RTÉ One, 9.45pm
Miriam O’Callaghan comes to the end of her summer run and takes a well-earned rest before the autumn onslaught. Christy Dignam of Aslan will be talking about his ongoing battle with cancer, while Alison Moyet chats about her own brushes with fame, and Joe Duffy talks about his love of painting.
The Channel 4 digital offshoot has two nights of programming dedicated to Italian cooking that includes a repeat of Jamie’s Great Escape series, and a new show from Michela Chiappa, Made In Italy: Top 10 Classic Dishes (8pm). Here, the Welsh-Italian chef presents classes on how to make some of the more popular dishes, including risotto, pizza and lasagne. Tomorrow’s shows include Heston’s Italian Revolutionaries (9pm), in which Heston Blumenthal looks at the popularisation of Italian dishes outside the country through the work of such people as Rose Gray and Ruth Rogers at the River Café in Hammersmith, London.
There’s just a week to go to the start of the Premier League, so teams are trying to get as much as they can out of this weekend’s friendlies. Among them are Man City v Arsenal (Setanta Ireland, ko 3pm), and Tottenham v Espanyol (Setanta Ireland, ko 5.30pm).
BBC Two, 8pm
A new series brings two new Dragons: cloud computing pioneer Piers Linney and interior designer Kelly Hoppen. Duncan Bannatyne, Peter Jones and Deborah Meaden return for the new season.
The presenter was his typically spiky self in the opening episode as he delved into some of the big questions about the origins and validity of religious belief. Tonight’s episode deals with a question that has been an issue for many Catholics in this country in recent decades: how do you reconcile being part of the Church when it’s an organisation that has been so tainted by child abuse scandals and other issues such as the role of women. Panellists include Michael Kelly, deputy editor of the Irish Catholic; clerical abuse victim Marie Collins and Dublin priest Joe McDonald.
The All-Ireland hurling semi-final features Dublin v Cork (RTÉ Two, throw-in 3.30pm), as the Rebels look for revenge after last week’s football encounter. That game is preceded by the minor clash of Kilkenny v Waterford (throw-in 1.30pm). The FA Community Shield features Man Utd v Wigan (UTV, ko 2pm), while the Championship has Leicester City v Leeds United (Sky Sports 1, ko 4.30pm).
We still won’t get the full story, but this show is a useful reminder of the momentous night of Sept 29, 2008, when Brian Cowen and Brian Lenihan introduced the bank guarantee, thus making the State and taxpayer liable for the liabilities and disastrous business decisions of the banks.
Channel 4, 8pm
A show entitled Ryanair: Secrets from the Cockpit puts the budget airline in the spotlight, with some pilots raising concerns about its working conditions and fuel policy.
Channel 4, 10pm
Gordon Ramsay begins a new six-part series in which he travels across the US suggesting ways of improving various hotels, motels and B&Bs. His first entertaining encounter is with John Hough, the heavily indebted owner of the Roosevelt Inn in Idaho. Despite his ailing business, Hough’s priorities involve telling jokes and dressing up as Sherlock Holmes. Needless to say, Ramsay isn’t impressed.
Sky Arts 1, 8pm
Tonight’s programme is essential viewing for fashionistas as Mariella Frostrup tours the Hermès factory, talks to legendary shoe designer Manolo Blahnik, and visits the country home of Jasper Conran.
RTÉ One, 9.35pm
The final episode of the series looks back on the case of Patricia Doherty, the Kerry-born prison officer and mother of two who was last seen alive on Dec 23, 1991, in Tallaght, while out doing her Christmas shopping. Six months later, her body was found by a turf cutter in bogland in the Dublin Mountains.
BBC One, 10.35pm (not NI)
While we often focus on the money and glamour of being a professional soccer player, this documentary shows how such sportsmen have to deal with the same mental health issues as the rest of the population. Introduced by Clarke Carlisle, the ex-Northampton Town defender who is also chairman of the Professional Footballers’ Association, we hear about how the culture within the sport has traditionally made it difficult for players suffering from depression and other conditions to ask for help. Carlisle also talks to some of the family of Gary Speed, the former Leeds United player who took his own life in 2011.
Channel 4, 8pm
Louise Redknapp continues her look at the anti-ageing industry, with one woman considering breast surgery and another checking out non-invasive jowl treatment.
RTÉ One, 11.35pm
Another repeat of one of RTÉ’s decent sports documentaries brings us the story of the Corkman who replaced Matt Busby as manager of Manchester United in 1971. Perhaps somebody should send a copy of this salutary tale to David Moyes.
Turning out for a pre-season international friendly is probably the last thing most players want to be doing as they try to establish themselves in their club sides, but presumably Wales v Republic of Ireland (Sky Sports 1, ko 7.45pm) will see plenty of substitutions. Other friendlies tonight include England v Scotland (ITV, ko 8pm), while Northern Ireland v Russia (Sky Sports 3, ko 7.45pm) is a World Cup qualifier.
RTÉ One, 8.30pm
Sean Dunne and Tommy Murphy offer advice to the owner of the 150-year-old Griffins’ bakery in Galway. Jimmy Griffin bought the business from his parents for 1.5m during the bubble, but now finds himself struggling to keep it all afloat. He’s been hit by a double whammy as customers want to spend less at a time when the price of flour and other raw ingredients have skyrocketed.
BBC Two, 8pm
There are features on ‘Hubo’ — a robot designed to work independently in a disaster zone — and the Connectome Project, an ambitious attempt to map the wiring of the human brain.
After last week’s interview with Bishop Eamonn Casey’s son Peter Murphy, presenter Donal MacIntyre chats to Louis Walsh about the false story that led to the pop impresario being awarded 500,000 in libel payout. MacIntyre also examines Charles Haughey’s methods of intimidating journalists, and looks at the methods of the Irish brigade of paparazzi photographers.
BBC Two, 8.30pm
Summer isn’t over yet, but the presenters are already thinking about propagating plants for next year’s displays. Carol Klein also shows off the wonders of the daylily.
BBC Two, 9pm
Rabbits are one of our more commonly seen wild animals, but most people would know little about their underground lives. As part of a show that also features badgers and water voles, Chris Packham and his team have set up a replica warren that allows cameras to film the antics of dominant female bunny Hazel and the other inhabitants.
RTÉ One, 9.35pm
It’s the turn of Samantha Mumba and Republic of Loose to compete for the chance to perform a possible hit by an emerging songwriter. Live from the O2.