Best of the Week’s TV (June 21-27)

The World Cup still dominates the schedules, but Donal Skehan does begin a new show on the previous generation of top Irish cooks

Best of the Week’s TV (June 21-27)


The Hunger Games

Channel 4, 9pm

Jennifer Lawrence stars in the first instalment of the excellent three-parter about a totalitarian state in which young people from various regions fight to the death in a TV game show.


World Cup action features Argentina v Iran (RTÉ Two, ko 5pm), Germany v Ghana (ko 8pm) and Nigeria v Bosnia & Herzegovina (ko 11pm). Coverage of the Irish Open (RTÉ Two, 12.50pm) continues, and rugby action includes New Zealand v England  (Sky Sports 1, 8am) and South Africa v Wales (Sky Sports 1, 1.30pm). It’s Laois and Fermanagh (RTÉ One, throw-in 3.30pm) in the All-Ireland football qualifiers.


Tales of Irish Castles

TV3, 6.15pm

Simon Delaney presents a new six-part series that does exactly what it says on the tin. Episode one looks at how the Normans introduced castle-building to Ireland.

Ireland’s Ocean  

RTÉ One, 6.30pm

There’s been a growing awareness in recent years that you don’t have to go to the Serengetti or the Great Barrier Reef to experience wonderful wildlife. This new four-part series looks at some of the incredible creatures living in the seas around Ireland, beginning with bottlenose dolphins. We have half of Europe’s population of these much-loved mammals, and while Funghi has been the poster-dolphin for the species, his yin has been met with the yan and bad press afforded to Dusty in Clare. Dr Simon Berrow talks about what may be triggering the aggressiveness of the Doolin dolphin, and we also hear about the alarming number of marine mammals being washed up on Irish shores.

The Meaning Of Life With Gay Byrne

RTÉ One, 10.05pm

Enda Kenny appears on what will undoubtedly be the most talked-about show of the series. Politicians are notoriously careful about what image they portray, so will Byrne be able to get past the PR coaching as he discusses the Taoiseach’s deepest beliefs and outlook on life?


Coverage of the final round of the Irish Open (RTÉ Two, 12.10pm) comes from Fota. In the World Cup, it’s Belgium v Russia (ko 5pm) and South Korea v Algeria (ko 8pm), while a double bill of GAA features Donegal v Antrim (RTÉ One, throw-in 2pm) in Ulster football, and Galway v Kilkenny (RTÉ One, throw-in 4pm) in Leinster hurling.


The Family Project  

RTÉ One, 7.30pm  

John Spillane is in Loughrea, Co Galway, to help 16-year-old Declan O’Brien, who recently dropped out of secondary school. The Cork singer works on a songwriting project with the teenager to boost his confidence


RTÉ One, 8pm

Female couple Tina and Tosh have several issues to clear before they start a family, while Ronnie is also in reflective mood as she gets ready to make a major decision.

World Cup  

We’re already reaching the end of the opening phase of games in what has been a hugely entertaining tournament so far. Today’s opener on RTÉ Two will be one of the final games in Group B (ko 5pm), with the broadcaster deciding between Australia v Spain or Netherlands v Chile; followed by one of the final games in Group A (ko 9pm), Cameroon v Brazil or Croatia v Mexico.


Kitchen Hero: Rediscovering the Irish Kitchen

 RTÉ One, 8.30pm

In world of celebrity chefs, Thw is still considered the new kid on the chopping block, but in this new series he goes to meet some of the stand-out names of the previous generation. First up he visits publisher Michael Gill to talk about food writer Theodora Fitzgibbon, and also talk about how cookery books have changed over the last 40 years.

World Cup 2014

Broadcasters will choose a final game in Group D (ko 5pm; either Italy v Uruguay or Costa Rica v England followed by an equivalent fixture in Group C (ko 9pm; Japan v Colombia or Greece v Ivory Coast).


The King’s Speech

RTÉ One, 9.35pm

If you fancy a break from all that soccer, this partly-true tale of British king George VI’s efforts to overcome his speech impediment justifies much of the acclaim it received in 2010. Stars Colin Firth and Geoffrey Rush.


The choice of World Cup games offers some attractive games as the group stage nears its end: in Group F (ko 5pm) it’s Nigeria v

Argentina or Bosnia & Herzegovina v Iran; while Group E (ko 9pm) concludes with either Honduras v Switerland or Ecuador v France. In GAA, it’s Offaly v Wexford (TG4, 7.15pm) in the Leinster U21 hurling semi-final.


A Secret Buried: The Mother and Baby Scandal

TV3, 9pm  

Documentary on the latest in a long line of scandals from Ireland’s Church-dominated past. The show features people who lived or were born in mother and baby homes, as well as campaigners and historians.

World Cup 2014  

Group D (ko 5pm) finishes with a broadcast of either USA v Germany or Ghana v Portugal; and Group H (ko 9pm) has South Korea v Belgium or Algeria v Russia. These games mark the end of the group phase, and there’s a break in play tomorrow before the Round of 16 begins on Saturday.

Business Boomers

BBC Two, 9pm  

Final episode in the series about enterprises that have flourished in the recession looks at an area in Britain that has had many Irish participants — housebuilding. It looks at everything from acquiring land, designing homes, planning process and the build itself.

The South Bank Show 2014

Sky Arts, 9.30pm  

Daniel Radcliffe is interviewed by Melvyn Bragg about his role in The Cripple of Inishmaan, the play by Martin McDonagh which has moved to New York


Glastonbury 2014


The annual music extravaganza will be covered across a range of the BBC’s channels today and over the weekend. BBC Two carries the big headliners, such as Arcade Fire tonight, while BBC Three will focus on some of the younger acts, including Rudimental and HAIM.

The Graham Norton Show

BBC One, 10.35pm  

The final episode in the current series is a sort of greatest hits moments from the previous 12 weeks, featuring excerpts from interviews with the likes of Sylvester Stallone, Ricky Gervais and Kylie Minogue. Norton finishes the series with his reputation as king of the chatshows very much intact.

The Walking Dead

RTÉ Two, 11.10pm

A double bill of episodes has the inhabitants of the prison still dealing with the infection that has ravaged their ranks. We also learn that they could soon be facing an old enemy. Series four hasn’t hit the heights of season three, but there’s still enough decent drama and shocking gore to keep fans engaged.

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