Here's what to watch on TV this week

Des O’Driscoll highlights what is not to be missed this week on the box. 

Here's what to watch on TV this week


Hunger, Netflix

Before director Steve McQueen and actor Michael Fassbender achieved the status of international stars, they made this powerful film about Bobby Sands and the 1981 hunger strikes in the North. Given the paucity of some of the summer schedules on the terrestrial channels, you’d imagine the streaming networks will be doing plenty business this month.

Rise of the Planet of the Apes, Channel 4, 7pm

With the third instalment in the franchise due soon, this is a good opportunity to reacquaint yourself with the characters from the first of the modern versions in 2011.


Inis Mór Cliff Diving TG4, 4.20pm

The site at Poll na bPéist on Inis Mór really is spectacular as we see some of the highlights of the recent Red Bull Cliff Diving event in Inis Mór.

Planet Earth II RTÉ One, 6.30pm

This episode of the David Attenborough-narrated series focused on cities and the often uneasy relationship they have with wildlife. We see leopards entering a suburb in Mumbai, and the heartbreaking plight of newly-hatched turtles who get confused by urban lights and actually head inland rather than making for the sea.

Francis Brennan’s Grand Tour of Vietnam, RTÉ One, 8.30pm

After last year’s enjoyable excursion to India, the popular hotelier turns tour guide again for a trip to Vietnam. The group begin in the capital Hanoi, where activities include paying homage to Ho Chi Minh, the founding father who led the fight against both the French and the Americans; and also visit a traditional water puppet show and try a cyclo tour of the crowded city.

Ross Kemp Extreme World, Sky 1, 9pm

The excellent documentary series returns for another run of six episodes, looking at such issues as the ruthless war on drugs in the Philippines, and gang violence in Naples. He begins in Austin, Texas, as hate groups in both white and black communities recruit for a race war. Ross hangs out with a neo-Nazi leader and members of the Ku Klux Klan; as well as hearing from black separatists, and young gang members who are uniting against the police.


GAA Nua, RTÉ One, 7.30pm

Dara Ó Cinnéide concludes his series on various developments in gaelic games with a discussion of who owns the GAA. There’s already been a long and ongoing debate about paying players, but this show also addresses wider issues of the GAA’s future, from the business end of things to the sports themselves. Donal O’Grady and Joe Brolly are among the contributors.

Storyville, BBC Four, 10pm

Morgan Matthews’ very personal documentary is entitled ‘This Was My Dad: The Rise and Fall of Geoffrey Matthews’. It charts 10 years of his father’s life as he battles a poor financial situation, and health issues such as emphysema and cancer.

60 Days In Jail, Channel 4, 10.25pm

A second series of the US documentary is based around the efforts of Sheriff Jamey Noel of Clark County, Indiana, to find out about crime and corruption in his jail by getting eight volunteers to go undercover as inmates.


The Art Show, Sky Arts, 8pm

For anybody going to Lanzarote on their holidays, the Museo Atlántico offers a unique art experience for those who can scuba dive. In this show, we see how Jason deCaires Taylor’s statues are under water about 300m off shore, and can be seen by taking part in a scuba tour.

The British Garden: Life And Death On Your Lawn, BBC Four, 9pm

As our wild spaces are eaten up by buildings, roads and farmland, there’s ever more recognition for the importance of gardens for wildlife and the wider ecosystem. In this one-off show, Chris Packham shows how events in the humble space at the back of your house can be as interesting and exciting as anything that takes place on the Serengeti. Through the four seasons, he shows the predators and prey that are in constant conflict, with frogs, foxes and spiders all given starring roles.

This Is Christy, RTÉ One, 9.35pm

A documentary on Aslan singer Christy Dignam, who talks about his career in the music business, as well as such experiences as sexual abuse, drug addiction and cancer.

Granddad, Dementia And Me, BBC One, 10.45pm

Another family member turns the camera on an ailing adult, this time Dominic Sivyer filming his 79-year-old grandfather and the rest of the family as vascular dementia takes its toll over two years. There’s a lot of love in the family for the grandfather, most of all from Pam, his wife of 50 years, but the poor man eventually has to be sectioned and sent to a care home.


Thronecast: War Room, Sky Atlantic, 9pm

Game of Thrones is back for its second-last season on July 17, and with so many confusing plotlines heading towards conclusion, this celebrity-led discussion of the show will hopefully set us up for the new series. Al Murray and Jonathan Ross are among the superfans talking Targaryens, Iron Thrones and White Walkers.

Joanna Lumley’s India, ITV, 9pm

Joanna Lumley continues her travels in the country of her birth. She sees the two sides of Indian society, visiting a maharaja’s palace, and also members of the low Dalit caste.


Who Do You Think You Are?, BBC One, 9pm

Even if the participants are non-A-listers like Craig Revel Horwood, this show usually brings ups some fascinating family history. The judge from Strictly returns to his native Australia to find out about an ancestor who worked in the gold rush. He also calls to his 100-year-old grandmother who is a useful bridge to the past.


Atlantic — Wildest Ocean On Earth, RTÉ2, 7.30pm

Cillian Murphy narrates this BBC-made series, tonight looking at the huge gatherings of marine animals that occur in the South Atlantic.

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