Sunday's TV tips

Sunday's TV tips

MUSIC: All-Island School Choir Competition (RTÉ One, 5.20pm)

Anne Cassin presents the All-Island School Choir Competition’s second regional final from St. Patrick’s College Chapel at NUI Maynooth, featuring choirs from the Convent of Mercy Secondary School, Co. Roscommon; Moate Community School, Co Westmeath; St Brigid’s Convent of Mercy; St. Joseph’s Secondary School, Co Roscommon; and Saint Mary’s Secondary School, Co Mayo.

The All-Island School Choir Competition is a five-part television series celebrating and encouraging the tradition of choral music in second-level schools throughout Ireland.

Organised by Co-operation Ireland, in association with RTÉ, the series features 20choirs competing in four regional finals, building up to the Grand Final live from the Titanic Centre in Belfast on Sunday November 16.

This year, for the first time, one of the four regional finals will be staged in St. Patrick’s Cathedral, Armagh, the burial place of Brian Ború. For a second successive year, two regional events will be held in the magnificent St. Patrick’s College Chapel at NUI Maynooth. The Curtis Auditorium in the Cork School of Music will host the fourth regional final.


DOCUMENTARY: Speed with Guy Martin (Channel 4, 8pm)

Guy Martin proved last year that, quite simply put, he feels the need for speed (then again we probably shouldn’t be surprised – he’s a motorbike racer, after all).

So he’s returning for a second run of the series that sees him embark on speed-based challenges, and gets him involved in unique engineering projects to discover what makes things go fast.

First up, Guy is getting back on a bike to see how far it is possible to cycle during 24 hours of non-stop pedalling. He’s got a couple of men in the know on hand too: Miles Kingsbury and Mike Burrows, the man who designed Chris Boardman’s gold medal-winning Lotus bike from the 1992 Barcelona Olympics.

With their help, and that of his friend, endurance expert Jason Miles, Guy builds a revolutionary tandem and, with Jason, tests how far they can push their bodies.

But how will he fair at the final record attempt at the Goodwood Motor Circuit?


PERIOD DRAMA: Downton Abbey (UTV, 9pm)

We seem to wait that long for a fresh series of this superb period drama, and then before you know it, we’re in the grip of the season finale cliffhanger.

Don’t worry; we’re still a couple of weeks away from that at the moment, but we should definitely make the most of Maggie Smith and co while they’re around.

In tonight’s instalment, the atmosphere between Robert and Cara is frosty, given the previous altercation, while Blake’s scheming starts to come to fruition when Mary is unexpectedly pitted against her love rival.

Elsewhere, Edith decides on drastic measures after being on the receiving end of terrible news, and various parties aren’t too happy about it.

Meanwhile, Baxter is embroiled in the investigation into Green’s death following a mysterious tip-off, while love is in the air for more than one member of the Crawley family.

Keep an eye out for Sue Johnston, who joins the cast tonight.


HISTORY: Tutankhamun: The Truth Uncovered (BBC1, 9pm)

Sunday's TV tips

School history lessons still ponder at length and debate the death of Tutankhamun, and it makes for an interesting topic.

It seems like the Beeb agree, as tonight it airs a one-off documentary looking at scientific research aimed at finding out the truth about the boy pharaoh’s death.

His tomb was discovered in 1922, and he has become one of the most famous pharaohs of all ancient Egypt. However, his mysterious death at just 19 years of age has never been explained, despite various theories thrown around, including one that he was bludgeoned to death.

In this intriguing programme, Dallas Campbell tells all about new scientific research that aims to get to the bottom of things.

A CT scan of the pharaoh’s mummified remains creates a full-size image of the real Tutankhamun, while DNA analysis has uncovered a shocking family secret, and there’s a revolutionary new theory about his sudden demise.


MUSIC: Foo Fighters: Sonic Highways (BBC4, 10pm)

This is going to be difficult for some to stomach – Foo Fighters formed 20 years ago (yes, you did read that right).

But while two decades have been and gone since then-Nirvana drummer Dave Grohl first thought the idea up, the rock outfit are just as much at the forefront of the music scene as they were back then.

So it’s time for something of a celebration – which is just what you’ll find on BBC4 tonight, as the band document the eight-city recording odyssey behind their latest album, Sonic Highways.

Grohl takes his band on a tour of America, and they take in various studios and meet the musicians who have shaped the country’s vast musical wealth. And they’re using the experience to influence the writing and recording of their new album, with one song recorded in each city.

This is something rather special indeed...


FILM: Four Lions (Channel 4, 10.05pm)

(2010) Chris Morris’ edgy, critically acclaimed comedy centres on disillusioned British Muslim Omar. He decides to form a terrorist cell, but the only recruits he can find are his dim-witted friend, an angry and bitter white convert and a timid bomb-maker.

The group’s incompetent attempts to strike a blow against Western society culminate in a scheme to attack the London marathon.

This film could have been an exploitative, bad taste farce, but thanks to a solid script (penned by Morris, Sam Bain and Jesse Armstrong among others), Morris created a pitch-black comedy with rounded characters, and coaxed great performances from the cast, especially Rizwan Ahmed and the brilliant Kayvan Novak.

Starring: Riz Ahmed, Kayvan Novak, Nigel Lindsey, Adeel Akhtar, Arsher Ali

RottenTomatoes.com Rating: 82%

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