DOCUMENTARY: The Insiders (RTE One, 7pm)
The Insiders is a new series that takes the audience behind the scenes to see how transformative events in recent history came about.
From the opening up of Croke Park and ending of Rule 42; Riverdance, and how it reinvented Ireland’s brand; the hosting of the Special Olympics; and the impact of the online travel revolution we talk to the insiders, those intimately involved at turning points of Irish history.
Episode 1: The Last Ban
The inside story of the removal of the Rule 42 which prohibited soccer and rugby from GAA grounds and of how a proposal written in a county kitchen in Co Roscommon opened the way for the Queen’s Visit.
Insiders tells the story of the battle to remove the ban and of how the GAA did what was once unthinkable – opened the gates of Croke Park to Rugby and Soccer.
SPORT: UEFA Champions League – Chelsea v Maribor (UTV, 7.30pm)
Stamford Bridge is the destination for ITV’s football presenters and pundits tonight as Chelsea take on Slovenian champions NK Maribor in Group G.
Jose Mourinho’s charges have been in fine form so far this season, dropping less than a handful of points in the Premier League since the big kick-off back in August.
They currently sit top of the pile with an impressive goal difference, although you get the feeling that it won’t be long before reigning champions Manchester City are piling on the pressure as they attempt to successfully defend the title.
Mourinho would love to win the Champions League too – something he’s already done with Porto and Inter Milan.
And in the impressive form they’re in at the moment, who would bet against them succeeding?
REALITY: You Can’t Get the Staff (Channel 4, 9pm)
Times are hard and most of us will be well aware that money is tight – so how come the demand for domestic staff in Britain is higher now than it was in Victorian times?
It’s a question we can’t answer, but perhaps all will become clear after tuning into this new, six-part series.
Apparently, a quarter of all homes hire some kind of help, but with the need for good – or at the very least, trustworthy – staff higher than ever, finding suitable candidates isn’t easy, which is where this show comes in.
Each week, viewers are introduced to wealthy folk who are seeking butlers, gardeners, housekeepers, nannies and grooms.
Among them is Sir Humphry Wakefield, who needs someone to polish his armour, Princess Olga Romanoff, who wants a ’garden boy’, and entrepreneur Sara Vestin Rahmani, whose dogs require a butler, apparently.
DOCUMENTARY: Human Universe (BBC2, 9pm)
Is there anybody there? Or, more properly, is there anybody out there?
For many a moon the human race has been desperately trying to find proof of life forms on other planets – after all, it would surely be rather egotistical to assume that in a galaxy this big, we’re the only ones hanging about in it.
Now Professor Brian Cox is turning his attention to the issue, and begins by going back in time to the 1970s when two golden discs were launched into space.
They contained a recorded greeting from Earth, and it was hoped that they would eventually be picked up aliens – instead, they’ve simply drifted into the outer reaches of the cosmos, and are currently the most distant man-made objects from the planet.
Brian also chats to members of the Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence, a team who have been hoping to hear radio signals from other beings for 50 years.
DRAMA: Outlander (RTE Two, 11pm)
While on her second honeymoon, World War II combat nurse Claire Randall, played by Irish actress Caitriona Balfe, is mysteriously transported back in time to 1743 Scotland.
After an encounter with a British soldier, she’s kidnapped by a group of Scottish Highlanders whose ranks include an injured young man named Jamie.
Forced to marry the outlawed Highlander, she finds herself falling in love and torn between her loyalties to two men in different centuries.
FILM: Brooklyn Rules (BBC1, 12.34am)
(2007) Director Michael Corrente’s crime drama follows the fortunes of three friends growing up in the New York City borough during the 1980s, all of whom find their lives taking distinctly different paths.
Michael, the narrator, is a loveable conman who scams his way into a prestigious college in a bid to leave the mean streets behind; Carmine falls under the spell of a powerful gangster and is lured into a life of crime; Bobby, meanwhile, favours honest but low-paid work.
However, when Carmine falls in too deep, his pals end up risking everything they worked for to help pull him out.
Plot-wise, this is nothing to write home about – it’s fairly standard crime-doesn’t-pay fare. However, strong performances by the three leads, and a stunning turn from Alec Baldwin as the Mafioso who controls the neighbourhood, make it well worth watching.
Starring: Freddie Prinze Jr, Scott Caan, Jerry Ferrara, Alec Baldwin, Mena Suvari, Monica Keena
RottenTomatoes.com Rating: 45%
FILM: The Players (Film4, 12.55am)
(2012) French comedy anthology film featuring a series of short exploring the theme of marital infidelity.
Among the many stories featured are a couple confessing to each other their various affairs, a support group in which serial adulterers discuss their actions, a married man who lacks the stamina to cope with his younger, more energetic lover, and a sex-crazed employee at a business convention.
It’s pretty hit and miss to be brutally honest, but when a film boasts a whopping seven directors, what can one expect? Fortunately, the hits more than make up for the misses – which are few in number and quickly over with.
Starring: Jean Dujardin, Gilles Lellouche, Guillaume Canet, Aina Clotet, Sandrine Kiberlain
RottenTomatoes.com Rating: 76%
NEW ON NETFLIX: Kill Your Darlings
When Allen Ginsberg (Daniel Radcliffe) is accepted at Columbia, he finds stuffy tradition clashing with daringly modern ideas and attitudes – embodied by Lucien Carr (Dane DeHaan).
Lucien is an object of fascination for shy, unsophisticated Allen, and soon he is drawn into Lucien’s hard-drinking, jazz-clubbing circle of friends, including William Burroughs (Ben Foster) and David Kammerer (Michael C. Hall), who clearly resents Allen’s position as Lucien’s new sidekick.
A true story of friendship, love and murder, Kill Your Darlings recounts the pivotal year that changed Allen Ginsberg’s life forever and provided the spark for him to start his creative revolution.
RottenTomatoes.com Rating: 76%