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

Including White House Plumbers, Kevin Moran: Codebreaker, Bloom and more

Sitting on a Fortune

Sunday, UTV, 7pm

Gary Lineker is back in the host’s seat for a new series of the gameshow in which contestants battle to keep their bums on seats. It’s like musical chairs, except that one chair is worth a hundred grand and whoever is in the money chair has to answer questions correctly to keep their place. A wrong answer will see you bumped back and another contestant take your place. Who’ll hold out long enough to get the jackpot? We’re at the edge of our seats.

Midsomer Murders

Sunday, UTV, 8pm

Kevin Whately of Inspector Morse fame is a special guest star in this Midsomer mystery but there’s no quaint English detective series overlap: DCI John Barnaby (Neil Dudgeon) and DS Jamie Winter (Nick Hendrix) are in charge of this investigation, which has a Gilbert and Sullivan theme. Local amateur operatic society the Midsomer Mummers are staging a production of The Pirates of Penzance but when a dead body turns up among the stage props, it threatens to scuttle the entire production

Kevin Moran: Codebreaker

Monday, RTÉ One, 9.35pm

It’s high time the remarkable story of Irish football legend Kevin Moran was told, and in this special programme, friends, fans, former team-mates and sporting colleagues – including Paul McGrath, Packie Bonner, Neville Southall, Bryan Robson, Ian Rush and Mani from The Stone Roses – line up to recall Moran’s glittering sporting career, which saw him win All-Ireland trophies as part of the Dublin GAA football team in the 1970s, then make the astonishing switch to soccer with Manchester United in the 1980s, going on to win two FA cups and also do a star turn with Jack’s Army in the Euro ‘88 and Italia ‘90.

Billy the Kid

Monday, RTÉ2, 9.35pm

Tom Blyth stars as outlaw Willam Bonney aka Billy the Kid in this gun-totin’ drama set in the Wild West. Probably wouldn’t be looking for much in the way of historical accuracy in this “romantic adventure” telling the story of how a poor son of Irish emigrants became one of the most notorious outlaws in the US in the late 19th century. There will, however, be plenty of rootin’, tootin’ and shootin’ in this series created by Michael Hirst and co-starring Irish actor Eileen O’Higgins as Billy’s mom, Kathleen McCarty.


The Shelter: Animal SOS

Tuesday, RTÉ One, 7pm

Prepare to turn into mush once more as a new array of cute animals are brought back to health by the dedicated team from the DSPCA. It’s the third series of this fly-on-the wall programme and we meet two new vets, Laura O’Sullivan from Cork and Oonagh Hynes from Tipperary, both of whom are dropped straight into it – O’Sullivan tasked with putting an overweight elderly cat named Angel on a strict diet and Hynes having to treat a lurcher named Lucy for a broken leg.

White House Plumbers

Tuesday, Sky Atlantic, 9pm

No, not a reality show about the US president calling in the professionals to drain the swamp, this five-part series focuses on two of Richard Nixon’s top cronies in the Watergate scandal of the 1970s, whose cack-handed attempts to sabotage the Democrats ended up bringing down the entire house of cards. Woody Harrelson and Justin Theroux star as dastardly duo E Howard Hunt and G Gordon Liddy and the cast includes Lena Headey and Domhnall Gleeson.

The Gallows Pole

Wednesday, BBC Two, 9pm

Shane Meadows is best known for such hard-hitting contemporary dramas as This Is England but he’s making his first foray into historical drama with this series based on the true story of a group of poor peasants in West Yorkshire in the 18th century who hatched a daring plan to defraud the Bank of England. Michael Socha stars as David Hartley, leader of a motley crew of weavers and land-workers known as the Cragg Vale Coiners, who pull off the biggest fraud in British history.

Tráma Teaghlaigh

Wednesday, TG4, 9.30pm

The Irish Civil War tore apart families and communities but it also left a lasting intergenerational impact, as children and grandchildren were left to deal with the bitter legacy of the conflict. This three-part documentary series focuses on how descendants on all sides of the conflict managed to find reconciliation and closure. The first episode looks the murder of eight republican prisoners by the Free State army, and the assassination of Kevin O’Higgins four years after the war ended, and how succeeding generations found a way to move beyond the trauma of these atrocities.

Super Garden

Thursday, RTÉ One, 7pm

To coincide with the opening day of Bloom, the finale of Super Garden will reveal just who’s been chosen to bring their garden to the festival in the Phoenix Park and showcase it in front of an estimated 100,000 visitors over the weekend. Five designers – Beth Newman Maguire, Trevor Kinsella, Carmel Ann Day, Colm Carty and Cian McAvinney – await the verdict of the three Super Garden judges and it’s sure to be a close contest.

Cluiche as Baile

Thursday, TG4, 9.30pm

We get so caught up in intercounty championships, we often forget that Gaelic games are not restricted to the four provinces. All across Europe, small GAA clubs have sprang up to cater to the Irish diaspora and keep them connected even though they may be far from home. In this new series, we visit some of the diverse people who belong to these GAA clubs scattered around the Continent and how they keep people connected through language and cultural barriers.


Friday, RTÉ One, 7pm

It’s great to see the Bord Bia Bloom festival back in full flower and Bloom 2023 promises to be a bustling weekend in the Phoenix Park as Ireland’s best garden designers put their showgardens on display and some of the country’s top producers serve up world-class treats in the food village. Áine Lawlor and Marty Morrissey will be on hand on day two of the festival, chatting to gardeners, growers and green-fingered types and among the attractions will be a large garden designed exclusively for children, a Marty food party and a bunch of buskers gathering to provide musical entertainment for the crowds.

Our Lives: My Husband the MMA Fighter

Friday, BBC One, 8.30pm

It’s no walkover being the wife of a top mixed martial arts fighter. Just ask Natalie Ray, whose husband is Scottish champ Stevie “Braveheart” Ray. The 30-year-old mother of four has to support Stevie through a gruelling training regime and strict diet routine as he makes a bid for the world championship and a prize purse of a million dollars, all while keeping the family ticking over. And, with Stevie’s career already threatened by injury, there’s the added worry about whether he’s up for this crucial title fight.

Kevin Courtney

Kevin Courtney

Kevin Courtney is an Irish Times journalist