Best of the Week's TV (Feb 8-14)

Kevin Spacey in House of Cards.

House of Cards makes a welcome return on Netflix, and Frank looks just as nasty as ever. 

SATURDAY

The Jonathan Ross Show

UTV, 9.55pm  

Chris O’Dowd,  Kiefer Sutherland and John

Legend make appearances on tonight’s show.   

Sport  

Today’s clash of Ireland v Wales (RTÉ Two, ko 2.30pm) sees Joe Schmidt’s men facing a possibly tough test against a Welsh side trying to win a third championship in a row. That’s followed by Scotland v England (ko 5pm), while the Pro12 features Munster v Cardiff (TG4, ko 7.15pm). In soccer it’s Liverpool v Arsenal (BT Sport 1, ko 12.45pm), Chelsea v Newcastle (Setanta 1, ko 3pm) and Swansea v Cardiff (Sky Sports 1, ko 5.30pm). The All-Ireland Club Hurling semi-finals (TG4, 2.30pm) are live from Semple Stadium.

Salamander

BBC Four, 9pm

New Belgian thriller  series follows the aftermath of a daring heist on the safety deposit boxes of prominent members of society.

SUNDAY

Scandimania  

Channel 4, 8pm  

Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall is off to Denmark tonight, so there’s the obligatory stop at Noma, widely regarded as the best restaurant in the world. He also meets up with architect Bjarke Ingels, who talks about concept of hedonistic sustainability and how green living can be fun. Fearnley-Whittingstall then dips into some of the other things the Danes are famous for at the moment — bike-friendly cities, sperm banks and TV thrillers.

At Your Service

RTÉ One, 8.30pm  

The Brennans try to attract more visitors to Cloughjordan Eco Village in Tipperary.

Sport  

Tottenham Hotspur v Everton (Sky Sports 1, ko 1.30pm) features two sides struggling to make the Champions League places, while a beleaguered David Moyes must be relishing the prospect of Man Utd v Fulham (Sky Sports 1, ko 4pm). In France, a clash of the nouveau riche Monaco v PSG (BT Sport 1, ko 8pm) should feature the likes of Ibrahimovic and Falcao. Football action includes Westmeath v Dublin (TG4, throw-in 2pm), while Six Nations rugby has France v Italy (RTÉ Two, ko 3pm).

Babylon 

Channel 4, 9pm  

Danny Boyle isn’t a name you’d normally associate with comedy, but he steps up here to direct the pilot for a new series from the pens of Sam Bain and Jesse Armstrong (Peep Show and Four Lions). It stars James Nesbitt as a chief constable who wants to revamp his force’s public image.

Would You Believe?  

RTÉ One, 10.05pm  

When Swiss couple Arlette and Hans-Peter Riedo sent their only child, 17-year-old Manuela, to Galway in 2007 to learn English, they had no idea of the nightmare that would ensue. She was raped and murdered by Gerald Barry, a local man with a long history of violent crimes who had also raped a French student in the city a few weeks’ earlier. In this show, entitled A Claddagh From Manuela, we hear about her parents’ subsequent bond with Galway people who did their best to comfort and help the couple in the wake of the tragedy. Those involved include Sam Beardon, the local artist who found Manuela’s body; Liam Lynham, the police photographer and crime scene investigator; and farmer Tom Connell (pictured here with the Riedos) who placed a wooden cross at the crime scene.

MONDAY

The Wrestler

TG4, 9.30pm  

Mickey Rourke’s comeback  in 2008 proved to be  a surprisingly poignant tale of an ageing professional wrestler having trouble adjusting to life outside the ring.

The Nolans

RTÉ One, 9.35pm  

Linda Nolan’s appearance on Celebrity Big Brother has put the family singing group back in the public eye somewhat, and this documentary looks back on a career that saw the sale of 30m records. Born to a Dublin couple who moved the family to Blackpool in England, we hear about their rise to fame in the 1970s, and the other highs and lows since, not least the death of Bernie Nolan last year.

TUESDAY

Grey’s Anatomy  

RTÉ Two, 9pm  

A milestone of sorts as Grey’s reaches its 200th episode, with the medics donning the tuxes for a fundraising gala.

Nurse Jackie

 RTÉ Two, 10.45pm  

Season five begins on the eve of Jackie’s birthday, and it really is an eventful day. Two new doctors join the team — one who is described as having “slept her way to the middle“, and a stern ex-army medic — and there’s also an overturned bus to add to the chaos. On the personal front, custody of the children is still an issue for Jackie.

Cardiff City v Aston Villa

BT Sport 1, ko 7.45pm  

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side are languishing in the drop zone, but the former Man Utd striker will be hoping that his recent acquisitions from his old club can secure a much-needed home win.

WEDNESDAY

Neven Maguire Home Chef  

RTÉ One, 7.30pm  

The host goes Indian at the Ananda in Dundrum Town Centre. Chef Sunil Ghaia prepares chicken tandoori, while Maguire cooks grilled rib eye beef and makes a chocolate delice.

Arsenal v Man Utd

BT Sport 1, ko 7.45pm  

This game could indeed have an influence on who wins the title, but not in the way that many would have predicted at the start of the season. Even a top four finish may be an overly-optimistic hope for David Moyes’s side at the moment, while his counterpart probably has his best chance in years to win the league.

Operation Transformation

RTÉ One, 8.30pm  

The honeymoon is definitely over as some of the participants struggle to stay on track in week six, while Kathryn Thomas raises the huge issue of childhood obesity in Ireland with a visit to a school.

Fleming  

Sky Atlantic, 9pm  

New four-part dramatisation of the life of Ian Fleming, with Dominic Cooper in the role of the James Bond author. We see his pre-war existence as a jazz club regular with an eye for the ladies, and his entry into the armed forces working with naval intelligence. Already we’re getting glimpses of where some of the inspiration came from for his incredibly successful creation.

THURSDAY

Ear To The Ground  

RTÉ One, 8.30pm  

Ella McSweeney looks at the aftermath of the horsemeat debacle to see the risks of self-regulation that still exist, and dairy farmer Jim White talks about the benefits of sexed semen to help ensure the arrival of valuable female calves.

Don’t Tell The Bride

 RTÉ Two, 9.30pm  

This week’s couple are miles away from each other on what they want in a wedding, with Eoin dreaming of a big traditional affair, while Stephanie desires something nice and quiet in a registry office.

21st Century Child

 RTÉ One, 10.15pm  

The second and final part of this year’s short visit to the participating families. David Coleman talks to the parents about how their children have got on during their first year at school, and also hears their hopes for their children’s future. The next instalment of the show isn’t due for another two years.

FRIDAY

House of Cards

Netflix

The superb political drama starring Kevin Spacey and Robin Wright is back for a second series. All episodes available online today.

Tracks And Trails

 RTÉ One, 7.30pm  

The new series of the hiking show kicks off with news reader Aengus Mac Grianna walking the beaches and coastal paths of Carraroe, Co Galway, taking a beautiful route that finishes at the promontory at Golam Head. As well as the spectacular scenery along the way, he hears local lore and history from people living in the area, and meets up with former Olympic boxer Mike Lally.

Leinster v Newport Gwent Dragons

TG4, ko 7.45pm  

The high-flying Irish province should be too strong for the Welsh visitors in this game at

 the RDS.


Lifestyle

I don't remember a lot of shouting in my household growing up, and neither does my twin.Mum's the Word: How did my parents manage to create a calm household?

The TripAdvisor Travellers’ Choice Awards have been revealed. These are the destinations that came out tops.3 emerging destinations to add to your travel wish list – according to TripAdvisor data

The recent death of Caroline Flack has once again brought the issue of internet trolls and cancel culture back into public discourse.Learning Points: The reality is we all play a role in cancel culture

Rita de Brún speaks with Sean McKeown, Fota Wildlife Park director and longtime Cork resident.‘You’ve got to make the changes you want to see’, says Fota Wildlife director

More From The Irish Examiner