TV not to miss: The Meaning Of Life

Gay Byrne begins a new series of The Meaning Of Life on Tuesday at 10.15pm on RTÉ One with an interview with Mary McAleese.

TV not to miss: The Meaning Of Life

SATURDAY

Jaws: The Great White Lie

Channel 4, 7pm

People of a certain age will know the impact Jaws had when it was released in 1975. As well as a claim to fame as the world’s first summer blockbuster, Steven Spielberg’s masterful film left a whole generation unable to enter the water without hearing that distinctive attack music. Unfortunately, as this documentary shows, Jaws also had far more profound effects on the oceans. It demonised sharks to the extent that huge numbers were killed indiscriminately. Peter Benchley wrote the original book and his remorse about human attitudes to sharks was such that he spearheaded a conservation campaign for a creature that has become even more endangered in the past few years due to Chinese demand for shark fins. This film traces the stories of individuals and sections of the natural world who were significantly influenced by Jaws.

Arena: The Beatles’ Magical Mystery Tour

BBC Two, 9pm

A double-bill promising archive material of the Fab Four that has never been seen. We’ll also get the main source of these outtakes, the 1967 film, Magical Mystery Tour, the offbeat creation of the band that was derided by the conservative media.

Starsky And Hutch

RTÉ Two, 9.15pm

Ben Stiller and Owen Wilson star in the 2004 take on the classic cop series. Todd Philips of The Hangover was on directing duties, so no surprises that it provides a few laughs.

SUNDAY

Celebrity Bainisteoir — The Rivals

RTÉ One, 6.30pm

The quarter-final clash of Stephen Ireland’s partner Jessica Lawlor with model Rozanna Purcell is being billed as the ‘glamour battle’. Purcell’s Longford team have an extra motivation as their coach has promised she’ll wear a bikini to the next training session if they win their match.

Homeland

Channel 4, 9pm

If you missed the opening episode of series two on RTE Two last week, this Sunday slot on Channel 4 gives you a chance to catch up.

Andrew Marr’s History Of The World

BBC One, 9pm

The third episode of the show delves into the arrival of new spiritual beliefs that shaped the world between 300 BC and 700 AD. Prince Ashoka turned to Buddhism in India, Christianity spread across the Roman empire and Islam spread into Spain and Central Asia. As we well know, however, the rise of religion didn’t always mean the proliferation of peace and love — in particular we hear how, for some Christian and Muslim powers, the sword was as important as any holy book.

MONDAY

Cloch le Carn

RTÉ One, 7.30pm

New series begins with a reflection on the life and work of the late David Kelly. Originally trained as a calligrapher and draughtsman, we hear how his acting career progressed from the Dublin theatres to TV dramas and Hollywood films. Among those contributing to the show are his family, as well as the likes of Niall Tóibín and Mary McEvoy.

Nigellissima

BBC Two, 8.30pm

Nigella Lawson continues her series on Italian food by preparing pork loin stuffed with oregano and Parma ham. She also tries spelt spaghetti with an olive and anchovy sauce.

Ross Kemp Extreme World

Sky 1, 10pm

The final episode in the series has Kemp looking at how strong beliefs in witchcraft are leading to the killings of many innocent people. Moving between Kenya and Tanzania, he explains how paranoia and mob rule combine so people who are accused can easily lose their lives.

The Motorcycle Diaries

Film4, 11pm

Gael García Bernal plays Ernesto ‘Che’ Guevara in a film adapted from the Argentinian revolutionary’s early diaries in which he and a fellow-medical student travelled around South America on a motorbike.

TUESDAY

The Gathering: Homeward Bound

RTÉ One, 7pm

It’ll be interesting to see if the much-hyped Gathering gets much traction with our emigrant hordes, but in the meantime, we can witness pop star Niall ‘Bressie’ Breslin returning to Mullingar to help promote the event.

Double Your House for Half the Money

Channel 4, 8pm

Sarah Beeny helps a family to double their bedrooms and bathrooms by extending into the loft.

Fresh Meat

Channel 4, 10pm

Series two of the comedy series from the same team who do Peep Show. Wall-to-wall student humour.

Later Live — with Jools Holland

BBC Two, 10.30pm

Another fine eclectic lineup from Mr Holland: John Cale, Jessie Ware and the Vaccines. As ever, you can catch the longer version on Fridays.

Curb Your Enthusiasm

More 4, 10.35pm

Series eight of Larry David’s comedy series begins with an episode in which he is shocked to discover his divorce lawyer isn’t Jewish.

WEDNESDAY

The Food Episode

Channel 4, 8pm

We’ve heard a lot about blueberries being a superfood and tonight a boffin puts them to the test, explaining how they may even help with learning ability and concentration levels. Also on the show is morbidly obese 53-year-old Phil, who wants to stay big for an acting career that has included a part as a giant in a Harry Potter film, but is worried his size may be detrimental to his health. Finally, a nine-year-old with stomach problems is checked for coeliac disease.

Welcome to India

BBC Two, 9pm

Episode two of the three-part series looks at the people who live off the recycling and ragpicking. We meet a woman who is raising her seven children on what she earns from recycling plastic bottles. We also see Ashik, who makes a living from rendering beef fat into tallow.

THURSDAY

The Plane Crash

Channel 4, 9pm

If you have any fear of flying you should probably avoid this documentary. A team of scientists and aviation experts crash land a Boeing 727 jet to examine the effects on the passengers and the plane itself. They’ll explore such issues as what difference where you sit makes, or the benefits of seat belts and adopting the brace position. Appropriately enough, the pilot for the experiment is James ‘JimBob’ Slocum, who has survived three such crashes.

Movie Talk

RTÉ One, 11.20pm

Angelica Huston talks about growing up in Galway and the memories she has of her father John Huston. The actress recollects her Irish film projects with the likes of Jim Sheridan and Terry George, and also the excellent adaptation of The Dead by James Joyce.

FRIDAY

Moone Boy

Sky 1, 9.30pm

We’ve already reached the end of series one of Chris O’Dowd’s well-received comedy. Fear not, however, as season two is already in production.

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