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Pick of the week

the QUEEN

MONDAY, RTE1, 9.35pm

Helen Mirren gives an Oscar-winning performance as Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II in this splendid imagining of the behind-the-scenes machinations in Buckingham Palace following the death of Princess Diana in 1997. Peter Morgan's screenplay is thoroughly believable and there are excellent supporting performances from James Cromwell as a gruff Prince Philip and Michael Sheen as an oily, opportunistic Tony Blair.

in bruges

Tonight, Channel 4, 10pm

One of the most original movies of recent times, In Bruges marked the feature debut of playwright Martin McDonagh, and stars Brendan Gleeson and Colin Farrell as Irish hitmen hiding out in Belgium after a job goes wrong. It manages to be both funny and very dark, with Olympic-standard swearing and a great cameo from Ralph Fiennes as a psychotic gang boss.

no way out

Sunday, BBC1, 10.55pm

Kevin Costner was well on top of his game in this 1987 thriller in which a young naval officer attached to the Pentagon becomes the prime suspect when a woman he's been having an affair with, played by Sean Young, is found murdered. Gene Hackman gives his usual sterling performance as a manipulative politician, and director Roger Donaldson keeps the tension and suspense building right the way through to the surprise conclusion.

green street

Friday, RTE2, 10.15pm

One of the most unintentionally funny movies ever made, this daft yarn is set in the rough and tumble world of football hooliganism and stars Elijah Wood (oh yes!) as an American student who moves to London and becomes involved with a crew of West Ham fans, eventually moving up the ranks to become one of their top boys. Ludicrous beyond belief and best watched with a good few beers on board.

dead calm

Sunday, UTV, 10.15pm

Nicole Kidman and director Philip Noyce booked their tickets to Hollywood in the wake of this gripping thriller in which a recently bereaved couple (Kidman and Sam Neill) undertake a sailing trip but make the mistake of coming to the aid of a shipwrecked young man (Billy Zane) who turns out to be more dangerous than he seems.

the late late show

Friday, RTE1, 9.25pm

Ryan Tubridy returns for another series of the show he's seamlessly slotted into and there's one high-profile guest likely to make an appearance. Former UK Prime Minister Tony Blair has a memoir to flog and is doing the promotional rounds, so it'll be interesting to see just how tough a line Ryan takes with him on the issue of the illegal war in Iraq.

Agatha christie's marple

Monday, UTV, 9pm

Julia McKenzie, above right, returns as the genteel but effective detective in this adaptation of Agatha Christie's 1961 novel The Pale Horse, which didn't actually feature Miss Marple as the central character.

Anyway, the story revolves around a vicar (Nicholas Parsons) who's murdered after taking the confession of a dying woman, who handed him a mysterious list of names before she joined the choir invisible.

blondie: one way or another

Friday, BBC4, 10.40pm

Fronted by Debbie Harry, Blondie were probably the most successful band to emerge from the New York punk scene, going from also-rans to worldwide superstars with the release of their third album, Parallel Lines, in 1978. It's a fascinating tale of dedication and ambition, which includes contributions from Iggy Pop and Tommy Ramone.

mountain gorilla

Sunday, BBC2, 8pm

The second installment of this fascinating series about the lives of mountain apes in Rwanda is entitled Last Stand of the Silverback King and focuses on Titus, a creature who's sired more offspring than any known gorilla but who now faces a challenge to his long-held leadership of the tribe from Rano, one of his many sons. Who needs Shakespeare?

the eiger : wall of death

Wednesday, BBC4, 9pm

AT 13,025ft the Eiger in Switzerland isn't the highest mountain in Europe but its North Face is regarded by mountaineers as one of the most difficult climbs in the world. More than 60 climbers have perished trying to scale it, and here we have a history of the Eiger and the many efforts to conquer it.

euro 2012 qualifers

Friday, RTE2, 3.30pm

The battle to qualify for the Euro 2012 finals begins in Yerevan, with the Republic of Ireland hoping for a victory against Armenia. Robbie Keane and Shay Given, right, should be able to put their uncertainties at club level behind them to ensure that we get three points on the board.


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