Seven of the best TV shows to watch this week
Ryan O’Shaughnessy sings for Ireland in the first Eurovision semi-final while The Bridge returns
Riot Girls: Four of the UK’s most outspoken, exciting female comics go on the rampage in this prank show
Peter Kay’s Car Share Unscripted
Monday, BBC One, 10pm
Fans of Peter Kay – and there are many – will delight at the (slight) return of this charming hit series, which revolves around a very simple premise: two co-workers driving home in the car chatting and listening to the radio.
Kay stars as John with Sian Gibson as Kayleigh in a one-off episode in which the pair throw the script out the car window and improvise their way through the commute. Should be no problem for the veteran comedian and his talented passenger.
“We were always very fond of ad libbing around the script when we were filming the series so we decided to see what would happen if we took the script away and just relied on our chemistry alone, reacting to whatever came on the radio,” says Kay.
The Eurovision Song Contest
Tuesday, RTÉ2, 8pm
Live from Lisbon in Portugal, 19 countries compete for 10 places in next Saturday’s final. Ireland has not made it to the final since 2013 and the country’s hopes rest on the shoulders of Ryan O’Shaughnessy, who sings in tonight’s semi. The second semi-final takes place on Thursday.
Later Live – with Jools Holland
Tuesday, BBC2, 10pm
Return of the live music programme fronted by the indefatigable besuited Jool Holland. The new series kicks off with Snow Patrol, who 22 years on from their debut, will perform songs from their seventh studio album, Wildness. South London’s Shame feature songs from their debut LP Songs of Praise, and there’s also a chance to hear Detroit-raised soul singer Bettye Lavette, Plus, Tower of Power celebrate their 50th anniversary with an appearance, along with rising Northumberland singer-songwriter Jade Bird, and singer/actor Plan B (aka Ben Drew), who performs songs from his fourth album, Heaven Before All Hell Breaks Loose.
The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story
Wednesday, RTÉ2, 9.30pm
In case you missed it on the BBC earlier this year, here’s the second in the acclaimed true-crime docudrama series, this one focusing on Andrew Cunanan, the charming but ruthless drifter who embarked on a killing spree across America in 1997, culminating in the murder of fashion designer Gianni Versace in Miami.
The first series, The People Vs OJ Simpson, is a hard act to follow but it does a fine job of recreating the heady glamour of the fashion world, and re-enacting Cunanan’s horrific murders. Darren Criss stars as Cunanan, with Ricky Martin as Versace’s boyfriend and Penelope Cruz as Donatella Versace.
The Royal Wives of Windsor
Thursday, TV3, 10pm
The media is having a merry old time ramping up the anticipation for the upcoming royal nuptials, and here’s a two-part documentary to remind us that Meghan Markle won’t be the first royal wife to shake up the monarchy, and she probably won’t be the last. Jeremy Paxman, Giles Brandreth, Andrew Morton and a host of historians and biographers scratch their chins and look a how the British royal family has had to adapt to the arrival of a new girl on the Buckingham block, from Wallis Simpson to Diana Spencer, and from Camilla Parker-Bowles to Kate Middleton. The programme also looks at the fiery hoops the bride-to-be has to jump through as she marries into the royal family: including huge public scrutiny and a hungry media digging for skeletons in the closet. At the end of it you’ll wonder if it wouldn’t be easier to pass over the prince and stick with the nice, uncomplicated frogs.
Thursday, C4, 10pm
Apparently Grace Campbell, Sophie Duker, Jen Wakefield and Cam Spence are some of the UK’s most outspoken and exciting comedic talents. Collectively they’re known as the Riot Girls, and Channel 4 has given them their own series. According to Channel 4’s press office, they’re also funny and forthright feminists who draw attention to a few of the issues close to their hearts by carrying out pranks, stunts and sketches. Their first programme as a collective is a half hour pilot for a prospective series. Among the highlights are their take on the gender pay gap via the “gappuccino”, and tips on dealing with a new phenomenon sweeping across public transport – “wo-manspreading”.
Friday, BBC Two, 9pm
Scandi-noir’s not dead yet and here’s a new series of acclaimed drama The Bridge to prove there’s still life in the old(ish) crime genre.
Sofia Helin returns as Swedish police detective Saga Noren, with Henrik Sabroe as her Danish counterpart Thure Lindhardt. It starts – as usual – with the discovery of a woman’s body on an island at the base of the Oresund bridge. When she is identified as a high-up official in the migration services, it’s suspected her murder may be linked to a recent deportation case that hit news headlines. Lindhardt needs Noren’s help to crack this case. Only problem is, Saga is banged up in jail, convicted of murdering her mother. This is the fourth and final series of The Bridge, so maybe this really is the final curtain for Scandi-noir.