9 of the best TV shows to watch this weekend
Alice Leahy and Keith Barry join Tubridy, plus David Attenborough back on the BBC
Alice Leahy: The Late, Late guest recently published her memoir, written with Catherine Cleary of The Irish Times. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw
The Late Late Show
Friday, RTÉ One, 9.35pm
In the 1970s, Alice Leahy left her job as a nurse to work and live in a Dublin homeless shelter. Decades later, Leahy remains dedicated to bettering the lives of Ireland’s homeless through her work with the Alice Leahy Trust. Tonight she tells Ryan Tubridy about her life’s work with society’s most disadvantaged people. Also: acclaimed mind magician Keith Barry, who will give viewers a glimpse of his latest show, which explores the blurred lines between reality and deception; Adam O’Sullivan, who eight years ago was diagnosed with a brain tumour and brought the Late, Late audience to its feet by joining The High Kings in a rendition of Whiskey in the Jar; a look back at some of the highlights of this year’s hurling and football seasons through the camera lens; a personal discussion about adoption in Ireland through the eyes of parents and children; and three Irish women on their lives, passions and what makes them fearless in their pursuits. Plus music is from The High Kings and Fallen Lights.
The Graham Norton Show
Friday, BBC1, 10.35pm
Sir Ian McKellen talks about his 50-year career and in particular his recent role in an explosive revival of Shakespeare’s epic tragedy King Lear at Duke of York’s Theatre in London, and his one-man stage show, Ian McKellen with Shakespeare, Tolkien, Others & You at Park Theatre. Joining him on the sofa are Carey Mulligan, who is promoting 1960s-set US drama Wildlife; and Taron Egerton, who stars as the latest Robin Hood in a new movie. Finally, crooner Michael Bublé performs I Only Have Eyes for You from his new album, Love.
Boy George and Culture Club: Radio 2 in Concert
Friday, BBC4, 10pm
During the early 1980s, Culture Club were one of the biggest bands in the world. Not only have they sold more than 150 million records, but frontman Boy George became a genuine international superstar. (Fun fact: he even made an inexplicable guest appearance on The A-Team.) So, no wonder fans were excited when it was announced that Culture Club were releasing Life, their first album in 19 years. Ahead of their Dublin concert at 3Arena on November 25th, the band will play some new tracks at this Radio 2 gig, along with much-loved classics such as Do You Really Want to Hurt Me? and Karma Chameleon.
The Ray D’Arcy Show
Saturday, RTE2, 9.45pm
Broadcaster, harpist and author Kathleen Watkins tells Ray about her new book for children, Happy Christmas, Pigín!. She will also talk about life at home with husband Gay Byrne and her love of her grandchildren, who will join her in the studio. Also: Irish Big Brother alumnus Brian Dowling on his life before and after the show; Donegal-born adventurer Jason Black on conquering K2 to overcoming personal tragedy; new TG4 weather presenters Neasa Bheáid, Caitriona Ní Chualáin and Orla Ní Fhinneadha on all things Gaeilge, glamming up and an gaoth; and comedian Andrew Maxwell on the Brexit opinions getting him into trouble. Plus music from Razorlight.
Egon Schiele: Dangerous Desires
Saturday, BBC2, 9pm
Documentary telling the story of the Austrian painter’s life and career to mark 100 years since his death from Spanish flu at the age of 28. Using original letters and writings, many of them translated for the first time, the programme celebrates Schiele’s remarkable artistic achievements while also debating the controversies around his work. With contributions from Iggy Pop, Lily Cole and Jake Chapman, as well as dramatic reconstructions of Schiele’s work using animation and performances by dance company Gecko.
Sunday, BBC1, 8.30pm
Planet Earth II brought viewers some truly incredible footage, so expectations are high for this new series from the same team, including presenter David Attenborough. Each episode will follow an animal, the leader of its particular troop or pride, through a key period in its life as it tries to protect its family, territory and very survival. We begin with the emperor penguins who gather in Atka Bay on the coast of Antarctica. They arrive as the sea freezes over, which is when most of the other animals leave the continent, but the penguins have a mission: to raise the next generation in their emperor’s dynasty. However, that means trying to keep themselves and their chicks alive through one of the harshest winters on Earth.
They Shall Not Grow Old
Sunday, BBC2, 9.30pm
Oscar-winner Peter Jackson, director of The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit films, is no stranger to epic, ambitious projects, but this documentary may be his most remarkable as he sets out to bring the first World War to life in a way that’s never been seen before. Jackson has used original footage from the Imperial War Museums’ film archive and audio from the BBC to show the realities of war. In addition, Jackson has colourised the film and transformed it with modern production techniques, while lip readers were also used to give the featured soldiers their voices back. The result is a moving and fascinating film that reminds us again that the soldiers were ordinary people who made extraordinary sacrifices. (The film is also in cinemas. See Donald Clark’s review here.)
Extreme Everest with Ant Middleton
Sunday, C4, 9.30pm
Documentary following the presenter and former special forces soldier as he takes on the challenge of climbing to the peak of the highest mountain on Earth, a gruelling 8,848m above sea level. The ascent proves a far more daunting physical challenge than anything Middleton faced in his remarkable military career, and is threatened by an unexpected and potentially life-threatening storm. As he makes his dangerous journey, he is forced to reflect on what drives people to risk their lives to accomplish this goal.
Escape to the Chateau
Sunday, Channel 4, 8.30pm
Dick Strawbridge. his partner Angel Adoree, and their children Arthur and Dorothy throw open the shutters of their French chateau for a new season. Spring is in the air in Pays de la Loire and there are some rather unusual plans afoot. It’s the couple’s fourth year in France and they’re keen to take the interior magic of the 19th-century chateau outside by creating a luxurious glamping experience. But with the first guests booked to arrive at the 45-bedroom castle in just six weeks’ time, have the pair taken on too much?
Additional reporting: PA