What to watch on TV this week

Mrs Brown’s Boys Christmas Special is on RTÉ One and BBC One on Christmas Day.

SATURDAY

Game of Thrones: Twelve Days, One Throne Sky Atlantic, 9pm

It’s a Thrones extravaganza over the next 12 nights as the channel broadcasts the entire four series, with three or four episodes being shown each day. Season five is expected to land in April.

The Jonathan Ross Show ITV, 10pm

The final show of the series features Ed Sheeran, David Walliams, Lewis Hamilton and Frozen singer Idina Menzel.

SUNDAY

Marathon Men RTÉ One, 8pm

Documentary on the incredible feat by Gerry Duffy and Ken Whitelaw as they attempted to run 32 full marathons in 32 consecutive days: one race in each county, all in aid of Autism Ireland.

The RTE Sport Awards 2014 RTÉ One, 9.30pm

Rory McIlroy and Katie Taylor are among the 12 nominees for sport person of the year, while names on the list for the team award include Cork ladies gaelic football team, and the Kilkenny hurlers.

MONDAY

Holding Out For A Hero RTÉ Two, 9pm

The humour in this series hasn’t always hit the mark, but the history segment on the final episode does include an account of that fascinating real-life Gráinne Mhaol, the ‘pirate queen’ of Connaught in the 16th century.

John Bishop’s Christmas Show BBC One, 9pm

More light relief as the Liverpool comedian is joined by the likes of Jack Whitehall and Jason Byrne, while George Ezra and Ella Henderson provide the music.

Derek — The Special Channel 4, 10pm

Ricky Gervais has split opinion over the past few years with his comedy drama. Apparently, tonight’s episode is a bittersweet finale as he bids farewell to the character and the other inhabitants of the home.

TUESDAY

Happy Feet RTÉ2, 6.35pm

The children’s classic from 2006 will keep the smallies happy while you prepare for the big day.

Homeland RTÉ2, 9pm

This year’s offering ended up being one of those shows that had many people muttering about it ‘not being as good as it used to be’, but they still kept watching. Some of the more ludicrous scenarios in the show were almost forgiven following a gripping embassy attack episode, and it’ll be interesting to see how tonight’s finale sets us up for next year.

The King’s Speech RTÉ One, 9.35pm

A fine film from 2010 that follows British king George VI as he attempts to overcome his stammer.

CHRISTMAS EVE

ET — The Extra Terrestrial RTÉ Two, 3.30pm

There’s a whole generation of children who have yet to see Steven Spielberg’s wonderful sci-fi tale from 1982.

The Mario Rosenstock Christmas Special RTÉ2, 10pm

The impressionist takes off some of the year’s most significant characters in front of a live studio audience. As well as old faves like Francis Brennan and Miriam O’Callaghan, we’ll also hear some new voices with the likes of Mary Lou McDonald and Garth Brooks.

CHRISTMAS DAY

Despicable Me RTÉ One, 2.10pm

There’s no shortage of viewing for children today, and an almost ad-free day on RTÉ ensures it’s also an ideal time for stocking up on recorded material. This 2010 film is also one of those films grown-ups can also enjoy.

When Ryan Met Niall RTÉ One, 7.25pm

When 16-year-old Niall Horan entered The X Factor back in 2010, his wildest dreams wouldn’t have hinted as to what was in store for him. Nudged into a boyband by Simon Cowell, the Mullingar lad’s disappointment at coming second in the competition has probably been washed away by the phenomenal success of One Direction. In this documentary, Ryan Tubridy visits his hometown to talk to people who knew Horan before his 1D days, and also joins him backstage at a gig in America.

Frozen At Christmas Channel 4, 8pm

Along with 1D and Ed Sheeran, the Disney film Frozen has been one of the year’s major pop-culture reference points for younger people. This documentary hears from some of the people involved in its creation, and also meets fans who admit they’re obsessed by it

EastEnders RTÉ One, 9pm

Ho, Ho, Ho! We’re promised one of the most memorable Christmas Day’s ever in Walford, which means dramatic revelations, lots of drama and captivating misery. Look away now if you don’t want to know what happens, but we’ll see Danny Dyer’s character Mick Carter going ballistic as he hears about the sexual assault on his partner Linda. Will Dean be subjected to the justice he deserves?

Liam Clancy , Mo Chara TG4, 10.10pm

Documentary from Ring, Co Waterford, in which friends and family tell tales of the late, great musician who lived in the area for so long.

St Stephen’s Day

Donal Walsh — My Story RTÉ2, 8pm

Documentary on the tragic but inspiring life of Donal Walsh from Blennerville, Co Kerry, who died from cancer at the age of 16.

An Bronntanas TG4, 9.05pm

This film version of the thriller series that recently ran on TG4 is also Ireland’s entry into the Oscar foreign language category.

Skyfall RTÉ One, 9.10pm

Daniel Craig and Javier Bardem star in the 2012 James Bond film.

Corman i gConamara TG4, 11.15pm

American filmmaker Roger Corman established a studio in Connemara in the 1990s to churn out his famous B-movies. He got about £1m in grants, but was probably a good investment for the employment the studio provided, and also for the experience it gave his Irish staff. Even if it provoked a few headlines about the government subsidising pornography. Corman is among the contributors to a documentary about those crazy days in the west.



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