13 of the best new shows on TV this week
RTÉ’s house-hunter returns, as does The Apprentice and Have I Got News for You?
Dr Tom Doyle of UCC’s Coastal and Marine Resources Centre retrieves a rare female leatherback turtle, washed up dead in Ballycotton, Cork. The cause of death was found to be plastic waste. Photograph: Provision
Drowning in Plastic
Monday, BBC1, 8.30pm
At least 8 million tons of plastic waste enter the Earth’s oceans and seas each year. One million sea birds and 100,000 marine mammals are killed annually from plastic in our oceans, but can the tide be turned before it’s too late? In this documentary, Liz Bonnin travels to an island off the coast of Australia where newly hatched shearwater chicks are filling up on deadly plastic. She also visits the Coral Triangle, which stretches from Papua New Guinea to the Solomon Islands, to see how scientists are trying to work out why plastic is so lethal to the reefs. Finally, she looks at solutions, such as a 600m construction that will travel across the ocean’s “garbage patches” collecting millions of pieces of plastic pollution.
The Bank That Almost Broke Britain
Tuesday, BBC2, 9pm
On October 7, 2008, the Royal Bank of Scotland collapsed and endangered the entire UK banking system. Now, 10 years on, key players look back on the events and the global financial crash as a whole. The programme also charts the remarkable growth of RBS under the brutal stewardship of chief executive Fred “The Shred” Goodwin, whose relentless acquisition policy was brought to an abrupt end by the collapse of the US subprime mortgage market. The subsequent bailout cost British taxpayers more than a trillion pounds and effectively took RBS into public ownership.
Long Lost Family
Tuesday, Virgin One, 9pm
New series. Davina McCall and Nicky Campbell return to help more people reunite with long-lost relatives. The begin tonight with a man whose last contact with his father was a brief phone call from America when he was six, and a woman who was transported from Bogota to Berkshire when her Columbian birth mother gave her up for adoption.
This Crowded House
Wednesday, RTÉ 2, 9.30pm
Brendan Courtney is back for a second series of the house-hunting show with a twist. These young adults are looking to get out of their parents’ house and find a place to live that they can afford – a big challenge as rents hit astronomical levels, and the chance of getting approved for a mortgage recedes with every passing minute. With one in every four adults over 25 living in the family home, things have reached crisis levels, but Courtney is hoping to help 12 young adults escape from parental-home hell and move on with their lives.
Wonders of the Great Barrier Reef with Iolo Williams
Wednesday, BBC4, 9pm
On the northeast coast of Australia lies the Great Barrier Reef – one of the natural wonders of our world. It provides shelter to hidden wildlife sanctuaries that contain magical marine creatures. Together with marine biologist Richard Fitzpatrick, conservationist Iolo Williams dives beneath the tranquil surface of the coral sea to discover what state this natural wonder is in. They travel from the extreme swells of the northern part of the reef down to the cooler pristine corals of the south, and discover if the reef can survive the threat of global warming.
Wednesday, BBC1, 9pm
There’s “no time for nonsense”, according the explosive trailer for this year’s series. And to demonstrate just how much is at stake, Lord Sugar summons the aspiring entrepreneurs to his boardroom only to send them abroad. The teams jet off to this year’s capital of culture, Valletta, in Mediterranean Malta, on a day-long shopping spree. The challenge: bag nine Maltese items for the lowest possible prices before reuniting back at the airport by 7pm. As both teams navigate their way to the finish, one takes a gamble by returning with items missing, while the other faces mutiny by disregarding the deadline.
Living with Lyme Disease
Thursday, RTÉ One, 10.15pm
This compelling documentary profiles people affected by Lyme disease, which can be transmitted by a bite of a tick. Anyone can be effected, from small children running around a field with tall grass to wildlife wardens, campers, zoologists and biologists to people working in the wild and even strolling in the park. It is very difficult to get a categorical diagnosis for Lyme disease, which in some cases has tell-tale signs of a bullseye rash with symptoms of stiffness and immobility developing over time. The earlier it is diagnosed, the quicker the chance of treatment and recovery.
Thursday, TG4, 7.30pm
New series. Tristan Rosenstock presents the litery revew show, beginning tonight with memories of prominent Irish-langue Cork poet Liam Ó Muirthile, who died earlier this year, and a review of the Camino de Santiago.
Eat Well for Less?
Thursday, BBC1, 8pm
New series. The healthy eating show returns with Gregg Wallace and Chris Bavin are in Hertfordshire to help two busy mums: part-time physiotherapist Poppy and teacher Emma. They have three-year-old twins and like many parents, their evenings are ruled by the toddlers, meaning they generally eat whatever they can throw together quickly. Can the presenters get Poppy and Emma cooking one nutritious meal a night that they can all eat together and without breaking the bank?
Rich House, Poor House
Thursday, Channel 5, 9pm
Ladislav and Qi Hornan are immigrants who have found a place among the wealthiest 10 per cent in Britain. They live with their daughter in a very four-bed house in Rickmansworth, and their budget after bills is around £2,306 a week. Meanwhile, the Traceu amd Ed Llewellyn live in a three-bed maisonette in Enfield with their daughter plus Tracey’s son from a previous relationship. Their weekly budget is £97. The families live less than 20 miles away from each other, but their circumstances are worlds apart. So how will they find living at the opposite end of the wealth divide for a week?
The Graham Norton Show
Friday, BBC1, 10.35pm
Rowan Atkinson chats about new release, Johnny English Strikes Again, while actress Jamie Lee Curtis reflects on reprising her role as Laurie Strode in the new Halloween, 40 years after the original movie. Pop impresario Gary Barlow talks about his autobiography, A Better Me, while Hollywood king of cool Jeff Goldblum chats and performs Straighten Up and Fly Right with Imelda May.
Have I Got News for You
Friday, BBC1, 9pm
Ian Hislop and Paul Merton returns as team captains for the start of the topical comedy news quiz’s 56th series. Don’t expect anything to have changed – the format continues to win plaudits and keep viewers happy.
The Great Model Railway Challenge
Friday, Channel 5, 8pm
New series. James Richardson and Tim Shaw lift the lid on a globally popular hobby, beloved by legions of unsung artists who have quietly buildt tiny universes for the littlest of locomotives in attics and sheds for decades. Here, teams of the UK’s most talented railway modellers compete in a series of knockout heats to create jaw-dropping miniature masterpieces against the clock. The first heat sees Strangers on a Model Train, Team Porthcawl and Missenden Modellers compete.
Additional reporting: PA