Best of the week's TV

The Voice of Ireland semi-final and an eventful week on Fair City feature in our highlights for April 20-26

Best of the week's TV


The Saturday Night Show, RTÉ One, 9.55pm

Christy Dignam of Aslan was recently diagnosed with two types of blood cancer, and the 52-year-old is in the studio with Brendan O’Connor to talk about his battle to regain his health. Other guests include impressionist Oliver Callan and popera  group Il Divo.

America in Primetime,  BBC Two, 10.15pm

This new four-part series from Alan Yentob on American television is a must-see for anyone with an interest in the history of the small screen. For the first episode, he’s looking at the depiction of fathers on TV, from the classic bread-winner of the 1950s to the modern multitasker. Contributors include David Lynch and Alan Ball.


The All Ireland U21 football championship semi-finals on TG4 feature Galway v Kildare (throw-in 2pm) and Cork v Cavan (throw-in, 3.45pm). Soccer action features Burnley v Cardiff City (Sky Sports 2, ko 12.45pm), where the high-flying Welsh side are all set for promotion to the Premier League, and the London derby of Fulham v Arsenal (Setanta Sports, ko 3pm).


The Voice of Ireland, RTÉ One, 6.30pm

We’re up the semi-final stages, with the six remaining acts battling it out to be one of the four heading into next week’s final. Bressie also takes centre stage tonight, with all of his acts joining him for a performance.

Bill Bailey’s Jungle Hero,  BBC Two, 8pm

The comedian re-enacts the tale of one of his heroes, Victorian naturalist Alfred Russel Wallace. Overshadowed by Charles Darwin, the Welshman nonetheless did hugely important work on theories of evolution, and also collected thousands of specimens on Indonesian islands. In the first episode of a two-part series, Bailey heads to these islands, meeting up with orangutans, flying frogs and extraordinary insects.


Hurling action on TG4 features the Division 1 league semi-finals, with Tipperary v Dublin (throw-in 2pm) and Kilkenny v Galway (throw-in 3.45pm). In soccer, it’s Tottenham v Man City (Sky Sports 1, ko 1.30pm) and Liverpool v Chelsea (Sky Sports 1, ko 4pm), while rugby from the Rabodirect Pro12 features Zebre v Leinster (RTÉ Two, ko 3pm).


Man Utd v Aston Villa, Sky Sports 1, ko 8pm

It’s unlikely the away side will get a result at Old Trafford, but the sprinkling of Irish players in the Villa squad means plenty of people in this country will be hoping they avoid the drop.

The Estate,  TV3, 9pm

The third and final part of the observational documentary follows Shauna as she takes the first step of getting her life in order by doing a major clean-up of household waste. We also see the Halligans prepare a Christmas box for Thomas in Portlaoise prison, while Tommy settles into college life, despite delays in his grants coming through.

Room Wanted, RTÉ One, 9.35pm

Despite the ghost estates and empty apartments there are about 100,000 people on the social housing waiting list in Ireland. This documentary follows four of them on their quest to get a permanent home from their local council. Among them are Lisa O’Sullivan, right, from Dunmanway, Co Cork, suffering from sight loss and in need of a move closer to the city and its medical services.


Bayern Munich v Barcelona, TV3, ko 7.45pm

The first leg of the Champions League semi-final between the top two sides in Europe.

The Consumer Show, RTÉ One, 8.30pm

This third series of the show has been the best so far, with Keelin Shanley and co tackling an increased amount of interesting issues. Among the topics featired on tonight’s show are teeth-whitening techniques, with the team investigating which offer the best results; and the poor value of snack food sold by many cinemas. We hear how there’s an average mark-up of 700% on a bag of cinema-bought popcorn in the big chains.

Later Live — with Jools Holland,  BBC Two, 10pm

Tonight will be the first chance for most of us to hear tunes from Laura Marling’s new album, while other acts include French alt-rockers Phoenix and Mali singer-songwriter Rokia Traore. Glenn Frey and Joe Walsh of the Eagles also chat to Holland about the recent documentary on their band. A longer version of the show will be broadcast on Friday.


Borussia Dortmund v Real Madrid, RTÉ Two, ko 7.45pm

Despite the brilliance of Bayern Munich this season, an all-Spanish final at Wembley would really capture the public imagination. For Real Madrid to do their bit to make that happen, however, Ronaldo and his teammates will have to overcome a classy German side spearheaded by the mercurial Robert Lewandowski.

Great Bear Stakeout,  BBC One, 9pm

Billy Connolly narrates the first of a two-part special following a family of grizzly bears in Alaska. Only half of grizzly cubs make it through the first season, not least because bears are prone to killing each other’s youngsters. Tonight we witness the survival efforts of a cub the show has called Pushki.

Scéal: Bás Arto Leary, TG4, 10pm

New six-part series of adaptations of Irish tales begins with Manchán Magan’s contemporary take on the poem, Caoineadh Airt Uí Laoghaire. Bríd and Arto share a moment that will change their lives.


Fair City,  RTÉ One, 8pm

It’s an eventful week in Carrigstown, with Tommy revealing Judith’s shocking secret earlier in the week, and tonight her daughters Neasa and Caoimhe confront her about the revelation. Paddy is also unhappy about the blossoming relationship between Vivienne and Ray, while Callum is causing trouble again.

Bia Dúchais, TG4, 9.30pm

Tonight’s episode is all about the history of honey in Ireland. We hear how the humble ‘mil’ has been a part of Irish culinary heritage since early Celtic tribes brought the tradition of beekeeping to the island. A mead expert describes how honey wine is made, while Cúl Aodh features as the home of St Gobnait, the patroness of beekeepers.

Breaking Bad, TG4, 11.05pm

The third last episode of the current run, and things grow increasingly darker. Mike and Jesse want out, but Walt is hanging on, despite the close attentions of the DEA.


Unreported World,  Channel 4, 7.30pm

This excellent current affairs show always feels like it should be in a different scheduling slot, but its longetivity would suggest it’s working just fine. Tonight’s episode includes a report on a somewhat tragic property boom in Gaza. So many of the buildings in the densely-populated territory have been hit by the Israelis that safer neighbourhoods for families have become highly prized, with estate agents and developers cashing in along the way.

The Graham Norton Show, BBC One, 10.35pm

If the chemistry is right, tonight’s guest list offers the potential for a highly entertaining show. Dara O Briain is usually good value, and he’ll be joined on the couch by racing driver Lewis Hamilton, director Pedro Almodovar and singer Alison Moyet.


Live soccer in the Airtricity League comes from Oriel Park for Dundalk v Cork City (RTÉ Two, ko 7.35pm) while rugby action features highlights of Treviso v Connacht (TG4, 11.05pm) from the RaboDirect PRO12 game earlier in the evening at the Stadio di Monigo in Treviso.

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