What to watch on TV this week

First Dates Ireland begins on RTÉ2 on Thursday at 9.30pm.

SATURDAY

Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt

Netflix

Tina Fey’s cult comedy is back for a second series with its tale of a woman adjusting to modern life after spending 15 years confined in a cult.

Michael McIntyre’s Big Show

BBC One, 7pm

Michael McIntyre really does split opinion, but his personality is probably suited to the Saturday evening entertainment format. 

In this new show he hosts celebrity guests and music performances (Tinie Tempah tonight), as well as engaging in various high jinks.

Tom Jones’ 1950s: The Decade That Made Me

BBC Two, 9pm

The great Welsh singer looks back on his formative years in south Wales, as he plugged into the international youth culture that was emerging during the 1950s. 

Born in 1940, he describes life in the post-war years, and the influence of American music, as well as GIs stationed near his home. 

The young Jones was also confined to bed with TB from 1952 to 1954, and he spent much of it watching TV on the first set his family bought. 

“The sixties was the reward, but the fifties was the decade that made me,” he says.

The Stand Ups

TV3, 10.25pm

New series looking at the history of Irish stand-up comedy, particularly from the 1970s when the International Comedy Cellar opened in Dublin.

SUNDAY

The Fearless Chef

Channel 4, 7pm

Kenyan chef Kiran Jethwa begins a new series travelling around the globe sampling food in remote places. First up he’s in Bolivia.

Horizon: How Should We Close Our Zoos?

BBC Two, 9pm

Liz Bonnin looks at the place of zoos in modern society. 

Many facilities push their breeding and conservation efforts, and the Irish presenter looks at whether this really makes a difference.

MONDAY

Artists in Love

Sky Arts, 8pm

One of the upsides of having a relationship with an artist is that you might be immortalised in a piece of art, even if the results aren’t the most flattering.

This new 10-part series looks at the relationships between artists and their muses, beginning with Pablo Picasso who did some typically skewed paintings of his beloved Dora Maar in the 1930s.

Ireland’s Fittest Mum

TV3, 8.30pm

Episode two looking at the life of Irish fitness model Louise Quinn, as she tries to stay on track while also marking the anniversary of the death of her five-week-old son Ashton.

Vinyl

Sky Atlantic, 9pm

Given the budget, the subject matter, and the pedigree of some of the people involved, we expected much more from this series. Final episode tonight.

Sex Box

Channel 4, 10pm

Ever heard of the coital alignment technique (CAT)? Goedele Liekens explains its benefits to a couple in tonight’s show.

Girls

Sky Atlantic, 10.45pm

A double bill of episodes brings the curtain down on the penultimate series of Lena Dunham’s show.

Children Of The Gaza War

RTÉ One, 11.35pm

During the last major conflict in Gaza in 2014, about 500 Palestinian children were killed and thousands more injured — the overwhelming majority by Israeli forces. 

On the other side of the border, Israeli children may have a much less chance of being killed, but they still live with the terror of rockets fired at their homes, and the dash to the nearby bomb shelter is very much part of their lives. 

The BBC-made film from last year provides a heart-breaking insight into young lives on both sides. 

Among the most chilling testimonies is that of a young boy who describes how he saw his 10-year-old brother and three similar-aged cousins killed when an Israeli gunboat opened fire on them as they played football on a beach. 

Sayed survived, but was left shocked after the incident and is one of thousands of Gazan children who needs treatment for shellshock.

TUESDAY

Horrible Histories

CBBC, 4.30pm

The brilliantly engaging history show disguised as a comedy for young people marks the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death with a special programme.

Crainn na hÉireann

TG4, 8pm

Manchán Magan turns his attention to the mighty oak, and visits Killarney to show the beauty of a type of forest that once would have been widespread. He also shows us a rare native tree called the strawberry tree.

Pixie’s Sex Clinic

RTÉ2, 9.55pm

Cork doctor Pixie McKenna begins a new series about sex-related matters. 

First up, she focuses on younger adults, discussing such issues as contraception and sexually transmitted infections. 

There’s also a ‘sex confession booth’, and a section for comedians to tell their sex stories.

WEDNESDAY

Caravanner of the Year

BBC Two, 8pm

Is your camper van or caravan your castle? If so, you might enjoy this two-parter in which contestants take on driving and cleaning challenges.

THURSDAY

Home Of The Year

RTÉ One, 8.30pm

One of the more interesting homes featured in tonight’s show is that of pilates instructor Eva Berg, whose house was influenced by the time she spent in Norway. 

Completing the multinational dimension, we hear how the house was actually built in Austria and arrived at the south Dublin site flat-packed on trucks, before the bulk of the main assembly was done over three days.

WWoofáil

TG4, 10pm

Gavin Ó Fearraigh and Gavin Ó Fearraigh begin a new round of visits to organic farms with a trip to a cattle ranch in New South Wales.

CSI: Cyber

RTÉ2, 10.30pm

Anybody missing the departed CSI: Crime Scene Investigation might take some solace from the return of this offshoot with Ted Danson.

FRIDAY

The Gadget Buzz

TV3, 8.30pm

Tonight’s show meets Vernon Kerswell, one of the poster-boys for crowd-funding after his micro-drone project raised over $3 million on Indiegogo. There’s also a feature on the vinyl revival.

Gardeners’ World

BBC Two, 8.30pm

Monty Don is making raised beds to get his vegetable patch up and running.

Rick Stein’s Long Weekend

BBC Two, 9pm

The celebrity chef begins his new series in Bordeaux, and over the next 10 weeks will visit other locations in search of delicious food and new recipes at markets, restaurants and wineries.


Lifestyle

Five things for the week ahead with Des O'Driscoll.Five things for the week ahead

From Liverpool’s beat-pop to Bristol’s trip-hop, Irish writer Karl Whitney explains the distinctive musical output of individual cities in the UK, writes Marjorie Brennan.Sounds of the City: The musical output of individual UK cities

As landlords’ enclosures of villages and commonages during England’s industrial revolution drove landless countrymen into the maws of the poet William Blake’s “dark Satanic mills”, a romantic nostalgia for the countryside began to grow.Damien Enright: Great writers took inspiration from walking

Take no risks, ‘do all the right things’, and you’ll lead a comfortable, but dull, existence. ‘Living dangerously’, on the other hand, yields ‘highs’ of excitement usually followed, alas, by pain andRichard Collins: Live fast and die young or last up to 500 years

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