Best of the Week's TV (Dec 7-13)

Highlights include Who’s Buying Ireland? and a discussion of pre-nups on Ear To The Ground 

SATURDAY

Childline Concert 2013

 TV3, 6.15pm  

The annual charity concert from the O2 features such Irish talent as Boyzone, the Coronas and the Wanted. All bands are giving their services for free, with proceeds going to the children’s helpline.

 

Sport  

 Soccer action features Man Utd v Newcastle United (BT Sport 1, ko 12.45pm), Liverpool v West Ham (Setanta 1, ko 3pm) and Sunderland v Tottenham Hotspur (Sky Sports 1, ko 5.30pm). The first round of Heineken Cup games continues today, with Irish eyes on Northampton Saints v Leinster (Sky Sports 2, ko 6pm; highlights TG4, 9.05pm).

Stephen Hawking: A Brief History Of Mine  

Channel 4, 7.15pm  

Feature-length documentary on the famous scientist that was made with his co-operation. As well as Hawking himself, we hear from his sister Mary, his ex-wife Jane (whom he left for one of his nurses) and celebrity friends such as Buzz Aldrin, Benedict Cumberbatch and Jim Carrey. Scientific-achievements and complicated love life aside, what’s striking is Hawking’s almost unbelievable ability to keep on living and working through his motor neurone disease despite being reduced to communicating through a movement in his cheek muscles.

SUNDAY

Waste Watchers

RTÉ One, 6.30pm  

Philip Boucher Hayes is in Killorglin, Co Kerry, to witness attempts by locals to cut down on food waste. Each year, the average Irish household throws out about 700 worth of food. How can we improve the situation?  

 

 

Sport  

 Munster v Perpignan (Sky Sports 2, ko 12.45pm) sees the Irish province kick off their Heineken Cup campaign hoping they can improve on last year’s performance. In soccer, it’s Fulham v Aston Villa (Sky Sports 1, ko 1.30pm) and Arsenal v Everton (Sky Sports 1, ko 4pm). The Leinster club football final features St Vincents (Dublin) v Portlaoise (Laois) (TG4, throw-in 2pm).

Room To Improve  

RTÉ One, 9.30pm  

Peter Jordan and Anne Kerrigan have two young daughters and want to extend their cottage near Westport, Co Mayo. It all sounds fine in theory, but what tonight’s show illustrates is the perils of not allowing for cost overruns, or the type of miscalculation involving the slope of the site that added thousands of euro in remediation expenses. The couple also disagree with Bannon’s vision for the project, and then the builders add an unsightly ridge to the carefully-designed extension. Cue the inevitable conflicts. We also see the unfortunate side of being a celebrity architect with the presenter being cornered for free advice by members of the public as he travels to Mayo.

 

MONDAY

Who’s Buying Ireland?

 RTÉ One, 9.35pm  

As Ireland’s property prices spiralled downwards, many Irish investors were already ruined or didn’t have access to credit to take advantage of the situation. In this documentary, Ian Kehoe talks to some of the foreigners who had no such issues. A former Coca Cola CEO, people involved in American investment firms, and the head of a major British pub chain explain why they’re focusing their efforts on this country. There’s also exploration of the issue of whether such investment from overseas is a good or

bad thing.

 

 

Swansea City v Hull City

Sky Sports 1, ko 8pm  

Live action from the Premier League.

A Doctor’s War  

TV3, 10pm  

Aidan MacCarthy, a doctor from Castletownbere, Co Cork, relates his amazing experiences during the Second World War. After joining the RAF at the outbreak of hostilities, he was evacuated from Dunkirk, and after receiving the George’s Cross for rescuing the crew of a burning plane, was sent to Asia where he was captured by the Japanese in Java. Almost four years of brutal treatment followed, including a stint at a Mitsubishi plant in Nagasaki at the time when the atom bomb was dropped on the city.

 

 

TUESDAY

Pilgrimage With Simon Reeve

BBC Two, 9pm  

The second episode of the series has the British presenter walking some of the Camino de Santiago, the 16th century pilgrimage route between France and Spain that has undergone a major revival in recent years. Reeve also travels to Switzerland and its perilous pass of St Bernard, a route that, at 8,000 feet, has claimed the lives of many on their way to, or from, Rome, through the centuries.

Manchester United v Shakhtar Donetsk

TV3, ko 7.45pm  

Mark Lawrenson and Brian Kerr are in the studio for the English club’s final group game, while Kevin Kilbane and Trevor Welch provide live commentary.

Ireland’s Search And Rescue  

RTÉ One, 8.30pm  

The Kerry Mountain Rescue Team has come to the assistance of hundreds of walkers and climbers since it was established in 1966, and in tonight’s show Blathnaid Ni Chofaigh joins some of the members as they go to aid a teenager who has been concussed in a fall.

 

WEDNESDAY

Doctors on Call

 RTÉ One, 8.30pm  

Dr Ciara Kelly talks about preventing generalised anxiety disorder, an ailment that leads to constant and often irrational worries. Elsewhere, Dr Terry Deeny, right, explores about how thousands of people may be at risk of heart disease without knowing it, and Paul Walsh consults with nutritionist Patrick Holford to see if a low GL diet can reduce your risk of getting Type 2 diabetes.

Napoli v Arsenal

RTÉ Two, ko 7.45pm  

There’s plenty at stake in Group F as Arsene Wenger’s men hope to match their domestic form with progress in the Champions League.

Ear To The Ground  

RTÉ One, 8.30pm  

While we most associate pre-nuptial wedding agreements with the rich and famous, Darragh McCullough looks at how their introduction would be favoured by many Irish farmers. Some fear that the result of a marriage breakdown could be the splitting of a farm that has been in the family for generations. Tillage farmer William Houlihan (pictured with his fianceé Mairéad Whitty) argues that the introduction of ‘pre-nups’ would also encourage older people to transfer ownership of the farms to their sons or daughter. There’s also a look at allotments.

 

THURSDAY

 Kitchen Hero: Homecooked

RTÉ One, 7pm  

The final episode of the series also happens to be a Christmas special in which Donal Skehan visits Finland, checking out homemade edible gifts, such as fudge and florentines, and also trying to track down Santa.

 

Something About Susan  

UTV, 9pm  

If you’ve suffered with anxiety for much of your life, then performing a series of concerts to thousands of people will obviously raise a number of issues. This documentary follows Susan Boyle on her solo tour.

Away with a Stranger

 RTÉ Two 10pm  

One-off pilot in which four strangers are sent away on holidays together, taking turns to plan a 24-hour period in the vacation. In a Come Dine With Me twist, they then rate each other’s itineraries at the end of the day. With such an eclectic group, it’s all down to who can make the most people have the most fun.

 

FRIDAY

Wild Burma: Nature’s Lost Kingdom

BBC Two, 9pm  

The final episode of the series has the team heading to the isolated jungles of the south to see if they can find any trace of the tiger population that had thrived in the area before the war.

Derren Brown: The Great Art Robbery  

Channel 4, 9pm  

The master illusionist is back for another one of his grand stunts, this time to win a bet with an art collector that he can steal a painting from under his nose. He doesn’t hire a crew of experienced thieves to help him, however — instead he recruits a group of pensioners. 

The Graham Norton Show

BBC One, 10.35pm  

The release of the second part of The Hobbit trilogy is accompanied by a monster marketing campaign, so you’ll probably be seeing a lot of tonight’s main guest, Martin ‘Bilbo’ Freeman, over the next few weeks. Joining him will be Ben Stiller to talk about his role in The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, and chef Jamie Oliver. Music is from Jessie J.


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