What to watch on TV this week

Stephen Fry is Gay Byrne’s guest on The Meaning of Life on RTÉ One tomorrow.

What to watch on TV this week

SATURDAY

Kung Fu Panda 2

RTÉ One, 6.35pm

It’s not often you see this film mentioned in the same sentence as The Godfather II, but both are notable for the sequel being at least as good as the original. Jack Black and Angelina Jolie provide the main voices.

TED

Channel 4, 9pm

Seth MacFarlane provides a few chuckles with his tale of man whose slacker teddy bear is at the centre of conflict between him and his girlfriend.

The Jonathan Ross Show

UTV Ireland, 9.20pm

Remember Diana Rigg from The Avengers? Well, she’s now 76 and talks here about her late career renaissance in Game of Thrones. Other guests include Great British Bake Off presenters Mel Giedroyc and Sue Perkins, as well as comedian Johnny Vegas.

SUNDAY

Top Gear

BBC Two, 8pm

The three musketeers take some serious cars for a spin across the Northern Territory in Australia, while Kiefer Sutherland is the star in the Reasonably Priced Car.

At Your Service

RTÉ One, 8.30pm

The Brennan brothers are on Sherkin Island off the coast of Cork to help Mike and Kathy O’Connor bring their hostel up to date.

Shoah: Second Era

BBC Four, 7pm

There have been plenty quality documentaries on the Holocaust in recent weeks, but those are mere bite-sized pieces in comparison to Claude Lanzmann’s epic nine-hour work from 1985. The first half of the televised version was shown last Sunday, and tonight’s four-hour offering continues its testimony from survivors, perpetrators and witnesses to the Nazis’ policies. Not surprisingly, some of those involved in sending Jews and others to their deaths weren’t too keen to talk on screen, and Lanzmann ended up in hospital when one German interviewee attacked him after spotting the hidden camera. Not an easy watch, but should almost be mandatory viewing.

Our Guy in India

Channel 4, 9pm

More travel fare for those who also like engines, this is the first of a two-part series in which motorcyclist Guy Martin rides 1,000 miles across India on one of that country’s famous Royal Enfield machines. It’s a journey that shows sides of the subcontinent that go beyond the familar images of tigers, the Taj Mahal, etc.

Room To Improve

RTÉ One, 9.30pm

Dermot Bannon takes on another difficult project for this second episode of the series. Jean and Daithi have bought a 19th century former schoolhouse in Co Dublin with views of the mountains. They’ve a budget of €360,000, but the building’s listed status and issues such as drainage and rotting floors help eat into that substantial amount. There are also issues with the project management at the site as numerous subcontractors are hired.

Peaky Blinders

RTÉ2, 9.55pm

The hit BBC crime drama gets its inaugural run on RTÉ. Cillian Murphy in the role of a gang leader in 1920s Birmingham for a series that doesn’t quite deliver on its swagger.

MONDAY

The Notorious

RTÉ2, 10pm

Episode two of the documentary series on UFC fighter Conor McGregor picks up the tale after his knockout of Diego Brandao in Dublin as he heads to Las Vegas for a timely renegotiation of a new contract with the UFC.

Catastrophe

Channel 4, 10pm

Episode three of the enjoyable comedy starring Irish actress Sharon Horgan and American comedian Rob Delaney. As her pregnancy progresses, Sharon’s hormones play a starring role tonight.

TUESDAY

Laochra Gael

TG4, 8pm

The new series begins with a focus on Liam McHale, the Mayo midfielder who was also a fine basketballer.

Ceolchuairt

TG4, 9.30pm

This episode has Daire Bracken in Mongolia to check out the morin khuur fiddle that plays such an important part in the country’s culture, and also experiences the incredible throat singing that’s unique to the region.

WEDNESDAY

Operation Transformation

RTE One, 8.30pm

Karl Henry demands more from the participants now that they’re past the half-way stage of the series.

Abortion: Ireland’s Guilty Secret?

BBC Three, 9pm

This documentary follows a 24 year-old Irish woman named Tara as she travels from Ireland to England for an abortion. A look at the wider issue in this country features contributions from such people as a a woman who has been campaigning for change to the laws since her first child was diagnosed with a fatal foetal abnormality, and a 16-year-old who doesn’t want abortion to become as easily available in Ireland as it is across the water.

Wolf Hall

BBC Two, 9pm

Thomas Cromwell becomes ever more important in the court of Henry VIII as he steers through the bill that recognises the king as the head of the Church in England.

The Legacy

Sky Arts 1, 10pm

Final episode of the Danish series set around a family fighting over a disputed will. The series never hit the heights of some of the other highly-rated Scandi shows, but provide some decent drama.

THURSDAY

Getaways

RTE One, 7pm

Tuscany has ticked boxes for tourists for centuries, and this report by Joe Lindsay and Angela Scanlon includes cycling in the hills, sipping Chianti wines, visiting the off-centre tower and trying their hand at making pasta.

Fortitude

Sky Atlantic, 9pm

Episode one of this star-studded thriller whetted the appetite without totally convincing that we’ll all be in it for the long haul. Hence, tonight’s second episode could be make our mind up time. The rivalry between the two investigating officers continues to be as icy as the roads outside, and the plethora of other characters also have difficult issues to deal with.

The Good Wife

More4, 9pm

Series six continues with the firm struggling to hold onto clients amidst its own legal crisis.

FRIDAY

Rhod Gilbert v Kilimanjaro

BBC Two, 10pm

The Welsh comedian walks up the popular Kenyan mountain.

More in this section

Puzzles logo
IE-logo

Puzzles hub

Visit our brain gym where you will find simple and cryptic crosswords, sudoku puzzles and much more. Updated at midnight every day.

great irish summer

From walking and hiking, to day trips and camping, your guide to holidays at home in 2021

Lifestyle
Newsletter

The best food, health, entertainment and lifestyle content from the Irish Examiner, direct to your inbox.

Sign up