The Lord Of The Rings: The Fellowship Of The Ring
Channel 4, 6.35pm
Just like the books they were based on, Peter Jackson’s films deserve a second or even a third and fourth look. This first episode of the trilogy sees the unlikely hobbit slowly transforming into the hero that can save the world from the forces of darkness.
RTÉ One, 12.05am
The Australian duo of Russell Crowe and Guy Pearce star in this superb 1997 crime thriller set in 1950s Los Angeles.
The Twilight Saga: New Moon
Channel 4, 8pm
The second instalment of the popular vampire series has Edward Cullen (Robert Pattinson) deciding to leave his home town of Forks to make it safer for his Bella (Kristen Stewart). As ever with true love, however, not everything goes to plan.
Repeat of the excellent show in which the women of Corca Dhuibhne, Co Kerry, reminisce about the good and bad times of their early lives.
The Ice Storm
Ang Lee’s excellent 1997 film stars Kevin Kline and Sigourney Weaver in a tale of sex, bad weather and heartbreaking tragedy in the suburban Connecticut of the 1970s.
Finbar Furey: Free Spirit
RTÉ One, 9.35pm
Finbar Furey is probably best known for his output as part of the Furey Brothers trad group, but he has had quite a musical career before and after that sibling collaboration. This candid documentary traces his story back to the 1960s, when he shared a flat in Edinburgh with a pair of young music enthusiasts named Billy Connolly and Gerry Rafferty. Furey replaced Tommy Makem in the Clancy Brothers in 1969, but got disillusioned with the music scene and bailed out two years later. In the meantime, he had won John Peel’s single of the year award for Her Father Didn’t Like Me Anyway. Fast forward to the modern era and the effects of a shoulder injury that threatened his ability to play music was exacerbated by over-indulgence in alcohol. A period of soul-searching followed and we hear about the steps he took to get himself back on track, both musically and personally.
Channel 4, 9pm
Two very different skills are up for development in this episode: the ability to become an opera singer and the instinct to navigate through the wilderness without a map or a compass. A 34-year-old with no formal musical training is selected for a five-month crash course to sing in a major production of La Boheme. In the other section of the show, 500 people take part in tests by neuroscientist Dr Hugo Spiers, before a 26-year-old teacher is picked to walk 11km between two points in the wilds of north Wales.
Arts Lives — Louis Le Brocquy
RTÉ One, 10.45pm
Originally broadcast in 2006 to celebrate Louis Le Brocquy’s 90th birthday, this superb documentary profile gets another run to mark the artist’s recent death, aged 95. It mainly revolves around interviews with Le Brocquy himself as he recollects a fascinating life and gradual ascendency in the world of contemporary art. As well as the successes, he talks about his disappointment at the rejection of the work, A Family, in 1952 by the advisory committee to the Municipal Gallery in Dublin who judged contemporary art at the time to be offensive and incompetent. Much public opinion seemed to support this viewpoint.
Sky Atlantic, 8pm
New reality series that will particularly appeal to anyone with an interest in marketing or advertising. Each week, two teams from top US advertising agencies are given seven days to prepare an original campaign for major brands. We witness the brainstorming sessions and Apprentice-style power struggles on each team as they prepare for the all-important pitch. The first challenge is to come up with a new slogan for sandwich company Subway.
BBC One, 9pm
There are just four shows to go in the current series and the remaining candidates are sent to the longest champagne bar in Europe, at St Pancras station, where they are supposed to be inspired to develop a marketing campaign for British bubbly. Unfortunately, his royal highness Alan Sugar, isn’t too impressed when a few of his charges go over the top in their sampling of the merchandise on offer.
Ireland’s Beauty Queens
New series looking at the plethora of beauty pageants that seem to populate the summer festival schedule in Ireland. This opening episode takes in the Blue Jean Country Queen in Athboy, Co Meath, and the Ballyheigue Summer Festival Queen in Co Kerry.
Planet Earth Live
BBC One, 8pm
More live action from the second week of filming in Kenya and Minnesota. In the latter venue, the black bear mother has been teaching its cubs how to feed and stay safe from wolves. There’s also footage from the grey whale migration off California. Other episodes have run on Sunday and Wednesday. Concludes next week.
Later with Jools Holland
BBC Two, 11.50pm
Size matters when you’re dealing with the quality of music that Mr Holland has on his show, so this longer Friday version is the better option. Kevin Rowland and his Dexys are back with their first album in nearly 30 years, while Hot Chip, above, give us a taste of their much-anticipated forthcoming long player.
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