One, 9.35pm
Hugely successful Abba-related film from 2008 starring Meryl Streep, and Pierce Brosnan.
RTÉ Two, 9.30pm
The 12 remaining contestants decamp to Kilkenny Castle where they have to prepare lunch for 200 hungry athletes who have just completed the local triathlon.
The RaboDirect Pro 12 at Thomond Park features Munster v Zebre (TG4, ko 7.45pm) as the Irish province seek to continue their good record against Italian sides. In domestic soccer, the action features Sligo Rovers v Shamrock Rovers (RTÉ Two, ko 7.45pm), complete with presentation of the Airtricity League trophy to the home side.
BBC Two, 9pm
A Wolf Called Storm follows cameraman Jeff Turner through the year he spent filming a wolf pack in northern Canada. The same pack featured in Frozen Planet.
Piers Morgan’s Life Stories
Burt Reynolds, 76, chats to Morgan about his highs and lows in Hollywood, including a nude photo-shoot for Cosmopolitan magazine, which he believes cost him an Oscar.
¦ After the cliffhanger finale last year, Grey’s Anatomy fans will be anxious to discover who survived the catastrophic plane crash. Well, series nine begins on Sky Living on Nov 7, with RTÉ following some time in the new year.
¦ David Coleman’s new series Bullyproof addresses the topic of bullying among young people. Beginning on RTÉ One on Tuesday, Oct 30, the clinical psychologist helps a number of individuals deal with the aftermath of various forms of bullying.
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