TV not to miss

SATURDAY

Happy Feet

RTÉ One, 5.30pm

One worth recording for younger kids as Elijah Wood and the late Brittany Murphy are among those providing the voices in the animated tale of a loveable emperor penguin who can’t perform the conventional song that helps others of his species find a mate. What he can do, however, is tap dance. Along the way, there’s also an environmental message as the penguins appeal to humans to stop overfishing in the Antarctic.

World War II: The Last Heroes

Channel 4, 8.45pm

While recent years have seen the demise of the final surviving soldiers from the First World War, there are plenty of veterans of the subsequent conflict still alive. This new six-part series hears first-hand accounts from those who took part in the battles. The show has been made by the team who made the excellent Blitz Street last year, and uses similar reconstruction techniques to make it all feel as real as possible.

Goodfellas

TG4, 10.20pm

With Robert De Niro and Joe Pesci again teaming up with Martin Scorsese for a gangster film, this is a timely reminder of what the trio are capable of. The 1999 offering tells the mostly true tale of half-Irish, half-Sicilian criminal Henry Hill as he rises through the ranks of organised crime in Brooklyn. Watch out for the director’s mother, Catherine Scorsese, who plays Pesci’s character’s mamma in a marvellous ad-libbed dinner scene.

SUNDAY

Ironman 70.3 Gaillimh

TG4, 6.25pm

Highlights from the recent Ironman triathlon event which was held in Galway. Two thousand people took part in the first event of the Ironman series to be held in Ireland.

River Cottage Veg

Channel 4, 8pm

Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall has long been showing us the wonders of good meat and awful offal. For this new series he’s going vegetarian, espousing both the health and environmental benefits of not being a carnivore. In this opening episode, as well as working on his own vegetable patch with renewed gusto, Fearnley Whittingstall visits vegetarian chef David Bailey, who demonstrates some delicious meat-free dishes. A challenge to host a veggie barbecue also brings on some delicious halloumi, tomato and potato kebabs, and a salad made from carrot, cashew and orange.

Fry’s Planet Word

BBC 2, 9pm

Stephen Fry continues his look at language by exploring the written word, surely a candidate for humanity’s greatest invention. As he points out, without writing we would have little in the way of history or technology. As well as looking at where our alphabet came from, the learned presenter talks about dyslexia, and learns how different writing systems can affect readers’ brains. Finally, he attempts to assess how written language might evolve over the next 10,000 years.

MONDAY

Temple Street Children’s Hospital

TV3, 8pm

Season two of the documentary series from the children’s hospital in Dublin presents another mix of moving stories from staff and patients.

Brave New World With Stephen Hawking

Channel 4, 8pm

Considering that Stephen Hawking’s word construction involves a slight movement in his cheek that feeds a predictive text program, the work involved in presenting a five-part series like this one must be incredible. Over the next five weeks we’ll see how science is striving for the next great leap forward. First up is a look at machines and such technological advances as an artificial exoskeleton that can make the paralysed walk, and a baby-like robot called iCub that learns like a child.

The Republic Of Telly

RTE Two, 9.50pm

Not every shot it takes actually hits the target, but the new series of The Republic of Telly should provide a healthy sprinkling of lighthearted moments, not least from viewers themselves who are urged to send in their funny bits. And this year’s series also looks set to make liberal use of Georgia Salpa.

Baz’s Extreme Worlds

RTE Two, 10.20pm

Monday night on RTE Two really is aimed at young people who love to do mad and do funny things, so Baz Ashmawy again gets inflicted on various communities around the world. Tonight he’s in Mosca, Southern Colorado, where he has a spell as a farmhand at a facility that looks after alligators, emus and wild horses.

TUESDAY

The Kid’s Speech

BBC One, 10.35pm

Moving documentary following three young people who embark on a course at the Michael Palin Centre for Stammering Children. Palin himself also talks about the condition.

Romanzo Criminale

Sky Arts 1, 9pm

OMG, don’t you know that The Killing is, like, so last year. The on-trend European crime drama du jour is actually this enjoyable tale from the Roman underworld of the 1970s.

Almodovar Season

Film 4

Spanish director Pedro Almodóvar is one of the best European filmmakers around, and Film 4 presents four of his biggest movies tonight and tomorrow. First up is possibly his finest work to date, All About My Mother (Wed, 9pm), followed by Bad Education (11pm), an xx film starring Gael García Bernal which, as often happens with Almodovar, splits opinion.

Later Live With Jools Holland

BBC Two, 11.50pm

Canadian singer-songwriter Feist returns to showcase songs from his new album, Bon Iver makes another appearance, and we’ll also get to see jazz pianist Buddy Greco and metal gods Mastodon. Eclectic or wha?

WEDNESDAY

Room To Improve

RTE One, 8pm

The final episode in the series has Dermot Bannon trying to help Dubliner John Rochford and Lee Benn from Limerick turn their Dublin home into a building worthy of its ideal Blackrock location. On entering the property, Dermot tells the couple: “You’ve bought the biggest can of worms that you’ve ever bought in your life.” Cue the headaches and hard work before the project is realised.

THURSDAY

Beeny’s Restoration Nightmare

Channel 4, 8pm

The opening series of this show last year saw Sarah Beeny and her lucky husband Graham taking on the task of restoring a massive Georgian country house that they also hoped would work as a wedding venue. They’re onto a new stage of the renovation, but we’ll see how the wedding idea is scuppered after just one event because of planning issues. In this first episode they also attempt to restore the once-lavish Regency dining room.

PAOK v Shamrock Rovers

3e, ko 8.05pm

You realise how much the Irish team are the whipping boys of this group when the best they can probably hope for from a visit to the Greek side is to return with a respectable loss.

Life With Epilepsy

RTE One, 8.30pm

We saw recently how epileptics in Ireland were once committed to psychiatric institutions. Thankfully, there’s a more enlightened attitude nowadays and 17-year-old Aaron Maher describes his efforts to keep his condition under control.

FRIDAY

Unforgiven

TG4, 9.05pm

Probably the only classic western to be made in the 1990s, we see Clint Eastwood starring and directing in a tale of a former outlaw taking on one final job.

* Get daily TV reviews, previews and gossip via Twitter with @examinertv

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