Best on TV

SATURDAY

Glee

TV3, 6pm

It returned on 3e and Sky 1 last week, and tonight it’s the turn of TV3 to resume season three of the musical series. Love is in the air at the school, while Jumping Jack Flash by the Rolling Stones is among tonight’s cover versions.

Poltergeist

TV3, 10pm

Those of you of a certain age will remember having the life frightened out of you by this creepy offering back in 1982. But would it work now? Life goes off the rails for a suburban family when their 10-year-old hears strange voices coming from the TV set.

The NME Awards

Channel 4, 11.55pm

Brixton Academy in London is the venue for the indie-focused awards, complete with live performances from Kasabian, Florence + The Machine and Noel Gallagher.

SUNDAY

Orbit: Earth’s Extraordinary Journey

BBC Two, 10pm

Kate Humble is among the presenters of this new three-part series on our planet’s journey around the sun, showing its significance for life on Earth and how it affects such phenomena as the weather and the tides. First up is the period from July to the winter solstice in December as the days gradually get shorter.

The Joy of Disco

BBC Four, 9pm

If you missed last night’s disco extravaganza on BBC Four, this repeat is a chance to catch up on the excellent documentary that was at its centre. It shows how so many people have the wrong idea about disco. Mention the D-word and they think tackiness, the Bee Gees and John Travolta moves. This film shows how a subversive underground scene thrived in New York and provided the blueprint for future club culture, before the music industry finally woke up to its potential. Contributors include Nile Rodgers of Chic and Robin Gibb of the Bee Gees.

War Horse: The Real Story

Channel 4, 10pm

Documentary on the thousands of horses that were used by the British forces during the First World War. Archive footage of the beasts in action is combined with eyewitness accounts from trench veterans and analysis by historians. We hear how 250,000 British horses died in the war, while another 85,000 were used for meat. Intertwined in this bigger story is the tale of Warrior, the famous horse of Steven Spielberg’s film.

Inglourious Basterds

Channel 4, 10pm

Quentin Tarantino’s film about a group of avenging Jewish soldiers in wartime Germany has some superb scenes, even if the total package doesn’t quite deliver.

MONDAY

Bernard Dunne’s Bród Club

RTÉ One, 7.30pm

Former boxer Bernard Dunne fronts a new campaigning series trying to get people to re-engage with the Irish language.

The Fastest Changing Place on Earth

BBC Two, 7pm

This documentary in the This World series looks at White Horse Village in rural China, a tiny village the authorities decided was to become a city of 200,000 people in just a few years. Over six years it follows the lives of three local people who’ve gone through massive upheavals as their nation makes incredibly rapid changes.

The Business

RTÉ One, 8.30pm

George Lee looks at Ireland’s education system and asks if it’s preparing people for the 21st century. “The consequences of not reforming our education system means Ireland is in danger of permanent, second, third and eventually fourth world status,” says West Cork-based film producer David Puttnam. We’ve heard a lot in recent years about how there aren’t enough maths and science graduates to feed various industries, but this show takes a very different tack. It looks at the system used in Finland, where the high-pressure achievement model has been rejected in favour of a more child-centred approach, with very little homework and minimal emphasis on exams. Many analysts believe this education system has been crucial to their success. Lee also interviews teachers, business people and others about whether reform is needed in this country.

TUESDAY

Ear To The Ground

RTÉ One, 8.30pm

This series upped its game again for the current season and has presumably reached the end of its run with a whole new set of viewers from outside the farming community. The final episode looks at the incredible expansion in output by the Tay Valley dairy farmers in east Waterford, and the potential income from €50 per kilo abalone shellfish in Connemara.

New Girl

RTÉ Two, 8.30pm

As anyone who has seen New Girl on Channel 4 can testify, it will appeal to a certain demographic (young, female) while others (not young, not female) might conclude Jess Day is the most irritating character on TV. You decide.

My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding

Channel 4, 9pm

This episode explores the cultural divide between gypsies and non-gypsies, and what happens when somebody marries outside the community. Cage fighter George Webb is a Romany gypsy who married glamour model Danielle, much to chagrin of some members of his family. You may have seen Danielle talk about her experiences recently to Brendan O’Connor on The Saturday Night Show.

WEDNESDAY

The Fisherman’s Apprentice with Monty Halls

BBC Two, 8pm

Monty Halls continues to learn the ways of inshore fishermen, but a bout of sea-sickness ensure he’s not making as much progress as he hoped.

One Born Every Minute

Channel 4, 9pm

One of the births on tonight’s show involves an all-female couple who’ve been together for 11 years, with Vicki becoming pregnant through IVF. Her mother is present for the birth.

THURSDAY

The Singing Detective

BBC Four, 10pm

Final episode of the repeats of Dennis Potter’s classic surreal drama. Again we bid farewell to Michael Gambon, Joanne Whalley, etc.

The Works

RTÉ One, 11.10pm

Stella Days may not have won any Oscars, but it’ll still be interesting to hear what director Thaddeus O’Sullivan has to say about working with Martin Sheen in the role of a progressive priest in 1950s Ireland.

FRIDAY

Gardeners’ World

BBC Two, 8.30pm

It’s a sure sign spring has sprung when Gardeners’ World returns to our screens. Monty Don and his crew turn the first sod by showing such issues as how to plant bare-rooted raspberries, the rejuvenation of an overgrown honeysuckle and the beauty of hellebores.

Bill Withers

BBC Four, 9pm

Friday really has become the night for great music documentaries on BBC Four. Tonight it’s the turn of American soul singer Bill Withers (Lovely Day, Lean On Me, Ain’t No Sunshine, etc) who gets the biographical treatment in Still Bill (9pm) and a live concert from 1974.

* Get daily TV news, previews and reviews on Twitter via @examinertv


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Frits Potgieter is General Manager with Muckross Park Hotel and Spa.You've Been Served: Frits Potgieter, Muckross Park Hotel and Spa

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