TV guide: 12 of the best shows to watch this week, beginning tonight

Including Dermot Bannon’s Incredible Homes, Gangs of London season two, and Rúin ón Spéir

Dermot Bannon’s Incredible Homes

Sunday, RTÉ One, 9.30pm

Dermot Bannon is back with another series showcasing stunning houses around the world, and this time he’s heading to Spain and Scotland to have a poke around a few pricey pads. Bannon is a master at getting beyond people’s hall doors, and he’s persuaded 72-year-old Tere Iglesias Rovira to let the TV cameras into her stunning Gaudi-designed apartment for the first time. He also meets former mayor of Barcelona Joan Clos to learn all about urban design, and visits a glorious holiday home – if your holiday was in actual heaven.

Somewhere Boy

Sunday, Channel 4, 10pm

How far would we go to protect our kids from this crazy world? In this dark new drama written by Pete Jackson, Lewis Gribben plays Danny, a young man who is literally leaving the house for the first time in his life. His dad, unhinged by the death of his wife in a car crash, has kept his son a prisoner in a remote house all his life, telling him there were monsters outside. But when Danny turns 18, he is suddenly thrust into the outside world – and it’s even scarier than the one his dad has concocted, as Danny has to learn to fit in with the rest of humanity.

Monday Night Live

Monday, RTÉ One, 10.35pm

Just to get your week off to a gloomy start, the team at Monday Night Live will be discussing the issues of today, and this week’s topic is depressingly familiar: housing. Presenter Sharon Tobin will revisit this issue that just keeps coming back, and she’ll be joined by a panel of experts, along with representatives from Government and Opposition, to try to finally find a solution to this problem that no one can seem to wish away. I’ve a sinking feeling that this discussion is going to go round the houses and end up back where we started.

Judi Love: Black, Female and Invisible

Monday, Channel 4, 11.05pm

Sometimes it’s hard to be a woman, sang Tammy Wynette, but for black women in Britain, it’s even harder, and this hard-hitting documentary picks apart the inequities they face in education, work, health and every other facet of their lives. Presenter Judi Love knows she has bucked the trend by making her mark in broadcasting, but for many others, such opportunities are unattainable. We should watch, because as we speak, a generation of young black Irish women are in danger of being rendered invisible too.


Scannal: Hillsborough Disaster

Tuesday, RTÉ One, 7pm

Last May, authorities in Paris tried to lay the blame on Liverpool fans for the chaos prior to the Champions League final. Three decades ago, on April 15th, 1989, 97 Liverpool fans lost their lives in a crush at Hillsborough Stadium in Sheffield, during a match between Liverpool and Nottingham Forest, and, in a decade when hooliganism was rife, it was all too easy to point official fingers at the Liverpool crowd. This week’s Scannal looks at the tragedy, the flawed judicial inquiry that followed, and the decades-long campaign for justice by families of the victims.

Mercury Prize 2022

Tuesday, BBC Four, 9pm

The music industry’s annual album of the year ceremony was supposed to take place on September 8th, but was postponed due to the queen’s death. Now the ceremony is going ahead with all the fun and fanfare live at the Apollo in London’s Hammersmith, with 12 critically acclaimed LPs all vying to be put on top of the record pile. Among the contenders are albums by Harry Styles, Sam Fender and Self-Esteem, but for me it’s between Jessie Buckley and Bernard Butler’s evocative For All Our Days that Tear the Heart, and Gwenno’s enchanting Tresor, sung entirely in Cornish.

Gangs of London

Wednesday, Sky Atlantic & Now, 9pm

It’s one of Sky Atlantic’s biggest hits over the past five years, so no surprise to see the gangs are all back for a second season. After the demise of gang boss Sean Wallace in season one, there’s a vacuum in London’s criminal world, but it’s about to be filled by a ruthless new gang leader, Koba, who is out to run his empire like a not-very-benign dictatorship, and who is set to trample on all the old gangland codes of misconduct. Can the rival gangs withstand this new assault on their hard-won territory? This promises to be one of the most violent reckonings yet.

Rúin ón Spéir

Wednesday, TG4, 9:30pm

You think you’ve explored every nook and cranny of our lovely land, but when you look at Ireland from up in the air, you can discover some hidden treasures you might have missed on the ground. This two-part aerial documentary begins with a view from above Ireland’s ancient south and east, starting with a flyover over a former Viking prison island, and then over an ancient necropolis, the secret grave of Father Christmas and a vertiginous cable car spanning the open sea.


Thursday, RTÉ2, 9.35pm

Eva O’Connor’s award-winning stage play comes to the TV for the first time, as part of the Storyville series of single dramas, and O’Connor’s piquant one-woman play about substance abuse and self-harm should have the same kick on the small screen as it has on stage. There are two other dramas lined up for the following weeks: Rioghnach Ní Ghrioghair’s Balor Hall, a very contemporary whodunit featuring the greedy Devereux family, and Sinéad Collopy’s Every Five Miles, a hard-hitting tale of human trafficking in Ireland.

Darren & Joe’s Free Gaff

Thursday, RTÉ2, 10.05pm

The comedy duo of Darren Conway and Joseph McGucken have already wrecked the internet, and the RTÉ Player is still in recovery after running their series. Now Darren and Joe are arriving on regular TV, and your gaff will never be the same again. Expect surreal comedy and sketches that’ll wreck your head and leave your laughing gear in need of a long holiday. Each episode sees the viral pair welcome a special guest content creator into their gaff to join in the madness and mayhem.

The Peripheral

Friday, Prime Video

Chloe Grace Moretz stars in a new mind-bending sci-fi series, based on the novel by the master of cyberpunk, William Gibson, and produced by the boffins behind Westworld. Flynn Fisher is a young woman in a dead-end job with no future, but when she gets involved in what she thinks is a virtual reality game, she learns the terrible fate in store for the world in the future. And when she learns that there’s more than one future to not look forward to, things really start going full Matrix. Irish actor Jack Reynor co-stars in this hallucinatory vision of hell to come.

Friday Night Live

Friday, Channel 4, 9pm

Back in the 1980s, the likes of Ben Elton, Harry Enfield, Julian Clary and Jo Brand were at the cutting edge of alternative comedy, and subverting our sittingrooms every week via Friday Night Live. Now Elton is getting the gang back together for this one-off revival of the classic show, and they promise to be as mad, bad and dangerously funny as ever. They’re out to prove that age hasn’t made them soft around the middle, and besides, they’ll have help from some top millennial talent, including Rosie Jones, Mawaan Rizwan, Jordan Gray, Ronni Ancona and Sam Campbell, and live music from Self Esteem.

Kevin Courtney

Kevin Courtney

Kevin Courtney is an Irish Times journalist