Nine of the best TV shows to watch this weekend
Eurovision mania kicks off on the ‘Late Late’ while self-confessed quiz nut Jeremy Clarkson hosts special edition of ‘Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?’
Who Wants to Be a Millionaire’s new host, Jeremy Clarkson. Photograph: PR company handout
The Late Late Show
Friday, RTÉ 1, 9.35pm
As Eurovision mania kicks into gear with Ireland’s Ryan O’Shaughnessy all set to sing Together in the first semi-final on Tuesday, past Irish winners Paul Harrington, Charlie McGettigan and Linda Martin will perform some of the contest’s biggest hits. There’ll also be, hopefully, a bit fun and mayhem as they join Jake Carter, Ronan Johnston and Rory Cowan in a game of “Eurovision Spin and Sing”. We’re quite taken with the idea of Linda Martin belting out Hard Rock Hallelujah, Lordi’s 2006 winning slice of stomping Finnish heavy metal.
Speaking of slices, The Happy Pear twins Dave and Steve Flynn will be on hand with tasty tips on how to get younger eaters into eating veg, while Gordon Snell, husband of the much-loved and much missed writer Maeve Binchy,who died six years ago, talks about their life together and the continuing impact of her work.
The Graham Norton Show
BBC1, Friday 11.05pm
Actor and I Feel Pretty star Amy Schumer was lined up to appear but has been forced to pull out after being hospitalised with a kidney infection. Instead, comic Stephen Mangan and singer Jess Glynne will be joined by Emilia Fox and comedian Johnny Vegas.
Friday, RTÉ One, 8.30pm
Ireland’s boglands are a vital resource, a haven for a variety of flora and fauna, and a natural habitat that helps prevent flooding and can even counteract the adverse effects of climate change. But Ireland’s bogs are under threat from millennia of exploitation, and Turf Life, made in conjunction with Bord na Móna, looks at efforts to restore them to their former glory. This is no bog-standard documentary – presenters Derek Mooney and Sinead Kennedy head to Lough Borra Bog in Co Offaly to see the efforts being made to bring our boglands back from the brink.
High and Dry
Friday, C4, 10.30pm
Even on an island paradise, hell is other people. Such is the neat premise of Marc Wootton’s new comedy about castaways who survive a plane crash. There are some good one-liners but, in this opener at least, Wootton – best known for creating fake psychic Shirley Ghostman – is the star and writer who plays a garish sociopath, flight attendant Brett, who takes over in an overbearing flight-attendanty way once the survivors get their bearings on the desert island.
The Ray D’Arcy Show
Saturday, RTÉ 1, 9:40pm
Dublin GAA player Nicole Owens will be one of hundreds of thousands of people all over the country who will walk from darkness into light for Pieta House’s annual event. She talks about the highs of playing and winning the All Ireland final at Croke Park after years of struggling with mental health problems.
With rising rent prices making the headlines again, Irish Times columnist David McWilliams will give his always insightful views on the inflated property market, going back to the boom times, and whether or not he thinks we’ll go bust.
Keith Broni is one of the world’s first emoji consultant, who helps companies navigate their way through a growing emoji minefield. He’ll teach us when and how to use this ever-growing and popular way to communicate. :-)
Not to be left out of Eurovision mania, D’Arcy will have a live chat all the way from Lisbon with Ryan O’Shaughnessy.
Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?
Saturday, TV3, 9.15pm
What do you do when you want to revive one of the most popular TV quiz shows in celebration of its 20th anniversary? Phone a friend, of course. And the producers of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? did just that – as they called up The Grand Tour host and self-confessed quiz nut Jeremy Clarkson to step into Chris Tarrant’s shoes and present a special week-long run of the show. It could be a genius move – or the ultimate hatewatch TV of the year. The usual rules will apply – Ask the Audience, 50:50 and the aforementioned Phone a Friend – as the contestants sweat and fret their way to the magical 15th and final £1 million question; however, we are promised that there will be a few new twists along the way too.
Sunday, RTÉ 1, 6.30pm
Our Wild Island goes international with Derek Mooney broadcasting live to Europe from the banks of Dublin’s River Liffey, while wildlife film-maker Colin Stafford-Johnson will be presenting from the Blasket Islands.
This one-hour programme will feature some of Europe’s extraordinary wildlife, from polar bears in the Norwegian Arctic, to wild horses in southern Spain, to basking sharks off the west of Ireland. Viewers can take part by sharing their own pictures and videos of nature and wildlife using #naturelive from wherever they live in Europe.
Bake Off: The Professionals
Sunday, C4, 8pm
When The Great British Bake Off moved from the BBC to Channel 4 it was headline news, but there wasn’t quite as much speculation about what that would mean for the future of Bake Off: Crème de la Crème. Perhaps it’s because the spin-off never quite captured the public’s imagination in the same way as the main show – the first series in particular was arguably hampered by a complicated scoring system and too many competitors. But now the format is coming to Channel 4 with a new name, Bake Off: Professionals and two new presenters in the shape of comedian Tom Allen and 2017 Bake Off contestant (and viewer favourite) Liam Charles. Judges Cherish Finden and Benoit Blin are back though, ready to rank the efforts of professional duos from around the UK.
The Great House Revival
Sunday, RTÉ One, 9.30pm
Ireland has gone home-improvement crazy, as we all flock to the (beautifully designed) altar of Dermot Bannon to gasp at his latest feat of gaffe-restoration.
Such is our appetite for programmes like this, it seems there’s no shortage of room to improve. It won’t be long now before the plotlines of Fair City revolve around Jim putting in a new bathroom, or Katy getting locked up in a brand new attic conversion. The Great House Revival goes beyond the quick fix-up or lick of paint – the participants have taken on the gargantuan task of transforming their derelict, dilapidated properties into a dream home of the 21st century.
Architect Hugh Wallace oversees these daunting projects and it’s no surprise to learn that the series was two years in the making. The properties include country estates, farmhouses, cottages and Georgian buildings, and for many it’s a race against time to bring the houses back from rack and ruin.