Thursday's TV tips

Thursday's TV tips

PROPERTY: George Clarke’s Amazing Spaces (Channel 4, 8pm)

Each edition of Amazing Spaces features folk who won’t settle for ordinary. Instead, they have a vision, a desire to create something special and unusual in perhaps an offbeat setting, or by using materials that are not exactly off the peg.

What’s more, they’re small, and that’s where their true beauty lies.

The series itself has proved hugely popular with viewers, nabbing ratings of around three million each week, so there’s a good chance that the people featured in the new run were inspired by those who appeared in previous series.

During the last run, George and his master craftsman pal Will Hardie traveled across Texas to see how the locals made small, inexpensive homes. Now they’re off to Italy, and the first destination is so high up, it’s only accessible by helicopter.

Back home, George meets a man turning a private jet into a crash pad and a tattoo artist with designs on an old railway carriage.

FASHION: #Trending (RTE Two, 8.30pm)

Thursday's TV tips

#TRENDING is a fashion show full of stylish insights and opinions with segments as diverse as beauty vlogging (‘beautubers’), Fashion Dashes, ‘The Pop Up’ and ‘Rising stars. Presented by Darren Kennedy.

Filmed on location in a customised pop up set and a cool urban studio in the heart of the city, #TRENDING is a fashion show full of stylish insights and opinions. With segments as diverse as beauty vlogging (‘beautubers’), Fashion Dashes, ‘The Pop Up’ and ‘Rising stars , this new series #TRENDING promises to be one of the most fashion packed half hours of TV.

Every episode will feature insider tips on how to achieve the latest designer looks and celebrities will share their style secrets. But most of all #TRENDING is exactly what the title suggests; a fashion series that’s as much about you as it is about celebrity, a series that’s as much online as it is offline and a series that creates a following rather than follows.

COMEDY: The Big Bang Theory (E4, 8.30pm)

At long last we can stop watching endless repeats of this hit US sitcom and get back down to business. Yes, season eight is about to start.

The writers seem to have put their hearts and souls into the opening episode too to make sure it’s as enthralling and hilarious as possible.

It’s 45 days since Sheldon walked out of his apartment, taking his belongings with him, and nobody has seen him since. But he’s still alive and well, although in some distress.

Sheldon calls Leonard from a police station in Arizona. He’s been mugged, and the robber has taken all his belongings, including his shoes, trousers and one of his socks. He needs Leonard to come and pick him up – but you can bet that even once he’s back in Pasadena, his nightmare won’t be over...

Meanwhile, Penny has a job interview at the place where Bernadette works, and Howard is horrified by Stuart’s relationship with his mother.

DOCUMENTARY: Educating the East End (Channel 4, 9pm)

Last year’s Educating Yorkshire proved to be a surprise hit for Channel 4, becoming its highest-rated series of 2013, so it surprised nobody when the format was dusted down and taken to another school.

For the past few weeks, viewers have been enthralled by the goings-on at Frederick Bremer School in Walthamstow, East London, where head Ms Smith takes charge of a staff room packed full of teachers determined to give the youngsters in their care the best start in their life, and usher them away from the stereotypical image of a ’hoodied’ London teen.

But like all other good things, it must come to an end – so brace yourself for the final episode of the run, which is a heartwarming story focusing on the school’s autism provision.

Home support worker Mrs Austin is particularly proud of one ever-smiling, positive-thinking student, and after seeing him in action, only the hardest of hearts won’t be wiping away a tear or two.

DRAMA: The Great Fire (UTV, 9pm)

Isn’t it more impressive to see genuine special effects rather than computer generated images in this drama?

It brings home danger faced by the people involved in the events, whereas CGI simply looks flat and boring. Here’s hoping The Great Fire marks the start of a return to more traditional eye-popping images on TV.

As those who watched the first episode may have guessed, by the time the second instalment airs the blaze is really starting to take hold.

Thomas manages to rescue his children from his sister-in-law Sarah’s house, but she’s nowhere to be seen. Sarah is being held in the notorious Newgate jail by Denton, who tries to force her into giving evidence against the Duke of Hanford’s mysterious Spanish guest. She refuses – until he threatens to harm her son David.

Meanwhile, the King surveys the damage to the city from the river, but his plan to rebuild it and compensate the citizens for their losses looks set to be scuppered by Hyde and Lord Ashley.

COMEDY: Russell Howard’s Good News (BBC2, 11.20pm)

Switching on the news tends to be a depressing affair. War, plague, famine, financial problems... such events seem to dominate the headlines.

So how does Russell Howard manage to make us smile at them? And, perhaps more importantly, how does he find a way to turn them from upsetting and worrying into merry and amusing?

That’s a mystery, but long may it continue – we’re certainly not tired of seeing him do it yet.

For those who have never seen it, the format is simple – Russell basically performs a stand-up routine based on the week’s headlines, occasionally including sketches and guest performers.

Various topics are covered from major stories to law and order, education, art and culture, to animals.

So, what will pop up this week? Well, that depends on whatever tales are dominating the news.

And if you miss it, don’t worry – there’ll doubtless be another chance to see it repeated on a variety of channels at a later date.

BUSINESS: EY Entrepreneur of the Year (RTE One, 10.45pm)

Kathryn Thomas and Mark Little present the EY Entrepreneur Of The Year, Ireland’s premier business awards

They’ve met the competition, they’ve faced the judges and now 24 of Ireland’s greatest entrepreneurial success stories will join the who’s who in Irish business as they compete for the prestigious title of EY Entrepreneur Of The Year.

Airing on RTÉ One at 10.50pm live from the Citywest, Mark Little and Kathryn Thomas will take to the stage to present this year’s EY Entrepreneur Of The Year Awards where over 1,400 of Ireland’s most illustrious business leaders will gather to celebrate the success of the 24 entrepreneurs shortlisted for the coveted accolade.

FILM: The Tree of Life (Film4, 10.45pm)

(2011) On the anniversary of his brother’s death, a disillusioned architect looks back on his life, focusing on his childhood in 1950s Texas.

He remembers the very different relationships he had with his nurturing mother and stern father, while also pondering his place in the modern world and the nature of human existence.

A simple plot summary can’t really do justice to director Terrence Malick’s ambitious, experimental film, which as the title suggests, raises some pretty big questions about life.

Viewers may be divided on how successful it is at answering them, and some might find it all a bit ponderous. However, it’s certainly one of the most thought-provoking movies of the last few years, and the performances from Brad Pitt and Jessica Chastain won’t be quickly forgotten.

Starring: Brad Pitt, Sean Penn, Jessica Chastain, Hunter McCracken, Laramie Eppler, Tye Sheridan

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