TV guide: 16 of the best shows to watch this week
Michael O’Brien inspires his Wexford hurling heroes, the legacy of Jade Goody 10 years on, plus Aisling Bea and Sharon Horgan reteam and new Italian thriller on More4
Davy Fitzgerald and Michael O’Brien on the pitch before the Allianz Hurling League Division 1A Round 3 match between Wexford and Tipperary at Innovate Wexford Park on February 17th, 2019. Photograph: Matt Browne/Sportsfile
When Michael Met Davy
Monday, RTÉ One, 6.30pm
Killarney 11-year-old Michael O’Brien stole the hearts of the nation when 1.5 million people watched him review braille books on the Late Late Toy Show and meet his sporting hero, Davy Fitzgerald. This heart-warming documentary follows the visually impaired Michael as he rises to Fitzgerald’s challenge of giving the Wexford hurling team a motivational talk before one of their biggest games of their championship season. We follows Michael at home and in school as he prepares for his big day, and sees him deliver his speech to the hurlers. Will Michael’s speech make any difference to the Wexford team on the day?
Stacey Meets the IS Brides – Panorama
Monday, BBC1, 8.30pm
In 2016, Stacey Dooley travelled to northern Iraq to meet members of an all-female Yazidi battalion preparing to take on Islamic State. Dooley later presented Face to Face with Isis, in which she sought justice for young women whose lives had been changed forever by the jihadists. Now she fronts this documentary in which she travels to Kurdish-controlled northern Syria to meet western women who left their home countries to join Islamic State, but are now living in holding camps. Dooley investigates what’s next for these women – and, in some cases, their children.
Who Do You Think You Are?
Monday, BBC1, 9pm
In a first for the series, two related celebrities join forces to investigate their family tree. Comedian/actor Jack Whitehall and his father Michael learn about a tragedy that left Michael’s grandfather an orphan, and also follow their lineage back to Wales in the 1830s, where they find out about their Tory ancestor and his role fighting against the Chartist political and social reform movement.
The Conjoined Twins: An Impossible Decision
Monday, BBC2, 9pm
Conjoined twins Marieme and Ndeye have separate hearts and lungs, but Marieme’s heart is very weak and her life expectancy is poor. If she dies, her stronger sister will die with her. As the girls’ health deteriorates, their father Ibrahima and staff at Great Ormond Street Hospital are forced to decide whether a separation should be considered. This programme tracks the journey of Ibrahima and the medical team as they wrestle with is a seemingly impossible decision.
Born Famous: Gordon Ramsay
Monday, Channel 4, 10pm
In this new four-part series, the children of famous people discover what their lifestyle might have been like had their parents never found fame by returning to their roots. The programme was made by Gordon Ramsay’s production outfit, so it’s fitting that his eldest son, Jack, is among those involved; he spends time in Bretch Hill, Oxfordshire, where his father lived before becoming the international success we know today. On future show, Spice Girl Mel B’s daughter Phoenix Chi hangs out in her mother’s native Leeds; Bethany, offspring of Ultimo founder Michelle Mone, moves to the east end of Glasgow; and Ria, retired footballer Paul Ince’s daughter, spends time in Dagenham.
The Parachute Murder Plot
Monday, Virgin Two, 10pm
This documentary, which first aired last October on UTV, follows the che case of a British army sergeant who attempted to murder his wife by tampering with her parachute. Emile Cilliers sabotaged the equipment that he knew his wife, Victoria, a highly experienced instructor, was going to use, but she survived the 4,000ft fall in Wiltshire on Easter Sunday 2015. Cilliers, who was plagued with debt, had hoped to cash in on his wife’s life insurance payout to start a new life with his lover. Instead, he was jailed for life. Fiona Bruce looks back at the case, analysing police tapes and speaking to some of those directly involved.
I Am Hannah
Tuesday, Channel 4, 10pm
Hannah (Gemma Chan), a single woman with a successful career, struggles with her mother’s demands that she start a family before it is too late, and feels under further pressure as she watches her friends settle down and have children. Seeking a deeper meaning in her life, Hannah goes on a series of disastrous dates that only leave her further mired in insecurity and anguish. She eventually meets a man she feels she can both love and trust – but remains uncertain whether they can have a future together.
Save Money: Good Health
Tuesday, UTV, 7.30pm
The new series kicks off with a summer travel special. With cases of skin cancer on the rise, it’s essential we use the right suncream. Journalist Sian Williams discovers what we should be looking for on the bottle and whether cheap supermarket varieties can offer as much protection as more expensive branded products. Dr Ranj Singh pulls together the ultimate travel health kit on a budget. There is also a look at combating travel sickness the most effective and best value for money vitamin supplements.
Wednesday, BBC1, 9pm
New series. From the ancient temples of Angkor Wat in Cambodia to the Shaolin Temple in China, discover what people do for faith in some of the most stunning sacred places on Earth. In the opening episode, a man who believes the Angkor Wat temples are home to his ancestral spirits risks his life to save them from the jungle, while a Buddhist warrior monk at the Shaolin Temple faces a test that could change the course of his life forever.
Jade: The Reality Star Who Changed Britain
Wednesday, Channel 4, 9pm
In 2002, 20-year-old Jade Goody entered the Big Brother house. Goody only finished fourth, but she was an instant celebrity and a tabloid favourite who would go on to become a million-pound brand. However, this early reality TV fairy tale wouldn’t have a happy ending. Goody was always a divisive figure, and the criticism surrounding her intensified following her appearance on Celebrity Big Brother in 2007. A year later, she was diagnosed with cervical cancer and died in 2009 aged just 27. This three-parter looks at how Goody’s rise mirrors the changes then taking place in Britain, and how it touches on many hugely relevant issues, including class, gender, race and the power and pitfalls of reality TV.
Sean Lock: Keep It Light
Wednesday, Channel 4, 10.35pm
As anyone who has ever watched YouTube compilations of his 8 Out of 10 Cats or QI best bits will tell you, Sean Lock is extremely good value on panel shows. He’s arguably even better when given a chance to stretch out a bit – many fans still wish his gem of a sitcom, 15 Storeys High, had been given a bigger chance to find an audience back in the early 2000s. Luckily, he’s still got his stand-up career through which to channel his mix of surreal imagery and observational humour. And despite his dour persona, he’s promising to keep it light in this stand-up show as he muses on the price of cinema food, midlife crises, internet behaviour and, on a less relatable note, jewellery heists.
The Secret Teacher
Thursday, Channel 4, 9pm
Remember Secret Millionaire, the show in which rich businessmen and women went undercover in impoverished neighbourhoods? Now Channel 4 is putting a twist on the format with this series, in which successful entrepreneurs, who were labelled as failures at school, go undercover in the classroom. As well as learning more about the realities of the 21st-century education system, they will also try to identify youngsters who could benefit from their support. First up is marketing mogul Paul Rowlett, who is shocked by the facilities in a Hertfordshire secondary school.
This Way Up
Thursday, Channel 4, 10pm
Aisling Bea and Sharon Horgan first played siblings in the short-lived BBC3 series Dead Boss in 2012 and, according to Bea, have stayed in character ever since by going out on drunken nights out together. Now they’re getting another chance to be sisters in this new sitcom, which was written by Bea. She stars as Aine, who teaches English as a foreign language while trying to recover from a recent breakdown. Horgan is Shona, who worries about her younger sibling as well as her own life choices. In the opening episode, Aine turns to an old friend after being ditched from a dinner party, and Shona makes a new mate.
Who Do You Think You Are?
Thursday, RTÉ One, 9.35pm
Comedian, actor and author Ruby Wax lives in London with her husband, but was born and raised an only child in the United States. Her parents, Edmund and Berta Wachs left Vienna ion the eve of the second World War and settled in Chicago, where they later changed the spelling of the family surname to Wax. “They were fleeing because they were Jewish and they took the war with them and brought it to our kitchen,” Ruby recalls. “Then, finally, when I was 18, I came to London because I needed safety. They escaped out of Europe and I escaped back into it again.”
Thursday, Channel 5, 9pm
Over 40 million people visited Las Vegas in 2018; what makes so many people flock to Sin City? This documentary series meets some of the characters and hears the stories that make the gambling mecca one of the most fun-filled cities on Earth. Tonight, a high-rolling millionaire arrives from Texas to hit the roulette tables and gamble tens of thousands of dollars. But luck is not on his side as he loses spin after spin. Meanwhile, theatre impresario David Saxe searches for new talent for his long-running production Vegas! The Show.
Thou Shalt Not Kill
Friday, More4, 9pm
Walter Presents’ latest offering is a haunting Italian drama (originally called Non Uccidere), set in Turin, about a determined homicide detective with a talent for solving the challenging puzzles behind crimes motivated by jealousy, vendettas and repressed anger. In tonight’s opener, the body of 15-year-old girl is found in a flooded basement. Her father hears the news while at a TV studio where he has gone to make an appeal regarding her disappearance. Inspector Valeria Ferro (Miriam Leone) immediately grabs the reins of the investigation.