Wednesday 23 April 2014

Monday's TV picks

With the 50th anniversary of his assassination falling in two weeks' time, the TV schedules are going JFK-crazy for the month of November.

Tonight's must-watch tele:

Pick of the day:

The Kennedy's Irish Mafia/JFK, TV3, 10pm/RTE1 11.15pm

With the 50th anniversary of his assassination falling in two weeks' time, the TV schedules are going JFK-crazy for the month of November.

Tonight alone, there are two documentaries looking at the rise and brief presidential tenure of John Fitzgerald Kennedy.

The two-part 'The Kennedys' Irish Mafia' commemorates both the 50th anniversary of Kennedy's triumphant visit to his ancestors' home in Ireland in June 1963, as well as his tragic death five months afterwards.

This programme looks at the Irish-Americans who surrounded Kennedy during his time in office. It identifies who they were -- names like Dave Powers, Kenny O'Donnell and Larry O'Brien-- the roles they played and the price some of them paid for their devotion.

Meanwhile, part two of 'JFK' on RTE follows Kennedy into the White House, through his assassination and the unfulfilled promise of his presidency.

Offering fresh assessments of the successes and failures of his tenure, this episode features frank appraisals by administration officials, including civil rights leaders Andrew Young and Julian Bond.

In 1961, the most challenging issue facing the new administration is the spread of communism and continuing Cold War fears.

Only a few months into his first term, Kennedy launched the Bay of Pigs invasion, an unmitigated disaster that taught him and his brother, Attorney General Robert, a powerful lesson.


Danny Boy: The Ballad that Bewitched the World, RTE One, 9.35pm/BBC1, 10.35pm

Though it's sometimes derided as mawkish and sentimental in this country, for generations of emigrants, the song 'Danny Boy' has come to symbolise their Irishness. On its anniversary, this documentary explores the extraordinary story of this enduring air.


The Paul O'Grady Show, UTV, 5pm

Paul O'Grady and Olga the dog return for another series of the daily hour-long teatime talk show. This evening's guests include 'X Factor' judge Louis Walsh, 'Coronation Street' actress Helen Worth (Gail), and music from The Saturdays.

For the rest of the week, the line-up features 'Strictly Come Dancing' contestant Abbey Clancy, 'EastEnders' star Scott Maslen, presenters Alan Carr and Paddy McGuinness and more music from Rebecca Ferguson, Pet Shop Boys and a duet from Mel C and Matt Cardle.

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