Wrapping up the series, Simon reflects on how we should view these important buildings today not just as part of our heritage also a vital part of history as he explores the state of Ireland and its castles during the 19th and 20th centuries.
Famine and the land wars were a time of great change in Ireland where tenant and landlord relations disintegrated. Followed by the Easter Rising, the War of Independence and then the Civil War in the early decades of the 20th century, some of Ireland’s most prestigious and historical castles were mostly abandoned or destroyed.
This drama impressed enough during its first series last year, thanks to its realistic characters and accurate historical setting, but after its return it’s proved even more gripping.
Particularly eye-catching has been Kerrie Hayes, the actress who plays Esther – she’s quite rightly been nominated for a Bafta for Best Leading Actress.
This edition sees Esther come of age, but her head is still reeling from her initial encounter with trainee shoemaker Will.
Meanwhile, both Daniel and his wife Susannah are struggling to adjust to a life spent increasingly more on the road, as Daniel must attend various political meetings, and Peter tries to get to know Miriam a bit better.
Tonight’s episode sees two young entrepreneurs who are so keen to impress Peter Jones that they end up eating their own range of dog food. But will their drastic tactic be enough to fetch them a deal, or will the Dragons bring them to heel?
Meanwhile, the potential investors are entertained during a pitch by a colourful Indian dance troupe, before being introduced to the weird world of taxidermy.
Evan Davis presents the show, ushering in the hopeful contestants as well as hearing from them after their pitches.
Once Duncan Bannatyne leaves at the end of the series, Evan and Peter will be the only surviving faces from the first series.
Ace hostage negotiator Danny Roman is framed for killing his partner when they discover some crooked cops have been pilfering funds from the force’s disability scheme.
Danny decides to take matters into his own hands and takes a small band of key figures hostage in a skyscraper.
Director F Gary Gray must have thought all his Christmases had come at once when he signed leading actors Jackson and Spacey. The pair build up an extremely tense on-screen relationship which at some points leaves viewers almost breathless.
No sooner has the spoof documentary following people connected to west London pirate radio station Kurupt FM started, than it nears its conclusion next week - four episodes is not a fair run for this promising series, not quite giving us the chance to fall in love with it but certainly capturing our attentions.
However, we’re prepared to enjoy it while it lasts – particularly as this edition’s something of a high point.
It sees Beats trying to get on the career ladder to please his girlfriend, by going for an interview at local neckwear supplier Tie One, while Grindah resolves to prepare a special party to celebrate Angel’s fifth birthday – but the trouble is, he just doesn’t know where to start...
Russell Crowe plays Jeffrey Wigand, a scientist who is unceremoniously fired from his job with a cigarette company.
Despite having signed all manner of legal documents that will ensure his silence about his former employers’ operation, he cracks and goes to respected broadcast journalist Lowell Bergman (Al Pacino), intent on spilling the beans about exactly what goes on at a big tobacco firm.
However, both Bergman and Wigand are unprepared for the enormous consequences of their actions.
It’s a brilliant film, and is still one of the most subtly powerful performances of Crowe’s career, alongside a supporting turn from old master Pacino.
Tense, superbly paced and wonderfully restrained, it makes high drama of an already fascinating sequence of events, and deserves to be viewed as a true modern classic.
The real Jeffrey Wigand asked for two concessions from the film-makers: that they change the names of his daughters, and that there be no smoking anywhere in the film. Both requests were granted.