TV not to miss: Room to Improve

Dermot Bannon returns in a new series of Room to Improve tomorrow on RTÉ One.

SATURDAY

The X Factor

TV3, 8.20pm

The second of the live shows has the remaining contestants performing for the judges and the studio audience. Gary Barlow has the Overs, Nicole Scherzinger takes the Boys, Tulisa Contostavlos gets the Girls and Louis Walsh has the Groups.

SUNDAY

All-Island School Choir Of The Year Competition

RTÉ One, 5.10pm

Anne Cassin presents the first in a new series of the competition. This regional final features five schools from Limerick and Cork: Coláiste Iosaef, Kilmallock; Loreto Secondary School, Fermoy; Saint Mary’s Secondary School, Macroom; Regina Mundi, Douglas; and Coláiste an Chroí Naofa, Carraig na bFear. Later in the series, on Nov 11, the final will come from the Titanic Belfast building.

Jockey Eile

TG4, 8.15pm

Seán Bán Breathnach and Joe Connolly are still hunting for a top jockey from the recruits in the boot camp. This week the candidates will also get a visit from Davy Russell and Kevin Manning.

The Meaning Of Life With Gay Byrne

RTÉ One, 10.30pm

When Noel Gallagher of Oasis first appeared on The Late Late Show back in the 1990s, he admitted it was at his Irish mother Peggy’s behest that he go on with Gay Byrne. The Mayo woman also gets a mention in tonight’s encounter between the duo as the musician talks about his working class upbringing in Manchester. A troubled childhood in which his hard-drinking Irish father was left behind by the rest of family meant that Noel and his oler brother Paul needed speech therapy to correct their stammers. Gallagher also talks about his dallies with drugs, the rift from Liam, and his envy of his wife’s religious faith.

MONDAY

Cloch Le Carn

RTÉ One, 7.30pm

A tribute to the actor Joe Lynch, who passed away in 2001. The Corkman was probably best known for his role as Dinny Byrne in Glenroe, but this programme shows how he had an eclectic career in the entertainment business.

Nigellissima

BBC Two, 8.30pm

Another week, another collection of mouth-watering Italian recipes from Nigella Lawson. Her liquorice pudding is described as “dark and deviant”, while other treats tonight include Sardinian couscous (fregola) with tomato and clams; butterflied leg of lamb and baby aubergines with oregano and roasted red onion; and an exquisite meringue gelato cake with raspberries and dark chocolate sauce. Yes, please.

Sex, Death and the Meaning of Life

More4, 10pm

Evolutionary biologist and celebrity atheist Richard Dawkins begins a new series looking at what would happen if humanity left religion behind. One of the issues he addresses is the widely-held fear that less religion would mean less moral behaviour. Why be good if God isn’t watching us? Dawkins makes the case that moral behaviour can be just as strong in the absence of religion, and argues that our evolved senses of reason and empathy appear to be making us more and more moral, even as religious observance declines. He also delves into pre-religious roots of moral behaviour that can be found in our evolutionary past.

A To Zeppelin

Sky Arts, 10pm

Various music heads look at the career and legacy of Led Zeppelin. As well as the success that allowed the British group garner an unprecedented 90% cut on gig profits, we hear about the excesses that led to a lot of obnoxious behaviour and the death of John Bonham.

TUESDAY

The Gathering: Homeward Bound

RTÉ One, 7pm

Former rugby star Trevor Brennan returns to Leixlip to explore the Kildare town’s tale of emigration.

Siar an Bóthar

TG4, 8pm

More archive footage from the world of Irish music. Includes a 1967 report by Bill O’Herlihy on the army bands, a clip of Paul Brady from 1978 and legendary Dublin dancer Kevin Massey in action.

Later Live — with Jools Holland

BBC Two, 11.50pm

Features new tracks from Madness, jangly retro sounds from Grizzly Bear and afro-fusion by Mokoomba.

Beyond Belief

RTÉ One, 11.15pm

The final episode in the current series of the religiously-themed show looks at the difficult issue of blasphemy. For religious people, it can be a huge affront to their beliefs; for atheists, it seems ridiculous to have laws to protect a non-existent being.

WEDNESDAY

The Food Hospital

Channel 4, 8pm

Dietician Lucy Jones prescribes cranberry juice and probiotic drinks as a preventative measure for a woman suffering from cystitis. The show also looks at diet-based solutions to conditions such as erectile dysfunction and an inflammatory skin disease, as well as looking at the role of the capsaicin chemical in chilli for increasing metabolic rate and weight loss.

Who Do You Think You Are?

BBC One, 9pm

Former Liverpool captain John Barnes delves into his Jamaican heritage, particularly the role his grandfather played in that island’s fight for independence.

The Lemon Tree

RTÉ Two, 11.45pm

Well-received film from 2008 telling the story of a Palestinian widow who tries to defend her field of lemon trees from the threats of an Israeli politician who has moved next to her. Despite the subject matter, the makers of the film say they focused more on the characters involved than the politics of the situation.

THURSDAY

The Works

RTÉ One, 10.50pm

John Kelly is in London for an interview with American writer Paul Auster, and there’s also a preview of the Wexford Opera Festival.

Movie Talk

RTÉ One, 11.25pm

This series has been producing some superb Irish-related film chat, a trend that’s set to continue with an interview with John Boorman. He talks of his work films like Deliverance and The General, and his involvement in bringing Gabriel Byrne and Liam Neeson to an international audience.

FRIDAY

Nigel Slater’s Dish of the Day

BBC One, 7.30pm

Nigel Slater follows a similar template to Irish Examiner food writer Michelle Darmody on p26, turning his weekly shopping bag into seven meals. Tonight he cooks haddock chowder, crumbed lamb steak with buttered swede mash and fennel feta linguine.

Me and Mrs Jones

BBC One, 9.30pm

Robert Sheehan continues his comedy role as Billy, the guest of a friend whose mother seems to have developed feelings towards him. Gemma Jones (Sarah Alexander) tries to convince him there’s no chance of a romantic liaison, but she does strip to her underwear in front of him. Also stars Neil Morrissey.

TV NEWS

¦ IFTN reports that RTÉ has commissioned independent production company Element Pictures to help create a three-part drama series on Charlie Haughey. Citizen Charlie will begin filming next year, and no cast details are available yet. Given the incredible life the disgraced Fianna Fáil politician had, the show has the makings of TV gold.

¦ Travel show fans should watch out for Michael Palin’s new series on Brazil which begins on Oct 24 on BBC One. The four-parter begins in the north in cities such as Salvador, where African culture is still very much in evidence.

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