This week’s TV: six shows to watch

The pick of this week's TV: Aslan frontman Christy Dignam tells his story of how he kept his rock’n’roll dream alive, plus Game of Thrones tee-up

Christy Dignam with Finbar Furey on The Late Late Show. Photograph: RTE

Christy Dignam with Finbar Furey on The Late Late Show. Photograph: RTE

 

How to Defuse A Bomb – The Project Children Story
Monday, RTÉ One, 9.35pm

In 1975, at the height of the Troubles, an Irish-American bomb disposal expert embarked on a heroic mission – to bring respite to thousands of children caught up in the daily violence in Northern Ireland. Sickened by images of conflict coming from his native country, Denis Mulcahy, a former NYPD bomb squad detective, originally from Cork, started up a scheme to bring children from both sides of the divide to spend six weeks on holiday with a host family in the US. Narrated by Liam Neeson, this award-winning feature-length documentary tells Mulcahy’s story, and features contributions from Bill Clinton and the late Martin McGuinness. KC

Mini Monet Millionaire
Monday, BBC1, 7.30pm

Short documentary telling the remarkable story of 14-year-old painter Kieron Williamson, dubbed “Mini Monet”, who held his first exhibition at the age of six and is now worth more than €2 million. The film follows preparations for his latest exhibition, and looks at the pressures he and his family face as he makes the transition from child prodigy to adult artist. JL

This Is Christy
Tuesday, RTÉ One, 9.35pm

Christy Dignam with Finbar Furey on The Late Late Show. Photograph: RTE
Christy Dignam with Finbar Furey on The Late Late Show. Photograph: RTE

For Christy Dignam, life as the frontman of one of Ireland’s most popular bands has never been easy. The Aslan singer has battled drug addiction, the trauma of childhood sexual abuse and, most recently, cancer, but has kept his rock’n’roll dream alive for more than 30 years. On the eve of Aslan’s gig at Dublin’s Iveagh Gardens, Dignam tells his own story. He recalls childhood Sundays listening to his father sing while cooking dinner, and recounts tales of near-rock stardom with Aslan, as he stood at the brink of international fame, only to see his dreams dissipate in a haze of drug addiction, and retraces the long road back to becoming one of Ireland’s most enduring live acts. KC

In the Dark
Tuesday, BBC1, 9pm

Brand-new four-part crime drama by Bafta-winning writer Danny Brocklehurst (Ordinary Lies, The Driver, Exile) and adapted from the bestselling books by Mark Billingham. As DI Helen Weeks (MyAnna Buring, Twilight, Ripper Street) grapples with pregnancy, she is compelled to return to her rural home town in Derbyshire. Two girls have been abducted and the main suspect is the husband of Helen’s childhood best friend. One for fans of Happy Valley. JL

Thronecast: War Room
Wednesday, Sky Atlantic, 9pm

Kit Harington as Jon Snow. Photo: Helen Sloan/ Sky Atlantic
Kit Harington as Jon Snow. Photo: Helen Sloan/ Sky Atlantic

Just over a week to go until the return of the one TV show to rule them all (no, not Daniel and Majella’s B&B Road Trip), and to whet the appetites for season seven of Game of Thrones, Sue Perkins hosts a special edition of Thronecast: War Room (Wednesday, Sky Atlantic, 9pm). Perkins is joined by fellow GoT fans Al Murray, Lauren Laverne and Jonathan Ross, who enthusiastically share their excitement at the impending arrival of the new series (settle down – jeez, you’re grown-ups). Game of Thrones itself unsheaths swords on Monday, July 17th, at 2am for true-blue Throners, and again at 9pm. KC

The South Bank Sky Arts Awards 2017
Wednesday, Sky Arts, 8pm

What have the singer David Bowie, the author Zadie Smith and the wizard Harry Potter got in common? They’re all in the frame for one of Britain’s most prestigious gongs, The South Bank Sky Arts Awards 2017 (Wednesday, Sky Arts, 8pm). Melvyn Bragg, as always, hosts with prizes being awarded across 10 categories - Comedy, Classical Music, Dance, Film, Literature, Opera, Pop Music, Theatre, TV Drama, and Visual Arts. Other nominees include Happy Valley, The Crown, I, Daniel Blake, American Honey and Phoebe Waller-Bridge’s brilliant Fleabag. KC

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