Weekend TV guide: eight of the best shows to watch

Ireland rugby hero Peter O’Mahony and Boyzone on the Late Late, Nicole Kidman joins Graham Norton and Michael Parkinson chats to Ray D’Arcy

 Nicole Kidman joins Graham Norton on Friday. Photograph: Justin Lane/EPA

Nicole Kidman joins Graham Norton on Friday. Photograph: Justin Lane/EPA

 

The Late Late Show
Friday, RTÉ One, 9.35pm
After a heroic performance on Saturday which saw Ireland defeating the All Blacks by 16-9, man of the match Peter O’Mahony reflects on a remarkable victory, and why Ireland are ready for success in next year’s Rugby World Cup.

As they embark on their farewell tour, Boyzone’s Ronan Keating, Mikey Graham, Shane Lynch and Keith Duffy discuss why it’s time for the the multimillion-selling pop band to say goodbye in the year of their 25th anniversary.

Professor Brian Cox, who says of climate change: “The longer you leave it the more expensive it will be to fix and the more damaging it will be.”
Prof Brian Cox: explains the complex in a uncomplex way

Prof Brian Cox has a knack of making extremely complex scientific ideas understandable to all. He explains his passion for unpicking the infinite universe around us, and tells us why he’s bringing science on the road in his new tour.

Master impressionist Mario Rosenstock will be providing the laughs, and music will be from The Stunning, who are joined by the Irish Chamber Orchestra.

The Graham Norton Show
Friday, BBC1, 10.35pm
The host is joined by Oscar winner Nicole Kidman, who discusses her new crime thriller Destroyer. Actor and writer Stephen Fry waxes lyrical about his latest adaptation of Greek myths, Heroes; and stand-up Joe Lycett reflects on his current tour and new teatime show, The Time It Takes. Plus, Ruth Wilson talks about her new BBC drama Mrs Wilson; and world, Olympic and Tour de France champion Geraint Thomas revisits his achievements in cycling. Last, but certainly not least, Take That provide the music highlight.

The Ray D’Arcy Show
Saturday, RTÉ One, 9.50pm
Chat-show king Michael Parkinson – he’s a Sir you know – talks about his friendship with Belfast footballing legend George Best, how they built up a close relationship, and what he thinks led to the demise of one of soccer’s brightest ever stars.

Panti Bliss drops in to celebrate a very significant birthday, Fr Brian D’Arcy talks about the death of singer and close friend, Sonny Knowles, while comedian Joanne McNally reveals the joys of moving to London and her upcoming Gleebag shows, which will be her first headlining tour.

John and Yoko: Above Us Only Sky
Saturday, C4, 8.30pm

John Lennon and Yopko Onon in John & Yoko: Above Us Only Sky
John Lennon and Yopko Onon in John & Yoko: Above Us Only Sky

John Lennon wrote an astounding number of classic songs, but arguably the best-loved — of this solo work at least — is Imagine. This documentary tells the untold story of the track and the album of the same name, drawing on previously unseen footage of Lennon and his wife and collaborator Yoko Ono, as well as interviews with Ono, Lennon’s son Julian, John Dunbar (who famously introduced the couple) and Lennon’s former personal assistant Dan Richter. The film also explores the album’s underlying message of radical engagement (although some fans may wonder where the track How Do You Sleep, which was a pretty pointed dig at Paul McCartney, fits in with that theme) and shows how its message remains relevant today.

Evita: The Making of a Superstar
Saturday,BBC2, 9pm

Evita: The Making of a Superstar: Emma Hatton on stage as Evita, Suzie Klein Suzy Klein. Photograph: Rory Mulvey/BBC
Evita: The Making of a Superstar: Emma Hatton on stage as Evita, Suzie Klein Suzy Klein. Photograph: Rory Mulvey/BBC

When Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice first announced they were writing a musical about an Argentinian First Lady, some observers might have wondered just how much box-office appeal it would have. But 40 years on from its West End opening, Suzy Klein discovers why Evita became an international hit. As well as talking to some of the people involved in the musical’s success, including lyricist Rice, director Hal Prince and leading lady Elaine Paige, whose performance in the London cast made her a star, the presenter will also be heading to Argentina to learn more about the story of the real Eva Peron. In the process, she learns why Evita remains an icon as well as a deeply divisive figure.

A Very British Country House
Sunday, C4, 9pm
Designed by Charles Barry in 1851, the Italianate mansion Cliveden House is part of the National Trust-owned estate in Buckinghamshire on the border with Berkshire. A Grade 1 listed luxurious hotel set in 376 acres of grounds, it recently become famous for being the hotel that Meghan Markle stayed the night before her marriage to Prince Harry. This four-part series follows the staff whose job it is to bring five-star service to Cliveden’s national and international clientele, and put on some of the hotel’s most glamorous events. It opens at the beginning of their busiest summer season, as Markle’s visit provides the hotel with unprecedented publicity, which the managers quickly capitalise on.

Louis Theroux’s Altered States: Take My Baby
Sunday, BBC2, 9pm

Louis Theroux with Jessica who is planning to put her unborn child up for adoption. Photograph: Photographer: Freddie Claire/BBC

The documentary-maker explores how adoption is a big business in California, meeting agencies, facilitators and lawyers matching babies to parents, with the adoption process often costing as much as $50,000 (€44,000). He meets families that have spent vast sums on children they are unable to conceive themselves, and women preparing to give up their babies, hearing the stories of poverty, addiction and abuse that have led to their decision. He also discovers how the adoption process is open to abuse, and reflects on what happens when a mother has a post-birth change of heart. Last in the series.

A Great British Injustice: The Maguire Story
Sunday,BBC2, 11.30pm

Annie Maguire leaving the Court of Appeal in London in May 1991.Photograph: Eric Luke
Annie Maguire leaving the Court of Appeal in London in May 1991.Photograph: Eric Luke

In March 1976, 40-year-old Northern Irish-born Annie Maguire from Willesden, north London, was jailed for 14 years. Maguire, along with five other members of her family and a close friend were wrongly convicted of possessing nitro-glycerine and making bombs for the IRA. Her nephew, Gerry Conlon, was wrongly convicted of using them in the Guildford pub bombings in October 1974. He and three others, who became known as the Guildford Four, were later imprisoned. The Maguire Seven all served their sentences, apart from Giuseppe Conlon, Gerry’s father, who died in prison in 1980. In 1991, the UK Court of Appeal quashed their convictions after it ruled the evidence was “unsafe and unsatisfactory”. In this one-off documentary, Stephen Nolan tells the story of one of the biggest miscarriages of justice in British legal history.

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