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

Including Dancing With the Stars, Room to Improve, the Annual Golden Globe Awards and Hunters

Dancing with the Stars

Sunday, RTÉ One, 6.30pm

RTÉ fulfils its public service remit to cheer everyone up on those dull January days with another glitzy, glamtastic round of Dancing with the Stars, and they’ve surpassed themselves with this year’s line-up – some of whose names we might actually recognise. Among the would-be dancers strutting their stuff are Eurovision semi-finalist Brooke Scullion, Ireland football legend Stephanie Roche, All-Ireland winning footballer Paul Brogan, fashion maven Suzanne Jackson, Derry Girls star Leah O’Rourke and the queen of Ireland herself, Panti Bliss. They’ll be partnered up with a professional dancer to compete for the glitterball prize under the gimlet eye of judging panel Lorraine Barry, Brian Redmond and Arthur Gourounlian, and even presenter Jennifer Zamparelli will have a new partner: co-presenter Doireann Garrihy. Don’t forget, you can keep those heating bills down by dancing along in your livingroom.

Room To Improve

Sunday, RTÉ One, 9.35pm

Homeowners rejoiced when Dermot Bannon’s home improvement show returned last year after a Covid hiatus, and he’s back with a new series, helping young couple Conor and Amy to turn a dilapidated family farmhouse in Tullamore into a spanking new home that blends traditional with contemporary. Conor’s dad grew up in this house, and so it has special significance, but it will take a big budget – and a big imagination – to bring the old farm back up to scratch. Needless to say, there are disagreements about how to go about this gargantuan project, and lots of obstacles along the way, but Bannon and straight-talking QS Claire Irwin will be on hand over four episodes to keep things from going off the rails.

The Clinic for Well People

Monday, Virgin Media One, 9pm

“What’s the point in going to the doctor – sure he’ll only find something wrong with you.” Your granny’s old tenet is about to be proven true in this new series, featuring a bunch of people who think they’re in the full of their health, but are about to discover they’re actually at death’s door – or at least somewhere near the front gate. They arrive at the Well Clinic, where they will undergo a full health scan, as the medics dig deep to find some underlying illness or hitherto undetected condition. You’ll walk in feeling like a million dollars, but hobble out feeling like a bent ha’penny piece.

The US and the Holocaust

Monday, BBC Two, 10pm

This documentary series looks at how the US responded to the growing humanitarian crisis in Germany in the lead-up to the second World War, and the American people’s fraught relationship with the huge number of Jewish refugees fleeing Nazi persecution and genocide. Episode one, The Golden Door, details the inadequate response of world leaders to the crisis, and how xenophobia and anti-Semitism took root among the American public, challenging the ideals of US democracy. Giving in to public opinion, the government of Franklin Delano Roosevelt decided to end its decades-long open border policy and shut the door on the influx of refugees from Nazi Germany – with disastrous consequences.


Pretty Little Liars: Original Sin

Tuesday, BBC One, 11.10pm

As the title suggests, this is a spin-off of the teen slasher drama Pretty Little Liars, based on the novel series by Sara Shepard. This one’s not set in the fictional town of Rosewood, Pennsylvania, but in the nearby fictional town of Millwood, where the mysterious “A” has returned to threaten a whole new cast of potential victims, all of whom seem to harbour a lifetime of dark secrets despite their tender years. When the girls start receiving cryptic messages blaming them for a tragedy caused by their mothers back in 1999, they must put aside their petty rivalries and try to unravel this decades-old mystery before they get permanently cancelled.

High Road, Low Road

Tuesday, RTÉ One, 7pm

Cycling legend Nicolas Roche and actor Norma Sheahan are the mismatched travelling companions in this latest episode of the travel show, and this week the destination is the Algarve in Portugal. But they’ll have to take two separate routes to the sun, with one celeb spending the holiday in the lap of luxury, while the other must do it all on the cheap. So, which is it to be, five-star holiday resort or budget B&B? Both Sheahan and Roche will at least get to share some adventures, including driving dune buggies in the mountains, playing beach volleyball and surfing.

The 2023 80th Annual Golden Globe Awards

Wednesday, RTÉ 2, 9.35pm

All the glitz and glamour of Golden Globe Awards are brought to you in this special highlights show, and with Martin McDonagh’s The Banshees of Inisherin heading the pack with no less than eight nominations, we’ll simply scream if it doesn’t bring home a few of those shiny globular trophies. With other films in the running including Avatar: The Way of Water, Babylon, Glass Onion and Top Gun: Maverick, and nominated actors including Daniel Craig, Adam Driver, Colin Farrell, Brendan Gleeson, Barry Keoghan, Angela Bassett, Kerry Condon and Jamie Lee Curtis, expect a superstar-studded turnout at the Beverly Hilton in Beverly Hills, but hopefully no one gets a slap on the face.

Moving West

Wednesday, TG4, 8.30pm

Have you ever considered moving out to the west of Ireland, but worried that you might be cut off from your life and career? Worry no more, because the second series of Moving West will reiterate why the west is regarded by many as the best place to live, work and bring up a family. Mary Kennedy returns to the places she knows and loves so well, including the Aran Islands where her sister lives, and meets many people along the way who have made the big move, and have never regretted it for a moment. Over the course of the series, Kennedy will bring viewers on a fascinating journey through Donegal, Sligo, Mayo, Galway and Kerry, to meet the people who have found a new life beyond the Pale.

Vikings: Valhalla

Thursday, Netflix

The epic series returns for a second season, and since it’s all filmed in Co Wicklow and bringing lots of work for beardy and flame-haired extras, we’re of course giving it a big thumbs-up. Sam Corlett returns as Viking explorer Lief Eriksson, who is now a fugitive following the fall of Kattegat, along with his feisty sister Freydis Eriksdottir (Frida Gustavsson) and the ambitious Prince Harald (Leo Suter). We’re expecting lots more bone-splintering swordplay action and sweeping scenery that will make us go: “I know that place!”

In the Footsteps of Killers

Thursday, Channel 4, 10pm

Don’t be fooled by the presence of Silent Witness star Emilia Fox – this is not another fictional crime series, but a true-life documentary in which Fox tries to solve murder cases so cold they’re practically glacial. Fox reopens the files on the notorious 1979 murders at Templeton Woods near Dundee, where 18-year-old Carol Lannen and 20-year-old Elizabeth McCabe were strangled within months of each other. Their killer has never been caught, but now Fox and her investigating team think they know who did it.

Break Point

From Friday, Netflix

Netflix has had a runaway success with F1: Drive to Survive, and the team behind that series is hoping lightning will strike twice with this new series, set in the super-competitive world of Grand Slam tennis. The series follows a selection of the world’s top tennis players, driven by ambition and self-belief, as they traverse the world in a gruelling round of tournaments. The 10-part series will bring us up close and personal with world number one Iga Swiatek, along with top-seeded players including Matteo Berrettini, Nick Kyrgios, Stefanos Tsitsipas and Frances Tiafoe as they compete on the WTA and ATF tours. The series will also feature insights from tennis legends John McEnroe, Maria Sharapova and Andy Roddick.


From Friday, Prime Video

Al Pacino heads a band of relentless hunters with just one prey in their sights: Nazi war criminals. They’re on a mission to track down and bring to justice the last remnants of the Third Reich wherever they may be hiding. Pacino is chief Nazi-hunter Meyer Offerman, with Jennifer Jason Leigh joining the crew for this second season. The action follows on from the disastrous ending to their mission in Europe at the conclusion of season one, and sees the Hunters regrouping for a mission to South America in search of the ultimate trophy: Hitler himself.

Kevin Courtney

Kevin Courtney

Kevin Courtney is an Irish Times journalist