10 of the best TV shows to watch this weekend
Historian Catherine Corless and Downton Abbey's Irish chauffeur join The Late Late, Eddie Redmayne and Jude Law talk Fantastic Beasts with Graham Norton
Actor Allen Leech (far right) with Queen's Brian May and Roger Taylor (3rd and 4th from left) and the stars of Bohemian Rhapsody in London's Carnaby Street on October 21st. Photograph: Eamonn M McCormack/Getty Images
The Late Late Show
Friday, RTÉ One, 9.35pm
Catherine Corless, the historian who uncovered details of a mass grave at the former mother and babies home in Tuam, will join Ryan Tubridy to give her thoughts on the Government’s decision this week to initiate a forensic excavation at the site. And, from aristocracy, to rock royalty, Dublin actor Allen Leech talks about costarring in the phenomenally popular Downton Abbey and his new role as Freddie Mercury’s manager in Bohemian Rhapsody, reviewed today in The Irish Times. Plus: All-Ireland-winning hurler and manager Davy Fitzgerald on his legacy, his fiery reputation, and the new season of Ireland’s Fittest Family, which kicks off on Sunday; Martina Cox, wife of Liverpool fan Sean Cox, who was seriously injured outside Anfield and left fighting for his life; comedian Des Bishop on our obsession with Netflix and carvery dinners; music from Bell X1 and Gavin James; and David McCullagh live in studio following the polls closing to deliver the RTÉ/Red C exit poll result in the race to the Áras.
David Bowie at Glastonbury 2000
Friday, BBC4, 10.55pm
On Sunday, June 25, 2000, David Bowie closed Glastonbury with a two-hour performance. It was his first appearance at the festival since 1971, and should have been screened in all its glory. However, only some 30 minutes of the set was broadcast on the BBC that night at the star’s insistence. Thankfully cameras kept rolling and captured the whole performance for posterity. This programme features an hour of highlights, including such previously un-broadcast hits as Ashes to Ashes, Starman and Let’s Dance. A glorious reminder of one of the most unique and sorely missed talents in showbusiness.
The Graham Norton Show
Friday, BBC1, 11.05pm
The host welcomes Eddie Redmayne and Jude Law, who talk about Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, the latest Harry Potter prequel, which is released on November 16. Joining them on the sofa are Melissa McCarthy, promoting upcoming comedy-drama Can You Ever Forgive Me?, Oscar winner Emma Stone and singer Rick Astley, who also performs his latest single Try.
The Ray D’Arcy Show
Saturday, RTÉ One, 9.45pm
Ray sits down with Senator David Norris to commemorate the 30th anniversary of Norris v Ireland, which paved the way for the decriminalisation of homosexuality in Ireland. Stephen Teap talks about his wife Irene, who died in July 2017 of cervical cancer. The Cork mother-of-two was diagnosed in 2015 after two undisclosed false tests in 2010 and 2011. Joe Duffy tells Ray about making his panto debut as the Magic Mirror in Snow White at the Tivoli Theatre, as well as the return of Liveline Callback on RTÉ One fromThursday. The Violinists (aka brothers Vladimir and Anton) will perform an electrifying version of Miserlou (the unofficial Pulp Fiction theme) accompanied by Argentine tango dancers. And to complete the line-up, a selection of doggy contestaants from Ireland’s Next Top Madra.
Black Hollywood: “They’ve Gotta Have Us”
Saturday, BBC2, 9pm
The last episode in this fascinating series brings us bang up to date, and gives viewers a chance to reflect on just how far Hollywood has come. The programme discusses how we’re now in an era where films as different as Moonlight and Get Out can scoop Oscars and Black Panther can clean up at the box office, suggesting black movies are no longer seen as their own genre – and black film-makers are no longer written off as “nonbankable”. The series also looks at how a new generation of black British stars are making their mark on the US, from the Oscar-winning director of 12 Years a Slave Steve McQueen to actors David Oyelowo and John Boyega, who is better known to Star Wars fans as stormtrooper Finn.
Ireland’s Fittest Family
Sunday, RTÉ One, 6,30pm
It’s been a busy week of school, work and homework, topped by a mad weekend of sports activities and social engagements. Now the whole family’s flaked out in front of the telly, bellies full of Sunday roast, when out bounds in front of us a bunch of super-fit families, all geared up and ready to take on the gruelling physical and mental challenges ahead in this survival of the fittest contest. Make us a cuppa, there, I feel a bit dizzy. The fifth series has a coaching line-up that includes season four winner Anna Geary, the GAA’s Davy Fitz, returning hero Derval O’Rourke, and rugby legend Donncha O’Callaghan
The Little Drummer Girl
Sunday, BBC1, 9pm
The John Le Carré spy thriller gets the BBC treatment, and if the Beeb’s recent adaptation of Le Carré’s The Night Manager is anything to go by, this six-parter, set in the late 1970s, will be a miss-it-at-your-peril situation. Michael Shannon stars as an Israeli intelligence officer investigating a series of attacks on prominent Jewish figures, and who believes a Palestinian revolutionary is behind the attacks. Florence Pugh plays a passionate young actress who meets a mysterious and charming stranger (Alexander Skarsgard) on a Greek beach. Soon she is drawn into the deadly world of international espionage and international terrorism.
Sunday, RTÉ One, 9,30pm
A young Romanian woman is snatched from a London street in broad daylight by a criminal gang and shipped off to Ireland to be sold into sex slavery. This one-off drama, written by Gwyneth Hughes and directed by Lyndsey Miller and based on true events, barely scratches the surface of Europe’s sex-trafficking industry, but it’s sure to open a few wounds. Anca Dumitra stars as Ana, who finds herself trafficked into Ireland to work in “pop-up” brothels, and Allen Leech plays the copper tasked with unravelling a dark web of slavery and exploitation. The drama, a BBC- RTÉ co-production, will open viewers’ eyes to a very real criminal menace to society.
I Was a Yazidi Slave
Sunday, BBC4, 11pm
In June 2014, Islamic State fighters occupied large areas of Syria and Iraq, overwhelming the Yazidi settlements grouped around Mount Sinjar. Local men were killed and young women forced into slavery. This documentary tells the story of Shirin and Lewiza, Yazidi women captured by the jihadist, who escaped to Germany thanks to the intervention of trauma expert Dr Jan Kizilhan. In all, he has brought some 1,000 women and girls – all victims of Islamic State sexual violence – from the refugee camps in Iraq to his clinic in the Black Forest for treatment.
Inside No 9 Live
Sunday, BBC2, 10pm
Over the years this series has given us some chilling, clever and downright bizarre half-hour stories. And now Steve Pemberton and Reece Shearsmith have penned Dead Line, a live show that, if we’re lucky, will prove as captivating as that other live Halloween classic, Ghostwatch from 1992. It centres on Arthur Flitwick (Pemberton) who finds an old mobile phone in his local graveyard. It seems like a good idea to try and contact the owner, but as the spookiest time of the year draws near, Arthur is soon immersed in a nightmare of his own making. Apparently no good deed can go unpunished – in this world or the next. Stephanie Cole guest stars.
Additional reporting: PA