TV not to miss

SATURDAY

Punchestown — Seeing Out The Distance

TG4, 9.20pm

The first of two horse racing documentaries on TG4 this week goes behind the scenes at the Punchestown Horse Racing Festival. As well as recent events, the show also dips into the archives to look back at the history of the meet and selects some of its greatest moments. Interviewees include JP Mc Manus, Mouse Morris and Willie Mullins.

The Killing

BBC Four, 9pm

You hooked again? Another two episodes has Sarah Lund and her new young partner trying to find the man who kidnapped young Emilie Zeuthen.

The Bórd Gáis Energy Irish Book Awards

RTÉ One, 11pm

Claire Byrne and John Murray are on presentation duties for the highlights of the awards. Edna O’Brien and Kevin Barry are among those nominated in the fiction categories, while Jimmy Magee and Katie Taylor are up for the memoir prize. Not surprisingly, a cookbook of the year category has been added to the prizes and among the celebrity chefs on that list are Rachel Allen, Donal Skehan and Catherine Fulvio.

SUNDAY

Ireland’s Search And Rescue

RTÉ One, 6.30pm

Bonfire Night is an ancient custom in parts of Ireland which has its origins in requests to the gods for bountiful crops. For Cork City Fire Brigade, however, it is also the busiest night of the year. Tonight’s show follows them as they race between various incidents in the city. We’ll also see a cliff rescue in Killiney and the rescue of a terrified climber on Donegal’s Muckish Mountain.

Peep Show

Channel 4, 10pm

Series eight of the hit comedy show starring David Mitchell and Robert Webb. Once the funniest thing on TV, recent series have had that inevitable wane factor, but the brilliant characters will hopefully sustain another season.

Give Us The Money

BBC Four, 9pm

Bob Geldof and Bono have been doing their Jiminy Cricket act for 30 years, using their celebrity power to prick the western world’s conscience on development issues. This documentary looks at the duo’s efforts, but also scrutinises whether their well-meaning campaigns have made any difference in Africa.

The Moment Of Truth

RTÉ One, 10.30pm

Another personal story from somebody who had to face a life-changing decision. Dublin woman Liz McDermott tells Bláthnaid Ní Chofaigh about the shock of being told she was expecting a severely disabled baby, with no arms or legs and, very possibly, brain damage. Abortion wasn’t an option for McDermott, and she tells of why she went ahead with the birth, and how she now has a happy and active nine-year-old son.

MONDAY

The Dark Charisma Of Adolf Hitler

BBC Two, 9pm

Final episode of the three-part series on the appeal of Adolf Hitler for the German people. Whatever about Hitler’s appeal when Germany was climbing out of depression, and later when it seemed to be winning the war, this episode looks at how the Nazi leader managed to cling to power even when his stupid decisions helped ensure defeat.

TUESDAY

Homeland

RTÉ Two, 9pm

Episode nine of the 12-part series. Last week’s cliffhanger brought Brody face-to-face with his mentor Abu Nazir. Whichever way he swings, the renegade ex-Marine needs to give a clear explanation of his loyalties and beliefs. But would such a thing be palatable to an American audience?

Park Avenue: Money, Power And The American Dream

BBC Four, 10pm

Number 740 Park Avenue in Manhattan is home to more billionaires than any other building in the US. Five miles north is another Park Avenue in the South Bronx, where almost 40% of the people there live in poverty. Oscar-winning documentary maker Alex Gibney (Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room) uses the two avenues to look at inequality in America. “There’s always been a gap between the wealthiest in our society and everyone else, but in the last 30 years something changed: that gap became the Grand Canyon,” he says.

Through the film, he also looks at the influence of corporate CEOs on policy-makers.

WEDNESDAY

Goodnight Britain

BBC One, 9pm

Don’t worry about the title — this new two-part series on extreme sleep disorders is just as interesting for Irish viewers. Sian Williams presents a show in which five sufferers move into a monitored house. Dr Kirstie Anderson and Dr Jason Ellis observe the insomnia, night terrors and other afflictions and try to devise coping strategies for the troubled volunteers. Concludes tomorrow.

THURSDAY

Ear To The Ground

RTÉ One, 8.30pm

Another excellent episode brings some interesting features. First up are Rory and Simon Best, the farming brothers who are also the only sibling duo to captain the Irish team. Rory breeds Angus cattle, while Simon also grows grain. We also hear about the calls from commercial fishermen to repeal the ban on bass fishing, as onshore anglers and tourism interests line up on the other side.

Bású

TG4, 9.30pm

Another tale of execution from the dark days of the Civil War. This week features Rory O’Connor, the veteran of 1916 who was one of the main leaders on the anti-Treaty side. As part of the plan to re-ignite the war with Britain, and thus re-unite the Irish side, he was one of 200 men who took over the Four Courts in Dublin. After his capture an execution order was signed by Kevin O’Higgins, the man at whose wedding he had been best man less than a year beforehand.

FRIDAY

Tracks And Trails

RTÉ One, 8.30pm

Mayo native and former Rose Of Tralee Aoibhinn NÍ Shúilleabháin is in her home county for walks at Caraheigue (Ceathruthaidhg) and Blacksod Bay.

An Idiot Abroad

Sky 1, 9pm

The third series of adventures for Karl Pilkington has him following in the footsteps of Marco Polo by travelling from Italy to China. He’s also taking along dwarf Warwick Davis, and tonight’s first stop is Venice.

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