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TV guide: 12 of the best new shows to watch this week

This week’s picks include the Bafta awards, Life in a Million Ads with presenter Róisín Murphy and the return of Home of the Year

British Academy Film Awards

Sunday, BBC1, 7pm

The last year in film has been dominated by Barbenheimer, but the 2024 Baftas will prove there was a lot more going on the film world – although Cillian Murphy is unsurprisingly up for a best actor gong for his role in Oppenheimer and Margot Robbie is nominated in the leading actress category for Barbie. But we’ll be watching to see if Barry Keoghan can bag a best actor for his role in Saltburn, and will Paul Mescal win Best Supporting actor for All of Us Strangers, and topple Hollywood giants Robert De Niro, Robert Downey jnr and Ryan Gosling? And we’ll of course savour Sophie Ellis-Bextor performing Murder on the Dancefloor from the Saltburn soundtrack.

Miners’ Strike: A Frontline Story

Sunday, BBC2, 9pm

Forty years go, Margaret Thatcher’s government presided over the closure of coal pits by Britain’s National Coal Board, and the country’s coal miners went on strike, beginning a year of social unrest that saw families, friendships and communities torn apart. This documentary follows 15 ordinary men and women from South Yorkshire and Nottinghamshire during an extraordinary year in their lives, as the conflict became more inflamed and more violent, culminating in a huge confrontation between 8,000 striking miners and 6,000 police officers on a hot day in June.

Life in a Million Ads

Monday, RTÉ1, 9.35pm

Welcome to the circular economy, where people buy and sell all sorts of stuff online, in a thriving, busy marketplace where there’s always a bargain to be had. Architect and presenter Róisín Murphy goes down the rabbit hole of online marketplaces to meet the people who trade in every kind of item, at competitive prices, including young carpenter Eoin Riordan, who has become a TikTok star with more than two million followers.

The Way

Monday, BBC1, 9pm

Michael Sheen is behind the camera for this new drama series, in which an ordinary family is caught up in a civil uprising in the industrial town of Port Talbot. In the midst of the unrest, the O’Driscolls are forced to flee their hometown, pursued by a nasty mercenary named Hogwood. The trailer has a few wry nods to Lord of the Rings, as the O’Driscolls set off from their shire on an epic quest to destroy evil and hide in a ditch from their pursuers. The cast includes Callum Scott Howells, Sophie Melville, Stefan Rhodri and Luke Evans. Sheen himself, the show’s creator, makes a cameo appearance.


Home of the Year

Tuesday, RTÉ1, 8.30pm

Scrub the floors and tidy away the kids’ toys – it’s time for another series of Home of the Year, and if you want to be in contention, you better make sure your house has the wow factor. This is the 10th series of the ever-popular show, and the judging panel of Hugh Wallace, Amanda Bone and Sara Cosgrove are once again in search of interesting, individual houses that have a bit of flair and originality. Among the contenders this week are John and Kasha, who built their own environmentally friendly home in Co Clare with a grass roof that is home to bees and other wildlife, and Iean and Sarah, who restored an old schoolhouse to turn it into a vibrant family home.

Sort Your Life Out with Stacey Solomon

Tuesday, BBC1, 9pm

The well-organised presenter returns with a new series of her show, in which she and her decluttering team – Dilly, Rob and Iwan – help another hapless family to ditch the detritus that has piled up in their home over the years and has now become a big blockage in their lives. First up is the Bufton family from Surrey, who really need to learn how to let go of things. Their house is crammed with thousands of items they just can’t bring themselves to part with, but Stacey is on hand to help them though the emotional trauma. Dad Craig is still dealing with the death of his wife from cancer four years ago, and bringing up their two daughters, aged six and four, but now he feels it’s time to change things up and look to the future rather than be overwhelmed by the past.

Alice & Jack

Wednesday, Channel 4, 9pm/RTÉ2, 10.30pm

Can a one-night-stand lead to lasting love? That’s the question lingering in the air in this new romantic drama series starring Andrea Riseborough and Domhnall Gleeson. We meet the two as they meet for a quick hook-up, which turns out to be just the beginning of a 15-year love story featuring lots of ups and downs, break-ups and make-ups, and tears and laughter, as the couple just can’t seem to escape each other’s magnetic field. Besides the two superb actors at its centre, the series also stars Aisling Bea, Aimee Lou Wood and Sunil Patel.

Inseparable Sisters

Wednesday, BBC1, 11.40pm

Conjoined twins Marieme and Ndeye were not expected to survive, but they have defied all odds and are now aged seven, each with her own individual personality. Their father, Ibrahima, had been faced with a difficult choice – to try to separate them, and possibly lose one of them, or leave them conjoined, which could shorten their life expectancy. This intimate film looks at the twins’ everyday lives in Cardiff, Wales, the unique care they need, and the sacrifices and hard work by their dad, who says every day with them is a blessing.

Gymnastics: A Culture of Abuse?

Thursday, UTV, 9pm

At this summer’s Olympics in Paris there will be joy and tears as gymnasts from around the world compete for medals, but this documentary exposes the dark underside of the sport, as British former gymnasts reveal how they were abused – either physically, emotionally or sexually – by their coaches while they were still children. We hear harrowing stories, including how one person – who coaches at national level – had sex with an underage gymnast, and we hear allegations of inappropriate behaviour by a former Olympian (who denies the allegations). We hear how athletes’ lives were devastated by historic abuse, and how they are still fighting a battle for justice after suing the sport’s governing body.

Midsomer Murders

Thursday, Virgin Media 3, 9pm

It’s series 23 of the popular crime series set in the titular small town with the high homicide rate, and in case you missed this when it was first aired in December 2022, episode one features a doomsday prediction and a band of fanatical survivalists in their woodland hideout – never a dull moment round here. Local paranoiac Warren Kaine has built a bombproof shelter in the Blacktrees Forest, where a group of doomsday preppers meet every week. But a schism has opened in the group, and for one of its members, the end is truly nigh.

Tradfest: The Fingal Sessions

Friday, RTÉ1, 8.30pm

This year’s Tradfest in Dublin city centre featured some fine musical names plying their trad trade to appreciative audiences, and it’s fair to say that Irish trad and folk is having a serious moment. This series was filmed in Malahide Castle during the festival, and features a host of superb artists working in and around the trad and folk genre, including Gemma Hayes, Sorcha Costello, Tim O’Brien, Jan Fabricius, Katie Theasby and Alan Wallace, performing in the atmospheric 15th-century venue, with musician/presenter Fiachna Ó Braonáin doing the compering duties.

Martin Compston’s Norwegian Fling

Friday, BBC2, 9pm

The Scottish actor – star of Line of Duty and The Rig – is joined by his pal Phil McHugh for this epic 2,000-mile journey along the length of Norway. It’s the close Scandinavian neighbour of Scotland, but how different are the two countries, or do they have more in common than Compston realises? In the first episode, Compston and McHugh fly in to the capital, Oslo, to begin their journey, then head to the high-end ski resort of Holmenkollen, where they learn how Norwegians manage to ski even when there isn’t any snow. They also get a sobering lesson in just how expensive Norway is when they stock up on brew from the local offie.