Thursday 27 October 2016

On your screens: Paul Whitington previews the week's essential viewing

Tennis binge, Wimbledon 2015, Monday, BBC2, 11.30am... A sign of summer

Paul Whitington

Published 28/06/2015 | 02:30

Novak Djokovic of Serbia in action at Wimbledon in 2014
Novak Djokovic of Serbia in action at Wimbledon in 2014
Mila Kunis and Justin Timberlake in "Friends With Benefits"
Debbie Dingle (Charley Webb) is struggling to make a decision regarding Moses’ operation when Charity Macey (Emma Atkins) arrives, with a prison guard and bristling with attitude.

Thirteen days of drama, elation and heartbreak get underway in south-west London on Monday, as Wimbledon 2015 begins. Nothing says summer quite like Wimbledon, and it's remarkable how even people who've never lifted a racket in their lives get sucked into the sights and sounds of what is surely the greatest tennis tournament in the world.

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The BBC estimates it will cover 153 hours of live tennis in the next two weeks, and anchorwoman Sue Barker will be joined by a stellar line-up of analysts, this includes former champions and players like Boris Becker, John McEnroe, Virginia Wade, Andy Roddick and Tim Henman.

Henman never won here, of course, but the British public loved him so much they named a hill after him. Now it's been renamed, and Andy Murray will be hoping he can overcome the disappointments of last year and regain the title he won so memorably in 2013. Novak Djokovic is the defending men's champion, and will begin his 2015 campaign on Monday.

Czech player Petra Kvitova is the defending ladies' champion, but will have a hard time retaining it against top seeds like Serena Williams, Maria Sharapova and Simona Halep.

A new world

Independent's Day

Monday, RTE One, 9.35pm

All change at Leinster House

Until just four years ago, politics in Ireland was dominated by two huge parties that between them used to eat up over 80pc of the national vote. Now Fianna Fáil and Fianna Gael are barely managing 40pc, as a new wave of independent TDs changes the face of Irish politics. Journalist Pat Leahy ponders the implications of all this, and asks how the new independents might perform if they ever get into government.

Hard reunions

Adoption Stories

Thursday, TV3, 8.30pm

Looking for the truth

As the third season of this moving and well-made reality series continues, we meet Cliona Moore, who was adopted as a baby into a loving family. But when her partner and her father died within days of each other, a devastated Cliona decided to go in search of her birth mother. But a series of dead ends has left her searching for more information. We also meet a woman called Terri, whose child was taken from her in a mother and baby home.

A Kerry legend

O SÉ: A Legacy

Tuesday, RTE One, 9.35pm

The inimitable Paídí

This series of documentaries concludes with a look at the remarkable life of Kerry GAA man Paídí Ó Sé, who died suddenly in December, 2012 at the age of just 57. As a player, he won eight All-Irelands and 11 Munster titles, and as manager of Kerry, ended a terrible losing streak with their triumphant 1997 All-Ireland win. Sacked controversially in 2003, Paídí bounced back a year later by guiding Westmeath to their first ever Leinster Championship.

Sports Highlights

The Irish Derby 

RTE Racing from the Curragh

Saturday, RTE2, 4.30pm

The 150th Irish Derby takes place this afternoon at The Curragh, and Robert Hall, Ted Walsh, Tracy Piggott, Sally Ann Grassick and Brian Gleeson will be on hand to present coverage and commentary of the prestigious event, which always attracts a top international field. And there'll also be analysis of all of today's other races at the Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby Festival.

Ladies' day

Tennis: Eastbourne Final

Saturday, BBC2, 1.15pm

On the eve of Wimbledon, the final of this ladies-only tournament should provide a good pointer as to who's likely to prevail in the grand slam event. Since Eastbourne was launched in 1974, everyone from Chris Evert and Tracy Austin to 11-times winner Martina Navratilova have prevailed at Eastbourne, and last year 19-year-old Madison Keys became the first American player to win the tournament in over a decade. John Inverdale introduces live coverage.

Double header

The Sunday Game Live

Sunday, RTE2, 1.30pm

Joe Brolly and Pat Spillane join host Darragh Maloney for a live football double bill at Croke Park. It's semi-finals' day in the Leinster Senior Football Championship, and first up are Westmeath and Meath. That match throws in at 2pm, and will be followed at 4pm by Dublin's clash with Kildare, which will no doubt be enjoyed by a packed house. With commentary from Tom Carr, Ger Canning, Marty Morrissey and Kevin McStay.

Fan zone

Thank GAA It's Friday

Friday, RTE2, 8.30pm

Presented by the makers of Breaking Ball, this lively magazine show was very well received in its debut season last summer, and returns for a new run this week. Throughout the summer the show will mix star interviews, grassroots and human-interest stories, with magic moments from the past. The first instalment will include previews of the Munster Football and Leinster Hurling finals.

The soap Box: This week's burning question...

By Sheena McGinley

Brace yourselves. On Tuesday night we'll finally find out who gifted Charity with a baby.

To be honest, none of us were expecting her to come across with child, particularly since her marriage with Jai essentially broke down because of her refusal to have one. Then she secretly aborted Declan's offspring. And, despite Charity's apparent aversion to babies, behold Moses.

Charity had hoped Moses would be her get-out-of-jail-free card, but she was wrong. So, the sprog was sprung on a relative, with Debbie now looking after her step-brother. And by "looking after" we mean she's rigorously hooking up with her boyfriend's brother while baby Moses is rushed to the local intensive care unit. The only upside is that Charity gets out of prison to visit her sick tot in hospital (pictured).

When Debbie points out that Moses' dad has a right to know that his son is ill, Charity disagrees - before promptly giving the mystery man a call.

Now that we're all up to speed - WHOEVER could it be?

C'mon, there's only about 15 men in the village, it has to be one of them. And I think we can rule out an immaculate conception. So let's look at the candidates:

● Ex-husband Jai: Given Charity orchestrated the disappearance of his only son, which resulted in him attempting to starve her to death in a shipping container, it's not likely.

● Ex-husband Declan: The fact that they were still getting busy between the sheets before all the bludgeoning and the wailing on the lake, it's obviously Declan's baby. Right?

● The Bartons: Let's not discount James, Pete or Ross - mainly on account of them being male and breathing. However, Charity did enjoy a dalliance with daughter Debbie's current bit-on-the-side when she was trying to make Jai jealous.

● Cain is able: Let's be honest, he's not the most faithful soul. He's also Charity's first love, the father of her first child, and he's the only one to take pity on her after the Declan debacle.

We're not about to ruin the surprise, but, rest assured, things are about to get even more complicated for Debbie.

Movie Choice

A bad break-up

Blue Valentine

Sunday, Channel 4, 12.50am

Dissecting a relationship

Derek Cianfrance's unstinting drama starts at the bitter end of a romance and works backwards to find out what went wrong. Ryan Gosling and Michelle Williams are excellent as Dean and Cindy, a couple with a young child who are driving each other mad. He drinks too much and she despises his lack of ambition, but we soon find out that things were once very different.

Road trip

Sex and the City 2

Sunday, TV3, 10pm

Carrie & Co in Dubai

Big, brassy and very long, this second instalment in the Sex and the City film franchise transplants the ladies from Manhattan to the Middle East. When Samantha is whisked to a five-star hotel in Abu Dhabi by a sheik who wants her to give his business a PR overhaul, she brings Carrie, Miranda and Charlotte with her. But the locals take a dim view of Samantha's sexual incontinence.

Cheap thrills

Knight and Day

Wednesday, RTE One, 9.35pm

Cruise & Cameron on the run

Bright and breezy, brash and silly, this daft but undeniably enjoyable action thriller stars Cameron Diaz as June Havens, an ordinary girl who's on her way to her sister's wedding when she runs into Roy Miller (Tom Cruise), a manically calm FBI agent who seems to have the whole world on his tail. And soon they're running for their lives through central Europe.

Just sex

Friends with benefits

Tonight, E4, 9pm

No strings attached

Justin Timberlake and Mila Kunis make a winning double-act in this pleasantly frothy comedy. Kunis is Jamie, a headhunter who brings designer Dylan to New York to interview for a job at GQ magazine. They become friends, and one night decide to start having sex without any commitment.

Best Drama

Happy hospitals


Saturday, BBC1, 8.55pm

No one is having a particularly good day at Holby City Hospital this week. After Zoe and Max fall out about money, he spends the night sleeping in the car, Cal has trouble persuading a pushy mother to come clean with her beauty pageant daughter, and Charlie has his work cut out as he helps Louis manage his heroin withdrawal.

Cuckoos in the nest


Sunday, Channel 4, 9pm

As the sci-fi drama set in a near future when domestic androids have become commonplace continues, Laura finds herself at odds with her family when she decides to return the annoyingly perfect Anita to the shop. When the Synth saves Toby from a near-fatal road accident, she's forced to think again, but Joe then becomes suspicious of Anita's disconcertingly human reactions. With William Hurt and Gemma Chan.

Crime online

CSI: Cyber

Tuesday, RTE2, 9.55pm

The excellent Patricia Arquette heads the cast of this hi-tech CSI spin-off, and this week Special Avery Ryan and the Cyber Crime Division investigate the murder of a woman whose smart phone and computers indicate she was alive for three days after her official time of death. When they dig deeper, they're shocked by what they find. Peter MacNicol and James Van Der Beek co-star.

Radio Picks

Documentary on One

Living Outside the Box

Today, RTE One, 2pm

Rachel Breslin spent a year trying to beat Dublin's spiralling rents by finding alternative ways to live. In this documentary she lives as a guardian in a convent in Harold's Cross for €280 a month, and meets other enterprising souls who live in ex-Garda stations and abandoned abbeys.

After the match

The Marty Squad

Sunday, RTE One, 6pm

When Marty Morrissey temporarily took over RTE1's mid-afternoon radio slot earlier this year, he made the show his own by mixing chat and interviews with lively banter in his own, inimitable style. Marty's bubbly personality has made him a great favourite around the country, and in this new series, he finally gets a platform of his own. Regular guests Brenda Donoghue, Paddy McKenna and pundits Shane Curran, David Herity and Anna Geary will discuss the day's events and talk to the various supporters.

Keeping current

The Right Hook

Weekdays, Newstalk, 4.30pm

George Hook tends to divide audiences, but has never been accused of blandness. Believe it or not, his late afternoon show on Newstalk has now been running for 13 years, and mixes news and interviews with opinions that are never anything less than robust, especially when he's joined by American right-wing talk show host Michael Graham.

Legal eagle

Rumpole and the Portia of Our Chambers

Friday, BBC Radio 4, 2.15pm

Benedict Cumberbatch might seem a little tall and thin to be playing John Mortimer's timeless Old Bailey hack, but that's the magic of radio. He does a great job of voicing the wily barrister, who in this four-part adventure, seriously considers giving up the law when he becomes irresistibly attracted to his pupil Phyllida during the trial of an IRA terrorist.

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