Best of the Week's TV (Feb 1-7)

David Coleman is back with a new series of 21st Century Child,  and Ross Kemp is in the North.



The Bridge  

BBC Four, 9pm  

It hasn’t been perfect, but the second series of Danish-Swedish collaboration has provided some excellent viewing over the past few weeks. Tonight’s double-bill concludes the series with Saga and Martin finally figuring out who carried out the numerous murders. As ever, they also have quite a few of their own personal issues to deal with along the way.

 The Jonathan Ross Show

UTV, 9.35pm  

Liam Neeson is among the guests, and presumably the Irish actor will be talking about his new action film, Non-Stop.



The Football League season kicks off today with live offerings that include Derry v Tyrone (Setanta 1, throw-in 7pm) and Dublin v Kerry (Setanta Ireland, throw-in 7pm). In the Premier League, it’s West Ham v Swansea (BT Sport 1, ko 12.45pm) and Stoke v Man Utd (Setanta 1, ko 3pm). Six Nations rugby also begins today, with Wales v Italy (RTÉ Two, ko 2.30pm) and France v England (RTÉ Two, ko 5pm). Ireland play tomorrow.


 Top Gear

BBC Two, 8pm  

The three amigos return for another series, and try out the hatchbacks of their youth. Jeremy Clarkson is in a Volkswagen Golf GTI, Richard Hammond tries a Vauxhall Nova SRi and James May is in a Ford Fiesta XR2i.



Ireland v Scotland (RTÉ Two, ko 3pm) is probably the perfect fixture to open a Six Nations campaign. Football action features Kildare v Mayo (TG4, throw-in 2pm), followed by a deferred broadcast of Cork v Westmeath. In soccer, it’s WBA v Liverpool (Sky Sports 1, ko 1.30pm) and Arsenal v Crystal Palace ((Sky Sports 1, ko 4pm).

The Gene That Could End My Life  

RTÉ One, 9.30pm  

Ryan O’Neill discusses the awful dilemma he faces. Only 30, he has a 50/50 chance of possessing a gene that causes a rare form of Alzheimer’s disease. His father died at the age of 48 from the disease, and it also took the lives at an early age of seven of his father’s 10 brothers and sisters. Filmed over nine months, we watch O’Neill come to a decision to get a test for the mutated gene. Apparently there are only three known cases in 100 cases around the world, but if you have the gene there is no chance of avoiding Alzheimer’s.



Mad Dog — Gaddafi’s Secret World

BBC Four, 10pm  

More than years after the death of the Libyan leader, we hear tales of his daily life from such people as his former plastic surgeon and a female bodyguard. It presents a picture of the murderous dictator that is stranger and darker than any propaganda tale his enemies could have spun in his heyday.


 Manchester City v Chelsea

Sky Sports 1, ko 8pm  

 We’re fairly unaccustomed to having more than two teams still involved in the battle for the title at this stage of the season, and you’d have to imagine a draw is a likely result as both these sides want to stay in touch in what looks like being a three-horse race.



 Eco Eye

 RTÉ One, 7pm  

Duncan Stewart visits the Aran Islands and north Tipperary, as well as Modling in Austria, to see ways in which communities can become more sustainable by producing food and fuel locally.


Ross Kemp Extreme World

 Sky 1, 9pm  

 We’re used to seeing Kemp in far-flung exotic locations, but tonight’s show comes from a bit closer to home as he samples life on both sides of the ongoing divide in the North. Filmed during last year’s summer marching season, he witnessed some serious violence in Belfast that indicated the region’s problems are still a long way from resolution.



Neven Maguire Home Chef  

RTÉ One, 7.30pm  

Neven Maguire is in Ballyfin, Co Laois, where head chef Ryan Murphy cooks up wild venison and vegetables. Among the dishes the presenter cooks is a selection of individual sticky toffee puddings with butterscotch sauce and spun sugar.

Fair City

  RTÉ One, 8pm  

Jane is mad at Paul and Niamh for telling Callum the truth and carries out a chilling act of revenge after being disowned by her son.

Operation Transformation

 RTÉ One, 8.30pm  

On Tuesday, the participants got swimming lessons from two Olympians as they edge closer to their personal goals. In tonight’s show, the focus is on smoking, and anyone wavering in their new year’s resolutions may want to get a motivation boost from the efforts of Galway business woman Christina Hartnett Dalton who is trying to taking part in a Stop For Good cessation course.




TG4, 7.30pm  

Máire Uí Chíobháin, the daughter of Blaskets’ writer Muiris Ó Suilleabháin (Fiche Bliain ag Fás) talks about her memories of her parents, and her own move to England after her father drowned in 1950.

Ear To The Ground  

RTÉ One, 8.30pm  

Ella McSweeney looks at the high levels of antibiotics in the food chain and hears concerns about their overuse from doctors and vets. Darragh McCullough also investigates subsidies being paid to beef farmers.

21st Century Child

 RTÉ One, 10.15pm  

David Coleman makes a welcome return with his series following the fortunes of a group of children born in Ireland in 2007. They’re up to school-going age now, and before we follow the kids and their families into the classroom for the first time, all concerned reflect on the highs and lows of the past few years.

 Ja’mie: Private School Girl  

BBC Three, 10.30pm  

Australian comedian Chris Lilley revives his teen girl character Ja’mie King from Summer Heights High for a new six part series. Lilley’s Angry Boys for HBO was very disappointing, so hopefully he can get close to recapturing the glories of his earlier mockumentary.



RTÉ Two, 8.15am  

This Irish animated series deserves plenty of praise for its portrayal of life from the perspective of a young girl with Down syndrome, but the main reason it’s so popular is because it’s simply an enjoyable cartoon. The new season runs every weekday at this time.

Peter Kay: Live & Back On Nights  

Channel 4, 9pm  

First of a two-part documentary on the comedian’s massive 18-month tour in which he played 140 shows to 1.2m people. Behind the scenes footage is combined with extracts from the stand-up performances.

The Graham Norton Show

BBC One, 11.05pm  

Gary Oldman’s career has been simmering away for the past few years, and you’ll be seeing a lot more of the 55-year-old in the months ahead with his roles in RoboCop and Planet of the Apes. He joins Norton tonight to talk about his recent revival.


Daire O’Brien and Eddie O’Sullivan are on commentary duties for Ireland U20s v Wales U20s (ko 7.35pm) from Athlone. The Winter Olympics: Opening Ceremony (BBC Two, 3.30pm) will feature a team of five competitors, mostly with a whiff of the granny rule about them, though cross-country skier Jan Rossiter was born in Cork, before moving to Ontario.



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