TV preview: Des Bishop, Darina Allen, This Is Us and more

Comedian Des Bishop take aim at Irish politics in a new weekly satirical series

This Is Ireland with Des Bishop, Monday, RTÉ Two, 10pm

This Is Ireland with Des Bishop, Monday, RTÉ Two, 10pm


This Is Ireland with Des Bishop
Monday, RTÉ Two, 10pm
Bishop sets out to make politics interesting in a new weekly satirical series. Every week, in front of a live audience, Des will dissect the body politic and try to make it comprehensible to the casual viewer who might normally switch channels as soon as the dreaded P-word appears. He’s not going it alone, though: helping him make sense of the Irish and global political circus is Blindboy Boatclub from the Rubberbandits. You could very well come out of this show even more confused than before, but at least you’re guaranteed to come out laughing.

Titanic’s Tragic Twin: The Britannic Disaster
Monday, BBC Two, 9pm
The sinking of the Titanic is embedded in our cultural memory, but the story of her sister ship, Britannic, which sank four years later, has been largely forgotten. On the 100th anniversary of its sinking, the ship’s final moments are pieced together in this film presented by Kate Humble and Andy Torbet. The ship was originally to be named the Gigantic, but after Titanic went down, the White Star Line went for a more modest name, and fitted it out with enough lifeboats for all on board. It was launched in 1914 just as war broke out, and was requisitioned as a hospital ship. While crossing the Aegean Sea to pick up wounded soldiers, the ship is believed to have hit a mine, and sank in just 55 minutes, three times quicker than Titanic, but with the loss of 30 lives.

This Is Us
Tuesday, Channel 4, 9pm
Here’s something you don’t see too often in this age of high-concept television: a straightforward family drama which is more likely to elicit tears than knowing chin-stroking. has been a huge success on US network TV; it may not be set in a techie dystopia or in space, but there is a twist in this tale of a group of thirtysomethings trying to negotiate the tricky social mores of modern America. Kate is a personal assistant with weight issues; Kevin is a B-list TV star; Randall is a high-rolling financier; and Jack and Rebecca are a married couple anticipating the arrival of triplets. What links these seemingly disparate characters? The answer will blow your mind.

A Simply Delicious Christmas with Darina Allen and Rory O’Connell
Wednesday, RTÉ One, 7.30pm
Ireland’s most famous sibling chefs reunite for a three-part seasonal special which will see the Ballymaloe two create some tasty treats to make your yuletide yummy. They’ll be showing you how to bake white Christmas cake, how to entertain friends and family, how to make edible presents and, of course, how to get along like brother and sister this season.

Thursday, RTÉ One, 10.15pm
Risteard Ó Domhnaill’s award-winning documentary is one of those rare efforts that will chill you to your core while simultaneously making your blood boil. Narrated by Brendan Gleeson, it follows the fortunes of three small fishing communities – in Ireland, Norway and Newfoundland – as they struggle to maintain their way of life in the face of mounting economic and ecological challenges.