TV guide: 23 of the best shows to watch this week
Moving statues, sporting Irishwomen, hell in the Wicklow Mountains, Anne Hathaway and Rebel Wilson on Graham Norton, and the return of Location, Location, Location
Paddy Smyth, Zoë Carol Wong, Ciara O’Doherty and Ruedi Maguire in The Fitting Room
The Fitting Room
Monday, RTÉ2, 9.30pm
This new show is on a mission to prove that fashion can be fun and accessible for everyone by celebrating differences and ripping open the seams of what makes us individual. Clothes are how we express our inner selves to the outside world, but what if a non-standard body, identity or personality makes it impossible to buy clothes that really fit, flatter or flaunt a unique style? In each programme, presenter Paddy Smyth and a trio of Irish designers and stylists (Ruedi Maguire, Zoë Carol Wong and Ciara O’Doherty) invite members of the public into the creative hub, to solve their clothing conundrums by creating bespoke outfits that help how they look on the outside match how they feel on the inside.
Moving Statues: The Summer of 1985
Monday, RTÉ One, 9.35pm
Documentary about the fever that gripped Ireland in the mid-1980s, when statues of the Virgin Mary suddenly came to life right before many believers’ eyes. The apparitions at Ballinspittle, Stradbally and elsewhere became the talk of the nation, and soon the faithful were gathered at grottos across the land looking for signs of movement in the statues of Mary. Here we meet some of the people who saw the statues move, and learn if they still believe what they saw was really a miracle, or just a fevered vision sparked by the summer heat or an overactive sense of devotion. The documentary looks at the social context of the apparitions, which came as the country was divided by a divorce referendum and a vote to create the Eighth Amendment to the Constitution.
Travel Man: 48 Hours in Athens
Monday, Channel 4, 8.30pm/Friday, 7.30pm
Richard Ayoade returns with the offbeat tourism show, joined in the first edition by actor and writer Dawn French. Their mini break in the Greek capital features doughnuts, the Acropolis and the thermal waters of Lake Vouliagmeni (rumoured to be the goddess Athena’s favourite bathing spot). They sample a 14-course tasting menu at a temple to molecular gastronomy, then go on an Olympic tour featuring discus and javelin training.
Monday, BBC1, 11.35pm
If you haven’t watched much children’s TV over the past decade, then you may have missed out on the genius of Horrible Histories, an educational sketch show so good it could be argued it was wasted on kids. Luckily, the team behind it are branching out into more grown-up TV, as the original main troupe are reunited for this sitcom. Former Call the Midwife’s Charlotte Ritchie and Stath Lets Flats’ Kiell Smith-Bynoe also join in the fun as a couple who are thrilled to inherit a grand country house. What they don’t know though is that not only is the place falling apart, it’s also haunted by a collection of former inhabitants who don’t take kindly to the couple’s plans for their home. So, before you can say “Beetlejuice”, the ghosts are conspiring to scare them away.
Not Going Out
Monday, BBC1, 11.05pm
The last time we saw Lee (Lee Mack) and Lucy (Sally Bretton), they were starring in a festive live episode of the sitcom, centred around a Christmas variety show. The first episode of the new series finds the married couple and their family and friends – including Lee’s dad (Bobby Ball), their best mates (Hugh Dennis and Abigail Cruttenden), and Lucy’s parents (Geoffrey Whitehead and Deborah Grant) – taking part in a sponsored group skydive for a children’s ward. It’s in a good cause, but as their nerves and tensions build, will they all take the plunge?
Secrets of the Royal Babies: Meghan and Harry
Monday, Virgin One, 10pm
With the Duke and Duchess of Sussex about to become parents in the next month or two, royal baby fever will soon be gripping the world again. Britain’s royal babies used to be born and raised behind closed palace gates – they didn’t even go to school and access was restricted. Today they are part and parcel of the commercialisation of the royal family, and the documentary looks at what expectant mum Meghan can learn from previous royal mothers. Viewers get to see the nanny school in Bath (the go-to place for royal childcare) and Glamis Castle in Scotland, where the young princesses Elizabeth and Margaret escaped the glare of the media and formality of the royal court.
Tuesday, RTÉ One, 8.30pm
This new factual series takes viewers inside what could be considered the most secretive room in Ireland: a credit union loan office. There’s a story behind every loan and here we meet the people who borrow money for all sorts of reasons, from family reunions to new cars, houses, cosmetic procedures and shopping sprees. Filmed in credit unions in Tralee, Waterford, Dublin and Mullingar, we get to know make-up artists searching for the perfect smile and gymnasts trying to balance their books. In episode one, potential borrower Thomas needs private surgery to save his sight, Gary and his dad are squabbling over a car, and country music singer Michael hopes to make it in Nashville.
Your Home Made Perfect
Tuesday, BBC2, 8pm
Angela Scanlon presents a new home makeover show with a difference, as cutting-edge virtual reality and visual effects enable people to see what the future of their home could look like before it is built. In the first edition, two architects compete to remodel a home in Scotland for Andy and his partner Esther, whose three-bedroom house in Stirling is now too cramped for the couple and their three small children. But which of the two radical new designs will then be built in real life?
Tuesday, BBC1, 9pm
How to you solve a crime when you’re paralysed from the waist down? Sure, it was easy enough for Ironside (remember him?), but for army corporal Jamie McCain, who has been admitted to a Glasgow hospital after a spinal injury, it’s a near-impossible challenge. While recovering, Jamie notices that patients in his ward are suddenly and inexplicably dying. Can he catch the killer even though he’s unable to move, or is he just imagining things? And can he even be trusted? This second in the anthology series stars Alfred Enoch, John Hannah and Ashley Jensen.
Ramsay’s 24 Hours to Hell and Back
Tueday, Channel 4, 11.05pm
Ramsay begins a new run by visiting the Trolley Stop Cafe in New Orleans, which sits on the longest serving trolley route in the world. It is owned by Ragnar who bought the cafe from his grandfather following a career in energy consulting. Despite Ragnar investing his life savings in the business, it is now in decline. After going undercover with the local sheriff department, Ramsay notices mismatched tables, a filthy dining room, mounds of debris, unsanitary handling of food and soggy oysters. Will the chef’s complete renovation and relaunch get the restaurant back on track?
Tuesday, Channel 4, 10pm
Fred Sirieix and the First Dates team are back for a 12th series. First up is owl sanctuary volunteer Krystal (32), who fears that her chattiness and larger-than-life personality scare men away. Will she be the one looking for the exit when she discovers what her date James (43) does for a living? Elsewhere, Georgia (20) describes her perfect girl as a football-playing Cara Delevingne, so when she meets Georga, who bears a striking resemblance to the model and is an ex-Arsenal goalkeeper, it seems all her dreams have come true – until they discover that similar names aren’t all they have in common. Meanwhile, car salesman Mark, who has been engaged seven times, risks being a little too honest with airline check-in clerk Jo.
The Great British School Swap
Tuesday, Channel 4, 9pm
A predominately white school and a mainly Asian school swap pupils in an experiment to see what happens when children from segregated areas mix for the first time. This week, pupils from the predominantly white town of Tamworth get a shock when they arrive in Saltley, central Birmingham, and become the racial minority. A transgender pupil is paired with a devout Muslim girl, a white mother overcomes her prejudices to go for dinner in an Asian house, and tensions rise when the students find out what they really think about each other.
Location, Location, Location
Wednesday, Channel 4, 8pm
In the first of a new series, Kirstie Allsopp helps couple Rachael and Mark in Woking search for a new home. The pair are currently renting, but are desperate to put their money into their own home before the arrival of their second child. Meanwhile, Phil Spencer heads to Guildford to assist Indu and Jason in their property search. The couple want a project, but with a second child due in a matter of months, they do not want to buy somewhere that would require too much work. When Phil finds them something suitable, it is time to get tough with the agent.
Wednesday, Channel 4, 9pm
Fake news is high on the agenda in this drama about a photojournalist who risks his life – not to mention delicate US-China relations – in a desperate bid to restore his damaged credibility in the run-up to the 2016 US presidential election. Lee Berger (Alessandro Nivola) has worked in war zones, but cannot seem to top his greatest achievement of 30 years ago: his photograph of a lone man standing up to Chinese tanks in Tianenmen Square. After being accused of peddling “fake news”, Lee to travel to China in search of “tank man” – if he’s still alive. That’s when things really start to go totally fubar. Sophie Okonedo, Cherry Jones and F Murray Abraham costar.
Scéal na Beatha
Wednesday, TG4, 9.30pm
With rare and unique access, Scéal na Beatha is an uplifting documentary that everyone will identify with on some level. It is about more than death and rituals. This intimate film follows Seosamh Ó Conchúir through his last days in a hospice and his family through the weeks of ritual and mourning that follow. It is about a man who has lived a full life but only comes to realise how important he was to others when faced with his own mortality.
Earth from Space
Wednesday, BBC1, 9pm
There was a time when aerial shots were a novelty, something to be marvelled at because they gave us a perspective that we would otherwise rarely see. There is still a view that only a handful of privileged people have everseen first-hand: the Earth from space. This four-part series offers incredible pictures of our planet. The opening edition takes a look at the impact animals have on their habitat, as previously unknown penguin colonies are revealed, while strange shapes that resemble road systems are discovered to have been made by hippos as they travel to their feeding grounds.
Special Forces: Ultimate Hell Week
Thursday, RTÉ2, 9.30pm
Two dozen civilian recruits take part in a gruelling course designed by former members of Ireland’s elite special forces unit, the Army Ranger Wing. The recruits (18 men and six women) are bussed to a remote military base deep in the Wicklow Mountains. This is where they meet the DS staff for the first time, who give them a short, sharp blast of what they can expect all week. The recruits, who for eight days will have no contact with the outside world, are left in no doubt this will be an experience like no other.
Mná Spóirt: Croí is Anam
Thursday, TG4, 9.30pm
Former Slaughtneil camogie captain Aoife Ní Chaiside explores the trials and triumphs of sportswomen in Ireland. Shot while Ní Chaiside was on her way to winning her third All-Ireland consecutive club camogie championship, the three-part series sees her travelling throughout Ireland to meet intrepid women from a wide range of sports. In episode one, she looks at team sports, and endeavours to find out more about the values at the heart of teams – trust, respect and friendship. She speaks to her friend Katie Mullan, captain of the Irish Hockey team that won silver at the Hockey World Cup in 2018. Ní Chaiside also meets Rena Buckley, ladies’ football and camogie All-Star who won a record 18 All-Ireland medals. And she sits down with the founders of the 20x20 initiative to hear how more about its objectives to raise the profile of women’s sport in Ireland.
Brexit: The Clock Is Ticking
Thursday, RTÉ One, 10.15pm
A camera crew follows Michel Barnier, the EU’s chief Brexit negotiator, from the outset of negotiations including his visits to Derry and the Irish Border area as he seeks to understand the Belfast Agreement. Brexithas no precedents, borne out of a succession of risky gambles, starting with David Cameron’s fated referendum. The crew follis Barnier during these negotiations and on his travels across Europe to ensure the unity of the remaining 27 member states.
Climate Change: The Facts
Thursday, BBC One, 9pm
Following his address to the UN Climate Change Summit in December, David Attenborough presents this hour-long exploration into the real effects of climate change, from flooding to forest fires to storms to US presidential stupidity. He speaks to experts about the global threat from climate change, and looks at possible solutions which, if implemented, might just begin to reverse the slide towards catastrophe. But will one single climate change denier be swayed by Attenborough’s compelling arguments? Hell will probably freeze over first.
Thursday, More4, 10.05pm
The espionage drama revolving around the lives of the men and women working at the CIA station in modern-day Berlin returns for a second series. Four months has passed since Daniel Miller (Richard Armitage) was shot, but he has recovered from his injuries sufficiently to be given a new clandestine assignment. His mission is to infiltrate a far-right German political party believed to be planning an act of terror right before an upcoming election. Michelle Forbes, Rhys Ifans and Richard Jenkins costar.
The Graham Norton Show
Friday, BBC1, 10.35pm
Oscar-winner Anne Hathaway and the hilarious Rebel Wilson discuss The Hustle, a new big-screen comedy in which they play scam artists, one low-rent and the other high-class, who team up to take down the low, mean men who have wronged them. Jodie Comer discusses returning as Villanelle in hit action thriller Killing Eve, while Daniel Radcliffe chats about lending his voice to new animation Playmobil: The Movie.
Friday, RTÉ2, 2.30pm
In the midst of a ferocious thunderstorm, no-nonsense Irishmen Joe (Jim Norton) and Nick (Michael Quinlan) are carrying a body into a cave for burial. But their relief at getting out of the rain is short-lived when an earthquake traps them inside the tomb. Father Ted star Norton heads the cast of the first broadcast of new Irish playwright Brendan Devitt’s Easter drama from CTVC, directed by Paul Arnold. With Daryl McCormack and Ayesha Antoine.