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

Pat Shortt’s Entertainment from D’Telly, I’m a Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here!, The Crown and more

Pat Shortt’s Entertainment from D’Telly

Sunday, RTÉ One, 8.30pm

Who’s that mad fella digging around in the bowels of Montrose, and bringing up obscure comedy moments from the past 30 years of Irish telly? It is of course Pat Shortt, back again for another series in which he showcases some of the bonkers stuff that RTÉ has served up to viewers in the past, and which we willingly paid our TV licence fee to watch. There’ll be no shortage of cringe-inducing classics from the past, with Pat providing a few comedy moments of his own to add to the fun.

I’m a Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here!

Sunday, UTV & VM1, 9pm

I’m a Celebrity fans are rejoicing as the reality TV show returns to the Australian jungle after two years of “staycationing” in Britain, which means a proper bushtucker trial again, and lots of heat, humidity and creepy crawlies. This year’s celebs include comedian Seann Walsh, who scandalised Strictly with his amorous antics, so we’re expecting more of the same from him. Also appearing is curmudgeonly radio presenter Chris Moyles, and the show’s first former Love Islander – someone named Olivia. But the real star this year is Boy George, although he’s made the producers sign a contract that – as he’s a vegan – he won’t have to eat kangaroo’s testicles.

Home Grown

Monday, RTÉ One, 8pm

Covid lockdowns saw a surge of interest in gardening, as homeowners got out into the garden with their secateurs and spades. This new series is a celebration of horticulture, presented by Kitty Scully and Colm O’Driscoll, who are passionate about gardening, and hope to pass on their enthusiasm to the viewers at home. In the first episode, O’Driscoll visits the GAA’s farm in north Co Dublin where turf is grown for the Croke Park pitch, and Scully goes to Kilmacurragh Gardens in Co Wicklow, famous for its rhododendrons.

Secrets from the Showroom

Monday, RTÉ One, 9.35pm

Even the slickest car salesperson had to admit that 2022 hasn’t been an easy ride for the second-hand motor trade. Between the pandemic, Brexit, rising prices and the war in Ukraine, car dealers had a tough time shifting stock, and this new series goes behind the showroom window to see how the industry managed to keep the wheels from coming off in what was definitely not a bumper year for selling second-hand cars.


Miriam and Alan: Lost in Scotland and Beyond

Tuesday, Channel 4, 9.15pm

They’re the most unlikely entertainment duo since Ian Paisley and Martin McGuinness, and actors Miriam Margolyes and Alan Cumming are getting back into the camper van for another adventure around Scotland. But the fun doesn’t stop there. The odd travel couple jet off to sunny California, where both built up their successful Hollywood careers, and swap the camper van for a big ol’ RV, and travel the scenic coast road from LA to San Francisco, stopping off along the way to meet old friends and discover new places.

Mariupol: The People’s Story

Tuesday, BBC One, 9pm

Nothing symbolises the evil of Vladimir Putin’s war in Ukraine more effectively than the utter destruction of the city of Mariupol. In this special documentary, the story of Mariupol’s fall is told through the eyes of people who lived there. This was a modern, bustling European city, but within two months it had been reduced to rubble by the Russian onslaught, with an estimated 20,000 citizens killed. The story will document war crimes, but also the resilience of the people as their former lives are bombed out of existence.

The Crown

From Wednesday, Netflix

In the year of the queen’s death, season five of the royal family saga focuses on a tumultuous decade for the House of Windsor, which sees the collapse of the Soviet Union and the collapse of Charles and Diana’s shaky marriage, and culminates in the death of Diana in a car crash in Paris in 1997. Forty years after Queen Elizabeth’s accession to the throne, the family face an existential crisis as the public begins to question whether Britain even needs a monarchy at all. Imelda Staunton stars as the queen, with Dominic West as Prince Charles and Elizabeth Debicki as Diana.

Save our Squad with David Beckham

From Wednesday, Disney+

Football legend David Beckham comes home to his East London roots to coach a team of under-14s who badly need a leg-up if they’re to avoid relegation in the Echo Junior Football League. The Westward Boys haven’t had a win all season, and it’s up to Becks to turn their fortunes around in this new series which follows the team as they try to turn their fortunes around, with the help of one of the game’s true greats. Who knows, maybe even Posh might make an appearance in the dressing room and spice up the training.

The Love Experiment

Thursday, RTÉ2, 9.35pm

Here’s an odd one – a new dating series based on a social experiment from the 1990s. Apparently, some psychologist named Dr Arthur Aron came up with 36 questions that will promote intimacy and create the right conditions for love. Some of Aron’s questions, though, sound a bit too close for comfort. Like “how do you feel about your relationship with your mother?” or “do you have a secret hunch about how you will die?” Ask those on a first date, and she’ll be looking frantically for the exit sign. I think I’ll stick with the old-fashioned, “are ye dancin’?”

Tribute: The Teresa Deevy Story

Thursday, RTÉ One, 10.15pm

Teresa Deevy is one of Ireland’s forgotten playwrights, despite having written six hit plays performed on the Abbey Theatre stage in the 1930s. Performance artist Amanda Coogan sets out to learn more about this deaf playwright who wrote successfully for the radio, and learns that her subject matter – the choices faced by rural Irish women – didn’t fit in with De Valera’s official “comely maidens” image of Ireland. Coogan also takes on the task of staging one of Deevy’s most powerful plays, Possession, for the first time.


From Friday, Prime Video

We know James Corden as the cheeky-chappie chat-show presenter on US TV, and a bit of a stickler for the perfect omelette in restaurants, but we forget that he’s also an accomplished actor, voice of Peter Rabbit and co-creator and star of hit comedy series Gavin and Stacey. In his first big acting role since announcing his departure from The Late Late Show, Corden stars as chef Jamie, who discovers some shocking truths about his marriage in this dark comedy drama by Jez Butterworth. Sally Hawkins, Melia Kreiling and Colin Morgan co-star.

The Big Narstie Show

Friday, Channel 4, 11.05pm

After a cosy Friday evening in the Montrose studio with Ryan and on the couch with Graham, time for something a little edgier, as grime artist Big Narstie returns for another series of his popular chat, music and sketch show, where the normal rules of chat show telly no longer apply. Big will once again be joined by comedian Mo Gilligan for a night of mayhem and anarchy, with tonight’s guests including hip-hop star Eve, hard man actor Ross Kemp and the Madchester legend and Gogglebox star Bez.

Kevin Courtney

Kevin Courtney

Kevin Courtney is an Irish Times journalist