Sunday’s TV tips

Read on for our spolier-free guide to tonight's TV.

Sunday’s TV tips

ENTERTAINMENT: The Big Painting Challenge (BBC1, 6pm)

The Beeb clearly knows when it’s onto a good thing, which is why it’s milking the Great British Bake Off format for all it’s worth.

The Sewing Bee has already gone down a treat, and now The Big Painting Challenge is going down the same route – what a shame they couldn’t find people who are better at art to take part in it.

Maybe the contestants will do a little better this week when they’re in the beautiful surroundings of Blenheim Palace in Oxfordshire, the ancestral home of Winston Churchill.

The first of their three challenges involves a still life made up of items of personal significance. That’s followed by a 30-minute sketch of a giant chess board, designed to test their mastery of perspective, scale, light and shadow.

Finally, they tackle a facade of the palace – and whoever doesn’t impress will be given the boot by judges Lachlan Goudie and Daphne Todd.

FILM: Hitch (Channel 5, 6.40pm)

(2005) Will Smith plays ’date doctor’ Alex Hitchens, a man who specialises in helping lovelorn males woo the women of their dreams.

His latest ’patient’ is Albert (Kevin James), an overweight accountant who has fallen for beautiful heiress Allegra Cole (Amber Valletta).

Although the romance expert suspects it’s a lost cause, he agrees to help, but becomes distracted when he meets stunning journalist Sara (Eva Mendes).

Years of working on her paper’s gossip column have made the writer extremely cynical, and Hitch realises he’s going to have to pull out all the stops if he wants to impress her.

Starring: Will Smith, Kevin James, Amber Valletta, Eva Mendes

DRAMA: Call the Midwife (BBC1, 8pm)

Many series have attempted to carry on after their main star has left. Perhaps the most famous example is that of Taggart, which continued for 17 years after the death of Mark McManus, who played the title character.

Nevertheless, some critics thought that Call the Midwife would draw to a close once Jessica Raine departed for pastures new.

The series, in which she played the central character of Jenny Lee, has actually gone from strength to strength since her departure, perhaps because her absence has allowed other faces to come to the fore. Sadly, we’ll be saying farewell to them all this week when the current run draws to a close.

Previous season finales have ended in dramatic fashion, and that could happen again as handyman Fred fears he must choose between his daughter and the woman he loves.

Meanwhile, a suspected case of morning sickness turns out to be far more sinister, and Trixie and Sister Mary Cynthia help a deaf mother-to-be.

DRAMA: Mr Selfridge (UTV, 9pm)

Has Harry finally overstretched himself? Throughout the drama’s run, he has constantly pushed himself, his business and his finances in an attempt to live his dreams, but it seems that his risk-taking ventures may finally be catching up with him.

During a romantic night inside a deserted Selfridges, Harry confesses to Nancy that he is no longer the sole owner of the store, and that he has sold a 5 percent share to Lord Loxley to raise funds for the Selfridge Estate.

Nancy tells him he shouldn’t have compromised the store, and later, following a disussion with her brother, decides to rethink their relationship.

Loxley later announces he has bought extra shares, enabling him to have a seat on the board. Harry tries to impress the shareholders by promising them an impressive 10 percent return on their investment – a figure that sends shivers down Crabb’s spine.

ENTERTAINMENT: Let’s Play Darts for Comic Relief (BBC2, 9pm)

We’ve witnessed celebrities doing most other things, from tripping the light fantastic to climbing Mount Kilimanjaro, so getting a chance to watch them throw small pointy objects at a coloured board shouldn’t have come as a surprise to anyone.

In fact, the only shock is that the idea didn’t occur to anybody sooner.

It might not have been as dangerous a challenge as Channel 4’s The Jump - participants may risk cutting themselves on a pint glass but they’re unlikely to break a limb or two – but it’s been thrilling nonetheless.

Where else could viewers have seen the likes of Lee Mack, Sean Lock, Tim Vin, Richard Osman, Roisin Conaty, Liza Tarbuck, Bob Mortimer and Martin Offiah on the oche?

The celebs join Gabby Logan to discuss the tournament’s talking points so far before the eagerly awaited final takes place at the traditional home of darts - the Lakeside Country Club in Frimley Green, Surrey.


During the 1970s and 1980s, there barely seemed to be a week without some kind of magic show on our screens – and then the genre went very quiet indeed.

During the past decade or so, it’s received a massive shot in the arm courtesy of a new generation of illusionists who believe there’s far more to impressing an audience then sawing a woman in half and pulling rabbits from hats.

The latest of them is Troy Von Scheibner, who was inspired by another of the new school of illusionists – David Blaine. He saw him on TV at the age of 12, and knew immediately what he wanted to do for a living.

Now Troy is about to begin his second series for E4, which is even bigger and better than the previous one. Filmed using hidden cameras, it kicks off with an illusion performed in the palm of his hand which stuns the two blokes from Hackney that are watching.

FILM: Unknown (TV3, 9pm)

(2011) Liam Neeson, January Jones and Diane Kruger star in the Irish TV Premiere of Unknown.

Dr. Martin Harris awakens after a car accident in Berlin to discover that his wife suddenly doesn't recognize him and another man has assumed his identity.

Ignored by disbelieving authorities and hunted by mysterious assassins, he finds himself alone, tired and on the run.

Aided by an unlikely ally, Martin plunges headlong into a deadly mystery that will force him to question his sanity, his identity, and just how far he's willing to go to uncover the truth.

Starring: Liam Neeson, January Jones, Diane Kruger.

FILM: 21 Jump Street (Channel 5, 9pm)

(2012) Babyfaced cops Schmidt and Jenko hated each other throughout high school, but grew up to get along, become friends and even work together in the same precinct.

However, when their captain decides their youthful appearance makes them the perfect undercover agents to crack a high-school drug ring, they end up having to relive the ordeals of their adolescence all over again.

The tight script and strong performances – in particular from Channing Tatum – make this one of the best cop comedies in recent years.

There are a few clever nods to the 1980s TV series on which it is based (including some surprising cameos near the denouement), as well as a string of laugh-out-loud moments held together by a good story.

Starring: Jonah Hill, Channing Tatum, Brie Larson, Dave Franco, Rob Riggle, DeRay Davis, Ice Cube

NEW DRAMA: American Crime (RTE Two, 9.55pm)

Following the home invasion murder of Matt Skokie – a war vet – and an assault on his wife Gwen, four suspects are brought into custody: Tony Gutiérrez, an impressionable teen who got in way over his head even under the watchful eye of his dedicated and hard-working father, Alonzo Gutiérrez; Hector Tontz, a young man who has lived life on the fringes of society and has made bad decisions just to survive; Carter Nix and Aubry Taylor, two incredibly lost souls whose addiction to drugs and to one another has become destructive and paralysing.

This new drama examines preconceptions on faith, family, gender, race, class and other aspects of our social experience with an approach and perspectives historically under-served in media.

MUSIC AWARDS: Meteor Choice Music Prize (RTE Two, 10.50pm)

Eoghan McDermott and Blathnaid Treacy present highlights from the Meteor Choice Music Prize live event in Vicar Street.

Watch live performances from, Delorentos, James Vincent McMorrow, The Riptide Movement and We Cut Corners. Eoghan and Blathnaid will present exclusive pre-recorded interviews with Hozier and Sinead O’Connor, plus interviews with nominees on the night and coverage of the final award presentation, when one of ten acts will win this year’s Meteor Choice Music Prize.

The 10th annual Meteor Choice Music Prize will once again celebrate and acknowledge the best in Irish recorded music.

The prize has become one of the highlights of the Irish music calendar since its inception in 2005 and is awarded to the Irish Album of the Year, as chosen from a shortlist of ten releases by a panel of Irish music media professionals and industry experts.

The overall winning Album of the Year will be selected by the judging panel at the Meteor Choice Music Prize Live Event at Vicar St, Dublin on Thursday, 5 March 2015.

FILM: The Twilight Saga: New Moon (Channel 4, 11.05pm)

(2009) The second film in the emo fantasy series sees vampire Edward dumping his human girlfriend Bella for her own safety.

The heartbroken lass turns to her old mate Jacob for comfort, but it turns out he has a supernatural secret too – he’s part of a tribe of werewolves.

Blimey, Bella, you can’t half pick ’em.

It hardly matters what we think about this movie – fans of the franchise will watch in their droves anyway. But if you really want to know, this is a decent movie, providing you can suspend your disbelief before putting the telly on.

Starring: Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson, Taylor Lautner, Michael Sheen, Billy Burke, Ashley Greene, Anna Kendrick

More in this section


The best food, health, entertainment and lifestyle content from the Irish Examiner, direct to your inbox.

Sign up