What to watch on TV this week

Peacekeepers — The Irish in South Lebanon is on RTÉ One at 9.35pm on Tuesday.

What to watch on TV this week


Kung Fu Panda

RTE One, 6.35pm

Enjoyable animated feature from 2008, with Jack Black and Ian McShane providing the main voices. Po the Panda gets chosen as the Dragon Warrior and then has to live up to the expectations that come with it.

Rise of the Planet of the Apes

Channel 4, 8pm

More humans than the humans themselves? Andy Serkis and James Franco are to the fore for this prequel from 2011.

We see how the medical experiments on monkeys leads to a massive increase in their intelligence and all sorts of unintended repercussions.


Les Misérables

Channel 4, 8pm

Hugh Jackman, Russell Crowe and Anne Hathaway star in a watchable take of Victor Hugo’s great novel set in Paris during the troubled times of the early 19th century.


Horrible Histories: Staggering Storytellers

CBBC, 5pm

The magnificent series returns for a one-off special as part of the BBC’s #Lovetoread campaign.

As ever, fun is to the fore as it presents a look at literature, from Frankenstein and the works of Dickens and Shakespeare, up to Enid Blyton and Roald Dahl.

By wrapping history in such an entertaining package it’s the greatest Trojan Horse since Odysseus and the lads put their planks to good use.

Wild France with Ray Mears

ITV, 8pm

The biggest boy scout is in the Ardeche exploring the caves and gorges of this mountainous region in the south east.

He also canoes down a river, spotting such creatures as frogs, snakes and beavers.

Exodus: Our Journey to Europe

BBC Two, 9pm

Shown over three consecutive nights, this show is largely made from the footage captured by Syrian refugees and camera crews who accompanied them on the journey from their homeland to Europe.

A father faces the dilemma of risking his children’s lives on a Mediterranean crossing; a 27-year-old torture victim captures the terror of what it’s like to be on a dinghy as it begins to sink.

Love Island

UTV Ireland, 9pm

The big night has arrived for this series as the winning couple step up to collect their £50,000 prize.

Forces Of Nature With Brian Cox

BBC One, 9pm

In the second episode of the series, the affable professor looks at another diverse range of phenomena in the natural world.

He’s strapped into a jet fighter to follow the spin of the planet at high speed; sees a surfer in the Amazon riding a tidal wave that indicates the influence of the moon; and hangs out with the Inuit in Greenland to see how they deal with the incredibly varied seasonal conditions.


Freddie Fries Again — Ireland

Sky 1, 8pm

Former cricketer Flintoff concludes his current series with a trip to this fair isle that involves skinny dipping with 100 women and meeting druid types on the Hill of Tara.

Follow Donal

RTE One, 8.30pm

Donal Skehan is in Lisbon where he checks out a recipe for salt cod and other local favourites such as gazpacho soup and sardines.

The Job Interview

Channel 4, 9pm

New series that follows a variety of real job interview situations, from the perspective of the interviewee and those doing the hiring.

First up is a customer service job in a van hire company.

Peacekeepers — The Irish in South Lebanon

RTÉ One, 9.35pm

The Irish army has a proud history as part of the UN’s presence in south Lebanon, established in 1978 following the Israeli invasion.

In their efforts to protect local people from some of the worst excesses of warring parties in the area, 47 Irish soldiers have been killed.

This documentary follows a contingent of troops through their training in Ireland and subsequent deployment to the Middle East for a six-month mission.

As well as seeing aspects of what life is like for the soldiers, we also hear tales from four decades of involvement in the area.

Inside Obama’s White House

RTÉ One, 11.30pm

Given the sparseness of summer schedules, it’s a pity that this excellent series is in such a late slot.

Seen earlier in the year on BBC, it looks at different aspects of the Obama presidency, and includes interviews with the man seen by liberal America as their great hope.

As we see in episode one, however, he hasn’t quite delivered on the hype. Some of his plans were stymied by the massive economic problems he inherited from the Bush era, and issues like Guantanamo continue to haunt him.


The Secret Life of Brothers and Sisters

Channel 4, 8pm

The sporadic series of shows leans more towards heartwarming and funny rather than hard science or parenting tips, and the first of a two-part special follows the sibling relationships of the participants as they head off on holiday.

The Standby

RTE One, 9.35pm

Documentary following three different actors as they fulfill that strangest of roles — the substitute on a Broadway show in case one of the people on stage can’t make it.

They really want the chance to perform, but they know they’ll be greeted by groans from an audience who had been hoping to see somebody else.


Inside Out Homes

Channel 4, 8pm

New three-part series in which an architect, an engineer and a gardener explore how the lines are blurring between the house and the garden.

Along the way, they’ll show ways of unlocking the potential of outside spaces.


Tony Robbins: I Am Not Your Guru


A documentary on the self-help ‘guru’ in the US. Filmmaker Joe Berlinger was granted access to Robbins’ annual event branded as ‘Date With Destiny’, where about 2,500 people gather in Florida to be empowered by the hugely-successful motivational speaker.

Tracks And Trails

RTE One, 7.30pm

A repeat of the episode where architect Dermot Bannon leaves his natural environment to take a walk on Inishturk, the picturesque island off Co Mayo that has the highest sea cliffs in Ireland.

The Best of The Late Late Show

RTE One, 10.35pm

The highlights from the recent series continue with the enjoyable appearance from Hollywood stars Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg, and an interview with hotelier Francis Brennan.

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