Best of the rest on TV

SATURDAY

Natural World

BBC Two, 8.30pm

Colin Stafford-Johnson begins his new series of Living the Wildlife later in the week on RTÉ, but this repeat of his Queen of the Tigers film is a good reminder of how the Irish cameraman really is one of the best in the business. It charts his filming of a tiger named Machli in Ranthambore National Park in India, a creature Stafford-Johnson filmed on many occasions over 13 years, and now that she’s nearing the end of her days he returns to the park to say goodbye. It mixes moving reminiscences with some superb footage, with the most dramatic sequence probably being of Machli fighting with a crocodile.

SUNDAY

The Truth About Meteors: A Horizon Special

BBC Two, 9pm

The recent near miss and the dramatic scenes in Russia have resulted in a spike in interest in these rogue rocks from space. Professor Iain Stewart explores what meteorites and asteroids are, the risks they pose and the role they have played in Earth’s history.

Would You Believe?

RTÉ One, 10.30pm

Os Guinness of the famous brewing family didn’t quite follow in the clan’s traditional profession. Born in China to medical missionary parents, he turned to academia and among his many published works are several books that expound his radical Christian view of the world. For this programme, he reflects on how his family roots have shaped his outlook.

Italy’s Bloodiest Mafia

RTÉ Two, 10.55pm

Mark Franchetti presents a documentary on the Camorra, the criminal organisation based in Naples that has a turnover of hundreds of millions of euro from its activities in drugs, industrial waste disposal and numerous other businesses.

MONDAY

Scannal

RTÉ One, 7.30pm

As well as being a tragedy for his family, the killing of Jerry McCabe in Adare in 1996 continues to haunt Sinn Féin. The detective’s widow, Ann McCabe, has long been critical of the party and its attitude to the IRA men who shot her husband, and the recent killing of Detective Garda Adrian Donohoe in Co Louth set the stage for an apology to the McCabes from Gerry Adams. This programme looks back on the 1996 shooting, and talks to Ann McCabe about the Adams apology. Not surprisingly, she doesn’t accept it. “My reaction to what Gerry Adams had to say is absolute disgust. The audacity of him to stand up in the Dáil to use me and my family as a pawn to apologise after 17 years to the day that that man [Detective Garda Adrian Donohoe] was lying dead outside. What was his agenda?”

Republic Of Telly

RTÉ Two, 10.30pm

Dermot Whelan and Jennifer Maguire return for another series of high jinks and taking apart TV shows. As well as the 24-hour camera showing the real Ireland, there’s also a new confession cam. Georgia Salpa also returns, while Dermot is obsessed with Nikita from Tallafornia.

TUESDAY

Ballybrando

Sky Arts, 8pm

A repeat of the documentary on the ill-fated film Divine Rapture that began filming in the Co Cork town of Ballycotton in 1994. Despite a cast that included Marlon Brando, Johnny Depp and Debra Winger, the project was abandoned after a week after those involved realised that the funding wasn’t in place. As well as talking to locals and crew members, we also see some of the 24 minutes of the film that was made.

WEDNESDAY

Neven Maguire: Home Chef

RTÉ One, 7.30pm

Maguire goes to Restaurant 41 in Residence on St Stephen’s Green to meet rising young foodie star Graham Neville, who demonstrates a starter of lamb tartare and a main course of turbot. Meanwhile, belly of pork is being rediscovered as a delicious dish that offers great value, and Maguire shows us how to prepare a smoked version with white beans and date jam.

America’s Poor Kids

BBC Two, 9pm

We tend to see the United States as the richest country in the world. This documentary looks at a different side of American life, however, a place where child poverty has reached record levels. According to Save the Children, over 16m US children are now in poverty. We meet three children whose families are struggling to get by, and hear their personal tales from the aftermath of the meltdown in the financial sector.

THURSDAY

Ireland’s Animal A&E

TV3, 7.30pm

A new series of the animal welfare show has Andrea Hayes on the road with the ISPCA and attending to four abandoned miniature ponies, as well as Pete Wedderburn and Bairbre O’Malley dealing with pet rats and ailing rabbits at their veterinary practices.

Laochra Gael

TG4, 8pm

A focus on legendary Kerry footballer Seamus Moynihan, holder of four All-Ireland medals. Contributors include Dara Ó Cinnéide and Peter Canavan.

The Heart of The Matter

RTÉ One, 10.15pm

George Lee switches from his economics brief to present a documentary on cardiovascular disease, Ireland’s biggest killer. About 10 people a day die from sudden heart attacks, and Lee explores some of the research aimed at preventing or predicting them. He also meets Irish businessman David Bobbett, Whose own diagnosis of being a heart attack risk despite his healthy lifestyle has prompted him to dedicate a lot of time to researching the issue, along the way coming up with some very interesting discoveries.

FRIDAY

In Vogue: The Editor’s Eye

Sky Atlantic, 9pm

Behind-the-scenes documentary on the fashion magazine. As well as fashionista heroine Anna Wintour, we also hear from other legends in the publication’s hierarchy, such as Babs Simpson, a major mover and shaker on the mag from 1947 and 1972. They provide interesting anecdotes and talk about some of their favourite shots.

Wild Arabia

BBC Two, 9pm

Final episode of the superb series that has shown that Arabia is about much more than camels, sand and war. We see how the region’s wildlife have coped with the oil-fuelled changes on the peninsula and also view the construction of the world’s first carbon-neutral city in Abu Dhabi.

X-Men Origins: Wolverine

RTÉ Two, 9.45pm

Hugh Jackman again shines in this fairly decent 2009 prequel. It follows Wolverine’s early life, and his involvement with a dodgy government hit-squad.

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