What to watch on TV this week...

Your home viewing entertainment wrap for the week ahead, with Des O’Driscoll.

What to watch on TV this week...




With the Oscars taking place on Sunday, it might be a good weekend to check out the nominated films being shown on the streaming channel.

This documentary, which takes its title from slavery-ending 13th amendment to the US constitution, looks at the impact of the prison system in the US on the lives of black people.

We hear how, despite having fewer than 5% of the world’s population, the US has 25% of all prisoners.

About 35% of those in prison are black. Because they commit 35% of all crime? Ava DuVernay’s film shows how it’s a far more complicated situation than that.

The White Helmets is another film showing on Netflix, and has been nominated in the best documentary short category.

It follows the volunteer civil defence group in the Syrian war who carry out such tasks as searching for survivors in bombed buildings.

Let It Shine: Live Final

BBC One, 6.45pm

The final of the Take That-related show has arrived and will feature the three remaining bands performing twice before a public vote decides the winner.

It’s always been a bit of a narrow concept for a talent show (no women, a discussion about race) and the ratings lagged well behind the most recent episode of the supposedly fading X Factor.

Apparently tonight’s show will have Robbie Williams back for a Take That reunion.

Diana: Designing A Princess

BBC Two, 8pm

The 20th anniversary of the death of Diana will bring plenty of commemorative shows, including this focus on her interest in fashion.

Historians and designers are among the contributors to a show that coincides with a new exhibition of her clothes at Kensington Palace in London.

The Fighter

RTÉ2, 9.30pm

Mark Wahlberg and Christian Bale star in the decent tale of boxer ‘Irish’ Micky Ward.



BBC One, 9pm

Episode two of the war drama has main character Archer hearing about a plan to kidnap his son, and he faces more dilemmas as the Germans demand his help in crushing the resistance.

Room to Improve

RTÉ One, 9.30pm

Dermot Bannon helps a newlywed couple to renovate an old rural cottage, complete with single-storey extension. The cost of replacing an old chimney breast, and problems with the drain and septic tank, are among the issues they have to face.


My Life: Mum’s Last Wish

CBBC, 5pm

This documentary series has an excellent reputation for finding a way to present really interesting and often difficult stories about children in a way that’s appropriate for their peers.

Today’s episode is inspiring and heartbreaking as it shows a brother and sister aged 17 and nine, filming themselves as they work through a special wishlist their mother left for them before she died from cancer in 2015.

The Academy Awards

RTÉ2, 9.30pm

The highlights package from the previous night’s award ceremonies in Hollywood, you’ll probably be hearing the phrase La La Land quite a bit.

Talkshow host Jimmy Kimmel is the MC for the night, and these presenting the prizes include Jamie Dornan.

Other Irish connections on the night come through nominations for The Lobster (best screenplay) Ruth Negga (best actress) and Consolata Boyle (costume design), though it would go against the pundits’ predictions if any of them won.


TV3, 10pm

Hopefully, this new third series of the police show will be closer to the gripping fare of season one, rather than the letdown of last year’s offering.

The opening scene has already been available online for a few weeks, and it looks like the regular detectives will be investigating a sexual assault on a woman played by Julie Hesmondhalgh (Hayley in Coronation Street).

The show debuts an hour earlier on ITV.

Soccer Republic

RTÉ2, 11.15pm

The show stays in its unfortunate scheduling slot, but Peter Collins and co will still do a good job flying the flag for Irish soccer.

Brian Kerr and Richie Sadlier join him to discuss the first weekend of action in a league which is expected to have Dundalk, Cork City, and Shamrock Rovers fighting it out for top spot.


Fair City

RTÉ One, 8pm

Heather is coming home from hospital after recovering from her ‘fall’ from in the shopping centre. When we saw that happen, the scene closed with a shot of Ciaran’s smiling face, and he seems determined to keep her close now.

By Wednesday’s episode, we’ll see he’s really worried that Heather is beginning to remember details about the fall, and she also knows about some of his other dark secrets.

The Replacement

BBC One, 9pm

On the surface, this new series looks like a drama exploring workplace politics and the insecurities about what happens to your career if you become pregnant.

Stick with the opening episode, however, and you’ll realise there’s a whole lot more going on. Vicky McClure (This Is England, Line of Duty) is among the familiar faces in a decent cast.


Éire Fhiáin — An Cósta Thiar

TG4, 9.30pm

A two-hour special on Irish wildlife includes spectacular footage of humpback whales, pine martens and red deer stags.

The Toughest Trade

RTÉ2, 9.30pm

The first episode of the two-part sport- swapping series has Donegal footballer Michael Murphy trying his hand at rugby with Clermont Auvergne, while former Welsh rugby star Shane Williams tries to fill his boots at Glenswilly GAA club.


Celebrity Masterchef

TV3, 9pm

The four semi-finalists are Niamh Kavanagh, Oisin McConville, Simon Delaney and Colm O’Gorman.


RTÉ One, 10.15pm

West Cork man Seán Herlihy and RTÉ presenter Sarah Jane Moloney O’Regan are among four deaf people providing us with window on their world in this documentary that promises to push the boundaries in how it mixed speech, sign language and visual communication.



Channel 4, 9pm

Yes, we have our own version now, but the UK offering still provides good entertainment.

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