TV this weekend: Attenborough on eggs and Geldof on the ‘Late Late Show’
The Ray D’Arcy show will discuss consent in wake of Belfast trial while Aidan Gillen plays Dave Allen
The Late Late Show
Friday, RTÉ One, 9.35pm
The Live Aid humanitarian will chat about everything from his championing of WB Yeats to the recent controversy around his decision to hand back the freedom of Dublin in protest over fellow recipient Myanmar’s de facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi.
New York-based comedian Maeve Higgins will talk about making a name for herself on the US scene and filling viewers in on a brand new comedy set to start shooting in Cork next spring.
Broadcaster Bryan Dobson will discuss some of the most memorable moments of his 21 years anchoring RTÉ’s Six One news and how he’s finding the switch to radio. Musician Finbar Furey, interviewed this week by Lauren Murphy, will be performing as well as chatting about his new album.
The Donkey Sanctuary will share stories about some of the animals they’ve rescued. Music will come from Northern Irish rockers Relish.
Attenborough’s Wonder of Eggs
Saturday, BBC2, 8pm
No, this isn’t a documentary about chocolate Easter eggs. David Attenborough has a passion for birds’ eggs, which protect the young from the outside world at the same time as allowing them to breathe. They are strong enough to withstand the full weight of an incubating parent, yet weak enough to allow a chick to break free. Here, the veteran broadcaster reveals the secrets of birds’ eggs from creation to hatching, exploring how they are made, the reasons behind their shape and their intrinsic purpose.
Saturday, BBC2, 9pm
Acclaimed Irish actor Andrew Scott is probably best known for playing Moriarty to Benedict Cumberbatch’s Sherlock Holmes, but last year he took on another iconic role – Hamlet. He starred in director Robert Icke’s critically acclaimed production of the Shakespeare play which had a sellout run at the Almeida Theatre in London before transferring to the West End. Now, it’s about to reach an even wider audience as it’s broadcast on BBC Two. Set in a modern-day Denmark, the staging also stars Downton Abbey’s Jessica Brown Findlay as Ophelia, Juliet Stevenson as Gertrude and Peter Wight as Polonius. The critics have called it “heartbreakingly beautiful” and “an all-consuming marvel”, and now viewers have a chance to see for themselves why it lives up to the hype.
The Ray D’Arcy Show
Saturday, RTÉ One, 9.30pm
In the week that the Belfast rape trial dominated headlines, consent is the main talking point on The Ray D’Arcy Show. Rape survivor Niamh Ní Dhomhnaill, chief executive of the Dublin Rape Crisis Centre Noeline Blackwell and psychotherapist and Irish Times columnist Richie Sadlier will be discussing the subject.
Shane Casey who plays Billy Murphy in The Young Offenders will chat to Ray about how his acapella performance of Afterall led to a revival of the Frank And Walters’ hit song. The Cork band will perform the song live.
Singer and actor Rebecca Storm will be in studio to look back on some of her most famous roles including Mrs Johnstone in Blood Brothers. She will also discuss her new production of Calendar Girls, which will see her team up with Gary Barlow.
Change Your Tune
Sunday ITV, 7pm
New series. Baz Ashmawy hosts the musical challenge in which some of the country’s worst singers perform live, then undergo weeks of training to improve their voices, with the contestant who makes the most progress winning £10,000. The first episode features a teacher who wants to be good enough to join the school choir, an amateur actor who has stage presence but not musical skill, a care worker who wants to sing at her daughter’s wedding, a singing HGV driver and a music lover who has a hard time staying in tune.
Countdown to Calvary
Sunday, RTÉ One, 8pm
Just over 2,000 years ago, a charismatic young Jewish preacher was taken into custody, sentenced to death and crucified, in a week that changed the world forever. The events surrounding the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ have been told and retold many times and in many ways since, but Countdown to Calvary approaches the story as part-documentary and part-blockbuster political thriller, mixing meticulously researched narrative with edge-of-your-seat action and nerve-shredding tension. Hugh Bonneville heads to Jerusalem to piece together the last week of Jesus’s life. Bonneville has a degree in theology from Cambridge University, so he has more than a passing interest in the story of Jesus.
This RTÉ production will use a blend of location filming, high production values and CGI technology to recreate first-century Jerusalem and draw viewers into this gripping story that still inspires people two millennia later.
Ordeal by Innocence
Sunday, BBC One, 9pm
Bill Nighy and Anna Chancellor head a huge ensemble cast in a gritty new adaptation of Agatha Christie’s Ordeal by Innocence. A wealthy philanthropist, Rachel Argyll, has been murdered at her family estate, and her adopted son Jack is the chief suspect. Despite protesting his innocence, Jack is imprisoned for the crime. But 18 months later, a mysterious scientist arrives on the scene claiming to have proof of Jack’s innocence. Alas, it’s too late to save Jack, who has died in prison, but it brings up the intriguing question: is the real murderer still out there, and will they strike again? (That’s two questions – Ed).
Conspiracy Files: Murder in Washington
Sunday, BBC2, 9pm
In July 2016, Seth Rich, a young staffer working for the Democrats, was shot in the back in the Bloomingdale neighbourhood of Washington. Within weeks of his death, conspiracy theories circulated claiming that Rich was behind the leak of thousands of damaging internal emails detailing the inner workings of the Democratic National Committee and Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign. So who did kill Seth Rich? The Democrats – in revenge for the leaks? The Russians – to silence him? Or was it just a bungled late-night robbery?
My Name is Emily
Sunday, 9pm, TV3
It’s Not Yet Dark
Sunday, 10.50pm, TV3
The TV movie premiere of My Name is Emily, directed by the late Simon Fitzmaurice, is screened on Easter Sunday. Directly after the movie comes the documentary It’s Not Yet Dark, a biographical story of Fitzmaurice’s battle with motor neurone disease.
The Gloaming at the National Concert Hall
Sunday, RTÉ One, 11.05pm
Not many acts can claim to have made their live debut at the NCH, but for Irish-American supergroup The Gloaming, featuring Martin Hayes, Iarla Ó Lionáird, Caoimhín Ó Raghallaigh, Dennis Cahill and Thomas Bartlett, the venue has almost become a home from home – the band has regularly sold out the NCH, the most recent a seven-night residency in March. In this new concert film, film-maker Philip King aims to capture the undoubted power of The Gloaming’s live performances and the unique relationship between the band and their audience. A snapshot of an incredible band at a unique moment in time.
Dave Allen at Peace
Monday, BBC Two, 9pm & RTÉ One, 9.30pm
Aidan Gillen blew quite a few minds with his devilish portrayal of our former taoiseach Charles J Haughey in the mini-series Charlie. Now, he’s going to try to top that by playing another legendary Irish figure – the comedian Dave Allen, who died in 2005. Dave Allen at Peace was commissioned by the BBC and is written by Stephen Russell, who also wrote Peaky Blinders. This biopic explores what motivated the young Dublin lad to become the most successful Irish comedian of his generation, and a beacon for a whole bunch of Irish comedians to follow. Allen was a fixture of British television in the 1970s and 1980s, and his controversial sketches mocking the Catholic Church were a definite influence on Father Ted. Ironically, his career went into decline after he dropped the F-bomb during one of his TV monologues. Gillen immerses himself in Allen’s persona, sitting on his signature stool with glass of ginger ale to hand, and reflecting on his 40-year-career and the events that shaped his life, particularly the death of his father (played by Tommy Tiernan).
A Series of Unfortunate Events: Season 2
From Saturday, March 30th
Season two of the Netflix original series plunges further into the epic world of this darkly comedic mystery. Starring Emmy and Tony Award-winner Neil Patrick Harris, A Series of Unfortunate Events recounts the tragic tale of the Baudelaire orphans – Violet, Klaus, and Sunny – and their extraordinary encounters with the devious Count Olaf who will stop at nothing to get his hands on their inheritance. Foiling his many dastardly plans and disguises, the young siblings discover clues to their parents’ mysterious death, links to a covert organisation, and begin to unlock long-held family secrets.
From Saturday, March 30th
Rapture stares directly into the bright light that hip-hop culture shines on the world and doesn’t blink. Throughout eight episodes and featuring a diverse swath of artists – Nas and Dave East, TI, Rapsody, Logic, G-Eazy, A Boogie wit da Hoodie, 2 Chainz and Just Blaze – Rapture dives into the artists’ lives with their families and friends, to sitting front row in the studio and grinding on tour, to experiencing the ecstatic power of moving the crowd.
From Sunday, April 1st
This is a true-crime documentary featuring a Russian mobster, a Miami playboy and a Cuban spy who sold a Soviet submarine to a Colombian drug cartel for $35 million. A mid-1990s gangster epic that hopscotches from Brooklyn to Miami and California to Moscow, the film tells the story of three friends who set out to hustle the Russian mob, the Cali cartel and the DEA for the score of a lifetime.
The Search For Life In Space
From Sunday, April 1st
Journey from the depths of the Pacific Ocean into the far reaches of space on a quest to find something that changes everything – signs of life, somewhere else in the universe. A journey includes going to the depths of the Pacific Ocean, looking at Europa, the ice moon of Jupiter, travelling back in time to when Mars was a virtual Eden, and searching in the far reaches of space for a planet like Earth.
Mad Men: Season 7 (part 2)
From Sunday, April 1st
Throughout, Mad Men has always seemed to involve evolution and reinvention, be it in the corridors of the Madison Avenue advertising world – acting as a mirror to changes in society from the 1960s onwards – and in the individual lives and turmoils of Don Draper (Jon Hamm), Peggy Olson (Elisabeth Moss) and the others at Sterling Cooper. The second half on the final season begins with Don hearing of the loss of an old acquaintance, leading him down a familiar path with an unfamiliar destination.