What to watch on TV this week

Dara O’Briain and Ed Byrne begin a new travel show, Dara And Ed’s Great Big Adventure, on RTÉ One on Thursday.

What to watch on TV this week


Rise Of The Guardians

RTE One, 6.35pm

Hugh Jackman and Alec Baldwin are among the star names providing the voices for this animated film from 2012. The Immortal Guardians are tasked with protecting the world’s children from the evil spirit, Pitch.

The Bourne Legacy

Channel 4, 9pm

A Bourne film without Matt Damon was always going to be a tough task and this 2012 offering just didn’t make the grade of the earlier trilogy. Still quite watchable, however, especially when Saturday night viewing schedules are so poor.

The Jonathan Ross Show

UTV Ireland, 9.20pm

Guests include US actress Goldie Hawn, and TV presenters Ant and Dec.


Super Cute Animals

BBC One, 6pm

The last time we saw Gordon Buchanan was on a desolate Arctic island, doing his best not to get eaten by a pack of wolves, so perhaps we can forgive him for this rather lighter foray into critter cuteness. Not least when he brings some science to it all. As he travels to film baby pandas, penguins, elephants, etc, Buchanan shows us how some of the features we most love about these animals are often part of its survival tool-kit.

Top Gear

BBC Two, 9pm

Jeremy Clarkson tests two BMWs tonight: the new M4 and the hybrid i8, while Richard Hammond pays tribute to the Land Rover in its final year of production. Will Smith is the star in the reasonably priced car.

The Casual Vacancy

BBC One, 9pm

Promising new three-part drama set in an English village, where the olde-world façade belies underlying conflicts that quickly come to the fore. An impressive cast includes Michael Gambon and Rory Kinnear.

Room To Improve

RTE One, 9.30pm

With regular visits from a 12-year-old wheelchair user to be factored into his plans, then practicality is the name of the game for Dermot Bannon this week. As ever he also wants to make the renovated home a light-filled and enjoyable space, so juggles with the opinions of his clients, an occupational therapist, and a group of wheelchair-using adults in Cork who helped design their own living quarters.

The Meaning Of Life, With Gay Byrne

RTE One, 10.30pm

Mary Black is the latest celebrity to chat about some of the big questions with Byrne, and opens up about mystical experiences she underwent, her own struggles with depression, as well as her disillusionment with the Catholic Church.


Prison Families

TV3, 9pm

In the final episode of the series, Cork-based Michael Donohue recalls physical and sexual abuse in a reform school when he was 12, and talks about the regret that he couldn’t keep part of his life on track afterwards. He admits he feels a heavy burden as he visits his own adult son in prison. In Tipperary, another participant in the show, Nicole, gives birth to a baby boy that she believes will help her incarcerated partner turn his life around.

Meet the Parents

TG4, 9.30pm

Ben Stiller and Robert De Niro may still provide a few laughs for another viewing of their hit comedy from 2000.


Channel 4, 10.05pm

It’s the second last episode of the year’s big comedy hit, but fans of Sharon Horgan and co will be relieved to know that we’re going to get at least one more series. In tonight’s show, plans are drawn up for the wedding, and Rob is fired via Skype.


Eco Eye

RTE One, 7pm

Co-ops have had a huge role in Irish life, and tonight’s show has Duncan Stewart focusing on how a revitalisation of the cooperative movement could benefit both the economy and the environment in rural Ireland.

Ear To The Ground

RTE One, 8.30pm

The Boyne Fishermen Rescue and Recovery Service and gluten-free foods are among the topics covered in this episode.


Alaska: Earth’s Frozen Kingdom

BBC Two, 8pm

The final episode of the stunning series on animal life in the northern US state. Winter returns with its 24-hour darkness and extreme cold.

Ó Cuisine

TG4, 8.30pm

Veronica Ní Ghríofa is joined by Louise Ní Bhrosnacháin from The Global Village restaurant in Dingle to prepare such dishes as smoked pollock with langoustine, and a lamb platter.

Wolf Hall

BBC Two, 9pm

The world has been divided into those who revel in every pregnant pause delivered by Mark Rylance’s Cromwell; and people who think it’s the ultimate period bore. Either way, we’re up to the second-last episode and Henry VIII is turning against Anne Boleyn. As ever with this show, a quick look on Wikipedia or other source will help you fill in some of the gaps in the history.

Junk Food Kids: Who’s to Blame?

Channel 4, 10pm

Though the focus of this show is on Britain, presumably some of the issues raised will also be of relevance to our population of increasingly obese young people.


Don’t Tell The Bride

RTÉ One, 9pm

A new series of the wedding preparation show has Richie Byrne going for a circus-themed event for his big day with his sweetheart Amanda Brady. He’s got €10,000 and three weeks to make it happen.

Ross Kemp Extreme World

Sky 1, 9pm

As the film Selma revives memories of Martin Luther King, the presenter travels to Memphis,Tennessee, still one of the most segregated cities in the US.

He talks to gang members, community leaders and others in an attempt to find out why life is still so different for blacks and whites.



Channel 4, 9pm

The return of the strangely entertaining show about watching people watching television.

The Graham Norton Show

BBC One, 10.35pm

Richard Gere and Celia Imrie talk about the making of The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, while Kelly Clarkson provides the music.

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