What to watch on TV this week

Idris Elba writes and directs King For A Term on Sky Arts, Thursday, Idris Elba as Dad and Omar Agyei as Akuna.

What to watch on TV this week


What Happened, Miss Simone?


Anyone with an interest in music, Nina Simone or just good documentary fare will enjoy Liz Garbus’s documentary on the late, great singer.

As well as the tale of success and mental health strife that characterised Simone’s life, we also hear harrowing accounts from her daughter Lisa of how her mother was often drunk and violent.

As Netflix’s first commissioned documentary, it also is another little milestone in the evolving relationship between TV and the online world.


The Secret of Kells

TG4, 5pm

With The Song of the Sea due for general release soon, this is a timely broadcast of Irish company Cartoon Salon’s previous feature.

Lords & Ladles

RTE One, 6.30pm

The linen industry has a long history on this island, and tonight the three celebrity chefs are off to Ballywalter Park in Co Down, home of the Mulholland family, once the biggest players in the domestic textile scene. For the period feast, the trio have to make butter and pluck turkeys.

Amazing Spaces Shed of the Year

Channel 4, 8pm

Pub sheds and budget sheds are up for appraisal tonight, including one that holds a gin distillery.


Channel 4, 9pm

Testing on creepy android Anita reveals she was created 14 years ago, which means she must have had a previous owner. So who was it, and what was their influence on the way she’s turned out?

The Kids Are All Right

RTÉ One, 9.30pm

Highly enjoyable drama from 2010 in which Annette Bening and Julianne Moore play a couple who’ve had two children conceived by the same father through artificial insemination. When the kids track him down, the anonymous donor played by Mark Ruffalo enters into the lives of the family with all sorts of consequences.


Meet The Young Americans

RTÉ2, 9.55pm

At first sight, Stacey Dooley comes across as somebody who was randomly picked from the street to present a TV show.

Her everyday persona doesn’t prevent her from bringing insight to some serious stories, however, and this episode follows Dooley as she spends time with young female offenders doing a bootcamp regime named ‘Shock’ in an American prison.

Stop At Nothing

RTÉ One, 10.10pm

Just in case you’re getting all excited about the Tour de France, this documentary on Lance Armstrong may burst your bubble and remind you what a discredited sport cycling has become.

We see how its greatest star was also its biggest cheat, a position he couldn’t have sustained over so many years without the collaboration and acquiesence of fellow cyclists and many other people involved in the sport. There’s a strong Irish presence in the documentary through Paul Kimmage, David Walsh, Emma O’Reilly and Pat McQuaid.

A Deadly Warning: Srebrenica Revisited

BBC One, 10.35pm

Journalist Myriam François-Cerrah visits Srebrenica with a group of young people who were all born in 1995, the year of the infamous massacre of 8,000 people at the Bosnian town. Those events are discussed in the context of what can be learned for multicultural societies today.


Grey’s Anatomy

RTÉ2, 9pm

The second-last episode of the current series has the staff of Grey Sloane Memorial under pressure as they have to deal with a major emergency.

Natural World

BBC Four, 9pm

A film following a team of 50 scientists and others as they use underwater robots and other technology to try and film the elusive giant squid.

Penny Dreadful — And They Were Enemies

Sky Atlantic, 10pm

Series two comes to a close, but season three of a show that’s largely filmed in Dublin has already been green-lit.


BBC One, 10.35pm

Ginger Baker has a very mixed reputation in the world of rock.

As well as a brilliant drummer with the likes of Cream and Blind Faith, he also comes with a personality that could be diplomatically described as ‘colourful’.

In this documentary, we see both sides of an icon who is still making music.



TG4, 7.15pm

Live coverage of the Leinster U21 hurling final featuring Wexford v Kilkenny.

Children Of The Gaza War

BBC Two, 9pm

Last summer, the Israeli onslaught on Gaza claimed the lives of more than 500 children, while one child was also killed on the Israeli side of the border. Anybody over the age of six in Gaza has lived through at least three major conflicts.

This documentary looks at the traumatic effects this situation has on children on both sides of the border. We see 10-year-old Israeli kibbutz resident Michal and his family fleeing their homes to find refuge from Palestinian rocket fire, and then learn on their return that their four-year neighbour has been killed in an attack.

On the other side is Samar, 12, one of many Palestinians who was sheltering in a UN school when it was bombed by the Israelis. Her father was killed, her mother was badly injured and the family was left homeless.

Long Lost Family

ITV, 9pm

Alley Lofthouse’s tale is incredible. Now 48, she was abandoned on the doorstep of a block of flats in Glasgow as a baby. She’s never found out who left her there.


Grand Designs: Living the City

Channel 4, 8pm

After his series set in far-flung regions of the globe, Kevin McCloud is back on more familiar ground with four shows on building in the cramped confines of the city. He combines footage from the best of previous series’ urban builds, with expert interviews on the latest architectural thinking.

King for a Term

Sky Arts, 9pm

Idris Elba writes and directs this one-off lighthearted drama that was inspired by his own childhood in Hackney, London.


The Notorious

RTE2, 10.30pm

No matter what you think of Conor McGregor, this behind the scenes series at his life and fights over a few months last year is well worth a watch.

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