Best of the Week’s TV (May 17-23)

The Great Irish Bake Off is back, and a week of coverage from Chelsea will have gardeners drooling

Best of the Week’s TV (May 17-23)



RTÉ Two, 9pm

Hugely enjoyable sci-fi tale, directed by one Duncan Zowie Jones, son of David Bowie. All is not what it seems for Sam Rockwell’s character as he nears the end of his three-year stint alone on a moon mining a precious resource.

Bruce Springsteen — High Hopes

TG4, 10.50pm

Documentary on the making of the Boss’s 18th studio album, released in January when it went straight to number one in the Irish album charts.

The Squid and the Whale

TG4, 11.25pm

Jeff Daniels and Laura Linney feature among an impressive cast in this fine tale of two Brooklyn youngsters dealing with their parents’ divorce.


While the big story of the FA Cup Final clash of Arsenal v Hull (UTV, ko 5pm) is Arsene Wenger’s quest for his side’s first trophy in nine years, the sizeable Irish contingent at the Tigers, including David Meyler, right, will ensure plenty people in this country are cheering for the underdog. The second of the Rabodirect Pro12 semi-finals features Leinster v Ulster (RTÉ Two, ko 7pm).


The Genealogy Roadshow

RTÉ One, 7pm

Derek Mooney and co are in UCC for discussions of the Doneraile Conspiracy involving Daniel O’Connell, the Munster Fusiliers during WWI and the legacy of Henry Ford.


The start of the provincial championships features Tyrone v Down (RTÉ Two, throw-in 4pm) in the Ulster Senior Football Championship. Later in the evening, The Sunday Game (RTÉ Two, 9.30pm) has Colm O’Rourke, Joe Brolly and Tomás Ó Se discussing the weekend’s action. In Spain, Barcelona v Atletico Madrid

(Sky Sports 1, ko 5pm) is a dramatic end to the season, with the home side needing a win to prevent Diego Simeone’s men taking the title.

The British Academy Television Awards

BBC One, 8pm

Graham Norton presents the annual awards ceremony and also has a good chance of picking up at least one prize. Jamie Dornan may also get something for The Fall, while Chris O’Dowd is the other major Irish interest. The amazing Dispatches programme, ‘The Hunt For Britain’s Sex Gangs’, is one of the three of four entries the Channel 4 programme has in the current affairs slot.


RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2014

BBC Two, 8pm

Even for Irish gardening enthusiasts, Chelsea is a major fixture on the calendar. Monty Don leads the coverage all this week, with guests such as Benedict Cumberbatch and his mother Wanda Ventham talking about their love for the event.

Desperate House Buys

RTÉ One, 9.40pm

Ireland is a long way from resolving its legacy issues from the property bubble, and this documentary looks at how estate agents in Dublin and rural areas are dealing with very different markets. In the capital, demand and prices are rising again, while in Portlaoise and Boyle, problems of over-supply and negative equity still loom large.


The Consumer Show

RTÉ One, 8.30pm

Keelin Shanley and her team look at the  lack of regulation of e-cigarettes and ask why soft drinks can cost more than alcohol in a pub. The show also gets some expert Aussies to road-test a number of barbecues.

Penny Dreadful

Sky Atlantic, 9pm

New eight-part series set in London during Victorian times with a cast that includes Timothy Dalton and Billie Piper. Iconic characters from the era such as Dorian Grey and

Frankenstein’s monster are in the British capital as a series of gruesome murders take place. As seems to be common with London period pieces, much of the show was filmed in Dublin.


RTÉ Two, 9.55pm

The final episode of series, and we’d be shocked and stunned if we didn’t end up being shocked and stunned.

Imagine… Philip Roth Unleashed

BBC One, 11.50pm

Philip Roth has announced his retirement, so Alan Yentob visits the 80-year-old American novelist over two episodes to talk about the impact of his work, and the accusations of anti-Semitism and misogyny.


The Supervet

Channel 4, 8pm

Irish vet Noel Fitzpatrick continues with the appliance of science and some innovative thinking to the health issues of beloved pets at his high-tech practice in the UK. Star of the show tonight is 17-week-old Staffie puppy Jasper, whose legs are growing out of shape.

The Great Irish Bake Off

TV3, 9pm

It’s series two and you know the drill. A bunch of aspiring bakers have their oven-readiness tested by Biddy White Lennon and Paul Kelly. The first task is to create a three-layer ‘getting to know you’ cake that reflects the contestants’ personalities.

Coast Australia

BBC Two, 9.10pm

Neil Oliver and co explore some of the coastline around Sydney, taking in the Harbour Bridge, the spectacular sea life, and lesser known-aspects of the area such as the incredible geology and colonial-era techniques for making building-mortar out of oyster shells.


From There to Here

BBC One, 9pm

With John Simm getting heaps of praise for his performance in Prey, it’ll be interesting to see how his old Life on Mars buddy Philip Glenister does in this new three-parter about the aftermath of the 1996 IRA bomb in Manchester. Glenister’s character helps a young mother caught up in the blast, in the process sparking a voyage of self-discovery.

Des Bishop: Breaking China

RTÉ One, 10.15pm

The Irish-American comedian has reached the end of his time in China and fulfils his ambition of performing a stand-up set in the local language. He also manages to impress the contestants of a TV dating show.


Nat King Cole: Afraid Of The Dark

BBC Four, 9pm

There’s a weekend of jazz coming up on BBC Four, and this show looks at the incredible life of the man who first emerged as a jazz pianist, before his silky voice propelled him to greater stardom. He fought against racism throughout his career and as one of the rare black stars in Hollywood had to deal with such incidents as the Ku Klux Klan leaving a burning cross on his lawn. As well as archive footage of Cole himself, the documentary also features some shocking anecdotes from his family about those difficult times.

The Fast Show Special

BBC Two, 10pm

It often feels like a mistake to revive successful comedies, but perhaps this two-part celebration of the show’s 20th anniversary can get some new laughs out of the old characters. Paul Whitehouse and Caroline Aherne are among those returning.

The Graham Norton Show

BBC One, 10.40pm

Even by the Irish presenter’s recent stellar standards, tonight promises to be a special show, with 78-year-old screen legend Julie Andrews among the guests, and pop music genius Pharrell Williams performing a tune. In comparison, actors Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill look positively B-list.

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