What to watch on TV this week

The Eurovision Song Contest Semi-Finals is on Tuesday and Thursday night on RTÉ2 at 8pm. The final is on Saturday. 

SATURDAY

Prometheus

Channel 4, 9pm

Kerry actor Michael Fassbender stars alongside Charlize Theron and Idris Elba in Ridley Scott’s enjoyable sci-fi tale from 2012.

Zodiac

BBC Two, 10.50pm

Decent real-life thriller about the hunt for the Zodiac serial killer in San Franciso in the 1960s and ’70s. A great cast includes Jake Gyllenhaal, Robert Downey Jr and Mark Ruffalo. 

We’re probably not revealing too much in saying that the killer of anything from five to 28 people has never been found.

SUNDAY

Attenborough at 90

BBC One, 7pm

The natural history presenter is 90 today, so this show marks the occasion with a combination of an interview with the great man himself, as well as archive footage from some of his great moments in wildlife filming.

Hillsborough

BBC Two, 9pm

The tragedy of the Hillsborough disaster overshadows everything else, but as has finally been admitted, the actions of the police and other areas of the British establishment on that fateful day and beyond have been disgraceful. 

This two-hour documentary attempts to present a definitive event of what happened, complete with previously unseen footage of the disaster, as well as testimony from survivors, family and police, some of whom had not spoken in public before. 

The film had already been screened in the US, but legal processes had prevented its showing on this side of the Atlantic.

British Academy Television Awards

BBC One, 8pm

Graham Norton is both a host and nominee for the TV awards show. Presumably the wonderful Wolf Hall will be among the big winners, while we’d also expect to see Irish actress Sharon Horgan on the podium for Catastrophe.

Burma’s Secret Jungle War with Joe Simpson

BBC Two, 8pm

Joe Simpson achieved fame as the author of a gripping mountaineering accident memoir, Touching the Void. 

In this two-part documentary series, he goes into a different danger zone as he follows the steps of his father who fought with the ‘Chindits’ behind Japanese lines in Burma in 1944.

Dragons’ Den

RTÉ One, 9.30pm

Tipperary woman Sandra Walsh is among those making pitches to the Dragons tonight, and she reckons she has a great idea for a secret sleeve. 

We also see Georgina Heffernan and Deirdre Fitzpatrick promote their idea of a women’s magazine; and Clare Calohan’s unusual biscuits.

MONDAY

Star-Crossed Lovers

BBC Two, 10pm (NI, 12.05am)

David Mitchell tries to prove there is life after Peep Show by teaming up with Ben Elton for this new series in which he plays an emerging playwright by the name of William Shakespeare trying to make a name for himself in London. 

Other familiar faces include Harry Enfield.

TUESDAY

Eurovision Song Contest

RTÉ2, 8pm

The first of this week’s semi-finals features 18 countries trying to qualify for the main event on Saturday. 

Ireland’s semi-final is on Thursday.

Super Garden

RTÉ One, 8.30pm

Rachel Gerrard is a freshly qualified horticulturist and wants her ‘Culinary Chic’ design to use elements of a traditional cottage style garden, while also giving a nod to a contemporary outlook with edible and non-toxic planting.

WEDNESDAY

Horizon

BBC Two, 8pm

The science show looks at some of the recent breakthroughs in research into Alzheimer’s disease which have heralded hopes of finding a cure for the common dementia ailment. 

We also hear about ways of reducing risk of contracting the disease.

Liverpool v Chelsea 

Sky Sports 1, kick-off 8pm 

A mid-table finish wasn’t what either of these teams had in mind, but both will possibly end the season with an air of optimism, knowing that things can only get better.

Road to Rio

RTÉ One, 8.30pm

New six-part series following some of Ireland’s Olympic hopefuls. Belfast boxer Michael Conlan, Limerick swimmer Fiona Doyle and Dublin taekwondo fighter Jack Woolley feature in this first episode.

My Money And Me 

RTÉ One, 8.30pm 

Kathriona Devereux and Sinead Ryan begin a new personal finance series that promises all sorts of advice on money management. 

What to watch on TV this week

The format for the main segment is similar to those health shows where the experts visit a household, analyse the issues and then prescribe remedies that the family try to follow. 

This opening episode also looks at some of the psychological factors that influence our spending decisions.

Nature’s Epic Journeys

BBC One, 9pm

Liz Bonnin is joined by elephant expert Saba Douglas-Hamilton in the first episode of this new series. 

It follows individual elephants as they make their way to a huge gathering Kenya, facing dangers from humans and fellow wild animals. 

The world’s largest land mammal is also a hugely emotional creature, and we hear how young elephants respond to the loss of their parents to poachers.

Scannal

TG4, 9pm

Every morning in various prison cells in Ireland and the UK, there’s a bunch of men who wake up and curse the air with the word “Diesel!”. 

It was the classic mistake of putting diesel into their boat’s petrol engines that led to the discovery of the group’s attempts to import a huge amount of cocaine into Europe. 

This show revisits the 2007 incident at Dunlough Bay in West Cork, when 1.5 tonnes of the drug were seized.

Young Dumb And Dangerous

RTÉ2, 9.55pm

New series looking at youth crime in Ireland and the fall-out for victims and perpetrators alike. 

The show’s producers say our nation’s youth are hugely over-represented when it comes to these violent crimes, with 50% of serious assaults being carried out by people under the age of 30. 

Alcohol is often a contributing factor. 

This first episode looks at one-punch assaults, the often-random attacks that have led to several fatalities. 

Among the cases examined are that of 25-year-old James Tynan, killed in Thurles, Co Tipperary, by Jason Morrissey, 22, a young man with 85 previous convictions.

THURSDAY

Eurovision Song Contest Semi-Final 

RTÉ2, 8pm 

We’ve tried the turkey and a whole host of emerging singers — now it’s time to roll out the established pop star in our quest for Eurovision glory.

Former Westlife member Nicky Byrne, will be the seventh act on the night, and will perform ‘Sunlight’, a song he co-wrote. The other semifinal took place on Tuesday, while the final is on Saturday.

Billions

Sky Atlantic, 9pm

Major new drama series starring Paul Giamatti and Damian Lewis that’s set in world of high finance in New York.

First Dates Ireland 

RTÉ2, 10.05pm 

More voyeuristic entertainment at the dining table as Brian is matched with Sarah, a woman who has lost a lot of faith in Irish men. Eoghan the barista and psychotherapy student Karen are the other blind date duo.

Grayson Perry: All Man

Channel 4, 10pm

The cross-dressing artist continues his exploration of the modern male with a visit to a crime-ridden estate in Lancashire. He questions why the issue of crime is rarely discussed in terms of gender, despite the fact that males could be responsible for 85% of it.

FRIDAY

Food Detectives

BBC One, 7.30pm

Alice Roberts looks at whether eating chillis can help people to lose weight, while chef Tom Kerridge has tips on cooking the perfect steak.


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