TV Guide: 24 of the best shows to watch this week
Lovecraft Country, Jamie Oliver, Inside the Game, Great Book of Ireland, Stargirl
Donald Trump in the rough in an image from You’ve Been Trumped Too, streaming from Tuesday on Amazon Prime
Sir Chris Hoy’s Secret World of Japanese Bicycle Racing
Sunday, BBC2, 6pm
The keirin is one of the most extreme events in track cycling. A test of controlled pacing followed a tactical fight to the line, keirin is steeped in the history and rituals that make Japanese culture so unique. In this film, Olympic icon Chris Hoy heads to Japan, host of the 2021 Tokyo Games, to explore this phenomenon. For international riders, attending keirin school is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Fifteen years ago, Hoy himself lwas one of the first Britons to be invited to savour the ultimate experience in the career of any track cyclist. Little wonder he looks a little misty-eyed as he now makes a nostalgic return.
Fleadh Cheoil 1995
Sunday, TG4, 9.30pm
Coronavirus has forced the Fleadh to take a fallow year, but TG4 is determined to fill the Fleadh-shaped hole in our lives with this look back at some of the past festivals, and a reminder of what great musical talent gathers each year for this musical summit. Watch out for such musical legends as Joe Burke, Brendan McGlinchey, Zoe Conway, Brendan Begley, Danú, Dervish and The Kilfenora Céilí Band. The first episode takes us back 25 years to the 1995 event, which was held in Listowel ib Co Kerry, a town seen by many as the spiritual home of the Fleadh, and where many a spontaneous session erupted in its town square. The six-part series continues with the 1996 Fleadh, also from Listowel, then moves on to Ballina, Co Mayo in 1997 and 1998, and Enniscorthy, Co Wexford in 1999 and 2000.
Derren Brown: 20 Years of Mind Control: Live
Sunday, Channel 4, 9pm
Channel 4 devotes an evening to sorcery, largely in honour of the eponymous illusionist. Brown reveals how he used hypnosis and the power of suggestion to baffle the public, before discussing his most controversial moments, including playing Russian roulette, and a zombie-fuelled apocalypse illusion. The trickster introduces his favourite flashbacks and talks about his career, giving a glimpse into the techniques he has pioneered over the years. The climax sees Brown recreate his favourite trick, live from a secret location. Plus, some of his best-known fans, including Claire Danes, Martin Freeman, JJ Abrams and Stephen Merchant, pay tribute to the illusionist.
Monday, RTÉ One, 7pm
To celebrate Heritage Week, Nationwide visits heritage projects around the country. Despite the restrictions around social gatherings, projects are underway with the theme for this year “Learning from Our Heritage.” An outstanding project from last year was the award-winning Egan Farmhouse near Birr, and as Anne Cassin found out when she visited recently, this was a real family affair. Meanwhile, Ardclough in Co Kildare drew on all their resources and used funding available to commemorate the burial place of Arthur Guinness with a visitor centre called From Malt to Vault. Mary Fanning reports.
Monday, Sky Atlantic & Now TV, 9pm
What do you get when race issues meet the monstrous supernatural creations of HP Lovecraft? This new horror series, set in the 1950s and based on the novel by Matt Ruff, centres around a road trip through hell – the deeply racist America of Jim Crow. Atticus Freeman, his friend Letitia and his uncle George are on a quest to find Atticus’s father, who has gone missing. This will be a perilous journey for the trio, but Ku Klux Klanners aren’t the only creeps lurking in the shadows. Along the route lie ancient horrors conjured from the mind of American author HP Lovecraft – and all humanity, regardless of colour, are their prey. No surprise to find that Jordan Peele, writer and director of acclaimed horror movie Get Out, is executive producer alongside JJ Abrams.
Monday, Channel 4, 8pm
Helen Skelton and Sabrina Grant return with the consumer programme packed with money-saving tips and the secrets of the big brands. In the first edition they show how to save money booking a last-minute staycation and give essential advice on how to protect money if anything goes wrong on a holiday. There are tips on savings on foreign trips for next year, including surprising deals with the major airlines. And as the travel industry begins to ramp up again, there is advice on reducing carbon footprints.
Jamie: Keep Cooking Family Favourites
Monday, Channel 4, 8.30pm
In his latest series, Jamie Oliver makes problem-solving meals for every need, from quick and tasty dinners to useful staples, as well as easy but extra-special family favourites and crowd pleasers. For the first episode, Oliver aims to reinvent the roast chicken, offering fresh inspiration by teaming it with flavour-packed Cumberland sausages and tasty veggies, creating a mouth-watering one-pan roast dinner. With the help of ingredients that many of us have in the fridge, Jamie also puts a twist on the classic spag bol by using pale ale and Cheddar cheese to create an easy, cheap and tasty batch-cook recipe.
African Renaissance: When Art Meets Power
Monday, BBC4, 9pm
In Ethiopia, Afua Hirsch traces a 3,000-year history as significant as any civilisation in the West. At the heart of the region’s recent history is the complex reign of Emperor Haile Selassie. One of the most influential world figures of the 20th century, Selassie was midwife to African liberation and generator of a global culture in Rastafarianism. With artist Eshetu Tiruneh, Afua explores the impact of the 1974 famine that led to the emperor’s downfall, and she talks to photographer Aida Muluneh about her return from exile to the dynamic new Ethiopia of the 21st century.
The Trial of Alex Salmond
Monday, BBC2, 9pm
In March, Scotland’s former first minister Alex Salmond emerged from the high court in Edinburgh cleared of 14 charges of sexual misconduct, with the verdict concluding one of the most dramatic trials Britain has ever seen. This programme sees Kirsty Wark travelling across Scotland as she follows the trial and interviews people who were present at key moments surrounding the political scandal, and looking back at Salmond’s political career and the growing rift between him and Nicola Sturgeon.
Manctopia: Billion Pound Property Boom
Tuesday, BBC Two, 9pm
Brexit may be set to plunge Britain into poverty, but one city surging ahead regardless of economic forecasts is Manchester. This documentary looks at one of the UK’s fastest-growing cities, which is fast becoming the country’s new loads-a-money capital. Among its minted denizens are millionaire Tim, who is redeveloping the city’s red-light district and turning it into a trendy new quarter; and newly divorced Helen, who has bought a penthouse apartment big enough to house all her designer bling. But not everyone is laughing all the way to the Manc bank. For those living in areas such as Salford, including single mother Christina, the boom has passed them by, while the homeless languish in the shadows of the city luxury developments.
Tuesday, BBC1, 8.30pm
A welcome repeat of this 2017 biopic of Barbara Windsor, following the key events of the star’s life over the course of 50 years. The story begins in 1993, withWindsor preparing for a stage performance shortly before joining the cast of EastEnders. She looks back to her childhood as a lonely evacuee in the second World War, her rise to fame in the Carry On films, and her difficult relationships with her father and her first husband, gangster Ronnie Knight. Samantha Spiro, Jaime Winstone, Honor Kneafsey and Windsor herself share the lead role.
Inside the Game
Wednesday, Sky Sports, 9pm
There was much hoo-ha when Sky snapped up rights to broadcast GAA games, with fans up and down the country lamenting that locals may no longer be able to watch their hurling and football on telly for free. Depending on where you stood, it was either be the beginning of a bright new era for the GAA or the beginning of the end for our unique culture of Gaelic Games. So far, though, the sky hasn’t fallen on our heads, and Sky Sports introduces a new GAA discussion show, Inside the Game, presented by Brian Carney, Gráinne McElwain and Mike Finnerty, taking us through the build-up to the intercounty championships, starting in October, right up to the All-Ireland final – which, hopefully, might even see a crowd at Croke Park.
Guest pundits will drop into the studio each week, and there will be exclusive interviews and features. If you haven’t been tempted to get a Sky subscription, you can watch clips from the series by following @SkySportsGAA on Twitter and Instagram, and tuning in to the Sky Sports YouTube channel.
Great Book of Ireland
Thursday, RTÉ One, 10.10pm
Back in the mists of the late 20th century, the idea came to create a “modern-day Book of Kells”, and so the Great Book of Ireland was born. The 278-page one-of-a-kind tome was created on vellum, with artists, writers, poets and public figures contributing works meant to encapsulate the hopes and dreams of modern Ireland. The book took two years to complete, and was completed in 1992, just as Ireland was entering the Celtic Tiger years. Among the treasures to be found within are the last handwritten poem by Samuel Beckett, poems by Seamus Heaney and Michael D Higgins, and musings by Bono and Daniel Day-Lewis. This documentary looks back at the making of the book, which took 121 artists, 144 poets and nine composers to complete. But will Leabhair Mór na hÉireann still have resonance a thousand years from now?
Can Sex Offenders Change?
Thursday, BBC1, 11.45pm
Becky Southworth, the daughter of a convicted sex offender, investigates the disturbing and controversial world of offender rehabilitation.Southworth talks to a number of men living in the community, asking what drove them to their horrific crimes, and finding out what treatment is available to stop them reoffending. Through meeting these people and reflecting on her own family’s past, she raises difficult questions about whether it is possible for them to really change.
Emmerdale Family Tree: The Dingles, Older and Wiser
Thursday, ITV, 7pm; Virgin One, 7.30pm
A look back at three of the soap’s most-loved families, weaving its way through each family tree to reveal the loves and losses that the parents, siblings and children have faced over five decades of drama. Up first are the Dingles, who first hit the screens in the mid-1990s. Led by bare-knuckle fighter Zak, they were not exactly nice people, but eventually they became popular with viewers and became the scheming family they are today. Gaynor Fay narrates this look back at the life of Zak, his three wives and seven children.
Hoarders: Junk Apocalypse
Thursday, Channel 5, 9pm
In the UK, some 1.2 million people are classed as hoarders, but what drives them to collect junk and stockpile items that end up making their lives a misery? This returning two-parter attempts to find out. Contributors include Esther in Great Yarmouth, whose hoard is so bad that her landlord has issued an ultimatum: clear up or clear out. Every room of her two-bedroom flat is knee-deep with clutter. Esther has sent out an SOS to extreme cleaners Caz and Tee, and they have just three days to save her from eviction.
Teacher with Tourette’s: Cursing in the Classroom
Thursday, Channel 5, 10pm
Natalie is a teacher with Tourette’s, which means lessons can be interrupted by her uncontrollable swearing. Natalie’s condition was triggered by a traumatic event in her past, and while it colours every aspect of her life, it can make even everyday tasks a struggle. However, she is determined to prove the condition is no barrier to succeeding at her job. Cameras follow her as she pushes herself out of her comfort zone. Aside from preparing to get married, she also takes part in a groundbreaking trial that it is hoped could be a game-changer for her and others with Tourette’s.
Friday, Channel 4, 7.30pm
Sahar Zand reports on the adverse impact of locusts across Kenya and neighbouring countries, which are devouring crops and threatening millions with starvation. She visits Kenya, on the trail of immense swarms of the insects – the biggest in 70 years. In a country in which agriculture provides a livelihood for more than 80 per cent of the population and where over a million people live on the edge of hunger, even a small swarm can eat the same amount of food in a day as 35,000 people, threatening millions with starvation and economic collapse.
Secrets of the Luxury Super Yachts
Friday, Channel 5, 9pm
Documentary on the Italian Sea Group shipyard in Tuscany, where many beautiful luxury yachts are crafted. There’s a look at the Superyacht Show in Barcelona, where owners looking for an upgrade have their vessels up for sale. In Monaco, cameras focus on the heart of the industry, where hungry yachting brokers pit themselves against each other for the next eight-figure boat sale. And a glimpse at the “birth” of a new luxury vessel called Life Saga – designed, sold and captained by the best of British boaters.
You’ve Been Trumped Too
From Tuesday, Amazon Prime
In 2011, Brit filmmaker Anthony Baxter documented the construction of a luxury golf course on a beach in Aberdeenshire by Donald Trump’s company. Many drew comparisons with Local Hero, and when the BBC screened You’ve Been Trumped in 2012, the tycoon’s lawyers kicked off. This heavily delayed sequel also incurred the wrath of POTUS. It explores the confrontation between Trump and Molly Forbes (96), a Scottish widow who the billionaire says reminds him of his own Scottish mother. Baxter was imprisoned when he first discovered the water supply to Molly and her family had been cut off by Trump’s workers while constructing the aforementioned golf resort. The charges were thrown out and the police forced to issue an apology. However, in You’ve Been Trumped Too, Baxter is stunned to discover Molly and her son Michael are still without a reliable water supply five years on.
The One and Only Ivan
From Friday, Disney+
Ivan, a 400-pound silverback gorilla, shares a communal habitat in a suburban shopping mall with Stella the elephant, Bob the dog, and assorted other animals. Though he has few memories of the jungle where he was captured, the arrival of a baby elephant named Ruby touches something deep within him. She has been recently separated from her family in the wild, which causes Ivan to question his life, where he comes from and where he ultimately wants to be. With a mix of live-action and CGI, this offering inspired by Katherine Applegate’s bestselling book (itself based on a true story) features an all-star cast (in one form or another), including Sam Rockwell as Ivan, Angelina Jolie (also one of the producers), Danny DeVito, Helen Mirren, Chaka Khan and Bryan Cranston.
From Friday, Amazon Prime
The DC Universe has been rather overshadowed by the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but recent box-office successes featuring Wonder Woman and Aquaman are slowly turning the tide. This new Amazon Prime series centres around high school student Courtney Whitmore (Brec Bassinger), aka Stargirl, who takes it upon herself to organise her own glee club for teens with superpowers. She wants to revive the spirit of a long-lost superhero team, so she recruits her teen titans to form the Justice Society of America and make superheroes great again. Sounds like she’s got no shortage of talent to call upon: among the adolescent superheroes are Wildcat, Hourman, Shiv and Doctor Mid-Nite. Can they restore the DC Universe to its former glory? Well, you gotta start somewhere.
From Friday, Netflix
Faustian TV sagas can be hit and miss affairs, but this one has gone from strength to strength. Following the first few series, in which the eponymous fallen angel helped LA detective Chloe Decker solve crimes while dealing with assorted family issues, the last series took a very dark turn. Now, in the first part of season five, Lucifer’s twin brother Michael secretly takes the devil’s place on Earth while he’s back in Hell. Eventually, our (anti) hero must return and face the mess his sibling made with his life. And yes, he will also confront his feelings for Chloe. Tom Ellis steals the show as usual, while Lauren German offers able support as the long suffering Decker.
From Friday, Amazon Prime
Austin Abrams and Lili Reinhart star in this engaging new drama based on the novel by Krystal Sutherland. It centres on teenage student Henry Page, a hopeless romantic who has never fallen in love. Henry wants to be editor of the high school newspaper and lives happily focused on his studies to enter a good university. But then the wonderfully named Grace Town enters his class. Though not the girl of his dreams, he falls in love when the two teenagers are chosen to edit the institute newspaper. Fans of cult British kids drama Press Gang may spot comparisons.