Best on TV

SATURDAY

The Graham Norton Show

TV3, 10.45pm

Graham Norton’s house in Wapping was burgled last week and his 60k Lexus stolen (since found via its onboard tracker), but perhaps the fact that his “dream” interviewee Madonna has appeared on a special episode show will provide some consolation. If you missed the original broadcast last night on BBC One, this is a chance to see it.

SUNDAY

The Voice of Ireland

RTÉ One, 6.30pm

Round two of the search for a singer includes a YouTube blogger, an ex-girlband member and a father and son.

Hugh’s Three Hungry Boys

Channel 4, 7pm

We preferred Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall when he was just a smallholder eking out a well-fed living in Devon, but it is probably true that the River Cottage shows had a limited life span. For his latest matey outing, the recently-shorn chef has roped in three of his best friends to try and spend five weeks travelling in the south of England and living off the land. Foraging is the new black in foodie circles and these lads have a tough task, even if the area they are in is one of the most bountiful on the island.

Call The Midwife

BBC One, 8pm

New series set among a group of midwives in London in the 1950s. The opening episode sees a newly-qualified Jenny Lee coming under the tutelage of the eccentric Sister Monica Joan, played by Jenny Agutter (remember Jessica 6 in Logan’s Run?). Her first case involves the 25th pregnancy of Conchita Warren, whose husband Len met in Spain while fighting in that country’s civil war. It’s all based on the real-life memoirs of Jennifer Worth and, as well as showing the trials and tribulations of fertile women’s lives and their carers, it also gives insight into the widespread poverty that existed at the time in the East End.

The Reader

Channel 4, 9pm

Kate Winslet won an Oscar for her role as Hanna, a tram conductor in post-war Germany. She embarks on a torrid affair with a younger lover, played by David Kross and later in his life by Ralph Fiennes, and the two reconnect in later life via a controversial war crimes trial. A fine film, it is also notable that its two producers — Anthony Minghella and Sydney Pollack — died before its release.

The Meaning Of Life

RTÉ One, 10.30pm

Paddy Moloney of the Chieftains takes part in an interesting chat with Gay Byrne about his beliefs and his life in the music business. He recounts how he once had a vision while playing at Ground Zero in New York, and also talks about the group’s longevity being partly down to their policy of living fairly separate lives, even when on tour.

MONDAY

Gadget Geeks

Sky 1, 8pm

New series covering an area that has been surprisingly neglected by other networks. A team of experts reviews new electronic gadgets and helps members of the public find devices to suit their needs. The first show includes a travel rep in Ibiza looking for the most suitable underwater camera, while Got to Dance winners will also be testing out portable speakers.

How Sex Works — Playing the Field

BBC Three, 9pm

The second episode in the series looks at the pros and cons of different sexual adventures. We meet one person who enjoys playing the field, and another who avoids sexual encounters altogether. As well as the personal stories, a number of boffins explain the physiological and psychological processes that may influence people’s choices.

TUESDAY

15 Kids And Counting

Channel 4, 9pm

New three-part series on big families. First up are Noel and Sue who have baby number 15 on the way. Now 36, Sue has spent half of her adult life pregnant and over the last 17 years has had a baby almost every year. We also meet the O’Sullivan family, practicing Catholics who follow their church’s teaching that artificial contraception is wrong. Tania has already had nine children and eight miscarriages, and is currently expecting twins.

WEDNESDAY

Talhotblond

Channel 4, 11.15pm

Documentary on a case in which a deceptive online relationship between a middle-aged man and a young woman turned to jealous murder. Neither had been using their real identities online.

THURSDAY

Putin, Russia And The West

BBC Two, 9pm

First of a major four-part series looking at Vladimir Putin, the man who has been garnering increasing amounts of power in Russia. The first episode looks back to 2001 when Putin surprisingly allied his country to the west in the wake of 9/11. Colin Powell and Condoleezza Rice are among those giving their impressions of the era.

Gypsy Blood: True Stories

Channel 4, 10pm

Channel 4 discovered last year that Travellers made for great voyeuristic TV viewing. The latest in the network’s documentaries looks at the culture of fighting within Traveller societies. We see Hughie Doherty passing on fighting skills to his seven-year-old son Francie, while Freddy Cole, nine, talks about his fears of his father being hurt in a fight.

The Nurse

RTÉ One, 10.15pm

Episode two of the series following public health nurses has one of the team treating an elderly diabetic who is at risk of losing a toe due to last year’s cold weather. There’s also a new mum to be cared for and out on Inishbofin island, nurse Mary Walsh has to deal with a victim of electrocution.

FRIDAY

Who Knows Ireland Best?

RTÉ One, 8.30pm

Derek Mooney presents a lighthearted new gameshow/quiz in which subgroups of society are asked questions about a recent survey of 1,000 Irish people. In tonight’s first episode, a team of three hoteliers goes up against three tattoo artists as they attempt to guess the publics’ answers to such questions as: how many pairs of shoes does the average Irish woman own? Have you ever secretly checked your partner’s emails?

Homeland

RTÉ Two, 9.35pm

The enjoyable thriller series continues with FBI agent Carrie becoming even more suspicious about a former Marine when she sees him performing an Islamic prayer.

Sexy Beast

Film4, 11pm

Ray Winstone and Ben Kingsley star in one of the best British films of recent years, with the latter banishing any lingering traits of Gandhi for ever more. A London criminal tries to go straight by moving to Spain, but gets sucked back to his old ways by some very heavy former associates.

Die Welle (The Wave)

TG4, 12.05am

German film in which a high school teacher’s unusual experiment to demonstrate to his students what life is like under a dictatorship spins out of control.

* Get daily TV news, previews and reviews on Twitter via @examinertv

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