9 of the best TV shows to watch this weekend

Taken Down,a new crime from the creators of Love/Hate, starts on Sunday, Mary Robinson and Peter Casey are on the Late Late, and Swedish detective drama Beck returns

Putting the underworld on notice: Lynn Rafferty (centre) with Sean Fox and Orla Fitzgerald in Taken Down

Putting the underworld on notice: Lynn Rafferty (centre) with Sean Fox and Orla Fitzgerald in Taken Down


The Late Late Show
Friday, RTÉ One, 9.35pm
In a week that has seen the effects of climate change climb to the top of the news, former president Mary Robinson will tell Ryan Tubridy why humanity is at a critical juncture in the battle to save the planet. She will also give her take on where Ireland is today and what is next for the country. And speaking of presidents, Peter Casey, who came in second to Michael D Higgins in the recent election, will explain why he is standing by his controversial comments on Travellers and what lies ahead for the former Dragon. Plus: Limerick-born boxer Andy Lee on growing up in the English and Irish Travelling communities; new Dancing with the Stars cohost Jennifer Zamparelli on joining Nicky Byrne under the glitterball; and economist and Irish Times columnist David McWilliams on how Ireland has gone from economic embarrassment to avocado toast in the space of a generation. Plus music from The Blizzards and Phil Coulter.

 Lár Stáitse
Friday, TG4, 8pm

Máire Treasa Ní Dhubhghaill, host of Lár Stáitse
Máire Treasa Ní Dhubhghaill, host of Lár Stáitse

A new generation are preserving Ireland’s languages and traditions, and this live show proves it as features performances from some of the contestants in the under-18s competition from this year’s Oireachtas na Samhna in Killarney. Presented by Máire Treasa Ní Dhubhghaill, Lár Stáitse will feature the traditional oral arts as Gaeilge, spotlighting the agallamh beirte (dialogue in verse) from the oral tradition. The Agallamh Beirte final in the 12-15 competition age-group will be broadcast live and the programme will also include winning performances from other junior competitions (storytelling, recitations & lúibíní (traditional rhyming dialogue).

Unreported World
Friday, C4, 7.30pm
Krishnan Guru-Murthy heads to the northern coast of South America to report on the plight of some of the one million children in Venezuela caught up in what is believed to be the world’s biggest migration as they flee poverty, hunger and medical shortages. Together with director-cameraman Nick Blakemore, the veteran journalist joins the youngsters as they make the dangerous crossing into neighbouring Colombia, where even then they then have to fend for themselves, often with no money and nowhere to stay.

The Graham Norton Show
Friday, BBC1, 10.35pm
Norton welcomes actors Claire Foy (The Girl in the Spider’s Web) and Kurt Russell (The Christmas Chronicles), as well as children’s author David Walliams and Mumford & Sons.

The Ray D’Arcy Show
Saturday, RTÉ One, 9.35pm
Ray meets Lynn Rafferty, Brian Gleeson and Aissa Maiga, the stars of RTÉ’s new Irish crime drama Taken Down (debuting Sunday); Jason McAteer, beloved football hero and ambassador for mental health; Brendan Courtney and Sonya Lennon on their new Lennon Courtney clothing range; and Mary Coughlan, who will describe  her most ambitious project yet: an autobiographical theatre production.

Beck: Flesh & Blood
Saturday, BBC4, 9pm

Peter Haber as Martin Beck
Peter Haber as perpetually chilly Martin Beck

The seventh series of the Swedish detective drama gets under way, and although Martin Beck (Peter Haber) has handed in his police badge, he hasn’t quite let go of his profession just yet. Instead, Beck is working as a consultant, with his old colleague Steiner Hovland (Kristofer Hivju) taking charge of an investigation involving two crimes on opposite sides of the world: a man is beaten to death in the Middle East and a young woman disappears in Stockholm. Could there be a link between the two events?

Taken Down
Sunday, RTÉ One, 9.30pm
The words jump out at you: “From the creators of Love/Hate.” Could this finally be the worthy successor to the hugely influential TV series that gripped a nation and kept us going through the recession? Love/Hate writer Stuart Carolan cowrites and coproduces this new Dublin-set crime drama, which brings us into the the world of asylum seekers, direct provision, human trafficking and the sex industry. Finding Joy it ain’t. When a young Nigerian girl is found dead at a bus stop, Insp Jen Rooney (Lynn Rafferty) and her team set out to investigate, and uncover a shady world where people are traded like commodities and young women are brutally exploited by organised crime gangs. Expect some seriously gritty material in this six-part series, but I wonder will it produce another iconic character like Nidge?

Pat Shortt’s Music from D’Telly
Sunday, RTÉ One, 8.30pm

Pat Shortt: trawling the archives
Pat Shortt: trawling the archives

Time for another fun trawl through the RTÉ archives in the company of Pat Shortt, whose mission is to dig up the sounds of yesteryear in search of musical gold. The most entertaining parts, though, are the toe-curling clips of cheesy tunes and even cheesier costumes. For the first episode of the new series, however, Shortt is featuring the cream of Dublin’s musical crop, including The Blades performing their classic Downmarket and The Dubliners featuring Luke Kelly performing a spine-tingling version of The Auld Triangle. Add in Imelda May, U2, Sinéad O’Connor and Philip Lynnott, and you’ve got the definitive Dublin soundtrack.

Louis Theroux’s Altered States: Love without Limits
Sunday, BBC2, 10.30pm
For centuries, western societies have embraced the idea that romance is about two people forsaking all others and making a life-long commitment to each other. In his new documentary, Louis Theroux meets people who are rejecting monogamy in favour of polyamory and ethical non-monogamy – openly having multiple relationships that go further than just sex. His journey takes him to Portland, Oregon, where he meets people who have opened up their love lives, either by inviting others into their existing relationships or allowing partners to seek romance elsewhere. He finds that for some this has meant more love and happiness, while for others it has resulted in jealousy and broken hearts.

Additional reporting: PA

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