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

Bling Ring: Hollywood Heist, Navalny, Scannal: Annie McCarrick, Noughts + Crosses, Michael Jackson’s Zoo, Where Have All the Lesbians Gone?, Ten Percent

Queer Eye cohost Tan France  in February 2018. Tan France: Beauty and the Bleach screens Wednesday on BBC2. Photograph: Rich Fury/Getty Images for Netflix

Queer Eye cohost Tan France in February 2018. Tan France: Beauty and the Bleach screens Wednesday on BBC2. Photograph: Rich Fury/Getty Images for Netflix

 

Our Changing Planet
Sunday, BBC One, 7pm
Last August the BBC’s Natural History Unit announced an epic new series, to be filmed over the course of seven years, charting changes to the environment in six key habitats around the world, including California, the Arctic and the Amazon rainforest. The tireless work of conservationists trying to preserve these places will also be followed. The first two instalments are ready to view, with the opener featuring Steve Backshall, Chris Packham and Ella Al-Shamahi as they embark on fact-finding missions in the Maldives, Iceland and Cambodia respectively.

DIY SOS: The Big Build Ireland
Sunday, RTÉ One, 6.30pm

Baz Ashmawi with Laura Sheridan and her children in DIY SOS
Baz Ashmawi with Laura Sheridan and her children in DIY SOS

A home improvement show that actually makes a difference to people’s lives – Baz Ashmawi and his team have hit on a winning formula with DIY SOS, in which he and a crew of volunteers lend their skills to helping people who are struggling with big life issues. Watching this show will bring a tear to your eye – and not just because of eye-watering renovation costs. For the show’s finale, Baz and the team are in Waterford city, helping nurse Laura Sheridan make her home a safe and comforting place for her and her three children. Laura’s twin boys have a form of autism, which means they need constant care and supervision. That’s a tough enough task, made even tougher since Laura has been diagnosed with stage 3 Hodgkin’s lymphoma. This is one property show that brings out everybody’s best instincts.

Grace: Looking Good Dead
Sunday, ITV, 8pm
Peter James is one of the nation’s biggest-selling crime writer. Millions can’t get enough of his long-running Roy Grace series, which is set to expand even further in September when the 19th novel featuring the troubled Brighton detective is published. The first of ITV’s adaptations aired in March 2021 and another four have now been filmed. Tonight, a man inadvertently picks up a CD on a train and, while trying to return it to its owner, witnesses a brutal murder, setting in motion a terrifying series of events. John Simm, Richie Campbell, Craig Parkinson and Rakie Ayola star.

Young Sheldon
Sunday, E4, 8pm

Raegan Revord, and Iain Armitage in Young Sheldon
Raegan Revord, and Iain Armitage in Young Sheldon

The coming-of-age sitcom returns for a fifth season. After sharing a few drinks at a bar with Brenda, George snr feels a chest pain and is admitted to Medford Community Hospital. After being sent home, he feels guilty, and Sheldon talks to him and Missy, pointing out that he and Missy got away with some other bad behaviour without punishment. The youngster then goes to see Professor Sturgis at Davidson’s, and the conversation turns to similarities between the works of Plato and JRR Tolkien. In the second episode, Sheldon encourages Missy to question the Bible, and Mary helps Pastor Jeff for a youth pastor.

Bling Ring: Hollywood Heist
Monday/Tuesday/Wednesday, Channel 4, 10pm
In the mid-noughties, Hollywood was hit by a spate of high-profile burglaries, with robberies carried out at the houses of stars including Orlando Bloom, Lindsay Lohan and Paris Hilton. The criminals, known as the Bling Ring, used the rise of social media to track the comings and goings of celebrities, and burgle their houses while they were on holidays, on location or at award ceremonies. When they were caught, the Bling Ring turned out to be a group of middle-class teenagers. This three-part documentary details their elaborate methods for carrying out their crimes and what happened with their lives afterwards. (The crime spree was dramatised in a 2013 movie directed by Sofia Coppola and starring Emma Watson.)

Navalny
Monday, BBC Two, 9pm

Aleksei Navalny protesting the election of Vladimir Putin at a meeting in Pushkin Square in March 2012. Photograph: James Hill/The New York Times
Aleksei Navalny protesting the election of Vladimir Putin at a meeting in Pushkin Square in March 2012. Photograph: James Hill/The New York Times

In August 2020, Russian opposition leader, lawyer and anti-corruption activist Aleksei Navalny became the victim of a suspected poisoning using banned substance Novichok. After recovering in a Berlin hospital, he accused Vladimir Putin of the attack, only to be arrested in January 2021 upon returning to Russia. Navalny was sentenced to 2½ years behind bars before receiving an additional nine years in March. This insightful documentary follows his team as they investigate the events surrounding the poisoning.

Imagine: Miriam Margolyes – Up for Grabs
Monday, BBC One, 11.45pm

Miriam Margolyes as Prof Pomona Sprout in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (2002)
Miriam Margolyes as Prof Pomona Sprout in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (2002)

She stole the show as Nursie in Blackadder, dazzled as a grande dame in Martin Scorsese’s The Age of Innocence, was a colourful counterpoint to the doomed romance in Baz Luhrman’s Romeo + Juliet, and became an international star after playing Professor Sprout in the Harry Potter franchise. Veteran star of stage and screen Miriam Margolyes is the subject of this week’s in-depth interview with Alan Yentob, who learns more about her emotional highs and most vulnerable moments. He gets a glimpse of Miriam’s life at her home in London, explores the great critical acclaim she has garnered during her long career, and finds out why, at the tender age of 80, Miriam still thinks there’s more to be done.

Scannal: Annie McCarrick
Tuesday, RTÉ One, 7pm

Annie McCarrick
Annie McCarrick

It’s been almost 30 years since American Annie McCarrick disappeared in Dublin; no trace of her has ever been found, and no one has been charged in connection with her disappearance. This episode of Scannal looks back to March 1993 and a case that gripped the whole country. The New York native, then 27, had been last seen boarding a bus to Enniskerry, and there was a claimed sighting of her in Johnny Fox’s pub. But massive searches in the Wicklow area turned up not a single clue. Around that time, several other women disappeared, leading to feverish speculation that there was a serial killer on the loose. This episode features interviews with retired garda Thomas Rock, who was on the investigating team; McCarrick’s friend Marisa Mackle; and former FBI agent Kenneth Strange, a friend of and adviser to the McCarrick family.

Noughts + Crosses
Tuesday BBC One, 11.10pm

Jack Rowan and Masali Baduza in Noughts + Crosses
Jack Rowan and Masali Baduza in Noughts + Crosses

The dystopian series in which black is white and white is black returns for a second season, with star-crossed lovers Callum (Jack Rowan) and Sephy (Masali Baduza) on the run after their relationship is exposed. The series is based on the novels by Malorie Blackman, set in an alternative England (known as Albion), where white people (“Noughts”) are ruled with an iron fist by their black overlords (“Crosses”). The books, which flipped the narrative of power and prejudice by envisaging a world in which Europe was conquered by African nations, were hailed as a bold statement on institutionalised racism. Fans of the young adult series will be eager to catch the next instalment, and Blackman assures us that “even those familiar with the Noughts & Crosses series of books will find surprises, suspense and so much to savour”.

Derry Girls
Tuesday, Channel 4, 9pm
Following the stress of last week’s fundraising talent show, the girls are ready to let their hair down. And there’s a huge buzz in the Quinn household as preparations are made for the annual day trip to the legendary Barry’s amusement park in Portrush. Surely an unfeasible amount of sandwiches, bags of coins for the slots, and a massive surfboard is all they could possibly need to have a fun time in the seaside town? But to do that, they first have to all make it on the train – which is easier said than done.

DNA Journey
Tuesday, ITV, 9pm
Olympic legends Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean are the latest celebrity duo uncovering their family history using DNA and genealogy. We already know the pair share a long history together. Torvill and Dean won their famous gold medal at the 1984 Winter Games in Sarajevo, performing a routine to Maurice Ravel’s Bolero, and scoring 12 perfect 6.0s and six 5.9s from the judges, as well as a clean sweep of 6.0s for artistic impression. Nearly four decades on, and the pair are now head judges on ITV skating competition Dancing on Ice. In tonight’s DNA Journey, Chris discovers living relatives on his mother’s side that he never knew existed, while Jane uncovers an astounding connection to West Ham United and another record-breaking sporting relative.

Pompeii: Sin City
Tuesday, Sky Arts, 9pm
Isabella Rossellini narrates this documentary exploring the once grand and thriving Roman city, told through the work of the writers and artists of the era who visited and imagined it. The film explores the ruins of Pompeii, one of the richest and most mysterious archaeological sites in the world, and tells the love story of Bacchus and Ariadne as well as bloody gladiatorial combat. Plus, the filmmakers analyse some of the most secret aspects of the city.

Searching for Michael Jackson’s Zoo with Ross Kemp
Wednesday, ITV, 9pm
He was once known as the King of the Pop. And while he still has an army of loyal subjects, it’s safe to say that Michael Jackson’s reputation has been severely tarnished in the years since his death following allegations of abuse. Here Ross Kemp looks at a less publicised part of Jackson’s life and legacy: the zoo he kept at his Neverland Ranch. At its peak, it was home to 124 exotic animals, including zebras, giraffes, elephants, lions and his famous pet chimpanzee Bubbles. The zoo was later dismantled, and Kemp is on a mission to find out what happened to its residents. He also raises some difficult questions about whether Jackson’s reputation as an animal lover was reflected in the way the creatures were treated.

Great British History Hunters
Wednesday, More4, 9pm
With privileged access behind the scenes at the British Museum, this new series follows a characterful cast of passionate metal detectorists as their incredible discoveries make their way through the fascinating world of the museum’s Portable Antiquities Scheme. In the first edition, a unique collection of Roman Bronzes make life-changing amounts of money at auction; mudlarks scour the Thames foreshore for treasures of London’s past; and a 3,000-year-old gold sun pendant is discovered in Shropshire.

Tan France: Beauty and the Bleach
Wednesday, BBC Two, 9pm
When Tan France was just nine years old, he attempted to lighten his skin with bleaching cream he found in a relative’s cupboard. He’s regretted it ever since. However, in this new documentary, the fashion designer, who has gone on to find fame as one of the experts on Neflix hit Queer Eye, looks at why his story is far from unique. The presenter explores issues around skin tone and colourism in the fashion, entertainment and beauty industries, as well as society as a whole, talking to celebrities, experts and people affected by the issue.

Rebuilding Notre Dame: The Next Chapter
Thursday, BBC Two, 8pm
In April 2019, the world watched in horror as a fire, started by an electrical short-circuit, destroyed the roof of the 850-year-old Notre-Dame cathedral and put the gothic masterpiece at risk of collapse. Two years on, Lucy Worsley gains access to the iconic Parisian building to see how the restoration work is progressing – and whether the experts are still on track to meet an ambitious deadline to reopen it to the public in 2024. She speaks to scientists, historians and craftspeople about the difficult job of restoring the cathedral to its former glory, and also learns that it’s not just the structure itself that needs to be made safe: the fire coated Notre-Dame with tons of toxic lead dust, and now specialists are at work decontaminating the site.

Julia Bradbury: Breast Cancer and Me
Thursday, ITV, 9pm
Presenter and journalist Julia Bradbury has become a household name, thanks to shows such as Countryfile and Britain’s Best Walks. This hour-long documentary shows her in a very different and emotional light, as it chronicles her recent battle with breast cancer. It begins in the very early days of her diagnosis, following Bradbury as she comes to terms with the devastating news and prepares for a potentially life-saving single mastectomy. We encounter her and her loved ones both before and after the surgery, and witness how Bradbury and her immediate family cope with the process of physical and psychological recovery, as well as meeting other families who are also facing similar struggles.

Where Have All the Lesbians Gone?
Thursday, Channel 4, 10.30pm
It’s been claimed that many young women who are attracted to other women are rejecting the term lesbian and identifying as queer instead. But why don’t they want to embrace the L word, and are the women who do proudly call themselves lesbians justified in feeling as if they are being erased? In this documentary, director Brigid McFall has teamed up with photographer Vic Lentaigne to find out via intimate and revealing interviews and portraits of a group of women. Those sharing their views include a Mancunian poet, a Geordie great-grandmother and comics Rosie Jones and Jen Brister.

Here We Go
Friday, BBC One, 8.30pm

Jim Howick, Katherine Parkinson, Alison Steadman, Jude Collie, Mica Ricketts and Freya Parks in Here We Go
Jim Howick, Katherine Parkinson, Alison Steadman, Jude Collie, Mica Ricketts and Freya Parks in Here We Go

Alison Steadman, Katherine Parkinson, Jim Howick and Tom Basden star in a new Friday night sitcom chronicling the adventures of the Jessop family, as seen through the video lens of their youngest son. Sam is documenting a year in the life of the family, and there’s no shortage of mishaps and misunderstandings to be captured on film. Episode one sees Jessops race against time to use a voucher for the Jungle World on its final day before it runs out.

Unreported World
Friday, Channel 4, 7.30pm
In a 12-month period in the US, more than 100,000 people died from drug overdoses. In the vast majority of those cases, the drug was fentanyl, an opioid painkiller 50 times more potent than heroin and much cheaper to buy. It’s even been claimed that the fentanyl epidemic has killed more people than Covid. Krishnan Guru-Murthy heads to St Louis, which saw 436 overdose deaths in a year, to meet the residents who are trying to dull their pain and learn more about the racial inequalities which are contributing to the problem.

Richard Hammond’s Crazy Contraptions
Friday, Channel 4, 8pm
Here’s one way to make your life easier: host a series in which you challenge teams to come up with inventions that can do your chores for you. That seems to be the thinking behind the first episode of Richard Hammond’s new TV series, which is billing itself as “TV’s most left-field engineering show”. He begins by asking three brothers from Somerset and a team from Loughborough University to build ingenious chain-reaction machines that will allow him to water his plants in the garden while he watches TV in the living room. The teams will be using everyday objects as they go about completing the task in the most complicated manner possible — in this show, less is definitely not more. Chain-reaction machine guru Zach Umperovitch will be judging their efforts, and Shini Somara explains the science behind the contraptions.

Gardeners’ World
Friday, BBC Two, 8pm
Monty Don plants tender perennials, including salvias and gingers, in the Jewel Garden, brings his citrus plants out from their winter protection, and plants primulas in his new bog garden. As tulip season reaches its glorious peak, Rachel de Thame visits a dazzling display of the spring favourite at a garden in Gloucestershire, and Joe Swift checks out a pub garden with a difference in East Sussex. Plus, we meet a gardener who loves to experiment on his allotment in Bristol and a GP in north London with a passion for growing citrus plants.

Expedition Rhino: The Search for the Last Northern White
Friday, BBC Two, 11.05pm
In 2018, the International Union for Conservation of Nature officially declared the northern white rhino extinct. That sounds pretty definitive, but charity Saving the Survivors is travelling to South Sudan to investigate reports of sightings. Due to years of conflict and civil war, as well as a lack of infrastructure, no survey or comprehensive search of any of South Sudan’s wildlife has been undertaken in over a decade. But will the experts discover a previously unknown population of the animals – and in the process, get a second chance to save them?

ON DEMAND

Shining Girls
From Friday, Apple TV+

Elizabeth Moss in Shining Girls
Elizabeth Moss in Shining Girls

Lauren Beukes has penned some of the most intriguing and inventive, genre-mixing novels of the past decade. The Shining Girls was published in 2013, and the big surprise is that it’s taken so long to be filmed. The eight-part run series Elisabeth Moss as Kirby Mazrachi, a Chicago newspaper archivist whose dreams of becoming a journalist have been wrecked by a traumatic assault. When she hears about a recent murder that bears the hallmarks of her experience, she sets out to unmask the killer with help from a seasoned if troubled reporter. Unfortunately, being forced to relive the attack has a devastating impact on Kirby, allowing her assailant to stay one step ahead. Wagner Moura, Amy Brennerman and Jamie Bell co-star.

Grace & Frankie
From Friday, Netflix
When old friends Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin first announced they would be appearing in a comedy series together, some critics raised their eyebrows _ would there really be an audience interested in watching two veteran actresses fight and bicker on screen? The answer turned out to be a resounding yes; Grace & Frankie is currently Netflix’s longest-running original series. Fonda and Tomlin star as the title characters, thrown together after their husbands (played by Martin Sheen and Sam Waterston) leave them for each other. Sadly, the fun is about to reach its conclusion; the forthcoming episodes will be the show’s last. Expect to be moved and amused in equal measure.

Ten Percent
From Friday, Amazon Prime

Jim Broadbent, Hiftu Quasem and Jack Davenport in Ten Percent
Jim Broadbent, Hiftu Quasem and Jack Davenport in Ten Percent

In 2015, French TV viewers were treated to the first series of the comedy-drama Dix pour cent. It was a huge success, but perhaps a bigger surprise was that it eventually became a worldwide smash after going to Netflix, which renamed it Call My Agent!. Clearly somebody spotted its potential for an English-language remake, and this is the result. The story has been moved from France to a London talent agency, and focuses on the life of its staff and clients. Jack Davenport, Jim Broadbent, Maggie Steed and Lydia Leonard star, while a wealth of names are set to make cameo appearances.

Contributing: PA

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
GO BACK
Error Image
The account details entered are not currently associated with an Irish Times subscription. Please subscribe to sign in to comment.
Comment Sign In

Forgot password?
The Irish Times Logo
Thank you
You should receive instructions for resetting your password. When you have reset your password, you can Sign In.
The Irish Times Logo
Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.
Screen Name Selection

Hello

Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
Forgot Password
Please enter your email address so we can send you a link to reset your password.

Sign In

Your Comments
We reserve the right to remove any content at any time from this Community, including without limitation if it violates the Community Standards. We ask that you report content that you in good faith believe violates the above rules by clicking the Flag link next to the offending comment or by filling out this form. New comments are only accepted for 3 days from the date of publication.