Best on TV

Series five of Mad Men, the series set in the world of New York advertising in the 1960s, begins on RTÉ Two on Friday.

Best on TV


The Jonathan Ross Show

UTV, 9.55pm

British Olympic hero and recent father to twins Mo Farah talks about an incredible few weeks in his life. Also joining Ross are rapper/actor Plan B, about to star in a new film version of The Sweeney, and actress Rosie Huntington-Whiteley.

Come All You Dreamers

TG4, 10.05pm

Christy Moore with Declan Sinnott in a concert recorded at the legendary Barrowland venue in Glasgow in 2008. Includes such classics as Ride On, Missing You and Back Home in Derry.

Pride & Prejudice

UTV, 11.10pm

Keira Knightley provided ample copy for the celebrity mags for a number of years, but this adaptation of the classic novel serves as a reminder that she’s also a fine actress. Colin Firth, Matthew Macfadyen and Donald Sutherland also feature.

Dog Day Afternoon

RTÉ One, 11.50pm

Absolute classic from 1975. Al Pacino and John Cazale in the partly-true tale of a bungled bank robbery. Works every time.


Toughest Place To Be A Nurse

BBC Two, 9pm

Maria Connolly takes time out from her job in a hospital in Preston to go work in Ciudad Juarez in Mexico, a city that has become notorious as the epicentre of the country’s vicious drug wars. Connolly — whose grandparents come from Enniscorthy — works for two weeks in the hospital, treating an incredible number of people who have been stabbed or shot. She also has to live in the city, and the resulting documentary is a revealing insight into life for many inhabitants of the Central American country.


Paul O’Grady: For the Love of Dogs

UTV, 11.05pm

Paul O’Grady has taken in three dogs from animals’ homes and in this new series goes to work in Battersea Dogs & Cats Home. As well as helping the vets and scrubbing the pounds, O’Grady also assists in the birth of a litter of puppies and encounters some heartbreaking cases as he seeks homes for some of the abandoned dogs.

Ross Kemp: Extreme World

Sky 1, 9pm

The former EastEnder begins a second series of forays into the world’s danger spots. First up is Karachi in Pakistan, where a combination of Islamic fundamentalism and local political rivalries have made the streets a battleground.

Celebrity Salon

TV3, 9pm

Participants in the third series include Cork-born popster Carol Anthony, Greg Lake of Geordie Shore and UTV continuity announcer Julian Simmons.



BBC One, 9pm

After his starring role last week, Robert Sheehan also plays a significant part in this concluding episode, but most of the focus is on his character’s prison guard.

Back To School: John Lonergan’s School Principles

RTÉ One, 9.35pm

John Lonergan rose to fame as the outspoken, compassionate governor of Mountjoy Jail, and this documentary is partly informed by his experiences there. Knowing that many of the people he dealt with never finished school, he looks at why early intervention is so important to ensure troubled/ troublesome kids still get a decent education. In Cork, he visits the Life Centre on Sundays Well, which provides an alternative learning environment for children who haven’t got on well in conventional schools.

We hear moving accounts from children of how disability, bullying, bad home lives, etc, almost ensured they were lost to the education system. In Moyross, Limerick, Lonergan visits the Garda Youth Diversion Project and in Clondalkin, Dublin, he meets a group of young people who are the first in their family to complete the Leaving Cert. The former governor also responds to some vitriolic criticism from members of the public who disagree with his approach. “Never humiliate people,” he implores. “Humiliation damages people and they never forget it.”


One Born Every Minute

RTÉ Two, 7.30pm

We’re up to series two of the Channel 4 documentary series set inside a maternity ward, and tonight’s expectant couples include a pair of teenagers who fell in love on their last day at school.

United 93

RTÉ One, 9.35pm

The approach of the 9/11 anniversary is the perfect excuse to show Paul Greengrass’s superb take on what may have happened aboard the hijacked plane that didn’t hit a target that day.


The British

Sky Atlantic, 9pm

Major new history series includes contributions from pop culture figures such as Helen Mirren and Russell Brand. Despite the title of the show, Ireland will also get a look-in, not least in this opening episode which goes back to 58AD and the people commonly known as the Celts.


District 9

Film4, 9pm

Excellent offbeat film about a group of aliens from space who end up in a township in South Africa.

The Late Late Show

RTÉ One, 9.35pm

New series. You know the drill: Ryan Tubridy, chat, music, occasional controversy.

Mad Men

RTÉ Two, 9.55pm

The chief executive of TV3 recently criticised the loss-making RTÉ for its expenditure on American imports. What really has galled some of the rest of us, however, is how the national broadcaster would spend licence-payers’ money on these shows and then tuck some of them away in dark corners of the schedule.

For the past four years, Mad Men in a midnight on Monday slot was the main stick the chattering classes would beat the RTÉ schedulers with. With series five, we’ve been disarmed.

This Friday slot is the ideal time to show the shenanigans of Don Draper and co.

If you haven’t seen the 1960s-set series set in the world of New York advertising, you could probably jump aboard right now, but some background knowledge or box-sets will add to your enjoyment.

For the serious fans — and viewing figures indicate that these are far less than the show’s profile would suggest — you are in for a 13-episode treat.

With Don, it’s not so much what he does, but what he doesn’t do.

Roger comes into his own with some classic lines and situations, there’s a divorce, we lose a major character, and while the prominence of Don’s new wife Megan may not be to everybody’s liking, there are numerous other strands to keep you on board in a series that has gone up a gear.


¦ Veteran singer Tom Waits will appear in the new series of The Simpsons. The gravel-voiced American will play himself in an episode to be broadcast in December. He will introduce Homer to a survivalist group.

¦ John Banville’s alter ego Benjamin Black has definitely earned his keep, with the Wexford writer’s Quirke books being turned into a three-part series by the BBC. Conor McPherson is on screenwriting duties, while Gabriel Byrne is in the title role.

¦ True Blood is back on FX on Monday, Sept 17.

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