TV preview: Six things to watch this week
A “thundering disgrace” is remembered on Scannal! and there's a cliffhanger alert on as Red Rock returns
Red Rock, TV3, Monday
Monday, RTÉ One, 7.30pm
What was the biggest catchphrase of 1976? Was it “Who loves ya, baby?” or “Yowza yowza yowza”? Actually, it was “Thundering disgrace”, and it was uttered not by a TV cop or a disco bunny, but by Ireland’s minister of defence, Paddy Donegan. The phrase kicks off the new series of Scannal! (Monday, RTÉ One, 7.30pm), the programme that looks back at some of the more ignoble moments in recent Irish history.
The minister made the infamous remark at the opening of an army barracks, and the target of his two-word invective was then-president Cearbhall Ó Dálaigh, who had just referred the government’s Emergency Powers Bill to the Supreme Court to test its constitutionality. Donegan’s public outburst sparked a constitutional crisis and led to the resignation of Ó Dálaigh, the first time an Irish president had ever resigned. Yowza indeed!
Monday, TV3, 9.30pm
“Who killed Brian?” Okay, that’s not quite as catchy as “Who shot JR?” but viewers of the increasingly popular Red Rock will finally learn who offed pervy cop Brian at the end of last season’s gripping cliffhanger. This season sees a few changes. It’s now airing once a week at a later, post-watershed time, and the producers have promised darker stories that dig deeper into the psyches of the characters. And in a first for the soap, we’re going to get an extended flashback to the night of Brian’s murder, and see for ourselves which of the seven main suspects is the killer. With the BBC snapping up a second series of the soap, it looks like TV3 have an international hit on their hands.
Later . . . Live with Jools Holland
Tuesday, BBC Two, 10pm
Rock’n’roll ringmaster Jools Holland presides over another musical menagerie in Later . . . Live with Jools Holland. This is the 49th series of Later, and it kicks off with some serious star power in the form of Kings of Leon, touting their back-to-form new album Walls; Jack White, putting aside his many band projects to perform solo with an acoustic guitar; and Sting, who has dropped the jazzy noodling to make his most rock’n’roll album since his days with The Police.
Best Album of the Year 2016 – Mercury Prize Live
Thursday, BBC Four, 9pm
This year’s Mercury Music Prize shortlist includes Anohni, Bat for Lashes, Jamie Woon, Laura Mvula, Savages, Michael Kiwanuka, The 1975, Radiohead and the late - and indisputably great - David Bowie. Who will win? Best Album of the Year 2016 – Mercury Prize Live comes live from London’s Eventim Apollo, and is presented by Lauren Laverne.
This year the format is changing: the 12 shortlisted albums will be narrowed down to six finalists (five picked by the judges and one chosen by the public), and the winner will be chosen from this final half-dozen. The programme will look back at 25 years of the Mercurys, from the winners who went on to greater things to those who got a ticket straight into obscurity.
Thursday, RTÉ One, 10.15pm
In the 1970s, English artist Neal MacGregor arrived on the island of Inisbofin, Co Donegal. For eight years he lived in a stone shed without water, electricity or heating, living off the sea life he caught. The Irish-speaking islanders were intrigued by this mysterious English man – was he a spy sent to learn about the IRA’s gun-running routes, or was he a madman, fleeing the world to live like a hermit? MacGregor died suddenly on Inisbofin aged 44, leaving behind a few artworks and several volumes of diaries. The Stranger is an arresting, atmospheric portrait of an artist as seen through the eyes of the islanders among whom he lived. Directed by Neasa Ní Chianáin, the documentary tries to uncover what drove MacGregor to leave swinging London and spend his days in a remote, rugged island community.
Hooten and the Lady
Friday, Sky 1, 9pm
A swashbuckling rogue defying death in search of lost treasures? No, it’s not Indiana Jones. Hooten and the Lady is a new British series starring Michael Landes as a maverick adventurer known only as Hooten, and Ophelia Lovibond as posh museum curator Lady Alex Lindo-Parker. This unlikely duo travel the world on a quest to find such hidden treasures as Buddha’s Scroll and the tomb of Alexander the Great. Sounds like some rip-roaring old tosh. We’re promised that each episode will be like a mini-blockbuster movie. Or maybe a strange mix of Indiana Jones, Romancing the Stone and Antiques Roadshow.
In the first episode, Lady Alex heads to the Amazon in search of a Victorian explorer’s lost camp, and has to fight her way through the jungle without Ant and Dec to guide her.