Monday 22 January 2018

TV highlights of the week


The Voice of Ireland

RTE1, 6.30pm

The Voice is back. It feels slightly like it never went away, but here it is again anyway. This third series introduces Dolores O'Riordan of Cranberries fame as the new judge and this first episode will be largely taken up with the modern version of the Circus Maximus that is the auditions round.

At Your Service

RTE1, 8.30pm

The debonair Francis Brennan (fresh from being lampooned by Mario Rosenstock, like half of RTE -- the good half) and his makeover partner and brother John return with a new series. They begin with a west Cork hotel that has been in the same family for six generations but needs a boost.


BBC1, 8.30pm

Not content with being back from the dead, Sherlock is acting as best man for Watson's wedding. Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman star in the highly watchable but over-hyped detective series.


Class Swap

RTE1, 7.30pm

Amid growing hysteria about UK and Ireland second-level education, this new reality series sends secondary school kids from Ireland to try out schools in Finland, Poland and Spain. The students report back on differences and similarities in the education systems. How do Finns only get 30 minutes of homework but regularly top OECD league tables? Likely to raise interesting questions.

The Bletchley Circle

UTV, 9pm

Solid period drama set in the 1950s about a group of clever women who fight crime. In this episode, a former colleague is accused of murder and the group examine evidence to try and save her from the gallows.

The Summit

RTE1, 9.35pm

Documentary exploring the greatest tragedy in recent mountaineering history. In 2008, 11 climbers died on the same day on the world's second highest mountain, K2 in the Himalayas, including Ger McDonnell, the first Irishman to summit on K2.


Eco Eye

RTE1, 7pm

Duncan Stewart investigates why Ireland, an island that could produce nearly all its own food, imports so much of what we eat. He also looks at solutions to the problem that could have major benefits for the Irish consumer and the economy.

The Taste

Channel4, 9pm

After being on trial in the court of public opinion, Nigella Lawson now gets a chance to judge others -- well, other people's food anyway. Yet another cookery competition where 25 hopefuls compete to impress Nigella and fellow judges Anthony Bourdain and Ludo Lefebvre.

Keane and Vieira -- Best of Enemies

UTV, 11.05pm

After its success on ITV4 and RTE, this documentary about the rivalry between two great footballers gets a further airing. Patrick Vieira comes across as easy-going and charming while Roy Keane reveals an unexpectedly humorous side to his character.


Stargazing Live

BBC2, 8pm

Brian Cox and Dara O Briain present the second night of the three-day astronomy show. Tonight they are joined by astronauts Chris Hadfield and Walt Cunningham, while Liz Bonnin reports live from the Northern Lights.

The Tomorrow People

E4, 9pm

American remake of a British seventies science-fiction series about the next phase of human evolution, where children are born with super powers. These children become the Tomorrow People.

Breaking Bad

TG4, 9.30pm

Finally, for all those who patiently waited for the series to come to terrestrial TV and had to avoid the multitude of newspaper articles and Facebook spoilers, the wait is over. The last eight episodes of the Emmy-winning show start on TG4 tonight.



RTE1, 7pm

This week, the travel show comes from a child-friendly French ski resort. Aoibhinn Ni Shuilleabhain tries to ski for the first time, while Joe Lindsay opts for a snowboard. Joe also goes to King John's castle in Limerick to check out the excellent interactive exhibition.

Fuaimrian Mo Shaol

TG4, 8pm

Former world bantamweight champion Bernard Dunne is interviewed by Daithi O'Shea about the music he listened to throughout his life, particularly while he was in training for big fights.

Fiona Looney: Play Next Door

RTE1, 10.15pm

A touch of the Secret Millionaire to this new series, but without the large cheques -- three playwrights are sent to live in a local community, before writing a site-specific play. First up, Fiona Looney goes to Thurles.


Jamie and Jimmy's Friday Night Feast

Channel4, 8pm

The lifestyle genre that simply won't go away -- yes, yet another cookery show. This one has childhood friends and Essex foodies Jamie Oliver and Jimmy Doherty cooking a feast in a cafe at the end of Southend pier. Usain Bolt, fastest man in the world, joins them to cook his Aunt Lilly's jerk chicken.

Born To Be Wild: The Golden Age of American Rock

BBC4, 9pm

This series looks at the history of American rock music from the sixties to the nineties, basically from when it frightened the establishment to when it eventually joined with it. This first episode of the series gives us the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, the Doors and Jefferson Airplane.

Italy Unpacked

BBC2, 9pm

Smooth grey-haired art historian Andrew Graham-Dixon and smooth grey-haired chef Giorgio Locatelli explore Italian culture and food in this relaxing travel programme. This episode sees the pair explore the Ligurian coast and the city of Genoa.


Natural World

RTE2, 7pm

As Paddington Bear celebrates his 50th birthday, this is a chance to look at the actual life and habitat of the elusive Spectacled Bear, which still lives in Darkest Peru. Charmingly narrated by Stephen Fry, the show reveals a new side to a creature previously thought to be shy and gentle.

Ireland's Fittest Family

RTE1, 7.30pm

This irresistible-sounding new show searches the country for the fittest, fastest, strongest family. Twelve families begin, competing against each other in various challenges. Cue plenty of opportunity for Competitive Dad (and Mum) to really shine.

The Saturday Night Show

RTE1, 10pm

Back after the break, Brendan O'Connor presents the usual mix of music, entertainment and insightful chat with celebrity guests. As ever, expect laughs, revelations and the odd moment of memorable sincerity.

Irish Independent

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