Best on TV

Des O'Driscoll gives the lowdown on what's will be hot on the box over the next seven days.

SATURDAY

Kingdom Of Plants

Sky Atlantic, 6pm

David Attenborough begins a rare outing for the Sky stable with a new three-part series filed at the Royal Botanic Gardens in Kew. Each episode focuses on a different area of plant life, from the adaptation of plants to wet and humid environments to plant movement, scent and communication. Attenborough starts off in the London facility’s famous Palm House, which creates the conditions of a rainforest, and also looks at the invaluable Seed Bank, housing almost two billion seeds of more than 30,000 species of wild plants to ensure their future for generations to come. Orchids — the ultimate in flower evolution — are also featured.

SUNDAY

Franc’s DIY Brides

RTÉ One, 8.30pm

Dublin couple Gemma Barnes and Gary Mackle have e10,000 to spend on creating a winter wonderland themed wedding in Wexford. Peter ‘Franc’ Kelly is on hand to help with everything from finding a dress to getting all the props in place.

The Lovely Bones

Channel 4, 9pm

Peter Jackson’s adaptation of Alice Sebold’s novel was a mite disappointing given the talent of the personnel involved, but this film will be remembered as the breakthrough role for Saoirse Ronan. She plays the deceased 14-year-old girl looking down on the man who murdered her.

MONDAY

Craiceann Gael, Croí Marbh

TG4, 7.30pm

Broadcaster and mountaineer Dermot Somers follows in the footsteps of Robert O’Hara, the Irish explorer who became the first white fellah to cross the continent of Australia.

56 Up

UTV, 9pm

Third and final episode of the three-part installment of the ongoing series. Tonight’s show focuses on three more of the participants that we have been following since they were seven. While life may not have changed so much between the ages of 49 and 56 for several of those involved, they have still made for captivating viewing. Do we really have to wait another seven years for the next visit?

Come Dine With Me Cavan

TV3, 9pm

Isn’t that the most glamorous TV show title you’ve ever heard? The humble county becomes the centre of the TV dining world this week with five episodes of the enjoyable culinary hosting show. Battling it out for e1,000 are a motley crew, including a 24-year-old PhD student, a pub landlady and a photographer. One of the most entertaining episodes comes on Tuesday when “cleaner and complete non-cook” Pauline Farelly serves up unbaked alaska for dessert.

Dublin Housewives

TV3, 9.30pm

The reality-show heaven continues with Dublin Housewives. Are they all really from Dublin? Are they all really housewives? These are just two of the questions that may pop up over the next week as TV3 rolls out the four episodes (Monday to Thursday) of its new scripted reality series. Apparently, these ladies are “living the dream” with their handsome husbands, beautiful children, immaculate homes and fabulous wardrobes. Us ordinary folk will witness them organising weddings, hanging out at fancy social events, and visiting Virginia Macari’s new baby, Thor. Cork-born Macari is also at the centre of the main personality clash in the series, particularly when her and Danielle Meagher come to blows in the final episode on Thursday during a journey to Kinsale for a charity lunch. The other ladies taking part are Roz Flanagan, Lisa Murphy and Jo Jordan, and there’ll be another four episodes in the autumn.

Appropriate Adult

ITV3, 10pm

Another chance to see the superb two-part drama series on serial killers Fred and Rosemary West. Dominic West (The Wire) plays the Gloucester man who killed at least 11 women, many of them with the aid of his wife. The programme-makers found an interesting way into the tale by focusing on the social worker who West befriended and opened up to about his crimes. Concludes on Tuesday.

Born in the USSR: 28 Up

UTV, 11.05pm

This the Russian equivalent of the UP Series, and the individual tales are made all the more interesting by the fact that few European countries have changed as much as their home nation in recent years. All the participants spent the early part of their lives under communist rule, and have had varying degrees of luck in dealing with life since. James McAvoy provides the narration.

TUESDAY

The Consumer Show

RTÉ One, 8.30pm

Too much of the series has probably been concerned with the buy Irish campaign, but among the other interesting topics being dealt with tonight is the issue of payment protection insurance. Financial Ombudsman William Prasifka explains what consumers can do if they feel they may have been mis-sold the product.

WEDNESDAY

Afghanistan: The Great Game

BBC Two, 9pm

Rory Stewart concludes his personal view of a nation that has been invaded by at least three of the world’s superpowers, particularly focusing on the efforts of the USSR and the US to exert their influence over the troubled country. Among those he talks to are soldiers and generals on all sides of the conflict, and CIA spies who covertly funded the Afghans to fight the Soviets.

THURSDAY

Long Lost Family

UTV, 9pm

The final episode in the documentary series following families who’ve been apart for many years centres around James Kynoch who was six when he discovered the man he called dad was not his real father. He is now attempting to find his biological father. Lisa Nortcliff, 48, has a similar tale, finding out at the age of 10 that the woman she thought of as her older sister was actually her mother. She has spent years on a futile search for the father she never met. Can Davina McCall and her team help?

FRIDAY

The Graham Norton Show

BBC One, 10.35pm

One for the ladies as Jon Hamm (the notorious Don Draper in Mad Men) is among the guests tonight. A rather impressive lineup is completed by Charlize Theron and Steve Coogan.


Lifestyle

A whiff of new normality is in the air, writes Des O'SullivanAntiques: How to put a post-lockdown world in the frame

Another week, another fiendishly fun test of your arts and showbiz knowledge from Irish Examiner Arts Editor Des O'DriscollScene & Heard: Fun culture quiz

The story of how the Cork-based executive head chef faced her “demons” and turned around her life just before her 30th birthday.This is me: Trisha Lewis transforms her body and mindset

A star-studded finale from the Late Late Show and a classic Brazil v France encounter feature among today's top tips.Friday's TV Highlights: A star-studded finale from the Late Late Show and a classic Brazil v France encounter

More From The Irish Examiner