What to watch on TV this week

Keeping Ireland Alive: The Health Service in a Day airs on RTÉ One at 9.35pm on Monday.

SATURDAY

Diary Of A Wimpy Kid

RTÉ One, 2pm

A decent 2010 adaptation of the hugely popular book by Jeff Kinney.

Despicable Me

ITV, 4.55pm

Is this animated feature from 2010 worth yet another look by you or your young charges? Definitely.

Brave

RTÉ One, 7.05pm

Princess Merida strikes a blow for girl-power and enjoyable animation in this 2012 favourite.

Prehistoric Megabeasts: Croc vs Snake

Channel 4, 8pm

While digging at a coalmine in Colombia, workers came across a treasure trove of fossils. The site in Cerrojon became famous for the remnants of a 43-foot snake called titanoba, but more recently an even bigger crocodilian has been discovered. This show looks at what has been learned about both these gigantic creatures.

The X Factor

TV3, 8pm

We’ve long been hearing that this show is past its sell-by date, but it has managed to trundle on to a 13th series. 

As ever, Simon Cowell towers over everybody else on the show, but he’s re-joined on the judging panel by old stalwarts Louis Walsh and Sharon Osbourne, while Nicole Scherzinger also returns. 

For the opening few episodes, we’ll see the judges’ experiences at the auditions in the summer in Dublin and other venues.

SUNDAY

Cats v Dogs: Which Is Best?

BBC Two, 7pm

Concluding episode of the enjoyable two-part series on the various merits of the two animals. 

Chris Packham is batting for the canines, while Liz Bonnin makes the case for felines as they meet a range of experts to award points under headings as which animal is easiest to train, and which makes better companions.

Fair City

RTÉ One, 8pm

It’s all about deception this week as Decco struggles to keep Kerri-Ann in the dark about Denzo; Carol and Robbie hatch a plan to entrap Trigger. As we’ll learn, however, it’s not always easy to keep the truth from coming out.

Victoria

UTV Ireland, 9pm

Jenna Coleman stars in the title role of this new eight-part series on the famed British monarch. It focuses on Queen Victoria’s early adult life, from her accession in 1837 to her wedding in 1840. 

We see how she struggled with a domineering mother and was helped by her close relationship to the prime minister Lord Melbourne (Rufus Sewell). Episode two runs at the same time on Monday.

Fleabag

BBC Two, 10pm (not NI)

Phoebe Waller-Bridge’s comedy draws on her own experiences of the mayhem of life.

MONDAY

Joe Wicks: The Body Coach

Channel 4, 7.10pm

Joe Wicks has built quite a brand as ‘The Body Coach’ with his mouth-watering promise of ‘Eat more, exercise less’. For this show, he combines recipe suggestions with demonstrations of his short, intense work-outs.

Keeping Ireland Alive — The Health Service In A Day 

RTÉ One, 9.35pm 

Major new five-part series that used 75 cameras to film different aspects of the Irish health service over the course of a day.

In the first episode, we see a neurosurgeon at Beaumont Hospital preparing to remove a tumor from the spine of bus driver; a midwife at University Hospital Kerry helping the deliver a baby; and the struggle to find beds in a crowded intensive care unit at the Mater.

We’ll also see the work of the dispatchers who take those fraught 999 telephone calls.

The HSE has obviously been involved in the making of the series, but RTÉ has promised a ‘warts-and-all’ account.

Thor: The Dark World

BBC One, 10.15pm

Chris Hemsworth and Natalie Portman are among the stars of this decent take on the story of the god of thunder returning to Earth.

African Pride

RTÉ One, 11.35pm

Irish film-maker Laura Fletcher’s documentary on the lesbian women in South Africa who are taking a stand against some of the horrific homophobic violence they experience in the townships.

TUESDAY

Inside The Factory: Shoes

BBC Two, 8pm

So you thought your runners were made in some dodgy Asian sweatshop? Not necessarily. 

The final episode of the enjoyable series has Gregg Wallace working on the production line at the New Balance’s sports shoe factory in Cumbria, which produces 3,500 pairs every 24 hours.

Cherry Healey goes to a tannery that processes the hides that eventually become leather shoes, and visits Cordwainers College in London to learn how creative designs are turned into commercial products.

The Walking Dead

RTÉ2, 10.45pm

Tonight’s double-bill has a series of encounters that will prove hugely significant by the end of the series.

WEDNESDAY

Running Wild for Four Years

Discovery, 9pm

Pop singer Nick Jonas joins the survivalist for a trek in the Sierra Nevada mountains. Later in the series, we’ll see Courteney Cox’s journey to Kerry.

Older Than Ireland

RTÉ One, 9.35pm

Alex Fegan’s documentary interviews 30 Irish centenarians about their lives and how Ireland has changed. It manages to be informative, touching and amusing.

The South Bank Show Originals

Sky Arts, 10pm

Even if Sky is billing Seamus Heaney as a “UK-born” poet, this 1991 encounter between the late Derry man and Melvyn Bragg is worth looking back on. They discussed his ninth poetry collection, Seeing Things, as well as his life in the North that helped inspire it. That show is followed at 10pm by an episode based around Bragg’s 2009 interview with Scottish poet Carol Ann Duffy.

Frank

Film4, 10.40pm

Before director Lenny Abrahamson hit the big time with Room, he had already given plenty indication of his talents with such offerings as this comedy-drama from 2014. Domhnall Gleeson and a masked Michael Fassbender star in this tale of a group of eccentric band members.

THURSDAY

Ingenious Animals

BBC One, 8pm

Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall seems to have left his River Cottage behind him as he presents a new series on ‘remarkable’ things that animals do. 

Animal intelligence is on the agenda for the first episode, as he looks at the relationship between alligators and managees.

Class Of ‘92: Still Out Of Their League

BBC One, 9pm

Some of the best bits of this concluding episode of the revisit to the club bought by some of Man Utd’s former stars actually takes place in Spain, as the Neville brothers face all sorts of issues in Valencia.

Ellen

Channel 4, 10pm

Ninety-minute drama about a 14-year-old with a chaotic home life. It brings together a group of emerging talents both on and off the screen.

Smalltown

TV3, 10pm

What to watch on TV this week

Pat Shortt stars in this three-part drama about two Irish people trying to establish new lives by travelling to London.

FRIDAY

The Hangover Part II

TV3, 9pm

The follow-up to the original comedy smash has Bradley Cooper and the lads re-uniting in Thailand for the wedding.

Live At The Apollo

RTÉ2, 12.05pm

A decent lineup on the standup comedy show includes Micky Flanagan, Seann Walsh and Jason Byrne.


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