Best on TV: Today live

Dáithí O Sé, Maura Derrane, Norah Casey and Bláithnaid Ní Chofaigh present the new daytime series Today live from Cork every weekday.

Best on TV: Today live

SATURDAY

Jonathan Ross

UTV, 10.05pm

Olly Murs is one of those rare X Factor contestants who has gone on to forge a decent career in pop, despite not winning the series in 2009. He tells Ross about the roller-coaster ride of appearing in the TV talent show. Tinie Tempah and Calvin Harris provide the music.

SUNDAY

Junior Mastermind

TV3, 7.15pm

Former politician Nora Owen continues in her new TV career with a quiz show for 10- and 11-year-olds. The four contestants hail from Donegal, Cork and Dublin, and include the American Superbowl and Mary Robinson among their specialised subjects.

Obama: What Happened to Hope?

BBC Two, 7.30pm

With the US election taking place on Tuesday, Andrew Marr looks back at Barack Obama’s first term in office. When elected in 2008, Obama’s powers of oration, the fact that he was the first black man to hold the office, and the relief felt at the end of George Bush’s reign among liberal Americans, heralded a great feeling of hope in the country. Unfortunately for Obama, he inherited huge economic problems, and lost some of the sheen that his preelection machine was so good at projecting. Marr talks to commentators and some of the people who have worked with Obama in an attempt to assess how close his presidency has come to meeting the huge expectations. Along the way, he teases out some of the moments that have defined Obama’s term in office, including the killing of Osama Bin Laden.

Cogar: An Kincora

TG4, 9.30pm

Documentary on the sinking of Irish steamer the Kincora at Tuskar Rock in 1901 after a collision with the White Star liner Oceania. Seven people were drowned. Among them was Carl Freidrich Sacht from Liverpool, who was buried in Fethard-on-Sea in Co Wexford when his body was washed ashore a few weeks after the sinking. It was only when his family were contacted by researchers for the documentary that they discovered where he was laid to rest. We also hear about Limerick man George Collins, who possibly saved many lives when he spurned a chance to climb to safety and instead returned to the engine room to turn off the boiler to prevent an explosion.

The Meaning Of Life With Gay Byrne

RTÉ One, 10.30pm

Dragon’s Den panel member Norah Casey talks to Gay Byrne about her Catholic faith and how it helped her deal with the death of her husband Richard from cancer just over a year ago. Casey also talks about her idyllic upbringing in the Phoenix Park, where her father had inherited the gate lodge and job that went with it from her grandfather, a comrade of Éamon de Valera in the 1916 Rising.

MONDAY

Today

RTÉ One, 4.30pm

This new daytime show from RTÉ’s studios in Cork will broadcast every weekday in this slot, and will feature presenters Dáithí Ó Sé and Maura Derrane from Monday to Thursday, with Norah Casey and Bláithnaid Ní Chofaigh hosting the Friday programme. Derval O’Rourke and David Coleman are among the guests on today’s instalment.

Dispatches

Channel 4, 8pm

Israel has nuclear weapons, and its possible attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities could plunge the world into a new crisis. Tonight, Dispatches looks at the implications of such a conflict.

Churchill’s Desert War: The Road to El Alamein

BBC Two, 9pm

If you were going to fight in the hellish battlefields of the Second World War, the North African campaign was probably one of the more benign places to be. Jonathan Dimbleby tells the story of the desert war, and along the way visits some of its most important locations, from the bunkers in Europe where the various leaders plotted their campaigns, to the former frontline location of El Alamein itself.

Dallas

TV3, 10pm

The revamped series reaches its season one finale with the inevitable family bombshells. Will we see Bobby walking out of the shower next year?

TUESDAY

New Girl

RTÉ Two, 8.30pm

The US comedy drama returns for a second series as part of RTÉ’s ‘Laugh Out Loud’ strand.

Dara O Briain’s Science Club

BBC Two, 9pm

New six-part science series fronted by the Irish comedian. First up is the topic of reproduction and inheritance, with Ed Byrne investing how closely related he is to a Neanderthal, and neuroscientist Tali Sharot explaining how exercise can change your DNA.

Imagine... Ian Rankin And The Case Of The Disappearing Detective

BBC One, 10.35pm

The cameras were on bestselling crime writer Ian Rankin for six months as he worked on his first book in the wake of the retirement of DI John Rebus.

WEDNESDAY

Kitchen Hero

RTÉ One, 7.30pm

Donal Skehan returns with another seven episodes of his cookery show. Tonight he gets all exotic using such ingredients as soya sauce and Tabasco.

Brazil With Michael Palin

BBC One, 9pm

Palin begins tonight’s show in the area that’s the source of Brazil’s mineral wealth before moving on to Rio where he witnesses attempts to lower the crime rate before the World Cup.

Am an Gháthair — Deora Dé

TG4, 9.30pm

This new two-part docudrama on the War Of Independence period begins with the strange case of a statue of the Virgin Mary in Templemore, Co Tipperary, that seemed to be weeping tears of blood in 1920.

Up In The Air

RTÉ One, 9.35pm

George Clooney leads the cast in Jason ‘Juno’ Reitman’s film about a man flying around the US telling people they are being made redundant.

THURSDAY

The Works

RTÉ One, 11.10pm

Music memoirs from Neil Young and Peter Hook of New Order are reviewed, and there’s music from Corkman Kevin Murphy and his Seti the First cellobased group.

FRIDAY

Gardeners’ World

BBC Two, 8.30pm

The final episode of the year features some handy advice from Monty Don on some of the jobs that can be done now and over the coming winter. Joe Swift also visits a 92-year-old beekeeper.

Mad Men

RTÉ Two, 9.55pm

There are some major developments on the way for the characters in the excellent advertising drama, and tonight’s show provides the groundwork for one of the most significant.

Dead Man’s Shoes

Film4, 10.55pm

Paddy Considine stars in this superb slice of dark drama from Shane Meadows. A returned soldier takes revenge on the lads who bullied his special needs brother.

TV NEWS

¦ The trailers for Love/Hate really do whet the appetite for series three of RTE’s crime drama, and recent events in Dublin have made the republican presence in the show all the more relevant. It debuts next Sunday at 9.30pm. Another decent-looking programme coming up the following night is The Mario Rosenstock Show, with the hilarious impressionist bringing some of his creations to the small screen.

¦ Meanwhile, the BBC has confirmed that series two of broadcast drama The Hour will begin on Nov 14.

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