Best of the week ahead on TV

MARCH 16-22

SATURDAY

Sport

A big day of sports action has some crucial clashes in all the major codes. Given the unexpected form of both teams, Italy v Ireland (RTÉ Two, ko 2.30pm) has become a strangely difficult game to call, and that’s followed by the final two matches in the Six Nations, Wales v England (ko 5pm) and France v Scotland (ko 8pm). In soccer, it’s Everton v Man City (Sky Sports 2, ko 12.45pm), Southampton v Liverpool (Setanta Sports, ko 3pm) and Man Utd v Reading (ESPN, ko 5.30pm). Football includes Cork v Donegal (Setanta Sports, throw-in 5pm) and Dublin v Tyrone (Setanta Ireland, throw-in 7pm), while in hurling it’s Dublin v Limerick (Setanta Ireland, throw-in 5pm) and it’s Cork v Clare (Setanta Sports, throw-in 7pm).

SUNDAY

St Patrick’s Festival Parade

RTÉ One, 12.20pm

Live coverage of the parade in Dublin where about 8,000 people are expected to take part.

Sport

Fingers crossed that Sunderland v Norwich City (Sky Sports 1, ko 1.30pm) doesn’t produce any injuries for the sizeable Irish contingent involved, and that James McCarthy comes through unscathed from Wigan v Newcastle (Sky Sports 1, ko 4pm). The national holiday also brings the All-Ireland club finals from Croke Park, featuring Kilcormac-Killoughey (Offaly) v St Thomas (Galway) in the hurling (TG4, throw-in 2pm) and Ballymun Kickhams (Dublin) v St Brigid’s (Roscommon) in football (TG4, throw-in 3.45pm).

MONDAY

Glaoch — The President’s Call

RTÉ One, 6.30pm

Michael D Higgins uses his role as President to show off some of Ireland’s top talents. As well as music from the likes of Glen Hansard and Imelda May, we also get conversations with such figures as Bono and Séamus Heaney.

Coronation Street

TV3, 7pm

It’s probably the biggest week in Weatherfield since the 2010 tram crash, as a fire will devastate the Rovers Return and lead to the loss of two lives. Spoiler alert: the actress who plays Sunita (Shobna Gulati) has already said she’s leaving the show, so her character is one victim. Stella Price (Michelle Collins) is also seen screaming for help through an upstairs window. The major question that won’t be immediately answered is who lit the fire.

Reality Bites: Bride-to-Be

RTÉ Two, 9.30pm

Jennifer Maguire invites viewers into the

preparations for her wedding to her long-term British boyfriend, Lau Zamparelli. The 32-year-old Dubliner says she has never tuned into the hullabaloo that surrounds weddings, so how will she fare with her encounter with the industry, and such tasks as choosing her ring and dress?

TUESDAY

Living The Wildlife

RTÉ One, 7pm

As Colin Stafford-Johnson points out, life for eiderducks on Inishmurray Island near Sligo is much safer now the island is uninhabited. In previous times, the locals used the birds’ feathers for bedding. He also meets with reptile expert Rob Gandola as they seek out Ireland’s only reptile at Howth Head.

Bedtime Live

Channel 4, 8pm

Professor Tanya Byron presents the first of four shows exploring sleeping problems for under fives and teenagers. As well as visiting houses with major bedtime issues, she also gets tips from other experts.

WEDNESDAY

Insect Dissection: How Insects Work

BBC Four, 9pm

Part of a series of fascinating insect-related programmesshows on BBC Four through the week, this show illustrates their incredible anatomy, using actual dissections and cutting edge imaging technology. It also makes a strong case for why insects are so beneficial to the world.

Scúp

TG4, 10pm

As the Belfast Irish-language newspaper continues to struggle, Rob (Don Wycherley) decides to put the weight of his team behind a campaign to support a Chinese volleyball player threatened with deportation. Colin Bateman’s well-written show is also getting a run on BBC Two.

THURSDAY

The Teens’ Midwife

RTÉ One, 10.15pm

While the symphysiotomy scandal and the

actions of Dr Michael Neary damaged the reputation of Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital, Drogheda, this new two-part series shows how the facility also has a more progressive side. Una O’Brien was Ireland’s first clinical midwife

specialist in teenage pregnancy, a post specifically set up to deal with the high numbers of such pregnancies in the Louth/Meath area. Among the tools of her trade are the use of such social media such as Facebook and Twitter. The effect of this communication is that attendances at her antenatal classes have

increased by 90%. We follow O’Brien as she goes about her work, and also meet some of the young mothers-to-be.

FRIDAY

Sport

Sweden v Rep of Ireland (RTÉ Two, ko 7.45pm) is the first of two crucial World Cup qualifiers for Giovanni Trapattoni’s beleaguered side (also home to Austria on Tuesday). Zlatan Ibrahimovic is the big star for the Swedes, and scored 11 international goals last year, almost double that of the entire Irish side. It could be a busy night for the Irish defence. Another game tonight is San Marino v England (UTV, ko 8pm).

The Graham Norton Show

BBC One (not NI), 10.35pm

The final episode in the current series is actually a highlights package from Norton’s highly enjoyable celebrity encounters over the past few months.


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