TV guide: 26 of the best shows to watch this week, beginning tonight

Ireland’s Historic Gardens, Cocooned, The Girl with the Colourful Leg, Éadaí SOS, Hector – Éire Nua, The Guilty

The 2 Johnnies Take On, beginning Monday on RTÉ2

The 2 Johnnies Take On, beginning Monday on RTÉ2

 

Foxy’s Fearless 48 Hours with Rob Delaney
Sunday, Channel 4, 10pm
There’s more than a whiff of the Bear Grylls about this new series, in which the SAS Who Dares Wins star isk joined by three household names. Catastrophe star Rob Delaney gets the ball rolling, with an unforgettable 48-hour stay in rural Wales. He will face three petrifying challenges, designed by Foxy to push Delaney’s boundaries and build his resilience, followed by a final test. Along the way the men will discuss events that have helped them overcome tragedy and how these experiences can help them get through the coming hours.

Ireland’s Historic Gardens
Sunday, RTÉ One, 6.30pm

Robert O’Byrne in Ireland’s Historic Gardens
Robert O’Byrne in Ireland’s Historic Gardens

Writer-historian Robert O’Byrne clearly likes to potter about in the garden – as long as that garden is big, magnificent and of major significance in Irish history. O’Byrne (formerly of this parish) writes and presents this two-part documentary tracing the evolution of Ireland’s historic gardens over the past 400 years. It begins with a visit to Lismore Castle, Ireland’s oldest continually cultivated garden, and taking in such horticultural hotspots as Muckross Abbey in Co Kerry, Portumna Castle in Co Galway, Kilruddery House in Co Wicklow, and the National Botanic Gardens in Dublin. O’Byrne will show how fashions in garden design changed over the centuries, and how even your choice of landscaping style can be political. O’Byrne will meet the owners, gardeners and landscapers who keep these gardens in tip-top condition, and find out about the historical figures who have strolled through them.

Being James Bond
Sunday, ITV, 10.20pm

Daniel Craig in No Time to Die
Daniel Craig in No Time to Die

It’s hard to imagine now, but Daniel Craig received a frosty reception in some quarters when he was unveiled as the successor to Pierce Brosnan’s James Bond in 2005. Most critics have been well and truly silenced in the intervening years and a total of five outings as the super-spy, and as fans eagerly await latest instalment No Time to Die, they can hear from the man himself. Craig settles down for a chat with Bond producers (and his bosses, we presume) Michael G Wilson and Barbara Broccoli. The actor takes a candid look back at his outings as 007, from Casino Royale to No Time to Die, and shares a few memories about making the films and how it feels to leave 007 behind.

Cocooned
Monday, RTÉ One, 9.35pm

Cocooned
Cocooned

During the lockdowns of 2020 and early 2021, older people were forced to confine themselves to their houses, cottages and apartments while younger people enjoyed more freedom to move about. Ken Wardrop’s documentary film records the responses of older people as they were made to stay home, unable to receive visitors, separated from their grandchildren and close family members. Wardrop’s own mother was confined in a nursing home, and he understands that feeling of being so close yet so far away from loved ones. He meets some extraordinary characters whose resilience and stoicism in the face of a pandemic will inspire.

The 2 Johnnies Take On
Monday, RTÉ2, 9.30pm
The Tipp twosome are always up for a bit of craic – in fact, they’ve made a bit of a career out of it. In this new series, Johnny Smacks and Johnny B expand their horizons and push out of their comfort zones (GAA, slagging, writing mad songs) and risk life and limb trying out new things beginning with TikTok dancing. The comedy duo are way out of their depth on the world’s hottest social media app, but they’ll have help from top TikTokker Lauren Whelan, who has notched up 118 million views. The lads decide to make their own TikTok video to raise funds for their local GAA club, but they’ll need some tips from social media experts to help it go viral – and they’ll need some coaching from professional dancer Karen Byrne from Dancing with the Stars. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll hurl.

The Golden Girls/The Wonder Years
Monday, TG4, 6pm/6.30pm

The Golden Girls
The Golden Girls

The pilot episodes of two beloved hit US series that begin a run on TG4. In the first episode of the The Golden Girls (1985-1992),Blanche has been dating a man named Harry, and the others think he’s about to propose. Rose worries where she will live and, later, suspects that there is something off about Harry. Dorothy, meanwhile, must contend with her mother, who comes to stay with the girls when her retirement home burns down. The first episode of The Wonder Years (1988-1993) mainly focuses on Kevin Arnold’s first day of school, which involves a few classroom scenes, a lunch scene where Wayne teases Kevin about Winnie being his girlfriend (which he denies), and Kevin getting in trouble...only to come home to the news that Winnie’s brother has died.

24 Hours in Police Custody
Monday, Channel 4, 9pm
The fly-on-the-wall series is back for a six-part run, beginning with a manhunt after three women are assaulted in a Luton house. The attack is caught on CCTV, and as the footage hits social media and the traditional media, the police begin a race against time to find the suspect before he goes to ground. The programme follows every twist of the hunt after it becomes clear the perpetrator has fled abroad.

The World’s Most Beautiful Landscapes: The Amazon
Monday, More4, 9pm
Narrated by Robert Lindsay, this programme takes us on a breathtaking visual journey through some of the world’s most beautiful and extraordinary landscapes. We begin in the Amazon, following the river’s course for 4,000 miles from its source in the Peruvian Andes towards the Atlantic. We follow the Apurimac north to discover the bizarrely beautiful “Rainbow Mountain” at Vinicunca. As the Amazon’s tributaries push into northern Peru then turn eastwards towards Brazil, the river has grown into a mighty force – one of the wonders of nature.

The Goes Wrong Show
Tuesday, BBC One, 8.30pm
Anyone who saw Les Dawson at the piano knew only a skilled musician could mis-hit the keys with such precision, and there’s a similar thing going on here. Based on the 2015 The Play That Goes Wrong by Mischief Theatre company, each edition sees an ordinary piece go hilariously awry. Of course critics notice that each offering requires pin-point precision to pull off, but viewers are probably laughing too hard to notice or care. It begins as the Cornley Polytechnic Drama Society undertakes another overly ambitious endeavour, held back by over-actor Robert Grove, screen-hogging Sandra Wilkinson, and the mistrusted Dennis Tyde.

Our Lives: The Girl with the Colourful Leg
Wednesday, BBC One, 7.30pm
When Belfast woman Bernadette Hagans was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer, it seemed her dreams of becoming a model and actor were about to be shattered. Her cancer – synovial sarcoma – targeted joints and tendons, and she had to have her right leg amputated below the knee. But rather than give in, Hagans turned her disability into a strength, signed up to a modelling agency, and became the first amputee to compete in the Miss Northern Ireland contest. Rather than hide her prosthetic limb, she has turned it into a piece of body art, consulting with a vinyl car-wrapping company to help her regularly change its look and colour. She says her customised “robot leg” has helped her come out of herself and gain the confidence to pursue her ambitions: “It took losing my leg to make me realise I was holding myself back.”

Éadaí SOS
Wednesday, TG4, 8.30pm

Proinsias Ó Coinn and Caoimhe Ní Chathail in Éadaí SOS
Proinsias Ó Coinn and Caoimhe Ní Chathail in Éadaí SOS

Sustainable fashion is a hot topic, with news that Primark (Penneys in Ireland) is promising to manufacture more recyclable clothing while still keeping prices low. The fashion industry is seen as one of the biggest polluters in the world, and much of that is down to so-called fast fashion – cheaply manufactured clothing flown halfway around the world to be worn once or twice and then thrown away. In this new wardrobe-rebooting series, Caoimhe Ní Chathail and Proinsias Ó Coinn set out to encourage us to look afresh at that big rectangular yoke that contains all our clothes, and work out how we can make it a more environmentally friendly space. They meet student Mollaí Ní Mhiacháin from Donegal, who admits she’s a bit of a shopaholic. How will she react when told she can’t buy any clothes for two weeks, but must instead survive on what’s already in her wardrobe?

Hitmen: Reloaded
Wednesday, Sky Comedy & NowTV, 9pm
Mel and Sue are back as amateurish assassins Jamie and Fran – two of the nicest killers you’ll ever meet for the very last time. You’d never mistake these two for professional hitmen, which sort of gives them the element of surprise when they’re carrying out another murderous assignment. As season two begins, the death-dealing duo are no longer working for Mr K, but luckily there’s no shortage of work; and as the body count rises, so does the bank balance. Best of all, their success means they can hold their heads high at their school reunion – although they can’t tell any of their old schoolmates that they’re in IT (individual termination). It’s a 1980s-style reunion, so Jamie and Fran get on their boldest, brashest Bananarama gear for the party, but there’s another mystery guest: a proper professional hitman sent to take revenge on our retro-dressed heroines.

Áille ar Airgead
Wednesday, TG4, 9.30pm

Hazel Martyn, the face of Ireland on Irish punt banknotes
Hazel Martyn, the face of Ireland on Irish punt banknotes

The life stories of two remarkable Irish women: Mary Cunningham, a poor migrant from Donegal, who dressed in Native American headgear to become the face of “Liberty” on the most controversial gold coin ever minted in the US; and Hazel Martyn, born in Chicago of wealthy Irish parentage, who was chosen by her husband, John Lavery, to represent Ireland when he was commissioned to design the new punt banknotes for the newly independent country. Weaving their remarkable stories together, the docu-drama gives a fresh insight into the position of women in the early 20th century.

Location, Location, Location
Wednesday, Channel 4, 8pm
Kirstie Allsopp and Phil Spencer raise the curtain on a new series of property searches, kicking off in South London. She has her work cut out helping Rachel and Alan, who want to stop paying £2,000 a month rent and find a home they can call their own. Kirstie achieves the impossible and shows them houses that make their jaws drop. Meanwhile, Phil attempts to come to the rescue of first-time buyers Jess and Zac, who have viewed more than 60 properties but are at the mercy of a fast-moving London market.

Hollington Drive
Wednesday, ITV, 9pm
Anna Maxwell Martin and Rachael Stirling, who costarred in The Bletchley Circle, reunite for this new four-part series. They play sisters Theresa and Helen, respectively, and the drama opens as they and their families enjoy a relaxed afternoon and barbecue together. When Theresa’s son Ben asks to play in the nearby park with his cousin Eva, Theresa is not keen but her partner dismisses her concerns and waves them off. However, when the children are late returning home, Theresa goes in search of the youngsters. When she finds them, her instincts tell her something is not right and, sure enough, later in the evening a distraught neighbour calls round with terrible news.

The Repair Shop
Wednesday, BBC One, 8pm
Jay Blades (who can also be seen immediately after The Repair Shop in Jay’s Yorkshire Workshop over on BBC Two) looks on as more miraculous renovations take place. First up, bear repair ladies Amanda and Julie join forces with metalworker Dom to breathe new life into some dilapidated dolls that mean a lot to their owner. Also featured is the oldest item ever featured on the programme, as well as a painted German toy box and a much-loved drum kit. Expect tears aplenty as the finished objects are revealed.

The Gadget Show
Wednesday, Channel 5, 7pm
Craig Charles and the team are back with more tech and advice. Jon Bentley puts three budget big-brand phones to the test, and Georgie Barrat looks at TVs, finding out if we should be buying popular OLED models or Samsung’s own QLED tech. Plus, Ortis Deley offers a rundown of the top five innovative music technologies, and Charles hunts down a quirky piece of tech that claims to make our life easier – beginning with a device that claims to freshen up your clothes without using a washing machine.

Hector – Éire Nua
Thursday, TG4, 9.30pm

Hector Ó hEochagáin and Ola Majekodunmi in Hector – Éire Nua
Hector Ó hEochagáin and Ola Majekodunmi in Hector – Éire Nua

Hector Ó hEochagáin begins his travels around Ireland in his home town of Navan, where he meets: Nigerian radio star Yemi Adenuga; the Kislinas from Latvia, who came here for work; New Yorker Jeaic, who came for the language. There is a French fisherman who has made Co Clare his home and a Russian man who learned his impeccable Irish in Moscow. He discusses the daily struggles of radio presenter Ola Majekodunmi faces trying to work with the Irish language, and hears a heartwarming tale of nurse Patricia’s first time arriving in Ireland.

Don’t Exclude Me
Thursday, BBC Two, 9pm
The British education sector has been under huge strain for a long time, a situation exacerbated in some regions by the pressures of Covid-19. A consequence of that stress has been an increase in exclusions, which are up 70 per cent since 2012. Behavioural expert Marie Gentles has developed techniques that can help avoid exclusions completely, and this two-parter follows her as she works with Milton Hall Primary School in Southend, helping manage some of its most challenging pupils over the course of a school year during the pandemic. Using care and understanding, Gentles helps teachers and parents develop strategies that help three children with behavioural struggles to enjoy school and stay in class.

Manhunt: The Night Stalker
Thursday, Virgin One, 9pm
In 2019, the chilling drama Manhunt was broadcast, chronicling the painstaking investigation into French student Amelie Delagrange’s murder, and its eventual connection to the deaths of Marsha McDonnell and Milly Dowler at the hands of serial killer Levi Bellfield. Manhunt was written by Ed Whitmore and featured Martin Clunes as ex-London Metropolitan Police detective, DCI Colin Sutton. Writer and star are back for this four-part semi-sequel (which premiered last week on ITV), exploring a case that went unsolved for almost two decades. Based on Sutton’s diaries, it follows the real-life story of the police pursuit of a notorious serial rapist whose 17-year reign of terror left thousands of elderly people in southeast London living in fear.

Nationwide – Sean Ó Riada
Friday, RTE One, 7pm

Seán Ó Riada
Seán Ó Riada

Fifty years ago, a country mourned the death of Seán Ó Riada at the age of 40. Charismatic and naturally gifted, Cork-born John Reidy had great ambitions to be a classical composer, but it was his emotive score for the 1959 film Mise Éire that made him a household name. His popular settings of Ár n’Athair atá ar Neamh and Ag Críost an Síol became ingrained in Irish culture and are still performed regularly today. As a founding member and director of the group Ceoltóirí Chualann, he lifted traditional music out of the rural kitchen and gave it a place in a new modern Ireland. For Nationwide, Bláthnaid Ní Chofaigh meets family and friends of Ó Riada and visits Cúil Aodha in west Cork, his home for the last few years of his short life.

Richard Osman’s House of Games Night
Friday, BBC One, 8.30pm
A new series of the trivia-based quiz begins as Ed Gamble, Sian Gibson, Dara O’Briain and Sindhu Vee go head-to-head, hoping their general knowledge will keep them ahead of their competitors. This time around, Osman has a few surprises in store, including a House of Games House Band, led by David O’Doherty. A weekly winner is declared following a quick-fire round at the end of each show as the scores are tallied across the series, with an overall champion crowned in the season finale.

Unreported World
Friday, Channel 4, 7.30pm
In the first of a new run, Guillermo Galdos examines the sale of Coca-Cola in Chiapas, one of the poorest states in Mexico. Residents drink almost 16 litres a week, five times the national average, and Galdos heads to San Cristobal to meet one family who sell it and are living the consequences of a sugary diet. Plagued by ill-health, they rely on Coke to make a living, and Galdos investigates the region’s growing diabetes crisis, where the combination of Covid-19 and sugar is sending people to early graves.

ON DEMAND

Ada Twist, Scientist
From Tuesday, Netflix

Ada Twist, Scientist
Ada Twist, Scientist

This smart animated series follows the adventures of eight-year-old Ada Twist, a pint-sized scientist with a giant-sized curiosity who aspires to discover the truth about absolutely everything. Alongside her best friends Rosie Revere and Iggy Peck, Ada unravels and solves mysteries for her friends and family. But that’s just the start of the journey, because science isn’t just about learning how and why and what – it’s about putting that knowledge into action to make the world a better place.

The Chestnut Man
From Wednesday, Netflix

Danica Curcic in The Chestnut Man
Danica Curcic in The Chestnut Man

From the creator of The Killing comes this Danish thriller (original title: Kastanjemanden) with deep Nordic noir roots. Based on award-winning writer Soren Sveistrup’s debut novel, it opens as a quiet suburb of Copenhagen is shattered when a young woman is found brutally murdered in a playground. One of her hands is missing, and above her body is a tiny figurine made of chestnuts. From this creepy clue, ambitious detective Naia Thulin (Danica Curcic) and her new partner launch the hunt for a killer in a case that has links to a politician’s missing child.

The Guilty
From Friday, Netflix

Jake Gyllenhaal in The Guilty
Jake Gyllenhaal in The Guilty

A slick US remake of an acclaimed 2018 Danish drama, starring and produced by Jake Gyllenhaal and directed by Antoine Fuqua. The Guilty chronicles a single morning at a busy emergency services dispatch call centre, where operator Joe Baylor (Gyllenhaal) attempts to save a caller he believes is in grave danger. However, he soon discovers that nothing is quite as it appears, and facing the truth is going to be the only way out of a tense and tricky situation. The voice supporting cast (all literally phoning it in) includes Riley Keough, Peter Saarsgard, Paul Dano and Ethan Hawke.

Contributing: PA

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