Weekend TV guide: 10 of the best shows to watch

Saoirse Ronan on The Late Late, while Steve Coogan and John C Reilly chat with both Ryan Tubridy and Graham Norton; plus QI and Vera return

mary queen of scots

Saoirse Ronan (right) with her Mary Queen of Scots director Josie Rourke and costar Margot Robbie, interviewed recently on the BBC. Photograph: Jeff Overs/BBC

 

The Late Late Show
Friday, RTE One, 9.35pm
Saoirse Ronan leads a star-studded line-up tonight. The 24-year-old Carlow native has three Oscar and four Bafta nominations, a Golden Globe for Lady Bird, and 10 Ifta gongs going back to 2008. She tells Ryan Tubridy about her career and her new movie, Mary Queen of Scots. Also via way of Hollywood, actors John C Reilly and Steve Coogan discuss their roles as comedy icons Laurel and Hardy in the new film Stan & Ollie; golfer Padraig Harrington on being chosen to captain the European side of the 2020 Ryder Cup; Olympic boxer Michael Conlan, actor Barry Keoghan, journalist Ellen Coyne lifestyle blogger Rosie Connolly on life for today's Irish twenty-somethings; and new and old contestants on First Dates Ireland; plus spoken word artist Natalya O’Flaherty, music from The Academic and comedy from podcast duo The 2 Johnnies.

The Graham Norton Show
Friday, BBC1, 10.35pm

Richard E Grant with Melissa McCarthy in Can You Ever Forgive Me?
Richard E Grant with Melissa McCarthy in Can You Ever Forgive Me?

The host is joined by James McAvoy and Sarah Paulson, who appear in the new superhero thriller Glass. Plus, iconic Withnail & I actor Richard E Grant discusses his comedy-drama Can You Ever Forgive Me?, and Steve Coogan and John C Reilly reflect on playing legendary double act Laurel and Hardy in Stan & Ollie. Westlife perform their latest single, while another bunch of intrepid audience members steps up to recount an anecdote on the dreaded red chair.

On Drums: Stewart Copeland!
Friday, BBC4, 9pm

Stewart Copeland
Stewart Copeland

Stewart Copeland, formerly of The Police, was once ranked at No 10 in Rolling Stone magazine’s list of the 100 greatest drummers of all time. So he’s definitely qualified to host this programme, which explores the drums as the founding instrument of popular modern music. Along the way, Copeland plays with some of the most inspiring drummers of the past 50 years, including John Densmore of The Doors, Chad Smith of Red Hot Chilli Peppers, Prince’s musical director Sheila E, New Order’s Stephen Morris, and the Foo Fighters’ Taylor Hawkins. He also goes dancing in New Orleans, builds his own bass drum pedal and checks out hot new bands on Santa Monica beach.

QI
Friday, BBC2, 10pm
Now in its 16th year, QI shows no signs of growing old yet and is still as wonderfully silly yet informative as ever. It’s even survived a change of host: Stephen Fry occasionally seemed rather jaded towards the end of his tenure, but Sandi Toksvig has given the show renewed energy. Following a short break, the programme is back with the remaining episodes of the “P” series as Jimmy Carr, Lee Mack, Alice Levine and, of course, Alan Davies, consider Pain and Punishment.

Na Sár-Leochra Spóirt
Friday, TG4, 8pm
In the spotlight are a quartet of superb track and field athletes: New Zealand shot putter Valerie Adams, pole vaulters Sergey Bubka and Yelena Isinbayeva, and Jamaican sprinter extraordinaire Usain Bolt.

The Ray D’Arcy Show
Saturday, 9.45pm, RTE One
1990s Australian pop legend Peter Andre chats with Ray about his 25 years in show business, the highs and lows, love, family and the enduring appeal of Mysterious Girl. Also: Weight loss expert Dr Eva Orsmond talks about her new book, which aims to help people take control of their Type-2 diabetes, as well as her ongoing “health hotel” project in Portugal. Plus award-winning writer Emilie Pine on her best-selling book Notes to Self, and comedian David McSavage on his new live show, National Treasure. And the RTE Concert Orchestra will perform some of Abba's greatest hits, including Mamma Mia and Dancing Queen.

Through the Keyhole
Saturday, UTV, 9.30pm
Let’s face it: many of us love to see how the other half lives – especially if that other half is a celebrity. For more than 30 years, Through the Keyhole has played the nosey neighbour while underoing various revamps. The latest series is hosted by Keith Lemon, who is a far cry from original presenter David Frost. Tonight Danny Dyer, Sally Phillips and Chris Kamara attempt to identify who are the owners of three mystery homes via their furniture, decor and personal items.

World’s Weirdest Homes
Sunday, Channel 4, 7pm
From a kaleidoscopic house fit for a Canadian Batman, to a Mexican house floating on 160,000 plastic bottles and a tiny cottage in Scotland that’s like something from The Hobbit, Charlie Luxton reveals more fabulously bizarre homes. He meets the eccentric owners too, including a Middlesbrough carpenter who keeps building houses that get washed away by hurricanes, a Russian clown who likes to row his bed down a river, and a Cuban artist who started a revolution in his own neighbourhood.

Vera
Sunday, UTV, 8pm (also Tuesday, Virgin One, 9pm)

Brenda Blethyn in Vera
Brenda Blethyn in Vera

It’s January, Christmas already seems like a distant memory and the nights are still cold and gloomy. That all adds up to one thing: Vera is back for its ninth series. The character, created by novelist Ann Cleeves, is once again played by Brenda Blethyn. The first of her four cases, entitled Blind Spot, sees her investigate the murder of a trainee forensic psychologist whose body was found on a landfill site. Could her death be linked to a crime committed by a former prisoner?

Ceol ón Chlann
Sunday, TG4, 10.30pm

Keeping the tradition alive: the Mac Ruairí family, profiled Sunday night on Ceol ón Chlann
The Mac Ruairís

The Mac Ruairí family were raised on the Gaelic songs and stories of Rann na Feirste in the Donegal Gaeltacht, passed on from their parents, grandparents and generations before them. As they entered adulthood, they soon realised the value of their cultural upbringing and they formally founded the group Clann Mhic Ruairí. First and foremost, they are passionate about preserving and promoting the song tradition of Rann na Feirste and passing this tradition on to the next generation.

Additional reporting: PA

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