TV not to miss

SATURDAY

Harry Hill’s TV Burp

UTV, 7.15pm

The big-collared funnyman is back for another series trawling through the week’s TV and putting his amusing spin on it all.

SUNDAY

At Your Service

TV3, 8.30pm

The Olde Glenbeigh Hotel will be a familiar landmark to anyone who knows the Ring of Kerry. It’s been run for the past 24 years by Mary Keary, but a changing of the guard is under way as her son Killian and his wife Marie have stepped up to take over the business. Mindful of the problems that have affected the hotel industry, they’re not sure which direction to take the old coach in. Cue the arrival of John and Francis Brennan who want to shake-up the business and take advantage of its location near some of the most beautiful spots in Europe, while also negotiating the family politics involved.

Pans Labyrinth

Film4, 9pm

Spanish director Guillermo del Toro introduces this fantasy tale set against the backdrop of his home country’s civil war. An 11-year-old girl with a cruel fascist stepfather discovers a magical world of mythical beings. Superb.

Being Human

BBC Three, 9pm

The supernatural drama returns for a fourth series. The ghost and two werewolves are having difficulty staying under the radar in a sleepy seaside town, and also have big problems when vampires target their significant new offspring.

The Meaning Of Life With Gay Byrne

RTÉ One, 10.30pm

Gay Byrne’s encounters with Bob Geldof have been plentiful through the years, and this latest meeting sees the former Boomtown Rat reflecting on his 60 years on the planet. As well as the people who inspired him, Geldof also describes how he has again found happiness in his life after years of grief, and elucidates his belief that there is no such thing as God.

MONDAY

A Century of Fatherhood

BBC Four, 8pm

A repeat of the episode looking at new fathers, where divorce and separation means they are living outside the family home. As well as the weekend dads, it also looks at the role of stepfathers and the Fathers 4 Justice protest movement.

The Business

RTÉ One, 8.30pm

The antics of Sean Quinn and a host of our finest property developers have ensured that the subject of bankruptcy has been prominent over the past year or so. George Lee examines the issue in the context of the recently published Personal Insolvency Bill, which proposes that bankrupt people can get back into business after three years instead of the current 12. He suggest that we should consider going even further, and bring the law into line with Britain, where bankrupts are discharged after just one year. This measure would end bankruptcy tourism and help to free up business people to create employment and contribute to the economy again, according to Lee.

TUESDAY

Ear To The Ground

RTÉ One, 8.30pm

New Zealand’s hugely successful farming industry is regularly referred to as a model Ireland should be following and this special episode of Ear To The Ground is off to the southern hemisphere to find out what’s so great about Kiwi agriculture. We hear how the New Zealand dairy industry has quadrupled in size over the past 30 years, and meet some of the Irish people working in it. Among them are Leonie Foster and her husband, Corkman Kieran Guiney, pictured, who have built up a 2,500-acre enterprise milking about 500 cows.

How to Grow a Planet

BBC Two, 9pm

New series on the importance of plants to Earth through history has Professor Iain Stewart travelling from caves in Vietnam to African deserts. Along the way he explains how vegetation was essential in creating a life-supporting atmosphere.

Katie: The Science of Seeing Again

Channel 4, 9pm

Interesting documentary presented by former model Katie Piper, who hit the headlines after being disfigured and partially blinded in an acid attack in 2008. She looks at the science behind the operation that restored her sight — stem cells were injected directly into her eye. Of course, there’s a huge ethical debate waging about the use of stem cells in medicine and she also touches on some of this.

Death Unexplained

BBC One, 10.35pm

This new series gives us a fascinating behind-the-scenes look at the work of the Coroner’s Court in Britain. With unprecedented access to the work of a branch in west London, we hear the stories of some of the unexplained or violent deaths the coroner has to investigate. Among the cases covered in this opening episode a suspected poisoning, a possible prescription drugs overdose and a man whose body lay undiscovered for months.

WEDNESDAY

Super Smart Animals

BBC One, 8pm

Irish presenter Liz Bonnin searches for the world’s most intelligent animals. As well as encountering grey whales with incredibly developed emotions, she meets clever Caribbean monkeys and chats to a chimpanzee. There are also crows who hold grudges for years, dogs who understand 1,000 words and elephants who love looking in the mirror.

MasterChef

BBC One, 9pm

Things are hotting up in the MasterChef kitchen and the eight remaining contestants have to select one of the three leading European cuisines to immerse themselves in: Italian, Spanish or French. Each group will then work with a master from their chosen country and prepare a dish to match that nation’s highest standards.

The Sopranos

Sky Atlantic, 9pm

The first episode in the fifth series picks up from Tony’s eviction from the family home by an irate Carmela. He’s still looking out for his wife and son, however, and sightings of a bear in the area has him dispatching Benny Fazio and Little Paulie Germani to guard the house with an AK-47.

Tales From a Neutral Corner

Setanta Ireland, 10.30pm

This superb documentary on Irish amateur boxing is on heavy rotation on Setanta, and anybody with an interest in the pugilistic arts, or sport in general, would be well advised to catch it. Liam Neeson narrates.

THURSDAY

Inside Men

BBC One, 9pm

Another episode of the decent drama series about a group of workers in a security depot who are planning a heist. They’ve found a gun-supplier — all they need to do now is cough up the cash for them.

FRIDAY

How the Brits Rocked America

BBC Four, 9pm

The final episode in the excellent documentary series on the export of British music to America looks at the 1980s. The post-punk era saw the British charts littered with seriously good acts such as Elvis Costello, the Cure, and the Police and many of them made huge money in the US. John Lydon and Robert Smith are among the interviewees.

More in this section

Puzzles logo

Puzzles hub

Visit our brain gym where you will find simple and cryptic crosswords, sudoku puzzles and much more. Updated at midnight every day.

Lifestyle
Newsletter

The best food, health, entertainment and lifestyle content from the Irish Examiner, direct to your inbox.

Sign up