What to watch on TV this week

Coverage of the Premier League begins this week across a number of channels, with live games on Saturday, Sunday, Monday and Friday.

What to watch on TV this week


A Tale of Two Cities

BBC Four, 9pm

A repeat of the documentary on the development of rock in Belfast and Dublin is followed by Irish Rock at the BBC, a trawl through the archives that includes classic clips of the likes of The Undertones, U2, and Thin Lizzy.


Creedon’s Wild Atlantic Way RTÉ One, 6.30pm

John Creedon is on the last leg of his journey up the west coast. He tries fishing in Mayo, pays a visit to a Gaeltacht in Donegal, and also takes an ancient pilgrimage route.

Dragons’ Den

BBC Two, 9pm

A new group of budding entrepreneurs try to get some money out of the panel. Among them a pair of hoteliers launching gluten-free foods, and a technology whizz who brings a sports car to the studio to demonstrate a security app.

The Queen

RTÉ One, 9.30pm

Helen Mirren stars in the 2006 take on Elizabeth II’s reaction to the death of Diana.


Carol Klein’s Plant Odysseys

BBC Two, 7pm

The iris is latest plant to get the historical treatment from Klein as she takes us through a history that goes at least as far back to the conquering of Syria by the Egyptian king around 1479 BC.

He was so impressed with the flowers that he brought them back to his gardens in Egypt and also had them immortalised in sculptures.

Flying to the Ends of the Earth

Channel 4, 8pm

Arthur Williams continues his journeys to some of the remotest parts of the planet, visiting a couple who live on Australian cattle station that really does deserve that well-used geographical comparison — it’s nearly the size of Wales.

He also visits a family who’ve bought their own desert island off the coast of Australia, and also meets flying missionaries in Papua New Guinea.

The Americans

RTÉ One, 9pm

Tonight’s double bill of episodes has the Soviet atheists differing on how to handle their daughter’s new-found religious feelings. On the other side of the Cold War divide, FBI agent Stan begins to open up about his past to his son, Matthew.

Red Rock Rewind

TV3, 10pm

The inaugural season of the Dublin-set soap faced some tough competition. If you didn’t get around to viewing the first run of a show that offered some decent diversion, these nightly hour-long repeats are a good way of catching up before the second season in September.

Brits Behind Bars: Cocaine Smugglers

Channel 4, 10pm

The conviction in 2013 of Belfast woman Michaella McCollum and her English friend Melissa Reid for their part in a cocaine-smuggling operation underlined the much-used route from Peru to Spain.

This documentary speaks to people all the way along the chain in the lucrative business, from gang members organising the operation to those who make up the consignments for transportation.


Are Our Kids Tough Enough? Chinese School

BBC Two, 9pm

This fascinating documentary series has five Chinese teachers enforcing a tough education regime from their own country on a group of English school children.

In tonight’s show the kids rebel against the long days and strict discipline, and the teachers end up struggling to keep order.


Earth’s Natural Wonders

BBC One, 9pm

If you’ve spent the week complaining about how awful your job is, perhaps you should take a look at the footage in tonight’s episode about what one fisherman in Zambia has to do to feed his family.

Risking being swept to your death on a daily basis at Victoria Falls is bad enough, but he also has to face off with crocodiles. We also see impressive scenes of humans eking out a living in such places as the Amazon and the Russian steppes.



BBC Two, 8pm

From the Faro Islands to the south of Ireland, Nick Crane and his cohorts have managed to produce another excellent series.

It comes to a close in various parts of Britain tonight with a focus on sea caves. We hear the tale of Scottish cave-dwelling cannibal Sawney Bean, and see physicists looking for evidence of dark matter in a mineral mine near Cleveland.


TG4, 8.30pm

The first of the live broadcasts from the Fleadh Cheoil in Sligo. Coverage of the event will run for three hours every night until Sunday, featuring performances from the likes of Frankie Gavin & De Dannan, and Ryan Sheridan, as well as reports from the streets and bars of the town.

Atlantic: The Wildest Ocean on Earth

BBC Two, 9pm

We tend to think of the ocean that surrounds us as a cold place, but tonight’s concluding episode in the series narrated by Cillian Murphy looks at its tropical parts.

In the Caribbean we get a look the incredible creatures that populate the coral reefs and mangrove forests, while the coast of Africa is shown as the birthplace of some terrifying hurricanes.

Britain’s Nuclear Secrets: Inside Sellafield

BBC Four, 10pm

In 1957 a fire at the nuclear reprocessing facility then known as Windscale caused a release of radiation, it caused little alarm in the Irish media, despite the plant being so close to Ireland.

Nowadays, of course, we know the deadly effects that such leaks can unleash. In this documentary, Jim Al-Khalili looks at the history of the facility, and brings his training as a physicist to bear on the storage of waste and fuel rods at Sellafield for 70 years.


Rick Stein: From Venice to Istanbul

BBC Two, 9.30pm

The latest instalment of the chef’s travels have him in Ravenna on Italy’s Adriatic coast where he checks out the traditional local flatbread, piadinas; followed by a trip to Croatia to try some goat stew.


BBC Two, 11.35pm

Lee Daniels managed the amazing task of creating an engaging and accessible film out of the harrowing tale of an obese abuse victim in New York trying to improve her life.

Presumably the casting director got all sorts of awards for their choice of the totally inexperienced Gabourey Sidibe in the lead role, while Mo’Nique and Mariah Carey are also unexpectedly good.

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