This week’s TV: Dancing with the Stars, The Great Irish Sell Off and more

The Irish Strictly is finally ready to take to the dancefloor, and fingers are crossed for a few Irish gongs at the Golden Globe Awards

Dancing with the Stars contestants Des Cahill, Teresa Mannion, Hughie Maughan and Aoibhin Garrihy. Photographs: RTE

Dancing with the Stars contestants Des Cahill, Teresa Mannion, Hughie Maughan and Aoibhin Garrihy. Photographs: RTE

 

Dancing with the Stars
Sunday, RTÉ One, 6.30pm
We’ve been waiting patiently for the boring old festive season to end, because now we can get down to the real excitement: the Irish Strictly is finally ready to take to the dancefloor, and we’re doing high-kicks from sheer anticipation. Presented by Amanda Byram and Nicky Byrne, it features 11 celebrities all eager to strut their stuff, including sports commentator Des Cahill, telly GP Dr Eva Orsmond, RTÉ reporter Teresa Mannion, model Thalia Heffernan, actor Aoibhin Garrihy, Kerry footballer Aidan O’Mahony and comedians Katherine Lynch and Des Bishop, with a Big Brother contestant and a boyband member making up the numbers. Some of them may turn out to be natural twinkletoes; others may be more like Ed Balls. All of them will, I’m sure, put their best foot forward under the watchful – and probably unforgiving – eyes of the judges, Julian Benson, Lorraine Barry and Brian Redmond.

The Great Irish Sell Off
Monday, RTÉ One, 9.35pm
Vultures are under the spotlight as Sunday Business Post editor Ian Kehoe investigates how a small group of global financiers and private-equity firms have snapped up nearly €200 billion in distressed Irish debt. Just who owns Ireland? And can we have it back please?

74th Annual Golden Globe Awards
Monday, RTÉ Two, 9.30pm
This year’s host Jimmy Fallon is the guy who cosied up with his guest Donald Trump, and ruffled the Donald’s hair as if he was a cute puppy, so he’s unlikely to ruffle too many feathers at Sunday-night’s ceremony, held at the Beverly Hilton. Among the Irish nominees for a Golden Globe are Colin Farrell for his role in The Lobster, Ruth Negga for her fine performance in Loving, and Caitriona Balfe for her role in TV series Outlander. And Sing Street, directed by John Carney, is up for best comedy or musical. Fingers crossed.

Blue Bloods
Tuesday, RTÉ One, 10.15pm

Tom Selleck, Donnie Wahlberg, Bridget Moynahan and the rest of the Reagan family are back for a new series of the cop drama, and as the series begins, Danny’s (Wahlberg) future in the NYPD is under threat after the attorney general’s office discovers new evidence that suggests he murdered a serial killer rather than acting in self-defence.

Béaloideas Beo
Tuesday, TG4, 8pm

Seán Mac a’ tSíthigh returns with the third run of this fascinating documentary series which examines folk customs and beliefs and how they persist in modern Ireland. It begins with an insight into magical islands, submerged cities and features stories of the Lough in Cork and the tale of a sighting of Hy Brasil by young girls from West Kerry as recorded in the manuscripts of Pádraig Feirtéar. Guests include Breandán Ó Cíobháin, Críostóir Mac Cárthaigh and Paddy Bushe.

Spy In the Wild
Thursday, BBC One, 8pm

Planet Earth set the standard for sweeping, widescreen nature programmes, but Spy In the Wild looks at wildlife from a different perspective. The makers deploy an array of animatronic creatures to infiltrate animals’ natural habitats and spy on them at close quarters. Spy Pup joins a pack of wild dogs, while Baby Spy Croc hitches a ride with infant crocodiles as they are swept to safety inside their mother’s jaws, and Spy Tortoise and Spy Bushbaby gain some interesting insights into the behaviour of chimpanzees.