Ifta Film & Drama Awards 2021
Sunday, Virgin One, 10pm
The Irish Film and Television Academy Awards are going virtual for the second year in a row, and it's no surprise to see that Normal People, the drama that basically made early lockdown bearable, has received 15 nominations. No doubt another array of top stars will be Zooming in from various parts of the world for this year's ceremony, but the big news is that Gráinne Seoige will be presenting, marking her return to Irish broadcasting after spending time away in South Africa. "It's a real honour to have been asked to host such an amazing awards show, especially in a unique studio environment, and to be a part of celebrating this incredible wealth of Irish filmmaking talent," said Seoige.
The awards won’t be all about Grainne and Conall and Marianne: other stars nominated include Jessie Buckley, Aisling Franciosi, Ciarán Hinds, Colm Meaney, Clare Dunne, Gabriel Byrne, Lola Petticrew, Brendan Gleeson, Andrew Scott, Fiona Shaw and the late Nika McGuigan.
Annual Ecumenical Embrace Farm Accident Remembrance Service 2021
Sunday, RTÉ One, 11am
Many families in rural Ireland have lost loved ones to farm accidents but, for a long time, bereaved family members have been lacking a support network. Embrace Farm was set up by Brian and Norma Rohan from Shanahoe, Co Laois in 2014, after Brian lost his father, Liam, in a farm accident. This annual ecumenical remembrance service is a way to commemorate those who have died in farm accidents and provide comfort to the families affected by such tragedy. In the lead-up to this year’s service, President Michael D Higgins and his wife, Sabina, presented a tree to the Rohan family in acknowledgment of the good work done by Embrace Farm. The multidenominational service itself is held in Abbeyleix, Co Laois.
Harry & William: What Went Wrong?
Sunday, ITV, 9pm
Royals have been arguing for hundreds of years, keeping historians hip-deep in relationships to explore and chagnging the landscape of Europe from time to time. The difference between then and now is if the current crop falls out, it's splashed all over social and traditional media. This documentary examines the rift between Princes William and Harry, once hailed as the future of the British royal family, but now divided by a series of private, and increasingly public, rows. Insiders offer their thoughts on how the siblings' relationship broke down, with details of the behind-closed-doors arguments that happened long before their dirty laundry was aired in public.
Sunday, BBC2, 11.30pm
Sons of Anarchy, the hit drama about a motorcycle gang, came to an end in 2014 but its spin-off shows no signs of slowing down. The third series starts with a double bill as the border Mayans and their California town are faced with a federal crackdown on illegal activity, while the grieving Galindo seems to have also lost interest in his legitimate project. In the second instalment, EZ puts a proposal to Bishop.
Ireland's Rich List 2021
Monday, RTÉ One, 9.35pm
Every year The Sunday Times releases its Rich List, and every year I feverishly scan it hoping to see my name. Until I realise it’s not an actual lottery in which lucky readers are chosen to have untold wealth bestowed on them, but a list of those fortunate souls who have accumulated their wealth the old-fashioned way – getting up early in the morning. As I tend to roll back over as soon as the alarm goes off, that kind of puts me out of the running.
Richard Curran hosts this two-parter rounding up the country’s most minted; it’s no spoiler to reveal that high up on the list are Ireland’s youngest billionaires, the Collison brothers, founders of online payments company Stripe. In part one, Curran looks at the rich folk of Leinster and Munster. He meets Norman Crowley, head of a company in Powerscourt, Co Wicklow who are making high-end electric cars that will sell for a cool million or more, and Cork power couple Dan and Linda Kiely, who are consolidating their success with customer support solutions company VoxPro by setting up a hub for bright young entrepreneurs. A bunch of top business journalists are also on hand to explain why these people are rich and you are not. Hmm, maybe I should try putting my alarm on extra loud.
Monday, Virgin One, 11.05pm
What impact will Covid-19 have on general practice in Ireland? This one-off documentary examines the changes accelerated by the pandemic, and also the aspects of family medicine that will remain vital to patient care in the future, including the doctor-patient relationship.
Gold Rush: Our Race to Olympic Glory
Monday, BBC1, 9pm
The 1996 Atlanta Olympics were a watershed moment for the British Olympic Association. Only one gold medal was won (by rowers Matthew Pinsent and Steve Redgrave) marking the worst return from a summer games since 1952. Some blamed the conditions in which athletes were forced to train: due to a lack of funding, many had to recreate the humidity of Georgia by training in their bathrooms with the shower turned on; afterwards, some sold their kit to repay loans. But a year later, elite sports began receiving National Lottery funding, and slowly, gradually, a change in fortunes began. This three-part documentary examines that period, which culminated in the summer of 2012, when London hosted the biggest sporting event on Earth.
Long Lost Family
Monday, ITV, 9pm
Nicky Campbell and Davina McCall are back for the 11th series of the emotional show. Once again they will be setting out to reunite people with relatives they have never met, answering long-held questions about their pasts in the process. The first episode focuses on two people inspired to take up the search by a life-changing event. One of them will be a familiar face to fans of Liverpool, Sunderland, Leeds United, Blackburn Rovers and Stoke City. Dominic Matteo played for all those clubs but contacted the programme after recovering from a brain tumour. A woman looking for her birth mother is also featured.
Kathy Burke: Money Talks
Monday, Channel 4, 10pm
In 2019, the award-winning actor, writer and director presented the documentary series All Woman for Channel 4. It went down a storm with viewers, and so Burke is back with a new two-part programme, this time examining the world of money. Burke comes from a working-class family and grew up in Islington, north London. She’s now hugely successful but claims she isn’t driven by wealth, is perfectly happy with what she’s got, and wants to understand those who seem to worship money or feel they have to spend their lives in pursuit of it. Burke also examines why people are treated differently depending on how much of it they have. Along the way, Burke meets those who have a lot and others with very little, and they have some very interesting things to tell her.
High: Confessions of an Ibiza Drug Mule
Monday, BBC1, 11.05pm
This fascinating five-part series tells the story of Michaella McCollum. At the age of 19, she boarded her first-ever flight, which took her to the party isle of Ibiza. It was a journey that would have an incredible impact on McCollum’s life: just a few weeks later she was arrested at Peru’s Lima airport after trying and failing to smuggle a huge amount of cocaine into the country. The first episode focuses on how McCollum was initially recruited by a handsome stranger who charmed her before setting his dangerous plan in motion.
Celebrity Karaoke Club
Monday-Friday, ITV2, 10.05pm
The club's doors are open again and there's another all-star guest list. Tonight, Olivia Attwood, Brian Dowling, AJ Odudu, Sonny Jay, Tanya Bardsley, Max and Harvey and Amelia Lily hit the karaoke stage and the free bar. They are all fighting to survive until tomorrow night, but who will be kicked out? Throughout the week, new arrivals join the group, including Mark Francis Vandelli, Marcel Somerville, Suzi Ruffell, Darren Harriott, Jordan Davies and Yasmin Evans. Plus, there will be guest appearances from Irish legends B*witched, Suzanne from Hearsay, Steps, and Duncan and Antony from Blue.
Ros na Rún
Tuesday/Thursday, TG4, 8.30pm
The penimultate and ultimate season finales: Mo is no longer able to carry the burden of Frances' death. Knowing her life will never be the same again , she decides to tell the truth. Is this the end of the road for Mo? Tadhg is shocked to discover that it was Mo who killed Frances. Will he find it in his heart to forgive her or demand justice? Berni, wanting a night with no strings attached, invites Briain back to hers. But Briain's admission of love and longing for Berni leaves her regretting her decision. On Thursday, Mo makes a huge decision that will impact not only her but those who love her. Berni confronts Briain about what happened last night, and is left shaken by his response. Things take a sinister turn when Briain collapses in Tigh Thaidhg. A confused Jude, believing Berni is in danger, tries to protect her. But has Jude done more harm than good?
Agatha Christie's England
Tuesday, Channel 5, 9pm
Agatha Christie created a literary universe that captured England's spirit like no one before or since. But the magical worlds where she set her fictional stories are in fact drawn from real places, and this documentary takes viewers on a literary tour of the country, focusing on the most interesting locations featured in some of her best-known books. The first stop on the literary tour takes us to Beacon Cove, where a young Agatha swam with her young nephew when he narrowly escaped drowning. The memory of the incident would be reprised in her 1939 novel And Then There Were None. We then head to Ealing to hear how the young Agatha witnessed her step-grandmother devour local gossip, before looking at how Torquay, Ugbrook House, Abney Hall and Brown's Hotel found themselves immortalised in the writer's work.
RHS Hampton Court Palace Garden Festival
Wednesday, BBC2, 9pm
Multiple lockdowns have seen homeowners spend more time in their gardens, and many will be checking out the summer horticultural shows for tips on maintaining their little patch of paradise. The British had the virtual Bloom festival in June, and in September there's the postponed Chelsea Flower Show, which is planning to have punters present. And here's this year's Royal Horticultural Society wing-ding in Hampton Court Palace. The world's largest flower show will be welcoming back visitors (hopefully the only symptoms displayed on the day will be hay fever). In the first of three one-hoiur specials, presenters Joe Swift, Rachel de Thame, Adam Frost and Arit Anderson will lead viewers through this colourful world of blooms and blossoms,. Plus, garden experts Carol Klein, Toby Buckland, Nick Bailey and Mark Lane will be on hand to dish out advice on getting your own garden up to RHS standards.
Raising a School Shooter: Storyville
Wednesday, BBC4, 10pm
This documentary makes for harrowing viewing but offers an important insight into the troubling issue of school shootings in the United States, as told by the parents of three youngsters who carried them out. They include Jeff Williams, whose son Andy (then 15) killed two classmates and wounded 13 students in 2001; Sue Klebold, whose son Dylan was one of the two teenagers behind the 1999 Columbine High School massacre; and Clarence Elliot, whose son Nicholas killed his teacher and wounded another in 1988.
Thursday RTÉ2, 9.30pm
It’s the final episode of this three-part series, filmed over 18 months in Bray, Co Wicklow, and time to meet more of the young townspeople chasing their dreams and hoping to make their mark on the world. Among them is Ciara, who has been dealing with the death of her brother, and more recently her mother. She is meeting life’s challenges head-on via working with horses, and learning all about the benefits of equine therapy. We also meet aspiring young singer and actor Joni, who was about to do her Junior Cert and had landed a part in an international TV series (Foundation), which is filming in Ireland. But then Covid hit, forcing the exams to be cancelled and production on the TV series paused. Meanwhile, rappers CJ and Sammy are ready to unleash their new Bray Wanderers anthem; will it be a banger?
Gordon Ramsay: Uncharted
Thursday, Channel 4, 10pm
Over the past couple of years, viewers have seen Gordon Ramsay hitting the road with fellow chef Gino D'Acampo and master maitre d' Fred Sirieix in a series of travel documentaries for ITV. Here he goes it alone, visiting some of the most remote locations on Earth in search of adventure, remarkable experiences and, of course, culinary inspiration. Ramsay begins by jumping on a motorbike and heading to the Sacred Valley of the Incas in Peru. It'll be a chance to sample some remarkable scenery, but he'll also be learning the secrets of high-altitude cooking. He'll also be trying out some new ingredients, including fried worms, rare multi-coloured potatoes — and guinea pig.
Thursday, ITV, 9pm
In February 1981, Princes Charles announced his engagement to the then-Lady Diana Spencer – and a media sensation was born. The shy royal bride would become one of the most famous and photographed women in the world, and, this new series argues, she would also capture and influence the spirt of the 1980s and 1990s. Drawing on rarely seen archive footage, this documentary looks at Diana's role in bringing about social change at the end of the century, whether it was through her high-profile work for HIV charities or by becoming emblem of a new openness in public life. It also speaks to some of the people whose lives intersected with Diana's and looks at some of the big trends she experienced.
Draining Loch Ness
Friday, Channel 5, 9pm
Reports of a strange creature in the vicinity of Loch Ness date back centuries, but it was in the 1930s that the myth of the monster really captured the world’s attention. The famous so-called “surgeon’s photo” of Nessie was taken in 1934 and has since been widely dismissed as a hoax. But for those who are still curious, this documentary may prove some answers, as advanced scanning technology is used to explore the depths of Loch Ness. However, as a full sonar sweep of the loch’s depths is performed, more than a monster is revealed.
We the People
From Sunday, Netflix
It can be all but impossible to avoid politics these days, no matter which side of the Pond or Channel you're on. However, if you fancy refreshing what you think you know about US civics, then this cracking 10-parter will be just the ticket. It blends music and animation to educate viewers about the power of the people, and covers a range of basic lessons in not-so-basic ways. As if a heady mix of groundbreaking animated styles isn't enough to whet your appetite, it also features a slew of original songs performed by renowned artists such as HER, Janelle Monáe, Brandi Carlile, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Adam Lambert, Cordae, Bebe Rexha, KYLE and Andra Day, as well as poetry from Amanda Gorman.
Monsters at Work
From Wednesday, Disney+
Picking up the day after the Monsters, Inc power plant began harvesting childrens' laughter to fuel the city of Monstropolis, this animation follows Tylor Tuskmon, an eager young chap who graduates top of his class at Monsters University and has always dreamed of becoming a Scarer – until he lands a job at Monsters, Inc and discovers that scaring is out and laughter is in. After Tylor is temporarily reassigned to the Monsters, Inc Facilities Team (MIFT), he must work alongside a misfit bunch of mechanics while setting his sights on becoming a Jokester. Ben Feldman is the voice of Tuskmon. The voice cast includes Bonnie Hunt and Mindy Kaling, while Billy Crystal and John Goodman briefly return as Mike Wazowski and James P "Sulley" Sullivan.
Race to the Center of the Earth
From Friday, Disney+
Reality TV challenges are getting more challenging every day; it's not enough to survive a couple of weeks in the jungle with other self-centred celebs – now you've got to perform seemingly impossible feats of physical endurance (Ireland's Fittest Family isn't even in it). This one sounds straight from a Jules Verne novel; can this really be a race to reach the earth's core? Luckily, the four teams taking part don't actually have to do any drilling. This contest takes place on or above Earth's surface, the centre is a point in the middle of the ocean, and each team sets off from different corners of the globe using whatever means of transport is at hand to reach this intersection. They'll have to travel through jungles, deserts, mountain ranges, icy tundras, bustling cities and crowds of young people drinking on Portobello Plaza to get to their goal. At journey's end is a buoy containing a million dollars, and the first team to reach it claims the grand prize. They're welcome to it.