TV guide: 24 of the best shows to watch this week
Transgender stars rule in Pose, RTÉ profiles Ireland’s Hollywood rosary priest, and British mums try a new way to combat porn
MJ Rodriguez in Pose, Thursday on BBC2
St Patrick’s Festival Highlights
Monday, RTÉ One, 6.30pm
Just in case you missed the Paddy’s Day festivities over the weekend (or you just simply can’t remember what happened), Sinéad Kennedy and Keith Walsh are here with a round-up of the five-day festival. There’s lots to get through in this recap, including large-scale events, family fun and of course the parade itself. Who knows: you might spot yourself among the revellers and be able to say, “ah, so that’s where I was on Saturday night!”
The Irish Pub
Monday, TG4, 10.10pm
A celebration of the traditional Irish publican, travelling across the country to visit pubs in Connemara, Carlow, Monaghan, Louth and Limerick. Reviewing Alex Fegan’s documentary in October 2013, Irish Times critic Donald Clarke called the film “delightful throughout. [It] makes an implicit (but forceful) argument for the magnificence of the traditional Irish pub: solid wood, stone floors, no music, little telly, nick nacks, yellowed ceiling.” It is also “most notable for its array of charming, angry, funny, welcoming and eccentric publicans”.
Is Mise . . .
Monday, TG4, 7.15pm
For children, here’s a brand new and original Irish-language preschool series, which follows four young presenters as they discover the world from their own perspective. We follow Ríona, Róisín, Joey and Cóil on various adventures as they learn and explore. Activities range from a visit to the fire brigade team to flower-making, from farming to a hip-hop dance lesson. Each episode introduces a new experience relating to what children within this age group are interested in. Four episodes will be shown tonight.
Monday, Channel 4, 8.30pm
The team returns to explore the secrets behind mass-produced food. They meet technicians, scientists, factory owners, growers and producers, finding out exactly what goes into the everyday groceries that end up on the supermarket shelves. Jimmy Doherty learns how Sri Lanka is coping with a looming coconut shortage; Kate Quilton discovers whether compostables could be the answer to worldwide plastic pollution problem; and Matt Tebbutt is in Paris to learn why the macaron has such a hefty price tag.
Harry’s Heroes: The Full English
Monday/Tuesday, UTV, 9pm
Harry Redknapp has become famous to a whole new generation – and set of fans – thanks to his participation in I’m a Celebrity.Now he returns to his footballing roots for this two-parter, as he takes charge of an England team comprising David Seaman, Robbie Fowler, Mark Wright, Matt Le Tissier, Chris Waddle, Rob Lee, Ray Parlour, Lee Sharpe, Mark Chamberlain, Paul Merson and Neil Ruddock. They played in an era when diet and nutrition were largely ignored, but now they’re about to adopt the eating regime of modern footballers as they battle the bulge.
Me, My Selfie and I with Ryan Gander
Monday, BBC4, 9pm
Celebrated conceptual artist Gander reckons that nothing symbolises the times we live in better than the selfie. However, he discovers, selfies’ roots go back hundreds of years before smartphones, and this 21st-century phenomenon is just the visible tip of a much much bigger iceberg – a radical reinvention of who we are powered by the latest digital technology. After meeting meet a selection of “modern selves” living in the UK, Silicon Valley and Arizona, Gander asks: in the age of social media, when we are told to be our best selves and live our best lives, what does that really mean, and what is it doing to our sense of self?
A Jar with Brendan Behan
Monday, TG4, 9.30pm
A rare chance to see this famous one-man show from 1970, with Niall Tóibín portraying Brendan Behan as only he can. Directed by Birgitta Pierre and produced by Godfrey Graham.
Monday-Thursday, Virgin One, 9pm
Former Coronation Street star Katherine Kelly is clearly keen to show there’s a lot more to her than playing mouthy Becky. She proves her versatility in this new thriller, taking on the role of a university lecturer who has always prided herself on her academic integrity. So, when a student (Molly Windsor, who won a Bafta for her performance in the hard-hitting Three Girls) hands in a suspiciously good essay, Kelly’s Dr Leah Dale is quick to raise the alarm. However, the student takes the accusation personally, and what had seemed like a simple case of cheating soon spirals out of control.
Kevin Roche: The Quiet Architect
Tuesday, RTÉ One, 11.10pm
Pritzker Prize-winning architect Kevin Roche, who died on March 1st, was an enigma who was still working at the age of 95. He reached the top of his profession but eschewed the label “starchitect”. His lifetime of acclaimed work includes the Ford Foundation, Oakland Museum of California and 40 years designing new galleries for The Met in New York. Roche’s architectural philosophy focused on creating “a community for a modern society” and he has been credited with creating green buildings before they became part of the public consciousness. Made in association with the Irish Film Board and the Ford Foundation.
Save Money: Lose Weight
Tuesday, UTV, 8pm
Dr Ranj Singh tripped the light fantastic at the end of last year when he took part in Strictly Come Dancing. He’s back on more familiar ground for a new run of the show that aims to help the public get in shape without bursting the bank. Singh and Sian Williams will be looking at five of the most popular new diet regimes in a bid to find out which is the most effective, both in terms of weight loss and cost. Valiant volunteers will roadtest the eating plans for 28 days. The duo also get stuck in: he tries out the new fad of freezing fat cells while she tastes some low-calorie wines and beers. Nice work if you can get it!
Great British Menu
Wednesday, BBC2, 8pm
Chefs Paul Walsh, Luke Selby and Ben Marks compete in the heats for the London and southeast region, each preparing starters and fish courses. They are competing to cook at the final banquet, which takes place this year at Abbey Road Studios to mark 50 years since The Beatles played live together for the last time. Marks and Walsh both present starters inspired by songs by the Fab Four.
Wednesday, UTV, 9pm
This six-part drama is being tipped as the new Broadchurch; both are set in coastal communities and begin with missing childre. So does that make Grantchester actress Morven Christie the new Olivia Colman? She takes the lead role as DS Lisa Armstrong, who is assigned as the family liaison officer when teenage twins sisters go missing from their home. However, when Lisa meets their parents, she is shocked to realise that her connection to the family might be more than just professional. As if the increasingly complex investigation wasn’t tricky enough, Lisa also has problems to deal with in her home life when her daughter is suspended from school.
Brendan O’Connor’s Cutting Edge
Wednesday, RTÉ One, 9.35pm
If you’re lucky enough to have a water cooler in your workplace, then you’ll know all about the joys of gathering around it with your colleagues to chat about the latest news topics. If you haven’t got a water cooler, don’t worry – Brendan O’Connor is back for another season of Cutting Edge, where he and a rolling roster of opinionated guests gather round the table to talk about the burning issues of the day. Expect the sparks and remarks to fly.
Mums Make Porn
Wednesday, Channel 4, 10pm
Many parents are worried about how easy it is for their children to access pornography online. Not only are they shocked that their kids can view this adult material at all, they also have concerns about what it is teaching a new generation about relationships and attitudes towards sex. The mums in this new series have come up with a potential solution that doesn’t involve turning off the wifi or monitoring their kids 24/7. Instead, they will make their own film that addresses the issues. They begin by researching the realities of what is already out there, but their visits to porn sets prove a little too much for some of the group.
How to Go Viral: The Art of the Meme with Richard Clay
Wednesday, BBC4, 9pm
How does a thing become “a thing”? This is the eternal question art historian Richard Clay asks in this exploration of internet memes, from LOL cats to emojis to epic fail videos and alt right satire. The internet is a massive morass of mediocrity, but every now and again (well, about every five seconds) something bursts through the sludge and to become a viral sensation. Prof Clay sets out to discover why some memes spread like wildfire while others fall by the wayside. He meets YouTube star Jonathan Pie aka comedian Tom Walker, Tumblr liberal troll Christopher Blair, and Richard Dawkins, who coined the word “meme”.
Married at First Sight
Wednesday, Channel 4, 9pm
Marrying a complete stranger may be a risk, but it’s one that a surprising number of people are willing to take; this year, 7,000 singletons contacted the producers of Married at First Sight, hoping to be matched with a spouse. In the opening episode, the first couples due to walk down the aisle are nurse Steph and property manager Jonathan, and office manager Verity and IT consultant Jack. Their first challenge is persuading their friends and family that marrying someone they won’t set eyes on until the day of the ceremony is a good idea.
Guns & Rosaries
Thursday, RTÉ One, 10.15pm
“The family that prays together stays together” was the catchphrase popularised by Mayo priest Fr Patrick Peyton (1909-1992), who literally brought the world to its knees with his global prayer campaign. This excellently titled documentary looks at the extraordinary life of Fr Peyton, who became a Hollywood celebrity, getting the backing of such stars as Bing Crosby, Maureen O’Hara and Bob Newhart for his family rosary sessions. Peyton believed that the rosary was the ultimate WMD (weapon of mass devotion) that would destroy godless communism, and the CIA obviously believed it too, because it secretly funded his Rosary Crusade in Latin America during the cold war. With narration from Martin Sheen, and a rich archive of footage from the times, this documentary should provide a fascinating insight into the life of Hollywood’s “rosary priest” and alleged clerical spy.
Thursday, BBC2, 9pm
You’ve seen The Get Down; now, prepare yourself for the Get-Up. Pose is set in the glitzy world of New York’s underground ball culture in the 1980s, when people dressed to the nines (and tens and elevens) to strut their stuff on the dancefloors and runways of Manhattan. With the largest-ever cast of transgender actors in series regular roles, as well as the largest recurring cast of LGBTQ actors ever for a scripted series, Pose promises to break new dramatic ground as it delves into the lives of people on the periphery of New York society, doing their best to shine under the shadow of Aids.
Stabbed: Britain’s Knife Crime Crisis
Thursday, BBC1, 9pm
Knife crime in the UK has been in the headlines again this month. Duwayne Brooks, who saw his friend Stephen Lawrence attacked by a racist gang and brutally stabbed to death 25 years ago, takes viewers on a personal journey into the current wave of knife crime and the impact it is having around the nation. He meets victims’ families and friends as they cope with the aftermath of a loved one being killed and the ensuing fight for justice. He also engages with some of the perpetrators to understand what is making more and more young people turn to knives. Along the way, Brooks also revisits his own past, and faces up to the trauma that has come to define him.
Fraud: How They Steal Your Bank Account
Thursday, UTV, 9pm
Most people probably think nothing of buying or banking online. But what happens when people’s private information falls into the wrong hands? This documentary has exclusive access to a British specialist police unit that goes after the gangs responsible for fraud, the UK’s fastest growing crime. Here the detectives track a gang stealing hundreds of credit cards, uncover corrupt bank insiders selling account details, and tackle an international gang whose members have stolen more than £3 million from Britain’s cash machines.
Fíorscéal: The Great Cholesterol Bluff
Thursday, TG4, 10pm
The link between coronary accidents and cholesterol in the blood is a mainstream medical dogma that has been going on for the last 50 years. It has led to the development of a billion dollars “low-fat” food industry. Statins, the drug that lowers the cholesterol rate, is one of the most prescribed medicines in the world, with 30 millions users in the US. Yet while cholesterol rates have decreased in developed countries, the number of coronary accidents remains almost stable.
Can I Improve My Memory?
Friday, Channel 4, 8pm
Spare a thought for the brave celebrities who have volunteered for this show, which gives them just two weeks to master a subject they know nothing about. Fashion presenter Gok Wan will be quizzed about the periodic table, veteran broadcaster Valerie Singleton is tested on UK grime artists, and reality star Joey Essex must learn all about William the Conqueror. Michael Buerk will be asking the questions, and world memory grandmaster Mark Channon is on hand to teach them the techniques that will (hopefully) help them retain the information.
Eamonn & Ruth: In Search of George Clooney
Friday, Channel 5, 9pm
Eamonn Holmes and Ruth Langsford visit Milan, home to more wealthy Italians than anywhere else in the country. They get caught up in the excitement of Milan Fashion Week, take etiquette lessons from the wife of a politician, and Ruth goes shopping for haute couture doggy clothes with Audrey Titto (Italy’s answer to Paris Hilton). The couple also visit the huge villa of the Del Bonos, one of Milan’s oldest families, and end their trip at the weekend retreat of Lake Como, where Ruth is eager to catch a glimpse of its most famous resident, George Clooney.
Friday, Virgin Two, 10.30pm
Keith Lemon is back to present a new 21st series of his near-the-knuckle comedy quiz. Joining the risque host is new team captain Paddy McGuinness ( no stranger to Lemon’s digs having starred with him in The Keith and Paddy Picture Show). Holly Willoughby is also back as the other skipper, while guests include two stars of this year’s I’m a Celebrity: actor and singer John Barrowman and The Inbetweeners’ Emily Atack.