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

The Trouble with Kanye, Secrets of The Bay City Rollers and a plot to kidnap Princess Anne

Before We Die

Sunday, Channel 4, 9pm

Lesley Sharp returns in the role of senior police detective Hanna Laing in this dark crime thriller adapted from the original hit Swedish series. Reviews for season one were lukewarm to say the least, with the Guardian saying it kept all the bleakness of the original but without the great acting and plotting. Hopefully, the second series will find its feet as Laing and crime matriarch Dubravka Mimica face off against each other as Dubravka seeks revenge for her son and Hannah tries to honour her son by exposing the Mimica crime gang.

Princess Anne: The Plot to Kidnap a Royal

Sunday, Channel 4, 8pm

It’s a lesser-known episode in the saga of Britain’s royal family. In March 1974, a man named Ian Ball tried to abduct the young Princess Anne – right outside Buckingham Palace. This documentary looks at the extraordinary drama that unfolded on the Mall that night as Ball, armed with a pistol, told the princess to get out of the car, to which she replied: “Not bloody likely!” Four people were shot trying to disarm Ball and protect the princess from her would-be kidnapper and in this programme, key witnesses recall events with help from a model of the scene.

Éadaí SOS

Monday, BBC Two, 10pm

Are you a slave to faisean tapa? In season two of Éadaí SOS, presenters Caoimhe Ní Chathail and Proinsias Ó Coinn are out to help people change their clothes shopping habits and build up a more sustainable, environmentally-friendly wardrobe. With millions of tonnes of discarded clothing being burned or dumped every year, it’s no longer morally justifiable to buy cheap, throwaway clothes and treat them like single-use coffee cups. Caoimhe and Proinsias will deliver some fashion therapy to a group of shopaholics, clearing out their wardrobes and leaving them with just 15 items to keep them going for two weeks. They may be forced to – gasp! – wear something twice.

Rose Ayling-Ellis: Signs for Change

Monday, BBC One, 9pm

Actress and Strictly winner Rose Ayling-Ellis presents a new documentary detailing the daily challenges still faced by deaf people in a modern world that refuses to hear their pleas for change. Ayling-Ellis was the first deaf person to win Strictly and she asks why society is so slow to adapt to meet the needs of hearing-impaired people. She will also meet people on the front line pushing for positive change and better inclusion for deaf people, in what she describes as a “real, emotional and hard-hitting” programme.


The Shelter: Animal SOS

Tuesday, RTÉ One, 7pm

The series highlighting the work of the DSPCA, Ireland’s largest and longest-standing animal welfare charity, continues with a new intake of animals in urgent need of medical treatment and a lot of TLC. This week, the staff have the task in assisting in the birth of nine puppies to pregnant dog Gloria and then finding homes for the little tykes. Two terriers, Daisy and Tess, undergo a remedial grooming session and a stray white cat named Sneachta is given life-saving surgery for ear cancer by vet Lauren, her first time performing this procedure.

Africa Rising with Afua Hirsch

Tuesday, BBC Two, 9pm

Afua Hirsch concludes her cultural travels through the continent with a visit to South Africa, where she immerses herself in the creative swirl of Soweto, the township in Johannesburg which suffered hugely under apartheid. Nowadays, Soweto’s cultural life is fuelled by an element know as “ekasi”, a sort of coolness and confidence unique to the townships, encapsulated in a new style of house music known as amapiano and embodied by stars such as Bontle Modiselle, a dancer with millions of TikTok followers, and artist Lebonhang Motaung, whose braided paintings are selling like hot cakes in the US.

The Trouble with Kanye

Wednesday, BBC Two, 9pm

Kanye West aka Ye is the most divisive and controversial figure in music, a hugely successful pop star who has, over the past few years, been on a mission to alienate fans, friends and family – not to mention Adidas, who dropped his Yeezy shoe brand following disgusting anti-Semitic remarks. Journalist Mobeen Azhar heads to the US to find out how Kanye went from being the world’s most acclaimed rapper to becoming a Trump disciple and a lightning rod for conspiracy theories, hate speech and anti-Semitism.


Wednesday, BBC One, 10.40pm

Michael Sheen and David Tennant star as two bickering thespians trying to put together a show but are completely unable to put aside their egos. The series started during Covid as Sheen and Tennant rehearsed for a new production via Zoom but now they’re able to squabble in person as they play larger-than-life versions of themselves. In episode five, the reviews of the new show are in and it’s not a pretty sight. It’s so bad, in fact, that the pair may have to resort to calling Simon back in to write them out of this paper bag.

Secrets of The Bay City Rollers

Thursday, UTV, 9pm

Remember Rollermania? Back in the 1970s, the tartan-wearing teen sensations were the One Direction of their day, with hits such as Shang-A-Lang and Bye Bye Baby, and lines of screaming girls wherever they went. This documentary presented by Nicky Campbell looks at how the band took the pop world by storm but also how they were badly exploited by their music biz handlers and how their legacy was permanently tarnished by the horrific revelations about their manager, Tam Paton.

Face The Music

Thursday, RTÉ One, 10.15pm

Episode two of this fly-on-the-soundproof-wall series focuses on the students and teachers of the Royal Irish Academy of Music as they reach the halfway point of their academic year. The school is preparing for a big performance by the Philharmonia Orchestra and bringing in internationally famous conductor Mihhail Gerts to take the baton but even though the new €25 million building is still not open, the show must go on. Meanwhile, students Rohan, Rachael, Seán and Anastasia face very different challenges in their pursuit of musical excellence.

John Torode’s Ireland

Friday, RTÉ2, 8.30pm

Masterchef judge John Torode is usually seen casting a cold eye over contestants’ dishes but here he’s got nothing but warm, fuzzy feelings as he takes a culinary trip around Ireland, following his taste buds to find the best food made from the freshest produce. In the first episode, he’s taking in Dublin and Wicklow, sampling coddle in the Gravediggers pub, hitting up Gallagher’s Boxty House, taking a food tour of Dublin with Ketty Quigley and visiting a luxury foodie retreat in the Wicklow Mountains. Full marks!


Friday, UTV, 9pm

Meet the Richards family: wealthy, successful, almost as flamboyant as the Kardashians – and sometimes ruthless enough to give the Roys a run for their money. This new series follows the exploits of the family as they work hard to protect the hair and beauty business empire built up by patriarch Stephen Richards, one of Britain’s most successful black businessmen. Hugh Quarshie plays Stephen, with Deborah Ayorinde as his estranged daughter Nina and Sara Niles as his second wife, Claudia. Expect bling and betrayal in equal measures.

Kevin Courtney

Kevin Courtney

Kevin Courtney is an Irish Times journalist