TV guide: 26 of the best shows to watch this week, beginning tonight
Iarnród Enda, Cook-In with Mark Moriarty, Síle Seoige – Deireadh Tochta, When Nudes Are Stolen, Them
Kim Cattrall and Aubrey Dollar iin Filthy Rich, streaming from Friday on Star/Disney+
Easter Sunday, Virgin One, 8pm
Piggy a French Bulldog, comes to the vet hospital for specialist spinal surgery to help him walk properly. In the large animal department staff have to decide if a wild seal’s eye is able to be saved. Vet nurse Clodagh and vet Myles have to look long and hard to find a magnet in a parrot’s gizzard. And Vicky the terrier continues her rehab therapy to try and help her walk.
Romeo & Juliet
Easter Sunday, Sky Arts, 9pm
It’s romance, rebellion and tragedy courtesy ofthe National Theatre, as two rising stars take on Shakespeare’s star-crossed lovers. Josh O’Connor and Jessie Buckley play the title roles in a filmed production that was due to be performed in front of a live audience in the NT last summer. Instead, the fresh 90-minute adaptation has been filmed and released as an original film. Also appearing are Fisayo Akinade as Mercutio, Deborah Findlay as the Nurse and Tamsin Greig as Lady Capulet.
Queen Elizabeth and the Spy in the Palace
Easter Sunday, Channel 4, 9pm
Royal documentaries seem to be 10a penny these days, but this one is a little bit different. Rather than focusing on a member of the House of Windsor, it takes us back to the cold war to profile Anthony Blunt, a respected art historian who spent 27 years as the surveyor of the queen’s pictures –a period in which he was also employed by the KGB as a spy. The programme also discusses Blunt’s work following the second World War, which saw him loot treasures from Germany while working for George VI.
Monday, RTÉ One, 8.30pm
What do politicians do when they finally get off the rollercoaster of running the country? They hop on the train, of course. Michael Portillo went on a never-ending journey along the great railway routes of the world, and now former taoiseach Enda Kenny is exploring the old railway routes of Ireland – only he’ll be doing it on his bicycle, as those trains don’t run on these routes anymore. In this new series, the ex-FG leader puts on his bicycle helmet and cycle clips and follows Ireland’s long-disused railway lines, some of which have been turned into walking and cycling greenways, or reconfigured for the tourism industry, allowing ancient steam trains and narrow-gauge tourist trains to run. Kenny will be doing a bit of historic trainspotting, looking at how these once-bustling railway routes transformed Ireland’s social and cultural fabric and expanded Irish people’s horizons. And he’ll examine how these long-abandoned routes could point the way to a more sustainable future for Ireland.
Louis Theroux: Shooting Joe Exotic
Monday, BBC2, 9pm
Last week Ross Kemp jumped on the bandwagon of Tiger King’s success by withdocumentaries onBritain’s own big cat-owning residents (part 2 airs tomorrow). Now Louis Theroux is going one better by speaking to Joseph Maldonado-Passage, better known as Joe Exotic, the man at the centre of the hit Netflix series. They have, however, met before. Theroux spoke to Joe while making America’s Most Dangerous Pets, but it’s fair to say that life has changed a lot in the intervening decade. Joe is still living in Oklahoma, but rather than residing at his personal zoo, he’s behind bars in a federal prison, having been found guilty of animal cruelty and plotting a murder. Theroux also catches up with others from his original programme and meets those working to get Joe out of jail.
Alan Titchmarsh: Spring into Summer
Monday, ITV, 8pm
After a winter indoors, the green-fingered expert loves nothing more than getting to grips with his garden again. Now, in a new nine-part series, Titchmarsh willoffer tips and advice to those longing to make the most of their outdoor space, whether for leisure purposes of for growing their own fruit and veg. He will also meet up with celebrities to learn more about their passion for gardening. First up it’s Alison Steadman, who discusses her love of wildlife.
Springtime on the Farm
Monday-Thursday, Channel 5, 8pm
The latest run of this four-part documentary series charts the progress of farmers across the country as they deal with lambing season. Adam Henson and Helen Skelton are our guides; he hosts from his own farm in the Cotswolds, where he raises rare breeds, while she’s in South Yorkshire, lending a hand to the Nicholson brothers at Cannon Hall Farm. Look out too for appearances from Jules Hudson, JB Gill and The Yorkshire Vet stars Peter Wright and Julian Norton.
Agatha & Poirot: Partners in Crime
Monday, ITV, 9pm
He is Agatha Christie’s most enduring creation – a diminutive Belgian detective with a pointy moustache and an obsessive attention to detail. Hercule Poirot has featured in 33 of Christie’s crime novels, two of her plays and 50 of her short stories, and been portrayed by a who’s-who of actors in films as well as on TV and stage. To celebrate the centenary of Poirot’s first appearance (in The Mysterious Affair at Styles) Richard E Grant presents this special documentary looking at Poirot’s origins and his lasting impact on popular culture. Grant recruits some lifelong Christie obsessives, including Stephen Fry, Zoë Wanamaker, Caroline Quentin and Anthony Horowitz, to forensically examine the evolution of her most famous character (sorry, Miss Marple) and explore the inspiration behind such stories as Death on the Nile and Murder on the Orient Express.
Monday-Thursday, Channel 5, 9pm
Tom Meeten and Elaine Cassidy play Sam and Rebecca Hickey, who appear to live the perfect life in their rural self-build modern home in the West Country. However, their idyll is shattered when two teenagers break into their home and, in a rage, Sam stabs one of them to death as he’s trying to escape through a window. They realise that Sam could be tried for murder and decide to stage the scene to make it appear he killed the intruder in self-defence. It initially appears to work, until a family liaison officer (Sally Lindsay) grows increasingly suspicious.
Lights Up: Half Breed
Tuesday, BBC4, 11pm
Natasha Marshall’s semi-autobiographical dark comedy about finding your voice began its life as a poem at spoken-word nights and was developed into a short play through Soho Theatre’s Writers’ Lab and Talawa Firsts. It follows Jazmin, a young woman of mixed ethnic heritage, who lives in a village in the West Country and feels different. She doesn’t want to stay in the village; she doesn’t want to have a baby; she doesn’t want to laugh at racist jokes in the local pub. She’s got to get out – and spots an opportunity when her gran signs her up for a drama school audition in London.
Cook-In with Mark Moriarty
Wednesday, RTÉ One, 8.30pm
Sick of cooking those endless lockdown meals? Can’t face the prospect of yet another dull-as-dishwater dinner? You need to reignite your passion for cooking, and no better man to relight your foodie fire than award-winning chef Mark Moriarty, hosting his second cook-in following the success of last year’s series. Moriarty, sous chef at Dublin’s Greenhouse Restaurant, is on a mission to get everybody cooking. The focus is on easy-to-follow recipes that will lift the family’s tastebuds out of lockdown and guarantee Level 5 satisfaction. In the first programme, Moriarty take an old reliable – spag bol with garlic bread – and shows how to put more pizazz into it. Then he brings the traditional bacon and cabbage back to life with the help of a delicious parsley sauce, and rounds things off with pork tacos that will spice up your lockdown life.
Síle Seoige – Deireadh Tochta
Wednesday, TG4, 9.30pm
In this hour-long documentary, Síle Seoige talks to women who have suffered miscarriages, tries to lift the veil of silence and hopefully dispel the cloud of shame around this very sensitive subject. This is personal for Seoige: she has twice experienced the trauma of miscarriage, and believes it’s time to bring it out into the open and remove the stigma surrounding this devastating loss. “A lot of people struggle to speak about miscarriage, which I get, because it is very hard to talk about,” she told RSVP Live. “But I hope that the conversation in my documentary will give people the courage to speak up, because it’s nothing to be ashamed about.” Among the women speaking up about their experience of miscarriage are model Rosanna Davison.
When Nudes Are Stolen
Wednesday, BBC1, 11.15pm
When Jess Davies began glamour modelling at the age of 18, she had no idea how little control she would have over her images. Although she no longer does topless shoots, pictures of her are available online – and are being used to catfish men around the world. Over the years, Davies has received messages from thousands of men telling her they have been speaking to someone who was using her pictures, and she has often borne the brunt of their anger and frustration when they realised they had been conned. In this documentary, she sets out to discover just why and how her photos are being used in this way.
Paul O’Grady: For the Love of Dogs
Wednesday, ITV, 8pm
It’s been reported that the demand for dogs has risen during lockdown, yet the canine residents of Battersea Dogs and Cats Home are still looking for new owners. Luckily, Paul O’Grady is here to share their stories, and of course, fall in love with a few of them along the way. In the first episode, he meets two Maltese Terrier puppies who staff suspect may have come from a puppy farm in Romania. They were bought for £4,000 by a family in the UK, but their new owners struggled to cope with them. A three-month-old Spaniel-cross is also believed to have started life in a puppy farm, but he’s just arrived at the Brands Hatch branch of Battersea –and is covered in mites.
Location, Location, Location
Wednesday, Chanel 4, 8pm
The property market may have its ups and downs, but for the past 21 years house-hunters have been able to rely on Kirstie Allsopp and Phil Spencer to help them find the perfect property. The duo return for their 35th series, beginning in the East Midlands, where two couples need their assistance. Lloyd and Karina have been saving up by living with their respective parents, but are now ready for a place of their own, while Helen and Richard, who have been managing a care home during lockdown (which probably didn’t leave a lot of time for property searches), want to stop renting.
The Day Will and Kate Got Married
Wednesday, IITV, 9pm
Harry and Meghan have recently been dominating the headlines, but back on April 29th, 2011, more than two billion people around the world tuned into watch Prince William marry his long-term girlfriend Kate Middleton. Now, as the couple approach their 10th anniversary, this documentary looks back on that momentous day, hearing the memories of family, friends and insiders. The contributors include Kate’s uncle, Gary Goldsmith, speaking exclusively in his first ever TV interview, and former Metropolitan Police commander Bob Broadhurst, who was in charge of security.
Go Domhan san Fhuil
Thursday, TG4, 7.30pm
This two-part series features three of the few remaining boats that fish out of Machaire Rabhartaigh in the Donegal Gaeltacht. Two of the boats, owned by John O’Brien and his son Colm, fish commerically for crab, staying out for up to two days at a time in all but the most difficult of weather conditions. The third boat belongs to Peadar Coll. He fishes closer ashore as restrictions on fishing make it almost impossible for small-scale boats to earn a living from this most traditional of livelihoods. While the decline in the number of boats fishing locally is impossible to deny, what’s harder to shake is what’s “in the blood”, the generational instinct to fish in the Atlantic, whatever the circumstances.
Thursday, RTÉ One, 10.15pm
It’s a rule of TV drama that if your husband dies in an apparent accident, then a) it’s not an accident, b) you’ll uncover lots of dark secrets about him that he’s somehow managed to hide from you for all those years, and c) the cops will think you dun it. Finding Alice ( first shown on ITV earlier this year) ticks off all the above boxes, but it’s got some added ingredients to lift it above the cliche. Keeley Hawes brings her considerable talent to fleshing out the character of Alice, while Joanna Lumley and Nigel Havers do a scene-stealing turn as Alice’s parents. Alice, her property developer husband Harry and their teenage daughter Charlotte move into their new super-smart home, built by Harry. But when he’s found dead having fallen off the stairs (there’s no banister – they’re just so passe), things spiral out of control for Alice. For one thing, she can’t seem to work the electronic curtains, and where’s the bloody fridge in this sleek new kitchen? Alice soon learns that Harry’s property empire may be built on quicksand, and she’s going to have to get smart herself to keep from sinking.
Friday, Channel 4, 8pm
Believe it or not, this is the 19th series of Food Unwrapped, but it seems there are still plenty of fascinating foods facts to uncover and kitchen myths to bust. In the first episode of the run, Helen Lawal is heading to one of the world’s biggest coffee factories to find out how they put the froth in instant cappuccinos. Matt Tebbutt visits Italy to find out why the country dominates the market in tinned tomatoes, while Kate Quilton is on her own European adventure to learn why panettone lasts so much longer than most other cakes.
Trip Hazard: My Great British Adventure
Friday, Channel 4, 8.30pm
This new series from comedian Rosie Jones had the working title Rosie’s Great British, Female Gay, Disabled, Covid Compliant Adventure, which is certainly descriptive. It also tips viewers off that this isn’t going to be quite the same as the many other travelogues in which celebrities explore parts of Britain. As well as being a travel guide, Trip Hazard finds Jones navigating a heightened reality, one in which her planned global, luxury travelogue has been scrapped due to Covid and the Channel 4 commissioner doesn’t seem very interested in what she’s doing instead. So, in the first episode she goes to the Lake District with Scarlett Moffatt, while Olivia Colman provides the narration.
Have I Got News for You
Friday, BBC1, 9.30pm
Viewers won’t be too surprised to see the long-running satirical show is back for a 61st series – after all, it even found a way to keep going during the uncertain days of the first lockdown, although fans were glad when the audience made a virtual return. In this episode, stalwarts Paul Merton and Ian Hislop are joined by guest host David Tennant and panellists comedian Jack Dee and journalist Helen Lewis. As ever, there should be plenty for them to talk about.
Saturday, RTÉ One, 8.30pm
Jennifer Zamparelli presents a new Saturday-night quiz show where families get a chance to win cash prizes – all from the comfort of their sofas. With even quiz shows having to adapt to Covid, RTÉ has come up with an intriguing formula: families compete in a general knowledge quiz, but just one family member is actually in the studio. The rest of the clan is standing by at home to pool their knowledge and help with tricky questions. They’ll be visible on large screens, so no sneaky checking Wikipedia in the bathroom. The contestants will be able to recruit the family to come up with answers, but not everyone might agree on the correct answer.
This Is a Robbery
From Wednesday, Netflix
Over the course of the St Patrick’s Day weekend in 1990, an audacious art heist took place at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston. Iconic works by the likes of Degas, Manet, Rembrandt and Vermeer, worth some $500 million, were stolen by two men who, disguised as police officers, gained entry to the building, tied up the security guards and made off with their loot. No arrests have ever been made and the artworks never recovered. Lots of theories concerning what may have happened have been mooted ever since, and now brothers Nick and Colin Barnacle, Boston natives with a longstanding fascination with the case, are delving into the story via a new four-part documentary.
From Friday, Star/Disney+
When it was announced that Carrie, Miranda and Charlotte were reuniting for a new Sex 9and the City series, everyone asked, where’s Samantha? Kim Cattrall won’t be reuniting with her SATC chums, but she can be seen here in a drama from the new Disney+ channel, as yet another widow whose dead husband has left her in the doo-doo. Set in Louisiana, Filthy Rich is a southern Gothic soap about a family who have made their mega-riches from televangelism. Cattrall is matriarch Margaret Monreaux, whose husband Eugene, founder of a hugely successful Christian TV network, has apparently died in a plane crash. Margaret soon learns that Eugene had had lots of affairs and fathered three children with different mistresses. But instead of doing a Trump and telling his lawyer to just pay the women off, he’s written the grown-up children into his will – and now they’ve rocked up to claim their slice of the family fortune.
From Friday, Netflix
What would happen if ordinary middle-aged women suddenly developed super powers? We’ll find out courtesy of a new comedy movie written and directed by Ben Falcone and starring his real-life wife, Melissa McCarthy, alongside Octavia Spencer. The latter plays Emily Stanton, a scientist who has developed a serum with the power to give whoever has some amazing skills. She takes it, as does her estranged former best friend Lydia (McCarthy), and together they form a superhero team capable of battling The King (Bobby Cannavale), the villainous leader of a band of equally powerful miscreants attempting to take control of Chicago. Jason Bateman and Melissa Leo also appear.
From Friday, Amazon Prime
If you enjoyed Get Out, Us and Lovecraft County, chances are you’ll love this 10-part, 1950s-set chiller, the first run of a new anthology series. It focuses on a black family who swap their North Carolina home for a seemingly idyllic neighbourhood in Los Angeles. The problem is that everybody else is white and seemingly none of the residents are pleased to see them. The locals then set out to turn the newcomers’ lives into a nightmare; so far, so predictable, but it’s what happens next that proves surprising – as well as dealing with the vindictiveness and prejudice of their neighbours, the family’s home also becomes the centre of some disturbing supernatural incidents. Deborah Ayorinde, Ashley Thomas, Alison Pill, Ryan Kwanton and Shahadi Wright Joseph star.