TV guide: 19 of the best shows to watch this week
Joe Duffy’s Children of the Troubles, plus teen hit The End of the F***ing World, Holby City’s 1,000th, Catherine Fulvio cookin', and Donal Skeehan’s fast foods
Joe Duffy and Freya McClements in Children of the Troubles
Children of the Troubles
Monday, RTÉ One, 9.35pm (repeated Tues, 11.15pm)
Following on from their acclaimed book, broadcaster Joe Duffy and Irish Times correspondent Freya McClements meet the families of some of the children who were killed in Northern Ireland during the Troubles, in the process exploring the long-term impact on families, friends and communities following the loss of these young lives. The programme looks at the history of the Troubles through the eyes of these young victims, many of whom would have remained nameless were it not for the research done by Duffy and McClements. “How were children who were killed on this island, 40, 30, 20 years ago, how come their names never made it into the newspapers?” asks Duffy. With the threat of a no-deal Brexit and the possible return of a hard border, Children of the Troubles could serve as a warning to ensure that the next generation are not doomed to live – or die – in another endless cycle of violence.
Tastes Like Home
Monday, RTÉ One, 7.30pm
Six incredible cities, 12 emotive families, and food cooked with a passion is the recipe for this year’s fourth season of Tastes Like Home. Hosted by chef Catherine Fulvio, the show promises to serve up delicious recipes steeped in tradition and a flavour of incredible culture and sights from locations across the world. Tastes Like Home tells stories from Irish people who refuse to let the physical distance from home curb their appetite for a home-cooked meal. In episode one, Fulvio meets Drimnagh woman Rosemary Wilson, who learns how to make her daughter’s favourite dish before travelling to Paris to re-create it for her.
The End of the F***ing World
Monday-Thursday, Channel 4, 10pm
Teen runaways return – sort of – in a second series based on the graphic novel by Charles Forsman. In the first series, James – who reckons he’s a psychopath and just needs to murder someone to prove it – runs away with Alyssa. She thinks they’re going off on a big, romantic adventure together; he’s just looking for a chance to try out his psychopath schtick. I don’t need to recap the first series for you, but you can guess that Alyssa didn’t meet a grisly end at the hands of James. Series two sees Alyssa (Jessica Barden) doing what all people in second series do: dealing with the fallout from the events of the first series. James, on the other hand . . . well, where’s James? He seems to have fallen off the edge of the world. Presumably we’ll find what became of him soon enough, but I’m guessing he’s not dead either.
Junior Bake Off
Monday-Friday, Channel 4, 5pm
The Great British Bake Off has only just ended, but C4 already has a readymade replacement to keep fans happy: a junior version of the contest for 9- to 15-year-old. Harry Hill is the presenter while Prue Leith and former Bake Off contestant Liam Charles are the judges. The programme will air each weekday and the format is slightly different as 20 young bakers enter the tent, divided into various heats, with those coming out on top after two challenges making it through to the grand final.
A British Guide to the End of the World
Monday, BBC4, 9pm
To mark the 30th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, this documentary addresses circumstances that led to the end of the cold war. It examines Britain’s mission to have its own nuclear force; a controversial yet fascinating topic for millions. The film uses largely unseen archive and testimonies from people directly involved in and affected by Britain’s nuclear ambitions as the country prepared itself for a possible nuclear attack.
Meet the Bears
Monday, BBC2, 9pm
Whether you think they are cute and cuddly or downright terrifying, bears are definitely adaptable. Hugh Bonneville narrates a documentary looking at the habits of the family of animals and the skills they have developed to survive a range of environments around the world. The film explores how bears have overcome the challenges of life – from finding food and raising the cubs to confronting rivals and habitat loss – all thanks to brains, brawn and a remarkable ability to adapt. Part of the Natural World strand.
MasterChef: The Professionals
Tuesday-Thursday, BBC2, 8pm
New series. Gregg Wallace hosts the opening week of the culinary contest, which sees the first six professional chefs competing for a place in this week’s quarter final. Half of the competitors are challenged by Marcus Wareing to prepare poached guinea fowl breast with a sauce Robert, while Monica Galetti sets the rest the challenge of making hand-cut tagliatelle with a lamb ragu. Finally, they must prepare a signature dish to decide who will stay on and who will be eliminated.
Tuesday, BBC1, 8pm
The 1000th episode of the long-running medical drama (since January 1999) sees Jac performing a milestone heart-transplant procedure. However, her personal demons threaten to cloud her judgment, while an old friend returns and is shocked by how much she has changed. The hospital celebrates its 150th birthday with a bonfire party, and Fletch arranges a show-stopping event with some special guests. Joy is hard to find in the post-op ward, where Ric is still recovering from his brain operation and fears he will never be the same man again.
Rick Stein’s Secret France
Tuesday, BBC2, 9pm
There was once a time when France was the destination for gastronomes across the globe. Its food was unbeatable, with seemingly every eaterie offering a taste sensation. But things have apparently changed. “My friends tell me that France is no longer the place for good food,” says Rick Stein. “They say the towns and villages that have been touched by tourism are now all the same. But I guess I’m a bit of a romantic and I’d like to prove them wrong.” As a result, Stein is embarking on a culinary journey that takes him the length and breadth of the country. He’s avoiding the tourist hotspots in favour of back roads and charming towns and villages in search of cafes and restaurants with inventive menus.
Opry le Daniel
Opry le Daniel is back for its 9th series coming from the Millennium Forum in Derry. Presenter Daniel O’Donnell will be joined by top Irish entertainer Roly Daniels, who will perform such favourite as Mr Jones and Hello Darling. He will speak about his life since he moved from India and show why he remains perennially popular.
Mary Kills People
Tuesday, More4, 12.05am
You might recall this Canadian drama about an ER doctor (Caroline Dhavernas). By day Mary Harris helps save lives; at night, with the help of a former plastic surgeon, she moonlights as an underground angel of death. In the first of the new run, the death retreat is up and running. However, its disguise as a legitimate hospice is crumbling and with it the vision that Mary and Des had of continuing their work in quiet secrecy. However, when one death fails to go as planned, Mary’s family and the work she loves is in jeopardy.
Donal’s Super Food in Minutes
Wednesday, RTÉ One, 8.30pm
Donal Skehan is back for a new series of making cooking look deceptively easy. We all have busy lives, and precious little time to spend in the kitchen preparing complex meals from recipe books that resemble technical manuals, so Skehan is here to show us how to whip up tasty, healthy and – most importantly – trendy meals with a minimum of ingredients and in double-quick time. Many of these recipes are designed to be cooked up in 30 minutes or less, but Skehan is a serious kitchen ninja, and pretty handy with those ginzu knives, so us ordinary mortals may need to allocate a little more time to master the recipes. Best to record this so you can slow it down and pause it at crucial moments.
Ar ais go Berlin ’89
Thursday, RTÉ One, 10.15pm
Back in November 1989 RTÉ Cláracha Gaeilge’s daily programme Cúrsaí was the first and only RTÉ programme to hot foot it to Berlin to bring the story of the fall of the Berlin Wall to Irish viewers. Seán Ó Méalóid was the intrepid reporter who witnessed this moment in history. To mark the 30th anniversary of the Fall of the Wall, Cláracha Gaeilge celebrate this unique moment and recapture the tension, excitement and emotion which was felt not only in Berlin but right around the world. Then, all the talk was of tearing down walls, opening borders and bringing people together, Ar ais go Berlin ’89 is more than just a nostalgic trip down memory lane – 30 years on, divisive identity politics are on the rise globally.
The Works Presents
Thursday, RTÉ One, 11.05pm
The Works Presents returns with a new five-part series in which John Kelly meets key Irish figures from the arts. In conversation, they share insights into how and why they work in their chosen fields. The poet Paula Meehan is one of the best known and distinctive voices . A former Ireland Professor of Poetry, her work is not only critically acclaimed but with poems such as The Statue of the Virgin at Granard Speaks, has also entered the public consciousness. Meehan has published seven collections of poetry, for which she has won numerous awards. Born in 1955 as the eldest of six, Meehan spent her early years in the old tenements on the corner of Sean McDermott and Gardiner streets. Her family history and ties to Monto, the redlight district of inner city Dublin are the subject of her new collection, due to be published next year.
Fíorscéal: Tourist Go Home!
Thursday, TG4, 10.30pm
Europe’s urban tourism is experiencing an unprecedented boom, meaning cities such as Venice, Barcelona and Dubrovnik can no longer cope with the crowds and are on the verge of collapse. The profiteers are international consortiums and investors that support a kind of tourism that brings profits only to a few and socialises the losses. The residents have had enough. Protest movements are emerging in all three cities. We meet mayors, tourism experts, political activists, residents and victims and ask if these cities can still be saved.
Seal le Dáithí
Thursday, TG4, 7.30pm
Dáithí Ó Sé’s guest is Darach Ó Murchú, who qualified in engineering and worked for a time in Silicon Valley. He had the ideal life but, realising that something was missing, left this life behind to go mountaineering. He then returned to the birthplace of his mother in Co Kerry to teach foraging and mountaineering and everything to do with nature.
London Calling: Cold War Letters
Thursday, BBC4, 8pm
Between 1955 and 1975, the BBC’s World service programme Letters Without Signature broadcast letters that gave voice to the silenced people of East Germany by inviting them to secretly write into a radio programme. Letters arrived in the thousands. This film examines the impact of the show on both the peopleof East Germany – who faced imprisonment if discovered – and the producers in London. Cameras also focus on its mysterious presenter, Austin Harrison, who announced different postal addresses every few weeks at the end of the show.
Live at the Apollo
Thursday, BBC2, 11.45pm
Tom Allen is the host for the first in a new run of stand-up showcases, performed in front of a live audience at London’s Hammersmith Apollo. Each show features sets from two of Britain’s most acclaimed up-and-coming comedians, and this week it is Rosie Allen and Kae Kurd taking to the stage. Performers set to appear in this series include Sindhu Vee, Alex Edelman, Lou Sanders, Darren Harriott, Jessica Fostekew, Stephen Bailey, Desiree Burch, Paul McCaffrey, Jonny Pelham, Ardal O’Hanlon, Sara Barron, Mawaan Rizwan, Guz Khan, Kiri Pritchard-McLean, Rhys James, Sarah Pascoe, Chris McCausland and Flo & Joan.
The Graham Norton Show
Friday, BBC1, 10.35pm
Olivia Colman takes over from Claire Foy as Queen Elizabeth II when award-winning historical drama The Crown returns to Netflix for its third season a week on November 17th.Tonight, the host chats to the Oscar-winner about the role, as well as her costar Helena Bonham Carter, who joins the series as Princess Margaret. Black Panther star Chadwick Boseman discusses his role in new conspiracy thriller 21 Bridges, while Richard Ayoade talks about his book Ayoade on Top and the recent series of Travel Man on Channel 4. Finally, former One Direction singer Niall Horan performs his single Nice to Meet Ya.
Friday, Channel 4, 7.30pm
This award-winning foreign affairs strand returns with a film exploring the aftermath of Hurricane Dorian’s rampage through the Bahamas in August. In its aftermath, reporter Seyi Rhodes uncovers the dark story of how Haitian migrants have been left homeless and now, prohibited from rebuilding, are being deported by the government. They live with families who are in hiding after their homes were wrecked and their documents lost. Their futures are now uncertain with the government threatening jail sentences and heavy fines.
Friday, Channel 4, 8pm
If you’re too old-fashioned to consider stripping off for Naked Attraction, then Flirty Dancing, which is back for a new series, might just be the dating show for you. For newcomers, Ashley Banjo matches two singletons and works with them separately on a dance routine. They’ll eventually meet for the first time to perform it and decide whether they want to see each other again based on whether sparks fly on the dancefloor. In the first episode, Banjo meets a 23-year-old who has given up hope of finding love in the small Lancashire town of Darwen and is about to take to the floor with Jordan, who believes he won’t meet anyone in his own small town – Darwen in Lancashire. Ashley also plays Cupid for Nife, who wants a nice guy who is also tall.