Best of the Week's TV (Nov 30 to Dec 6)

Highlights includethe return of Anne Doyle, and Simon Reeve's new show on pilgrimages

Best of the Week's TV (Nov 30 to Dec 6)

SATURDAY

Charlie Brooker’s How Videogames Changed the World

Channel 4, 9pm

If you look at the revenues and shift in leisure patterns associated with modern gaming, then the title of this show is not an idle boast. Brooker traces the evolution of the

phenomenon from Atari to Angry Birds.

Sport

Premier League action features Cardiff v Arsenal (Setanta 1, ko 3pm) and Newcastle United v West Bromwich Albion (Sky Sports 1, ko 5.30pm). In rugby, the RaboDirect PRO12 features Zebre v Ulster (RTE Two, ko 3pm) and Leinster v Scarlets (TG4, ko7.15pm), while international fixtures include Wales v Australia (BBC Two, ko 5pm).

Irish Book Awards 2013

RTÉ One, 10.55pm

Keelin Shanley and John Murray present highlights of Tuesday’s awards ceremony from the DoubleTree Hotel in Dublin. Fiction shortlists include Roddy Doyle, Colum McCann and Donna Tartt, Factual books include offerings by Seán Óg Ó hAilpín, Darina Allen and Eamon Dunphy.

SUNDAY

Division  

RTÉ One, 6.30pm

Anne Doyle has been out of our lives for too long, so it’s great to welcome her back on this new quiz show. Every modern quiz show needs a fancy format, however, this one involves splitting 32 contestants into two groups of 16 who are then locked in cargo holds. Each group chooses a leader to try and answer the first round of questions. The winning team is further divided into two groups of eight, and so on and so forth until a winner is found. ‘Division’, geddit?

Room To Improve

RTÉ One, 9.30pm

Senator Katherine Zappone and her partner Ann Louise Gilligan enlist the services of Dermot Bannon to revamp the 100-year-old hunting lodge they own in Brittas, Co Dublin. The budget and the grand plan are quite a distance apart, so conflict begins almost immediately.

Sport  

BT Sport 1 gets a rare Sunday game for the clash of Tottenham v Man Utd (ko noon), while other Premier League action comes from Hull City v Liverpool (Sky Sports 1, ko 2.05pm) and Chelsea v Southampton (Sky Sports 1, ko 4.10pm). The Leinster club hurling final features Oulart The Ballagh (Wexford) v Mount

Leinster Rangers (Carlow) (TG4, 1.30pm).

Generation War

RTÉ Two, 9pm

The final episode of the excellent German WWII series. Needless to say, it’s not a happy ending for all involved.

MONDAY

Men in Black — A Summer with Frontline Security

RTÉ One, 9.45pm

Observational documentary following members of a private security firm as they do their bit at music and sports events, as well as nightclubs and building sites. From the Rose of Tralee festival to a Cage Warriors event at the Helix in Dublin, we see the various issues the security staff have to deal with while managing members of the public. We also follow a group of the security staff as they’re sent to Slovenia for special weapons training.

Sinn Féin: Who Are They?

TV3, 10pm

The second and final part of Ursula Halligan’s look at the transition of Sinn Féin.

What In The World?

RTÉ One, 11.25pm

The development and human rights series returns for another run with an episode about the flocks of aspiring soccer stars that leave Africa every year. As we’ve seen from recent developments in London, modern slavery takes many forms, and it’s a tag being used to describe some of the practices of unscrupulous middle men. We meet Issa Kone from Mali, whose impoverished parents had paid 5,000 on the promise of a soccer contract. Instead, he was left abandoned in Paris. It’s not an uncommon fate for these gullible young men, and among the people speaking out against it is former Cameroon star Roger Milla.

TUESDAY

MasterChef: The Professionals  

BBC Two, 8pm

The first two of the semi-finalists work a shift at Heston Blumenthal’s restaurant in Knightsbridge, where they are asked to make a salamugundy — a salad of chicken oysters, roasted salsify, bone marrow and horseradish.

Seduced and Abandoned

Sky Atlantic, 9pm

Documentary on Alec Baldwin’s attempts in Cannes to pitch his idea for a film to industry decision-makers.

Pilgrimage With Simon Reeve

BBC Two, 9pm

First of a three-part series in which the affable presenter meets people on some of the pilgrimage paths that are still in use around the world. First up is the 500-mile journey from the Scottish island of Lindisfarne to Canterbury. As well as the perils and piety of such journeys, we hear how they also provided relief from the drudgery of medieval life and ample opportunity for merriment along the way.

WEDNESDAY

I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here!

3E, 8.30pm

Another contestant will depart the show tonight on the back of viewers’ votes.

Doctors on Call

RTÉ One, 8.30pm

The rates of gonorrhea are at the highest ever recorded in Ireland, so Dr Ciara Kelly looks at sexual health issues, with a special focus on college students. Also, Paul Walsh, right, visits a retirement group in Mitchelstown, Co Cork, to see if they can change their attitude to aging, and Dr Terry Deeny will be explaining the telltale signs to watch out for with stroke risk.

Paddy & Sally’s Excellent Gypsy Adventure

TV3, 9pm

Paddy Doherty explores his Irish roots in the company of Sally Bercow, and the duo travel in Ireland in a barrel-top wagon to see what life was like for Travellers a generation ago.

THURSDAY

Ear To The Ground

RTÉ One, 8.30pm

Rural homelessness is an issue that receives much less attention than its urban equivalent. In tonight’s show, Helen Carroll is in Tipperary where she talks to a woman who ended up sleeping rough. On a more positive note, we meet a Londoner who has moved to Ireland who is able to make a living from just five acres by selling direct at farmers markets.

What Happens in Kavos

Channel 4, 10pm

More shocking and/or entertaining tales from the Corfu resort town of Kavos. Tonight it’s the ladies’ turn to explain the machinations of non-stop partying.

Irish Pictorial Weekly  

RTÉ One, 10.15pm

Not every arrow fired by this show lands a bullseye, but Barry Murphy and co still offer the sharpest satire we’ve seen in this country since Dermot Morgan’s days. Joan Burton’s voice has been done to death, but German character Gunther’s analyses of Ireland are so spot on, they’re almost not funny.

FRIDAY

2014 FIFA World Cup Draw  

RTÉ Two, 4.35pm

We’re not there, but there should still be plenty to interest Irish soccer fans in this live draw from Rio de Janeiro. Who will England and Spain get? What’s the group of death?

Blues America

BBC Four, 9pm

Part two of the excellent music documentary picks up the story in the mid-1940s when artists like Muddy Waters and John Lee Hooker became firmly established in the cities and began spreading the music beyond its black audience. Contributors include Keith Richards and Seasick Steve

Clear History

Sky Atlantic, 9pm

Cult comedy hero Larry David enlists the help of a star-studded cast for this largely-improvised one-off. Jon Hamm, Michael Keaton and Kate Hudson are among those starring in a lighthearted tale of revenge.

The Graham Norton Show

BBC One, 10.35pm

Daniel Radcliffe has been popping up in all sorts of places to promote the latest phase of his post-Harry Potter career, and with him on the couch tonight will be baking queen Mary Berry and funnyman David Walliams. Cliff Richard will also perform a song and join the rest of the group for a few words.

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