LIFE STORIES: Ireland’s Greatest Robberies (TV3, 9pm)
In this episode we examine two audacious robberies which sent shockwaves throughout Ireland.
The first took place in 1990 in Emily Square in Athy when a well-known gang, known today as the ‘Athy Gang’, were fast becoming infamous for their many bank raids around the country.
The episode also examines the robbery of the Bank of Ireland in College Green in Dublin City Centre in 2009, in which €7.6 million was stolen.
The robbery involved the tiger kidnapping of a bank employee’s girlfriend and her family.
The employee was then forced to go in to the bank where he worked and remove as much cash as possible for the gang resulting in one of the biggest cash robberies to ever take place in Ireland.
DOCUMENTARY: Kew on a Plate (BBC2, 9pm)
Recently, MPs issued a stark warning about the future of Kew Gardens in the wake of funding cuts, calling their fiscal future a “recipe for failure”.
It would be a tragedy if this were to be the case, as the Gardens have a long and impressive history which spans over 250 years. In fact, they once even grew produce for the royal family – a fact which Kate Humble and Raymond Blanc are keen to celebrate. And what better way to do so than by re-establishing the kitchen gardens?
This documentary follows the pair as they spend a year at the Richmond upon Thames park attempting to redevelop the long-lost produce plots. But will their ideas bear any fruit, or are they being led up the garden path?
There’s also a look at how war with France turned Britain into a nation of potato eaters as Kate looks back on the history of produce.
REAL LIVES: Britain’s Benefit Tenants (Channel 4, 9pm)
Due to falling numbers of council housing tenants, more and more people are renting privately, and many do so via housing benefit. Private landlords often use specialist letting agencies who are skilled in making the most from this particular marketplace, one of whom is the focus of this documentary.
It follows agent Andrew Dyke, from Goldthorpe in South Yorkshire, who manages almost 1,000 clients, and who has achieved success due to his personal, hands-on approach.
This week, that method even extends to him kicking in the door of one of his buildings, which has been hastily abandoned by the tenant. After gaining entry, he’s surprised to find what looks like a cannabis factory. No wonder the occupant left in a hurry...
Meanwhile, in Leeds, Katie Wiggins has to evict a pensioner and her boyfriend, but can she help them find alternative accommodation and avoid ending up in an emergency hostel?
SPORT: UFC (3e, 10pm)
Anthony Pettis is set to defend his title for the second time against top lightweight contender, Rafael dos Anjos at UFC 185 at American Airlines Center in Dallas.
The current lightweight champion recently returned to the UFC after taking time off for an injury to face and, ultimately defeat, Gilbert Melendez.
The card, featuring 12 fights total will also see women’s strawweight titleholder Carla Esparza vs. Joanna Jedrzejczyk and Johnny Hendricks face-off against Matt Brown in his first fight since losing his welterweight title.
COMEDY DRAMA: Bluestone 42 (BBC3, 10pm)
The series following the fortunes of a British bomb disposal detachment in Afghanistan takes a serious turn this week as Nick is called in to rescue a trapped squaddie.
The soldier in question has got his helmet caught up in the tripwire of an IED, and it’s not long before events escalate to even more worrying levels.
It falls to Towerblock to try to ascertain exactly what happened during the mission, but first he has to get over a few of his own prejudices and personal fears – something that Bird might be able to help him with. Simon, meanwhile, makes a surprising discovery which could change his life for ever.
It’s a testament to this show, now in its third series, that it manages to tread the line between genuine comedic moments and true-to-life drama so readily - it’s almost like a modern-day M*A*S*H.
FILM: Outbreak (Channel 5, 10.50pm)
(1995) A beleaguered Army colonel uncovers a high-level conspiracy when he teams up with his ex-wife to battle a mysterious virus which is wiping out inhabitants of a small town.
Wolfgang Petersen’s tense thriller stars Dustin Hoffman, Renee Russo and Morgan Freeman. It’s great for the most part but stretches logic to breaking point in the third act.
The fact that an infected Russo develops a light flush when other patients are like the walking dead is also laughable.
That said, it’s still a great watch. Kevin Spacey also stars with Donald Sutherland who nearly steals the whole film as a corrupt official.
Starring: Dustin Hoffman, Rene Russo, Morgan Freeman, Kevin Spacey, Donald Sutherland.
FILM: Junkhearts (BBC1, 1am)
(2011) Moving drama, in which a traumatised, alcoholic former soldier takes pity on a homeless teenager and offers him a place to stay.
He begins to pull himself together as he’s left with little choice but to take on the role of surrogate father. But it’s not long before his kindness is exploited by her manipulative boyfriend, who turns his house into a drug den.
This is British filmmaking at its best, and with such bold and challenging content, there’s plenty to like here.
Made extremely well on a low budget, the interesting subject matter turns out some great performances from Eddie Marsan, Tom Sturridge, Romola Garai and Candese Reid.
With many a moral dilemma to start up discussions between viewers, there’s a lot here to keep you thinking long after the end credits have rolled.
Starring: Eddie Marsan, Candese Reid, Tom Sturridge, Romola Garai.
FILM: Life Is Sweet (Film4, 1.45am)
(1990) Suburban chef Andy joins forces with a dodgy mate to start their own fast-food business, but he’s not the only one with culinary ambitions, as his wife Wendy finds herself being drawn into their socially awkward friend Aubrey’s plan to launch a restaurant featuring his bizarre concoctions.
Meanwhile, the couple’s twin daughters lead their own, very different lives - while Natalie seems content with her job as a plumber, even if she never smiles, the volatile Nicola is battling an eating disorder.
This comedy drama is one of director Mike Leigh’s best. If the characters occasionally seem to veer towards being caricatures, the cracking cast make sure they remain convincing and sympathetic, and the mix of humour and pathos is expertly handled.
Starring: Alison Steadman, Jim Broadbent, Jane Horrocks, Timothy Spall, Claire Skinner, Stephen Rea.