TV not to miss

SATURDAY

Team America: World Police

E4, 9pm

The team behind South Park give us a Thunderbird-like puppet satire on the action film genre. One of the best comedies of recent years, it pokes fun at everyone from Matt Damon and George Clooney to Elizabeth II and Kim Jong-il.

The Jonathan Ross Show

UTV, 9.55pm

Jonathan Ross’s inaugural chat show for ITV reaches the end of its eight-week run with musician Noel Gallagher, British actor Michael Sheen and comedian Miranda Hart.

The Graham Norton Show

TV3, 10.55pm

If you missed last week’s first episode on BBC One, this is your chance to catch up on the Irish presenter and guests such as Kate Winslet and Rob Brydon. TV3 will run the episodes a week after the British broadcaster for the duration of the series.

SUNDAY

Fry’s Planet Word — The Power and the Glory

BBC Two, 9pm

This documentary series on language by Stephen Fry has been one of the best shows of the year. In this final episode he looks at the tradition of storytelling, and the flowering of language it has produced. A mention of PG Wodehouse is a fine excuse to show a clip of Fry himself in Jeeves And Wooster, while other writers such as Homer, Tolkien and Bob Dylan are also featured. David Norris also pops up to talk about James Joyce.

Cogar — Baile Beag na nGall

TG4, 9.30pm

Documentary on a small area in the Ring Gaeltacht in Co Waterford, taking the 1911 census as a starting point and talks to local people about some of the goings-on in the last 100 years — from memories of the Civil War and hard times, to the changes that have seen the fishing boats disappear from the harbour.

MONDAY

Brave New World With Stephen Hawking

Channel 4, 8pm

Episode two of the science show looks at the battle against some of the killer diseases. It features a heavyweight team of presenters that includes Robert Winston and Richard Dawkins as they look at such issues as the battle against malaria, and how surgery could soon be done by robots that could work around the clock.

TUESDAY

Bob Quinn @ 75

TG4, 9.30pm

The season of films from the veteran Irish documentary maker continues with two more of his works. The Family from 1978 was a look at the alternative Atlantis community in Donegal, also known as the ‘Screamers’. Commissioned by a fledgling RTÉ Two, the broadcaster then decided that it would be too shocking for its audience and abandoned a series in which it was meant to feature. The self-censorship was particularly ironic because the new channel was supposed to free itself of the conservative shackles of RTÉ One. That’s followed by Morris Minor (10.05pm), a 1990 film on a musical family from Connemara who had moved to Germany.

Later Live ... With Jools Holland

BBC Two, 11.50pm

Love them or loathe them, you’ll be hearing a lot of Coldplay over the next few months as they release their new album, Mylo Xyloto. Tonight they perform on the show which gave them their TV debut back in 2000. Also on the bill are Ryan Adams and Kiwi band the Phoenix Foundation.

WEDNESDAY

Off The Rails

RTÉ One, 8pm

A 14th series of the fashion-focused show begins. Brendan Courtney and Sonya Lennon are again on presentation duties as they go backstage at celebrity designer Mark Fast’s show, and give a makeover to a woman with a big night out fast approaching. And, of course, there’s a guide to what’s hot on the catwalk for the season ahead.

Secret Pakistan

BBC Two, 9pm

This two-part documentary series explores the convoluted relationship Pakistan has with the western powers. On one level, it is a close ally in the US fight against its enemies, but elements within the Pakistani state have also been helping the Taliban and other groups. Serving Taliban commanders describe the support they get from Pakistan, and western diplomats talk of the double game being played in the volatile region.

Hugo Hamilton; Croí agus Teanga

TG4, 9.30pm

A documentary on Hugo Hamilton, one of the most interesting figures on the current literary scene in Ireland. His memoir and stage play, The Speckled People, describes how he grew up in a household where his German mother spoke her native tongue and his nationalist father conversed only in Irish. English was banned in their home. This film has Hamilton again exploring his identity, travelling to his father’s birthplace in west Cork, and to Kempen where his mother’s family talk about how life was for her during the second world war.

Linha De Passe

RTÉ Two, 11.40pm

This 2008 drama from Brazil tells the tale of pregnant single mother Cleuza who works as maid in the apartment of a middle-class family. Walter Salles (The Motorcycle Diaries) is on directorial duties, while Sandra Corveloni won the best actress award at Cannes for her role.

THURSDAY

The Joy of Teen Sex

Channel 4, 10pm

Yes, the title may be unashamedly attention-seeking, but the first season of this series on sexuality did contain plenty of sound advice. If they’re doing it, they may as well enjoy it and do it safely, seems to be the attitude of the show. Season two continues in a similar vein, with practical tips on how to overcome phobias and deal with the emotional rollercoaster that sexual encounters can create. Teenage reporter Billie Porter also travels to Magaluf in Majorca to see why it’s been christened ‘Shagaluf’ by the hordes of young holidaymakers who go there.

Michael Forever — the tribute concert

Sky 1, 9pm

Footage from the recent gig in Cardiff that paid tribute to the late Michael Jackson. As well as various members of the Jackson family, the line-up also included the likes of Ne-Yo, Diversity and Jamie Foxx.

FRIDAY

Gardeners’ World

BBC Two, 8pm

Monty Don clears annuals that are past their best, and prepares the ground for a colourful display in late spring. Carol Klein works on her raised beds and tames an unruly rose.

Upside Down: The Creation Records Story

BBC Four, 9pm

From its creation in 1983 to its demise in 1999, Creation Records provided the creative outlet for the likes of My Bloody Valentine, Primal Scream and Oasis. This documentary uses contributions from founder Alan McGee and others to tell a hugely entertaining pop culture tale of pills, thrills and bellyaches.

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