TV preview: six things (that aren’t football) to watch on television this week

An unlikely duo of Brexit programmes, a talking gorilla, the return of Melvyn Bragg and more

Matt Cooper's Brexit Dilemma
Tuesday, TV3, 10pm
Matt Cooper explores the consequences for Ireland if Britain decides to flounce out of Europe in a flurry of talcum powder, with contributions from Ryanair chief executive Michael O'Leary, former UK Labour Party spin doctor Alastair Campbell and former director general of the World Trade Organisation Peter Sutherland.

The South Bank Show
Wednesday, Sky Arts, 8pm
Melvyn Bragg returns for a new series of one of TV's longest-running and most respected arts and culture shows. In tonight's opener, Bragg meets legendary production duo Sly & Robbie, aka drummer Sly Dunbar and bassist Robbie Shakespeare, who became known as the greatest rhythm section in reggae. In a career spanning 40 years the pair produced Jamaican artists such as Peter Tosh, Beenie Man, Dennis Brown and Grace Jones, and also worked with the Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, Simply Red and Sinéad O'Connor.

Koko: The Gorilla Who Talks to People
Wednesday, BBC One, 8.30pm
Can gorillas be taught to talk? Penny Patterson, a graduate of Stanford University, believes it's possible and has devoted her life to teaching a gorilla sign language. Patterson first encountered Koko in 1971, and since then has been teaching the 300-pound ape how to communicate with humans. After 45 years, Koko has mastered hundreds of signs, allowing him to converse with humans on a range of subjects. The scientific community was sceptical, and Patterson was ejected from her university. This film explores if her instincts about Koko were right.

Sensitive Skin
Wednesday, Sky Arts, 10pm

Kim Cattrall returns with a second series of her award-winning black comedy , set in Toronto and co-starring Don McKellar as her husband Alan. Cattrall plays former model Davina, who is dealing with the stark realities of ageing and trying to find some meaning in later life. As series two opens, Davina leaves the hustle and bustle of the city to try and live a more peaceful, balanced life in the Toronto Islands. Good luck with that.


This World: The New Gypsy Kings
Thursday, BBC Two, 9pm
Korea has K-pop and LA has gangsta rap, but Romania has a new, powerful music force called manele, which is sweeping the country and blazing its way to the top of the charts. explores this musical craze, a mixture of traditional Roma gypsy music and contemporary pop, with lyrics that glorify money, fast cars, glamour and bling. But not everyone is enamoured of manele, calling it the Romanian equivalent of gangsta rap. Many of manele's richest stars are also suspected of having links with the underworld.

Eurotrash Brexit Special
Friday, Channel 4, 9pm
With just a couple of weeks left until the Brexit referendum, UK voters may need to be reminded what they will be missing if they decide to leave Europe. Naked German boules. Belgian wife-swapping tea dances. Austrian granddads dressed in nappies and getting spanked by lightsabers. Fear not, however, as this special edition of Eurotrash will help the Brits see sense and realise what decadent delights they risk missing.

Kevin Courtney

Kevin Courtney

Kevin Courtney is an Irish Times journalist