The MasterChef Ireland final runs over two nights, Wednesday and Thursday, on RTÉ Two. The remaining three contestants are Nicha Maguire, Tamarin Blackmur and Terry Lyons.
Stephen Fry Gadget Man
Channel 4, 8.30pm
Gadgets covered in tonight’s episode include a pen that transcribes notes direct to your computer a coffee machine that talks to your phone and an executive sleep pod.
Led Zeppelin Live in London 2007
BBC Two, 10.45pm
After this one-off reunion in 2007, many people predicted that Led Zeppelin would stay together for further shows. It hasn’t happened, and this gig from the O2 to commemorate the life of Atlantic Records founder Ahmet Ertegun gives fans a taste of what they’re missing.
Feargal Quinn’s Retail Therapy
RTÉ One, 7.30pm
Fergal Quinn attempts to work his magic for mother and daughter boutique owners Josephine and Siobhán Somers. Their occasion-wear shop needs to adapt unless it is to go the way of so many other clothes shops in the country.
The Moment Of Truth
RTÉ One, 10.30pm
Seán O’Callaghan was an IRA member from the age of 15, and the Tralee man was directly involved in at least two killings during his time in the organisation: a female UDR soldier killed by a mortar, and a Catholic RUC man he shot in a bar. After resigning in 1976, O’Callaghan rejoined the IRA a few years later, but took the step of becoming an informer for the security forces on both sides of the Irish Sea. One of his leaks led to the capture of an arms shipment aboard the Marita Anne off the Kerry coast. Over the years, both the security forces and republicans have refuted aspects of O’Callaghan’s story, but in tonight’s show, Bláthnaid Ní Chofaigh tries to unpick the truth from his tangled tale.
A new series begins. This time around they could be wearing actual tans as season two was made in Santa Ponsa.
BBC One, 8.30pm
While Barack Obama is often presented as some sort of cuddly, liberal president, one of his big decisions in office was to increase the amount of drone strikes in Pakistan. Jane Corbin is in the province of Waziristan to look at the effects of a policy that, while killing many Islamic militants, has also caused deaths among the civilian population.
RTÉ Two, 9pm
The tension button is ramped up to 11 as we get into the second-last episode. Overall, it hasn’t been as good as series one, but has probably done enough to keep most viewers gripped to the end.
BBC One, 10.35pm
All about the making of Simon and Garfunkel’s 1970 album Bridge Over Troubled Water, the classic that proved to be their last as a duo. We hear about the producer’s tricks with echo that gave the album such atmosphere, and also how such songs as the title track and The Boxer were written.
Sky Atlantic, 10.35pm
There’s no shortage of high-octane drama in the season finale of series four. Jackie is running things while Cruz is laid up, but when the boss hears about the extra temp nurses that have been hired, he blows his top. Meanwhile, O’Hara goes into labour a month early. Expect to see this series on RTÉ at some stage in the new year.
Ireland’s Christmas Lights
Every year, various people around Ireland put that little bit extra strain on the national grid by lighting up their houses with a plethora of Christmas lights. Many raise funds for charity as people make donations when they visit these winter wonderlands. This show follows a number of families as they prepare for the big switch on: checking the costs, putting up the lights, etc.
British Comedy Awards
Channel 4, 9pm
We could all do with a few laughs at the moment, and hopefully the British Comedy Awards will provide plenty. Jonathan Ross is on hosting duties, and Graham Norton is the only Irish person up for an award.
The second and final part of the documentary on how Irish soldiers in the Congo in 1961 had to hold out against superior forces besieging them at Jadotville. We also hear how Conor Cruise O’Brien, UN representative in Katanga, was scapegoated by UN chiefs to cover up their own blunders.
It’s one of the great ‘what-ifs’ of Irish history: what if socialists such as James Connolly and Liam Mellows had survived to influence the state. This documentary looks at the latter figure, and his Civil War-era execution by Free State troops in 1922.
The 15-Stone Babies
Channel 4, 10pm
As a subject matter, it’ll make a lot of people cringe with discomfort. Adults acting like babies. As in wearing nappies and onesies, and attending special ‘nurseries’ where they’re treated like real babies and even fed botttles. Those involved say there’s nothing sexual or otherwise dodgy about their behaviour — they just like to regress and free themselves of the responsibilities of modern life. Perhaps it’ll catch on.
Irish Pictorial Weekly
RTÉ One, 10.15pm
Not every satirical arrow fired on this sketch show hits its target, but there is more than enough superb material to partly make up for the disappointment of Mario Rosenstock.
RTÉ One, 10.45pm
Dara Ó Briain appears on tonight’s show, while there’s also a tour of Sidney Nolan’s superb Ned Kelly paintings at the Irish Museum of Modern Art.
Radharc: Pain Is The Price
RTÉ One, 11.20pm
Part of the TV50 series, this Radharc documentary from 1978 travelled to the Philippines to talk to the then relatively unknown Shay Cullen. A member of the Columbans, the Irish priest was in the early stages of his fight for the rights of poor Filipinos. This excellent film was also seen as providing some exposure and protection for a man whose work would have made him a target for the Marcos regime.
An Idiot Abroad
Sky 1, 9pm
The final episode in the short series has Karl and Warwick making their way from India to China, and almost falling out along the way.
¦ The Christmas schedules have been unwrapped and the seasonal special drama or soap have definitely replaced the big film of yesteryear as the centrepiece of the day’s viewing. BBC has EastEnders and Call The Midwife; ITV offers Downton Abbey and Coronation Street; while RTÉ has Mrs Browns Boys and Fair City.
¦ IFTN reports that season three of Game Of Thrones will debut on Sky Atlantic in April, just days after its US premiere on Mar 31.
¦ So now it’s official — a fourth season of Love/ Hate has been given the green light by RTÉ.
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