What to watch on TV this week

What to watch on TV this week

Strictly Come Dancing

BBC One, 6.50pm

With The X Factor at the final stage, this show is one step behind and reaches the semi-final.

Tess Daly and Claudia Winkleman welcome the five remaining dancing duos who must perform two routines for a chance of being voted into next week’s final.


Ireland’s Fittest Family

RTÉ One, 6.30pm

The final of this year’s series features four families doing battle on a course that’s been laid out on the runway at Shannon Airport.

Ireland’s Rising

RTÉ One, 8.30pm

Sports manager Jim McGuinness explores Donegal’s connections to the 1916 Rising.

As with other parts of the country, confusion seems to have reigned in the north-east, and some of the county’s most prominent volunteers didn’t make it to Dublin.

McGuinness also hears about the importance of Coláiste Uladh on Gortahork, the school where the likes of Padraig Pearse and Roger Casement would visit to deliver speeches and brush up on their Irish; and two Donegal fishermen from Gola Island who helped with the Howth gunrunning in 1914.

Along the way, McGuinness also hears some of his own family’s history, and how 10 of his great-grandparents’ children ended up emigrating to America.

The Hunt

BBC One, 9pm

Even though we’ve seen most of the animals in action plenty times before, the incredible footage and clever editing still managed to impress on this series narrated by David Attenborough.

Unfortunately, for some of the creatures involved, this is is possibly the last generation of camera-people who get to film them in the wild.

This final episode looks at the precarious future facing tigers and polar bears.

The World According to Kenny Everett

ITV, 10pm

These retrospectives on the late Kenny Everett are welcome reminders of what a comic genius he was. Cupid Stunt, Captain Kremmen and Sid Snot all feature in the archive footage, while friends and family spin some anecdotes about a man who seems to have been quite a complex character.

The Great Irish Bake Off

TV3, 10pm

The three finalists battle to be crowned this year’s winner. Challenges include a three-tiered wedding cake, and floating apple crumbles served in a martini glass.

The finalists’ friends and families talk also about about the aspiring bakers.


Kevin Dundon’s Perfect Christmas Dinner

UTV Ireland, 8pm

There’s no shortage of celebrity chefs around the place giving advice on cooking for the big day.

Many are going for particular angles, or putting modern twists on it all, but Kevin Dundon largely plays it straight, taking us through the step-by-step preparation of turkey and ham.

The Ring

TG4, 9.30pm

Naomi Watts stars in this 2002 adaptation of a Japanese film that still stands as one of the creepiest horror films of the century so far.


Blast Off Live: A Stargazing Special

BBC One, 10.30am

Brian Cox and Dara Ó Briain are live at the Science Museum in London, while Dallas Campbell is in Kazakhstan as former British army major Tim Beake blasts off for his journey to the International Space Station. We’ll hear all about what the trip involves, including what the human body goes through as it leaves Earth.

Liveline: Call Back

RTÉ One, 7pm

Ireland has the highest incidence of cystic fibrosis per head of population in the world, and tonight’s episode looks back on how Liveline has been involved in the campaign by Orla Tinsley and others through the years to improve the care offered to patients in this country.

There’s also a feature on artist Alexandra Trotsenko, who was attacked in her apartment in Finglas in 2011 by a man who stabbed her several times and then cut off two of her fingers.

Joe Duffy’s show provided a platform for the raising of tens of thousands of euro to help meet Alexandra’s medical bills.

Ear To The Ground

RTÉ One, 8.30pm

Ella McSweeney looks at the amount of food wasted in Ireland, as consumers and industry discard huge amounts. When she also brings obesity and farming subsidies into the equation, the whole model looks seriously flawed.

Tonight’s show also has a feature on how farmers can be more efficient, and a visit to a Kilkenny woman who now supplies free- range ducks to some of the country’s top restaurants.


RTÉ One, 10.15pm

A documentary on Druid Theatre Company’s ambitious production of three of Shakespeare’s plays earlier this year, and a tour which went from Galway to Skibbereen to New York with a show that lasted over six hours.


You Should Really See A Doctor

RTÉ One, 8.30pm

At the People’s Park in Dun Laoghaire, the doctors meet a woman who has shed 44kg in the past year, but is still searching for a diagnosis on her stomach problems.

A lorry-driving father of two also seeks help with his scalp condition.



RTÉ2, 9pm

A double bill of episodes concludes the documentary series on the trainee Irish nurses.

We see how they’ve grown in confidence on their placements, and now have to make decisions on what the next step will be.

The Secret Life of Children at Christmas

Channel 4, 8pm

We thought this series was going to be all scientific insight and child psychology, but really it’s mostly about laughing at the antics of those involved.

Here we see them auditioning, rehearsing and putting on a nativity play, complete with opportunities for cuteness and comedy that that involves.


Cook, Eat, Burn

RTÉ One, 7.30pm

Coriander fishcakes and fudge are on the menu as Donal Skehan goes coasteering in Co Kerry.

The Graham Norton Show

BBC One, 10.35pm (NI 11.05pm)

Kylie Minogue and Carrie Fisher (the original Princess Leia of Star Wars) are among the guests, along with other cast members of the new instalment of the sci-fi favourite.

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