TV guide: 11 of the best shows to watch this week

Space is the place Thursday on TG4. Plus the Full Monty for men and women in a good cause, and profiles of Adele and late cancer warrior Emma Hannigan

 

The All New Monty: Who Bares Wins
Monday, UTV, 9pm
In 2017, UTV marked the 20th anniversary of the The Full Monty by convincing a group of male celebrities to perform their own striptease in the hopes of raising awareness of men’s cancers. The resulting show was such a hit that it’s now well on its way to becoming an annual event, as this week a third group of famous men (namely Love Island winner Jack Fincham, Emmerdale’s Kelvin Fletcher, comedian Joe Pasquale, Strictly Come Dancing’s Gorka Marquez, snooker legend Willie Thorne, Crimewatch’s Rav Wilding and Dancing on Ice star Matt Evers) shed their inhibitions. Can they come up with a performance that will make Full Monty veterans Ashley Banjo and Alexander Armstrong proud? The ladies will get in on the act tomorrow.

Speechless
Monday, E4, 7.30pm

Minnie Driver and John Cleese on the set of Speechless.
Minnie Driver and John Cleese on the set of Speechless.

Series three of the family dramedy follows the continuing struggle of one supermom to do her best for her kids, despite obstacles both real and imagined. Minnie Driver returns as Maya DiMeo, a woman driven by her loyalty to her husband Jimmy, and her children, Ray, Dylan and eldest son JJ, who has special needs. In this first episode, the family takes a journey to London so Maya can meet her estranged father (played by John Cleese) and ask for his help. Just don’t mention the war.

Cloch Le Carn
Tuesday, RTÉ One, 7pm

The late Emma Hannigan with Katie Taylor in February 2014. Photograph: Marc O’Sullivan
The late Emma Hannigan with Katie Taylor in February 2014. Photograph: Marc O’Sullivan

A new two-part series of Cloch Le Carn begins with a look at the life and legacy of award-winning author Emma Hannigan, who wrote and published 13 books while battling with breast cancer. Family and friends paint a portrait of a generous-spirited woman who never let her illness dull her zest for life or her infectious energy. Friend and fellow author Kathy Kelly calls Hannigan her “soul sister”, TV chef Rachel Allen reveals that she was “into girl power way before the Spice Girls”, and boxer Katie Taylor fondly recalls Hannigan’s fighting spirit. Before she died, Hannigan published her book Letters to My Daughters, raising more than €136,000 for Breast Cancer Ireland. But the legacy she left cannot be measured in money.

What in the World?
Tuesday, RTÉ One, 11.25pm

An internally displaced Somali woman in Luuq close to the Ethiopian and Kenyan borders
An internally displaced Somali woman in Luuq close to the Ethiopian and Kenyan borders

Not to be confused with Where in the World?, the early 1990s quiz show, this series reports from the developing world, looking at seismic social and political shifts that affect the lives of ordinary people. This is no trip to Disneyland, as Peadar King visits some of the world’s most notorious conflict zones to learn how people survive through war, violence and poverty. In the first episode of the 12th series, King visits Somalia to report on how a country can literally disintegrate.

The All New Monty: Ladies Night
Tuesday, UTV, 9pm
Baring all(ish) this year are tennis icon Martina Navratilova, ex-EastEnder Laurie Brett, Love Island’s Megan Barton-Hanson, So Solid Crew’s Lisa Maffia, Danielle Armstrong from TOWIE and Benidorm’s Crissy Roc, with help from last year’s veterans Coleen Nolan and Victoria Derbyshire. The idea is to raise the awareness of examining breasts for changes and having regular cervical smear tests. Dancing naked may sound a strange way of going about it, but it worked last year, so here’s hoping it does the same again.

Brexit: Behind Closed Doors – Storyville
Wednesday, BBC4, 9pm
With the details and implications of Britain’s exit from the EU still unresolved, this eye-opening two-part film tells the untold story of the Brexit negotiations. It captures off-the-record conversations of the European negotiators, including Guy Verhofstadt, the European Parliament’s Brexit coordinator, as they devise a strategy. It documents how the Europeans’ respect for a formidable negotiating opponent turns into frustration, irritation and ultimately ridicule, as the British fail to present either a united front or a clear goal for the future.

Peter Rice: An Engineer Imagines
Thursday, RTÉ One, 10.15pm
While everyone hails the great starchitects who designed some of the world’s most iconic buildings, we don’t often acknowledge the structural engineers who make it possible to turn vision into reality. Irishman Peter Rice (1935-1992) was one of the greatest structural engineers of the late 20th century, working on the Centre Pompidou in Paris, the Sydney Opera House and the Louvre Pyramid in Paris. This documentary looks at Rice’s life and legacy through mindblowing time-lapse photography. According to Irish Times film critic Donald Clarke in his four-star review earlier this year, the documentary is “maybe a little short of mathematical detail, but its treatment of its subject’s life and philosophy cannot be faulted. There can be no greater compliment than to say it sends one out eager to learn more. Nice photography. Warm interviews.”

A Long Weekend in . . . with Rory O’Connell
Thursday, RTÉ One, 7pm

Rory O’ Connell with a local baker in Palma de Mallorca
Rory O’ Connell with a local baker in Palma de Mallorca

Cork chef Rory O’ Connell’s explores European cities and cuisine in his new eight-part series. In episode one, he travels Palma de Mallorca, where he visits a beautiful art nouveau bakery,an orange o orchard and an exhibition of Picasso’s ceramics in a railway station. Future destinations include Vienna, Lisbon, Madrid, Bath, Nantes, Copenhagen and Edinbugh. “Food becomes much more interesting when seen in context – the culture it is part of, the landscape it’s produced in, the history that has influenced it,” O’Connell says.

Fíorscéal: Battle for the Moon
Thursday, TG4, 10.30pm
This two-part documentary recaps the space race between the Americans and Soviets, which began at the end of the 1950s against the backdrop of the cold war. After a string of successful space flights by the USSR, the US responded by forming Nasa and launching the Mercury programme. The goal was to catch up with the Russians and send a man into space. The Mercury astronauts became the new American heroes, their wives appearing on the front of magazines. Part two next week looks at the Gemini and Apollo programmes, which culminated with the triumph of Apollo 11. On July 20th, 1969, Neil Armstrong became the first human to walk on the Moon.

The Graham Norton Show
Friday, BBC1, 10.35pm

Will Smith in Aladdin
Will Smith in Aladdin

Will Smith and Naomi Scott (Aladdin), Kevin Hart (The Secret Life of Pets) and and Oscar winner Octavia Spencer (Ma) are the latest famous faces to drop by for a chinwaog about their new projects. There’s also live music and stories from the infamous red chair.

Adele: In Her Own Words
Friday, Channel 5, 9pm

Adele onstage during The 59th Grammy Awards on February 12th, 2017. Photograph: Kevin Winter/Getty Images
Adele onstage during the Grammy Awards on February 12th, 2017. Photograph: Kevin Winter/Getty Images

It was recently announced that the singer-songwriter had split from her husband, Old Etonian entrepreneur Simon Konecki, after an eight-year relationship. No doubt this documentary comes too soon to include any personal quotes about that, but the rest of the life and career of Adele Laurie Blue Adkins is covered. Adele was born in north London in 1988 and her rise to stardom was meteoric: her debut album 19 became an eight-times platinum-seller and she’s won numerous awards, including an Oscar for her theme to the James Bond film Skyfall. Here, old school friends reminisce about Adele’s early years while blogger Perez Hilton, pop expert Paul Gambaccini and singer Rumer discuss what make her so special.

Contributing: PA

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