Des O'Driscoll casts his eye on this week's best television
Channel 4, 6.05pm
Yes, it’s the old-fashioned 2-D version and yes, we were all fairly sick of Titanic by the time the anniversary came around last month. If you can get over those two drawbacks, James Cameron’s epic take on the disaster from 1997 offers DiCaprio, Winslet, Dion and much, much more.
BBC Four, 10pm
The final two episodes of the Scandinavian murder mystery sees that part of the world confirm its stereotype for producing top thriller fare. Sure, this show might suffer somewhat in comparison to The Killing, but the Danish/Swedish production has held our attention over the past eight episodes with a mix of original characters and tempting twists. As the pieces of the complex puzzle are finally put together, it all gets more dangerous for Saga and personal for Martin.
Indian Ocean With Simon Reeve
BBC Two, 8pm
Episode four of the excellent travel show has Reeve in the hugely important Strait of Hormuz between Iran and Oman, through which 40% of the world’s seaborne oil passes. He then moves onto Mumbai (formerly Bombay) for a massive festival before looking at the issues of coral bleaching and landfill dumping in the Maldives.
Dragons’ Den On Tour
RTÉ One, 9.30pm
The Dragons stalk the land to see how their investments are doing. Final episode in the two-part series.
Italy’s Bloodiest Mafia
RTÉ Two, 11pm
We’ve learned in recent years that the most vicious mafia in Italy does not come from Sicily. In fact, their Camorra cousins on the mainland are far more violent and make more money through narcotics, and businesses such as toxic waste dumping and property. This show features Mark Franchetti looking at the origins of the Camorra and the possibility of ever getting rid of them.
The second of three episodes of the latest instalment in the lives of the participants in Michael Apted’s ongoing documentary series. One of the best TV shows ever made, the director has been visiting those involved every seven years since 1964. In many ways, the Up series is the original of the species in the reality TV genre, as it drops in on the participants through childhood, the teen years and the thrills and spills of adulthood. The result is an intimate portrait of the individuals, and a reminder to viewers of the shortness and fragility of life. This week’s crop includes posh Suzy, mixed race Symon and ex-nuclear physicist Nick. Essential viewing.
Steve Reich — Phase to Face
Sky Arts 7pm
A profile of the innovative composer who has been a major driving force in classical music in recent decades. Includes footage of him at various venues around the world as he performs his pieces, and he also talks about the key stages of his 40-year career.
Paddies Down Under
Melbourne is the location for the second and final episode of the fly-on-the-wall look at groups of Irish people in Australia. The first bunch we see are a far cry from the average backpacker; all are jockeys who are here to take advantage of the shortage of such skills in a thriving horse-racing industry. We’ll also meet a group of Donegal lads who are doing very well in the construction industry, and a crew of Dubliners who are struggling to get on their feet again after arriving without much money.
Mo Ghrá go Daingean
Repeat of the documentary following Dingle tourist office manager Grainne as she deals with the issues of visitors to the Kerry town. Local jeweller Mairéad de Staic is also organising a charity social event for the local women. All the Dingle ladies?
The Diaper Dilemma looks at the environmental issues raised by disposable nappies. We hear how each child goes through about 6,000 of them, and each nappy takes 400 years to decompose in landfill. Few people in western societies will go through the grief of washing reusable nappies, while the eco-friendly ones are often prohibitively expensive. In this documentary, the show’s director seeks a sustainable alternative.
Ireland’s Beauty Queens
The Charleville Cheese Queen in Co Cork is the main attraction in tonight’s show, and from there it’s off to Co Donegal to meet the ladies vying for the Muff queen title.
Long Lost Family
Davina McCall and Nicky Campbell present another episode of heartwarming and heartbreaking tales of family members trying to re-unite after years of separation. This week’s episode focuses on Fiona Dunn, who was brought up in the 1960s by a couple she believed were her natural parents. Dunn later discovered she was adopted and we see her attempting to make contact with a sister she’s never met. It also features Anne Clegg, desperately searching for her birth mother who gave her up for adoption 48 years ago.
Laochra Gael; Liam Hayes
A profile of Meath football legend Liam Hayes, the fierce midfielder who won two All-Irelands with his county.
RTÉ One, 11.20pm
Despite the fact that the Ireland’s Favourite Painting promotion has received acres of space on RTE radio and TV, Mike Murphy said the network’s approach to the scheduling of his slot was ‘Cromwellian’. At least the disgruntled presenter can’t accuse RTÉ of not getting some heavyweight people involved, as President Michael D Higgins is on John Kelly’s show to announce the winner.
Channel 4, 7.30pm
A programme from Cameroon looks at the eating of wild ‘bushmeat’ and how eating primates in particular could unleash lethal new viruses. Those health risks aside, the practice is also having a terrible effect on the populations of gorillas and chimpanzees.
BBC Two, 10pm
Matt LeBlanc and co are witnesses to a peculiarly Hollywood take on grief.
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