Weekend TV guide: 12 of the best shows to watch

Graham Norton, Ant & Dec and Jamie Oliver all return, while BBC2 looks at the life and work of Irish artist Sean Scully

Pilgrimage: The Road to Rome, Saturday on BBC2

Pilgrimage: The Road to Rome, Saturday on BBC2

 

The Late Late Show
Friday, RTÉ One, 9.35pm
They shared a bromance on last year’s Dancing with the Stars, and the boys are back on our screens with Marty and Bernard’s Big Adventure. Marty Morrissey and Bernard O’Shea join Ryan Tubridy to discuss the intricacies of modern manhood and how they fared when tasked with surviving a night in the wilds. Also: Blogger turned businesswoman Suzanne Jackson is the creator of one of Ireland’s best known lifestyle sites, SoSueMe.ie, and the founder and chief executive of a bestselling beauty brand. She chats about the influence social media holds in society today. Plus: Senator Michael McDowell on his new documentary, which examines the history of the Catholic Church and State relations, and how Rome came to shape the Irish political landscape; Dublin footballer Philly McMahon and Governor of Mountjoy Prison Eddie Mullins on what can be done to rehabilitate offenders and the supports needed by ex-offenders to reintegrate in to society; and music from Soulé.

Jamie’s Quick & Easy Food
Friday, Channel 4, 8pm
Jamie Oliver returns with more stress-free recipes, perfect for busy days but designed to deliver maximum flavour. Here, he serves up super-fast peachy pork chops, peas, beans, chilli and mint, and berry meringue ripple – a ridiculously easy pudding to assemble in an emergency. To top it all off, the accomplished chef also prepares the fastest roast chicken ever(harissa chicken traybake). As usual, these dishes require just five ingredients, the recipes are easy to remember, and the techniques required are incredibly straightforward.

The Graham Norton Show
Friday, BBC1, 10.35pm; Sunday, Virgin Two, 10pm
Norton is back with a new series. Tonight two-time Oscar winner Sally Field and actor Bill Pullman discuss appearing together on stage in All My Sons at London’s Old Vic Theatre. Set in 1947, Arthur Miller’s play is quite a dark affair, touching on the excesses of commercialism, long-buried truths and family divisions. Plus, Keeley Hawes, Matt Lucas and music from The Lumineers.

Fleadh Cheoil
Friday, RTÉ One, 8.30pm

Patrick Connolly (10), Yvie Sharkey (9) and Tommy Sweeney (10) from Clogherhead, Co Louth, at the Fleadh Cheoil Na hEireann in Drogheda last August. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien
Patrick Connolly (10), Yvie Sharkey (9) and Tommy Sweeney (10) from Clogherhead, Co Louth, at the Fleadh Cheoil Na hEireann in Drogheda last August. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien

The first programme in a new six-part series from Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann, which came from Drogheda, Co Louth for the first time, is presented by John Creedon and Muireann Nic Amhlaoibh. The programme features music from Drogheda native Zöe Conway as well as Tommy Fitzharris and Donal McCague, Roisin O’Flaherty and friends, Spleodar and Téada. Other guests include Stockton’s Wing, The O’Connor Family, Hothouse Flowers, Emma Corbett, The Mac Gabhann Family, Bobby Gardiner and many more. An international flavor is provided by musicians from the US and Japan.

Let’s Talk About Sex
Friday, Channel 4, 10pm
The first of three programmes drawing on contemporary and archive footage to explore the nation’s changing attitude to sex and sex education through the ages. It features parents and their children, including celebrities with their offspring, as they watch, review and react to outrageous, astounding and unintentionally hilarious sex education videos covering everything from puberty to pregnancy. The first episode focuses on how sex education handles basic biology, from managing menstruation to the rules of reproduction and the challenges of masturbation.

Britain’s Got Talent
Saturday, Virgin One, 9.30pm/UTV, 7.15pm

Amanda Holden, Simon Cowell, and Ant & Dec in Britain’s Got Talent
Amanda Holden, Simon Cowell, and Ant & Dec in Britain’s Got Talent

Ant and Dec return to host the 13th series of the UK’s nationwide talent search, joined by judging panel Simon Cowell, Amanda Holden, Alesha Dixon and David Walliams. An assortment of acts will be displaying their talents, hoping to win the £250,000 grande prize and the opportunity to appear at the Royal Variety Performance. As in previous years, each judge, as well as Ant and Dec, have the option to send one contestant straight through to the live semi-finals as their Golden Buzzer act.

Pilgrimage: The Road to Rome
Saturday, BBC2, 7.30pm
Eight celebrities, all with differing beliefs and faiths, set out to cover the Italian section of the ancient 2,000km Via Francigena, which starts in Canterbury and finishes in Rome. They have only 15 days to tackle 1,000km, so start their pilgrimage in the Alps. But will this journey of a lifetime change the way they think about themselves and their beliefs? Eurovision Song Contest winner Dana; actors Les Dennis and Lesley Joseph; professional dancer Brendan Cole; comedians Stephen K Amos and Katy Brand; Olympic long jump champion Greg Rutherford; and television presenter Mehreen Baig live as modern-day pilgrims. They stay in basic hostels, sleep in shared dorms and follow a largely untrodden route, which is currently in the throes of revival.

Unstoppable: Sean Scully and the Art of Everything
Saturday, BBC2, 9pm

Sean Scully at the National Gallery of Ireland in May 2015. Photograph: Cyril Byrne
Sean Scully at the National Gallery of Ireland in May 2015. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Some artists, like David Hockney and Damien Hirst, become superstars in their lifetime; others are hugely successful but stay under the radar – at least on home turf. The subject of this film is one such enigma. Abstract artist Sean Scully, one of the wealthiest painters in the world, may be little known at home, but abroad his work is adored by many. He grew up penniless on the streets of Dublin and London, suffered homelessness, spent part of his teenage years with street gangs, and has spent 55 years in an often hostile art world. Cameras follow the 73-year-old as he flies around the world to open 15 major museum exhibitions in a journey that also reveals his extraordinary life story.

Follow the Money
Saturday, BBC4, 9pm
The Danish crime thriller returns for a third series. Businessman Nicky (Esben Smed) is back in Denmark after spending time in Spain, but hears surprising news about his five-year-old son Milas, whom he has not seen for two years. Meanwhile, police officer Alf (Thomas Hwan) is given a new role in a task force after an unexpected discovery in a basement. Then, in the second part of tonight’s opening double-bill, Alf uncovers a connection to mysterious kingpin Marco, while Milas pays the price as his father tries to keep his businesses going.

The Durrells
Sunday, UTV, 8pm

Keeley Hawes (2nd from left) in The Durrells
Keeley Hawes (2nd from left) in The Durrells

Mamma Mia! Is it already the end? The warm-hearted family drama, set on Corfu in the 1930s, has reached its fourth and final series, with Keeley Hawes as the resourceful matriarch of an English family who have relocated to the Greek island to escape their grey, impoverished lives in Bournemouth. As season four opens, things are looking up for the Durrells following the heartbreak of the previous season. Louisa (Hawes) has opened the family villa as a guest house, while each of her four kids have thrown themselves into their individual projects. Larry is having a pas-de-trois with two ballet dancers; Leslie is busy with his shooting; Gerry is planning to start a zoo; and Margo is about to open a beauty salon.

Discovering The Bridge on the River Kwai: Malcolm Arnold
Sunday, BBC4, 8pm

Alec Guinness and Sessue Hayakawa in The Bridge on the river Kwai (1957)
Alec Guinness and Sessue Hayakawa in The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957)

Christopher Seaman conducts the BBC Concert Orchestra performing Sir Malcolm Arnold’s score for The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957). Presenter Katie Derham also finds out more about the composer who, despite battling mental illness and alcoholism, produced acclaimed work in many genres. Composer Debbie Wiseman explains how Arnold blended his Oscar-winning music with the other sounds in David Lean’s film, and how his understanding of the orchestra enabled him to complement the action on screen.

Celebrity SAS: Who Dares Wins for Stand Up to Cancer
Sunday, Channel 4, 9pm
In this new strand, a dozen famous faces will live together in an unforgiving ex-military base high in the Chilean Andes. From the recruits’ first task (a backwards dive out of a helicopter), Ant Middleton and his squad of former special forces instructors show them that no allowances will be made for their celebrity status. However, at least their pain means a gain for the Stand Up to Cancer fundraisers.

Contributing: PA

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