What to watch on TV this week

Harbour pilot Ciaran Monks helps guide the Royal Princess into Cobh on the new series of Cork Mega Port on TV3.

What to watch on TV this week


Babe — Pig In The City

RTÉ One, 4.10pm

It’s a real sign of how good a film this 1998 offering was when it easily stands up to a present-day viewing. But we probably shouldn’t be surprised, considering director George Miller’s other work includes Mad Max and Happy Feet.

Happy Feet Two

RTÉ One, 6.35pm

The second of two films today from director George Miller, this time the second in the excellent penguin-centred animated feature, complete with voices from Robin Williams and Elijah Wood.


Les Miserbles

Channel 4, 9pm

Eamon Dunphy might characterise this adaptation of Victor Hugo’s novel as a good one rather than a great one, but it is very watchable and features an incredible cast that includes Hugh Jackman, Russell Crowe, and Helena Bonham-Carter.

The Reader

RTÉ One, 9.30pm

Kate Winslet and Ralph Fiennes star in this decent drama about a man who encounters a former lover as she defends herself in a war-crimes trial.


Show Me A Hero

Sky Atlantic, 9pm

There was more than enough in episode one of David Simon’s new drama to bring us back for more. Tonight, the mayor of Yonkers knows he can’t get out of building low-income homes in his area, and tries to limit the flack from the voters who elected him on a promise not to allow the developments.

The Late Review

TV3, 11pm

Ivan Yates is in the presenter’s seat for this current affairs discussion show from Monday to Thursday.


Natural World

BBC Two, 8pm

We all know the basics about owls. Here, however, Paul ‘Witnail and I’ McGann narrates a programme that gets into the science of how they hunt in the dark.

Cracking Crime

RTÉ One, 10.25pm

A repeat of the show on the disappearance of Kerry-born prison officer Patricia Doherty, last seen in Dublin before Christmas in 1991.


A Brief History Of Graffiti

BBC Four, 9pm

Richard Clay looks at humankind’s urge to put images and words on walls, from the cavemen of central France to the Russian troops who captured Berlin in WWII and the urban youth of New York. He links it to a primal urge to make marks, particularly by people who are denied other means of expression. Clay, an art professor at Birmingham University, is particularly interested in the spraypainters who emerged in the 1970s. “The art that emerges on the streets is absolutely real art, and the best of it is as good as the contemporary art that begins in the galleries,” he claims.


BBC Two, 8pm

Despite being quite a common affliction, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder is a hugely misunderstood condition. This documentary gets past the fusspot stereotypes as it meets sufferers such as Sophie, who is constantly worried about accidentally killing people; and Richard, terrified of making contact with bins. We also see some of the solutions to OCD that are emerging.

Hey, Boo: Harper Lee and To Kill a Mockingbird

Sky Arts, 9pm

With all the fuss about the sequel, this documentary looks at Harper Lee’s hugely influential novel that was published in 1960. Contributors include her sister, Alice Finch Lee, and celebrity fan, Oprah Winfrey.


Celebrity Big Brother

TV3, 9pm

The ordinary people trying to climb up the celebrity ladder have been cleared out of the Big Brother household for this year, so now it’s the turn of those doing their best not to slip down that same ladder. Among them are controversial comedian Dapper Laughs, Janice Dickinson and a guy from The Bill.

Stephen Fry’s Central America

ITV, 9pm

The urbane presenter begins a new four-part journey through Central America on a yellow school bus. He starts off in Mexico, doing a ‘Ros na Run’ with a quick appearance in a soap opera, and also checking out monarch butterflies on their migration.

Who Do You Think You Are?

BBC One, 9pm

With his knighthood and impressive stage and screen CV, it’d be easy to presume that Derek Jacobi came from a posh family of theatre luvvies. Not so. This exploration of his background reveals his upbringing in London was quite humble, and it took a scholarship to get him to Cambridge. Digging a bit further back, however, he discovers that there was once money in his family, in the form of wealthy Huguenots who fled France.


Ireland Live News Special

UTV Ireland, 8pm

As the last of the towers in Ballymun is demolished, this show looks at the history of the public housing project that became a byword for poor urban planning. Built in the 1960s to accommodate the slum clearances in inner-city Dublin, they suffered the same fate of high-rise public housing in many other parts of the world in gaining a reputation for drugs and crime. They also provided housing for thousands of people, and this documentary talks to some of the former residents of Joseph Plunkett Tower.

Gardeners’ World

BBC Two, 8.30pm

It’s the end of summer, and Monty Don is assessing what has worked, and what could be improved in his garden. He also has suggestions for what can be done for autumn.

Rick Stein: From Venice to Istanbul

BBC Two, 9.30pm

The chef is in northern Greece where he tastes the best chicken pie he’s ever had, and also goes prawn fishing. Stein also cooks stuffed peppers with tomatoes and souvlaki.

Reading Festival

BBC Four, 10.45pm

Mumford and Sons are the first headliners of the weekend of music at Little John’s Farm.

Gone Baby Gone

BBC One, 11.35pm

Ben Affleck got his directing career off to a fine start with this mystery drama in 2007. A tale of private investigators looking for a missing four-year-old, it stars his brother, Casey Affleck, as well as Morgan Freeman and Ed Harris.

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