What to watch on TV this week

What to watch on TV this week

Is this the first sighting of a seasonal film? Tim Allen stars in the harmless tale from 1994 of a man who has to take the place of Santa.

The Irish Book Awards 2015

RTÉ One, 11.15pm

As well as literary figures like Anne Enright and Edna O’Brien, tonight’s awards feature nominations for popular writers like Cecelia Ahern and Ross O’Carroll Kelly, while Henry Shefflin and Jim McGuinness are among the sports books’ writers.

The Road

BBC One, 11.35pm

Bleak but brilliant adaptation of Cormac McCarthy’s novel about a post-apocalyptic world. Includes fine performances from the likes of Viggo Mortensen, Kodi Smit-McPhee and Charlize Theron.


Fern Britton Meets... Shane Lynch

BBC One, 10am

Former Boyzone member Shane Lynch tells the British presenter about how he dabbled in the occult in the early stages of fame. He also describes how he turned back to Christianity and how his faith helped him through the death of fellow band member Stephen Gately.

The Late Late Toy Show

RTÉ One, 3.35pm

If you or the smallies missed the Friday night screening, this is a handy repeat.

Ireland With Simon Reeve

BBC Two, 8pm

The second and final part of the presenter’s journey through this fair isle has him checking out some of the North’s culture and tourist attractions, including the Game of Thrones locations, and the July 12 marches. Heading south, he hears why Oliver Cromwell may not have been as bad as we thought, and also checking out momentous events such as the 1916 Rising and the recent vote on gay marriage.

I’m a Celebrity... Get Me Out of Here!

UTV Ireland, 9pm

As we enter the third week things usually get more interesting for the castaway celebrities as food issues and personal politics come to the fore.

Bressie’s Ironmind

RTÉ2, 9.30pm

Bressie and co have been training for six months, and now they face into the 70.3 Triathlon in Lanzarote.

Deutschland 83


This German series comes with a good pedigree in that it was created by some of the people behind the popular Generation War series from 2013. This time around, the action is set in the Cold War, as an east German spy makes his way to the West for an undercover operation. For children of the 80s, this thriller will push a few nostalgia buttons with a soundtrack that features David Bowie, New Order and Nena’s 99 Luftballons.


Laochra Gael

TG4, 8pm

Before his retirement at the beginning of 2012, Eddie Brennan had been one of the stars of an imperious Kilkenny hurling team. Diarmuid Lyng, Michael Kavanagh and Dónal O’Grady are among the contributors to this episode on a man who scored 26 championship goals from play and finished with a haul of eight All-Ireland medals.

Tomorrow’s Food

BBC One, 9pm

Dara Ó Briain visits a plant that fills online shopping orders, and watches the robots pack some of the million items a day that are picked from 24km of conveyor belts. There’s also a visit to a Canadian farm that claims to be the world’s largest in terms of numbers of livestock, even if they’re crickets.

Operation Transportation

RTÉ2, 9pm

A show that follows comedian Fred Cooke as he attempts to pass his driving test for the first time.

Live at the Apollo

BBC Two, 10pm

Jason Byrne and Stewart Francis perform routines at London’s Hammersmith Apollo in a show introduced by Romesh Ranganathan.


BBC Four, 10pm

Counter-terrorism is obviously a hot topic at the moment, and this fascinating documentary follows Saeed ‘Shariff’ Torres, a former Black Panther turned FBI informant as he is given the task of befriending a white convert to Islam who has made pro-terrorist statements.


Fair City

RTÉ One, 8pm

After the traumas of last week, the multiple troubles characters are having in the latest round of shows are a bit more run-of-the-mill. The hotel faces imminent closure, while tonight we see Farrah and Heather facing off for a major row.

Ear To The Ground

RTÉ One, 8.30pm

The tendency of cows to fart and belch a lot is creating an issue for Ireland’s targets on greenhouse gas emissions, so the issue is examined in the light of the UN Climate Change Conference taking place in Paris this week. There’s also a look at how the expansion of craft brewing has had knock-on effects for opportunities to grow barley and hops.


Channel 4, 10pm

The second series draws to a close with all the characters trying to deal with the strife in their relationships. Overall, it probably hasn’t produced as many laughs as the first season, but has still been one of the top shows of the year.

What In The World

RTÉ One, 11.15pm

First episode of the latest run of the series on development issues looks at El Salvador’s prisons. ‘Yo Cambio’ looks at efforts to reform a system that’s overcrowded and ineffective.



RTÉ2, 5pm

The science series continues with the participating youths going to sea aboard the navy’s latest ship, the LE James Joyce, checking out the technology it uses and trying the sea survival tank.


RTÉ One, 9.35pm

Chris O’Dowd hit the bigtime with this 2011 comedy based around the competition between the maid of honour and a bridesmaid over who will be chosen as the bride’s best friend.


How to Change the World

Sky Atlantic, 10pm

This Sundance-award winning documentary looks at how journalist Bob Hunter and a group of Canadian anti-nuclear activists evolved into the organisation we know as Greenpeace.


The Graham Norton Show

BBC One, 10.35pm (NI 11.05pm)

Thor actor Chris Hemsworth and the film’s director Ron Howard join actress Lily Tomlin on the couch, while there’s also music from Shirley Bassey.

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