TV guide: 15 of the best shows to watch this week
The GAA and Ireland today, Line of Duty’s Vicky McClure and her dementia choir, and what we talk about when we talk about the weather
Change of seasons: Kathryn Thomas in Weather Live, Tuesday-Thursday on RTÉ One
Banged Up: Teens Behind Bars
Monday, Channel 4, 9pm
Eight British teen tearaways are given a short, sharp shock treatment at one of America’s toughest jails in the hope of dissuading them from a life of crime. This three-parter sees six boys and two girls aged 15 to 17 locked up in central Florida’s Brevard County Jail. It’s home to 1,600 prisoners charged with crimes ranging from theft and prostitution to multiple murder. The teens, most of who have had run-ins with the police, will spend seven days behind bars. They will also work on a chain gang alongside inmates, and have to perform tough military-style drills.
Monday , RTÉ One, 8.30pm
This four-part series, filmed over the summer championships of 2018, takes a fresh look at Cumann Lúthchleas Gael. The first episode follows former Kerry footballer Dara Ó Cinnéide as he travels Ireland during the All-Ireland Football Championship campaign, asking the question: if there is an increasing commercial value to the games, how does this affect the intrinsic and traditional values of the GAA? Future episodes will look at the impact the GAA has on the Irish community abroad, the Carlow footballers on their summer of dreams, and why Dublin has been so successful in recent times.
The Curry House Kid
Monday, Channel 4, 10pm
At one point there were 12,000 curry houses in Britain, many run by Bangladeshi immigrants. Akram Khan’s dad was one of them, and he thought his son would inherit the family business. But Akram had other ideas; he was more keen on dancing than making dhansak, and now he’s one of the world’s leading choreographers. This film sees him return to the curry houses of his youth. Akram meets the chefs who created this culinary institution in the face of hostility and often violent racism. He comes face to face with his family history and discusses the reasons he became a dancer. The documentary also features a poetic new piece of dance that examines the immigrant experience in Britain.
Tuesday-Thurday, RTÉ One, 7pm
We talk enough about the weather, so why not have a whole midweek dedicated to Ireland’s favourite topic? Over three evenings, Kathryn Thomas hosta this live audience show direct from the micro-climate of the National Botanic Gardens. All aspects of the weather will be discussed, from Ireland’s recent heatwaves to the Beast from the East, while resident boffin Phil Smyth will explain the science behind various weather events. Hurling legend Henry Shefflin will drop by to talk about the weather on Hill 16, and actor Aoibhin Garrihy and her husband, John Burke, will ascend Carrauntoohil – an easy stroll for an Everest climber like Burke. And comedian Colm O’Regan will talk about the unique way the Irish have of talking about the weather.
Bake Off: The Professionals
Tuesday, Channel 4, 8pm
The recent run of The Great Celebrity Bake Off for Stand Up to Cancer gave us a chance to check out the talents of some amateur bakers. Caroline Flack and Georgia “Toff” Toffolo created showstoppers that lived up to their billing for all the wrong reasons, while Joe Wilkinson seemed genuinely surprised to discover he was quite good. Now the real experts are in action as Liam Charles and Tom Allen return to welcome more teams from top hotels, restaurants and small businesses. In the first of two heats, judges Cherish Finden and Benoit Blin challenge six duos to craft two batches of Linzer tortes and Bakewell tarts, before giving them five hours to reinvent the humble red velvet cake as an extraordinary showpiece.
Wednesday, TG4, 9.30pm
We tend to take the tide for granted: it comes in, it goes out – what more do we need to know? But what do we really know about tides and their impact on coastal areas and the lives of those who live there? This three-part series explores how tides work, how we predict them, and how our knowledge of tides has developed over the centuries. It’s a collaborative effort between three Celtic countries, led by Welsh and Scottish production companies, and if you think this is a bit of a wishy-washy subject, note that this series has stirred up huge interest from international broadcasters. So never underestimate the power of the tide.
Wednesday, BBC1, 8pm
Matt Allwright, Steph McGovern and Nikki Fox return with a shocking report revealing serious safety concerns over some of Britain’s best-known companies. The team also tackles a problem that more viewers have been in touch about than almost any other: unravelling how you could find yourself being billed for mobile phone services you never agreed to. And, in Rogue Traders, one of the most audacious scams to date is caught on camera. How will the trader react when they realise their lies have been rumbled?
Wednesday, UTV, 9pm
Twin medics Chris and Xand Van Tulleken are back in a three-part series in which children between four and seven have their reactions to various challenges measured. The idea is to investigate how youngsters from Britain and across the world experience life, as well as their approaches to risk-taking, independence, morality and gender awareness. The first episode introduces us to Michi (6) from Japan, who travels alone across Tokyo to get to school. There’s also a chance to find out how well British kids (and their parents) cope with a little independence.
Forensics: The Real CSI
Wedneday, BBC2, 9pm
This fascinating new series goes behind the scenes to find out how crimes are investigated and the crucial role cutting-edge forensic science plays in bringing villains to justice. The run begins after a shooting has taken place. The team must identify the gunman from evidence he left at the scene of the crime while establishing the cause of death of a body found in suspicious circumstances.
Border Country: When Ireland Was Divided
Thursday, RTÉ One, 10.15pm
For this definitive documentary, some 100 years of archival footage is woven, together with the stories of people whose lives have been affected by the crucial dividing line along the Border counties. The Border between the UK and the Republic of Ireland has meandered across rural Irish farmlands since its creation in 1922. From the moment the Border was put in place, it changed the way people lived. Customs posts and smuggling, army control towers and terror attacks eventually became the stuff of everyday life. Some of the most unconscionable murders of the Troubles took place along the border’s 300-mile route.Throughout this time, film crews and journalists have attempted to explain the Border’s absurdities and contradictions – and the turmoil it can cause. Often arriving at times of crisis, every journalist asks some version of this question: Is the Border the source of the trouble, or is it merely a symptom?
When I Grow Up
Thursday, Channel 4, 8pm
Some kids believe they can grow up to be anything they like, but by primary school, many may feel they have fairly limited options, if only because there’s a world of careers out there that they’ve never been exposed to. This experiment, designed to promote social mobility, takes group of seven- to nine-year-olds from a broad range of backgrounds and puts them to work in a business. First up, a group of six youngsters are let loose at Hello! magazine, where they will run a VIP event, stages a photo shoot with Myleene Klass and cover a royal engagement by Prince Charles. Hopefully, it will open their eyes to new opportunities – and result in a unique edition of Hello!.
Our Dementia Choir with Vicky McClure
Thursday, BBC1, 8pm
She’s best known as DI Kate Fleming in Line of Duty, but Vicky McClure also has another role as an ambassador for the Alzheimer’s Society. She saw for herself the effect of dementia through caring for her grandmother Iris, who died from the disease in 2015. McClure has also witnessed how music therapy can change the lives of patients and the people who love and care for them, and with this new two-part documentary she hopes to spread the word even further by forming a special band and choir.
The Late Late Show Country Special
Friday, RTÉ One, 9.35pm
Yee-hah! It’s that time of the year again, when Ryan Tubridy dons the stetson and corrals another bunch of balladeers into the Late Late studio for country music extravaganza. At press time we had no idea who’s joining Ryan for this hootenanny, but we’re promised some of the biggest names on the scene. One star who will definitely be there is Nathan Carter, who will be joined onstage by the lucky winner of the programme’s “Search for a Country Star” contest. I’ve already ordered in the hog roast.
Friday, Channel 4, 7.30pm
“Freedom of the Press” has long been a key phrase for journalists who are keen to ensure they have the ability to simply gather and deliver the news. In Nicaragua, some reporters can only dream of such freedom. President Daniel Ortega has launched a crackdown on the independent media in a country dominated by economic chaos and civil disruption. Reporter Sahar Zand and Director Roeland Doust travel to this Central American nation and visit the newsroom of the country’s oldest newspaper, independent TV studios and a blogger’s home. There’s also a look at other news-gatherers who have decided the only way to survive is to flee.
Jazz 625 Live: For One Night Only
Friday, BBC4, 9pm
This 90-minute feast for the ears pays tribute to the iconic 1960s BBC Two jazz show of the same name. Broadcast from the Cheltenham Jazz Festival and hosted by Andi Oliver, the live strand will feature a house band and guests including Gregory Porter, the Rolling Stones’ Charlie Watts, Joshua Redman, Jacqui Dankworth and Cleo Laine. Plus, there will be a chance to see archive material from the original series, along with features and interviews reflecting on a classic time in Jazz.