What to watch on TV this week

Doctor Thorne, from Julian Fellowes, begins on UTV Ireland tomorrow at 9pm, starring Rebecca Front, Tom Hollander, Ian McShane and Stefanie Martini.

What to watch on TV this week


The Croods

RTE One, 6.35pm

Nicolas Cage is among the actors providing voices for this 2013 tale of a stone-age family who must trek through some treacherous terrain to find a new home.

The Dictator

RTE2. 9pm

Sacha Baron Cohen is in cinemas at the moment with Grimsby, but this 2012 satire has him playing the dictator of the fictional Republic of Wadiya who’s on a visit to the US.

It has its moments, but doesn’t work as well as his Borat or Ali G characters.

The Jonathan Ross Show

UTV Ireland, 10pm

Richard Gere and Jack Black are probably the box office names on tonight’s guest list, but the person we’re most excited about seeing is Motown founder Berry Gordy, 86.

There are few people on the planet who’ve had as much of a hand in the development of popular music.


The Jump: The Final

Channel 4, 7.30pm

Given the unfortunate injuries that have affected participants in this show, the insurance premium for next year could get rather hefty. Tonight we’ll see which celebrity emerges as the best ski-jumper.

Doctor Thorne

UTV Ireland, 9pm

Presumably, this new three-part adaptation of Anthony Trollope’s novel will interest a lot of Downton Abbey fans because of the involvement of Julian Fellowes in both shows.

Set in the 19th century, we see what happens when the titular doctor’s niece is excluded from the wedding preparations of her friend, and discovers that she was born illegitimate. Of course, her own secret love affair with the heir to the estate complicates matters even more.

Room to Improve

RTÉ One, 9.30pm

The final episode of the current series has Dermot Bannon going back to three of the builds from previous seasons to see whether the homeowners are still happy with the revamps.

Among them are Marion Roche Martin and her American husband Engel, who did a huge job on her old family home in Bishopstown, Cork.

American Hustle

Channel 4, 9pm

This comic-drama probably got too much hype when it was released in 2013, but a superb cast and serious ’70s fashions help ensure it’s definitely worth a gander.

Jennifer Lawrence shines as the wife of a con artist (Christian Bale), while there’s also an enjoyable cameo from Robert de Niro.

The Meaning Of Life, With Gay Byrne

RTE One, 10.35pm

Peter Sutherland has held exalted positions in such companies as AIB and Goldman Sachs, and has served on the financial advisory board for the Vatican.

Along the way, he’s also been involved in Fine Gael, been an EU commisioner and made loads of money.

He talks to Gay Byrne about his Catholicism, his recent battle with cancer and his campaigns on behalf of refugees as UN special representative for migration.


Fire In The Blood: The Revivalists

RTÉ One, 8.30pm

Tonight’s episode has musician/presenter Fiachna ÓBraoináin looking at the life of Douglas Hyde, a man with an impressive CV that includes being the nation’s first president, the first president of the GAA and having a major role in the Gaelic revival.

A Protestant whose father was from near Fermoy, Co Cork, he resigned as president of the Gaelic League in 1915 because of its increased politicisation, and later had the distinction of being ‘banned’ by the GAA for attending a soccer match in Dalymount Park in 1938.

Frontline Doctors: Winter Migrant Crisis

BBC One, 9pm

Jovial twin doctors Chris and Xand Van Tulleken get a bit more serious than usual for this one-off show as they travel from Lesbos in Greece through the Balkans and on to Berlin and Calais to show what life has been like for the thousands of migrants crossing Europe this winter.


Sheehy Skeffington — Síocháiní

TG4, 9.30pm

Documentary on the fascinating and ultimately tragic tale of Francis Sheehy Skeffington, the journalist and pacifist who helped a wounded British soldier early in the 1916 Rising.

He was later killed on the orders of the deranged Captain JC Bowen-Colthurst, of the family that owned Blarney and Dripsey castles.

After being used as a human shield by the officer, Sheehy Skeffington was executed after he protested at Bowen-Colthurst’s murder of an innocent young boy.


Neven Maguire: Healthy Home Chef

RTÉ One, 8.30pm

Healthy foodie Indy Power shows Maguire her recipe for granola, while the man himself cooks stuffed aubergines with a spinach and feta pie; and a pork goulash with cauliflower rice. It probably tastes better than it sounds!

Dunblane: Our Story

BBC Two, 9pm

Twentieth anniversary memories of the day in March 1966 when Thomas Watt Hamilton shot dead 16 primary school children and the teacher who was trying to protect them.

Among those remembering that awful day are a pupil who was shot as a five-year-old but survived, and the headmaster of the school.


Home Of The Year

RTÉ One, 8.30pm

Episode two features three more homes from different parts of the country.

Restaurant owner Aoibheann MacNamara went for a Nordic/Industrial feel when converting an old carpenters workshop in Galway city; The Prendergast family doubled the size of their terraced cottage in Dublin; and Paul Lynam brought Japanese aesthetics to bear on his renovation of an old cottage in Limerick.

Don’t Tell The Bride

RTÉ2, 9.30pm

The final episode of the current series features the show’s first same-sex marriage. Whatever the gender mix, the dynamics remain the same.

Mark from Dublin is thinking of a 1916 theme that celebrates love and liberty; his Venezuelan fiance Kerwin isn’t quite as tuned in to the Easter Rising and is dreaming of something “white, modern, sleek and classy”.


Gardeners World

BBC Two, 8.30pm

March really does signal the beginning of the gardening year, and Monty Don and co have more tasks and other suggestions to get things growing for the months ahead.


BBC Two, 11pm

Punk rock is celebrating its 40th birthday, so former Sonic Youth guitarist Thurston Moore gets nostalgic with the likes of Buzzcocks’ Pete Shelley, Chrissie Hynde of the Pretenders, and film director Julien Temple.

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