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

June 16th-21st: From the fiery return of House of the Dragon to a Star Wars-themed NFT art scandal

Bran Symondson in The Stormtrooper Scandal. Photograph: Stuart Bernard

Ceol ón Earagail

Sunday, TG4, 9.30pm
The Campbells. Photograph: John Soffe

The late Jimmy and Vincent Campbell were two of Co Donegal’s most celebrated fiddlers, part of well-known musical family from near Glenties, and this special programme is dedicated to these talented brothers who became Donegal fiddle legends. Friends and family members come together for this celebration, including Jimmy’s son, fiddle player Peter Campbell, along with the likes of Dermot McLaughlin, Martin McGinley, Denise Boyle and Tara and Ann Connaghan. There will be many recollections of a family steeped in musical tradition, whose home was a gathering place for musicians from far and near.

We’re Here

Sunday, Sky Max & Now, 10pm

The US has become a hostile environment for the LGBTQ+ community, but drag queens Sasha Velour, Priyanka, Jaida Essence Hall and Latrice Royal remain undaunted as they continue their odyssey of love across small-town USA, taking intolerance and prejudice in their high-heeled stride. Series four begins with a visit to Murfreesboro, Tennessee, where draconian new anti-drag laws have been passed. The queens take an in-depth look at this regressive legislation, and speak to members of the community – including Maleeka, musician Bradford and drag artist Norm – about how the law has made their lives more difficult.

Eid al-Adha – Journey of Hope

Monday, RTÉ1, 5.20pm

On the eve of Eid al-Adha, the Muslim festival of sacrifice, we hear the story of Irish citizens Ibrahim Alagha, his wife, Hamida, and their three children Sami, Eileen and Omar, who were caught up in the war in Gaza while on a trip to visit relatives. brahim had to flee with his family to his father’s farmhouse in Khan Yunis but rather than cower in fear, he helped almost 90 people who were also seeking refuge from the Israeli bombardment. Ibrahim never lost faith or hope through the constant danger, and he and his family eventually reached safety via the Rafah crossing, but now that they are safe at home in Ireland, their thoughts go to the people left behind.

House of the Dragon

Monday, Sky Atlantic & Now, 9pm
Olivia Cooke and Ewan Mitchell in House of the Dragon

By George, he’s done it again. The new fantasy series based on George RR Martin’s Fire and Blood has done the seemingly impossible by almost equalling Game of Thrones in the telly event tournament. Anticipation is at fever pitch for series two of House of the Dragon, set 200 years before events in GoT and telling the bloody, violent story of the rise of House Targaryen. Matt Smith returns as Daemon with Emma D’Arcy as Rhaenyra, Olivia Cooke as Alicent, and Rhys Ifans as Ser Otto Hightower. We’re promised loads of action – both on the battlefield and between the sheets – as Westeros is plunged deeper into war and the Iron Throne remains up for grabs.


Super Surgeons: A Chance at Life

Tuesday, Channel 4, 9pm

In the fight against cancer, the surgeons at the UK’s Royal Marsden Hospital are in the front line, coming up with pioneering ways to treat the disease and give patients a chance to hold on to precious life for as long as humanly possible. The first series of Super Surgeons was a huge hit, and it’s easy to see why. These medics perform magic to help patients through a life-changing process. In this episode, Prof Andy Hayes treats 18-year-old trainee midwife Anthea, who has a rare sarcoma tumour in her arm. Prof Hayes will try to remove the cancer without having to amputate Anthea’s arm. Also, Prof David Nicol treats 43-year-old former rugby player Cameron, who has an aggressive form of testicular cancer.

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The Rest Is Politics: Election Special

Tuesday, Channel 4, 11.05pm

As UK prime minister Rishi Sunak calls an election, and the Conservatives looks set to be given a thorough drubbing in the polls by Labour, Alastair Campbell and Rory Stewart bring their popular podcast to Channel 4, with a special six-episode series bringing viewers right to the heart and soul of the campaign. Campbell, a former Labour spin doctor, and Stewart, a former Conservative MP, have one thing in common: they’re both very entertaining and knowledgeable presenters, and they’ll be covering all the issues that will be foremost in British voters’ minds as they head to the polls.

Adam Lambert: Out, Loud and Proud

Wednesday, UTV, 9pm

Adam Lambert is known as the talented, flamboyant singer who ably stepped into the role of Queen frontman, and here he explores how LGBTQ+ artists have lit up the music industry and lifted pop music from meat‘n’potatoes dullness to a gourmet feast of style and spectacle. He interviews his Queen bandmates Brian May and Roger Taylor about the legacy of Lambert’s predecessor, Freddie Mercury, and meets Andy Bell of hugely successful 1980s pop duo Erasure and Skin from 1990s rockers Skunk Anansie to learn how LGBTQ+ artists have had to fight for their rightful place in the pop pantheon, and how they refused to conform to perceived pop norms.

Harry Wild

Wednesday, RTÉ1, 9.35pm
Jane Seymour in Harry Wild. Photograph: Steffan Hill/AcornTV

Jane Seymour stars as the retired professor turned amateur sleuth in this detective series set in Ireland and co-starring a host of well-known Irish actors, including Stuart Graham, Amy Huberman, Ciara O’Callaghan and Paul Tylak. At a loose end after her retirement, Harriet “Harry” Wild goes to stay with her son Charlie, a Garda detective, in Dublin and begins sticking her nose into Fergus’s investigations – invariably managing to solve the crimes. Series three is due out soon, but here’s a chance to catch up on series two, which opens with a mystery close to home as Charlie’s mentor – and Harry’s ex – Ray Tiernan is murdered while running an investigation. It’s up to Harry and Charlie’s son Fergus – her grandson – to uncover the killer.

The Stormtrooper Scandal

Thursday, BBC2, 9pm

What has Star Wars to do with one of the biggest art scandals of recent times? And was it a scam or simply an attempt to make a killing in the art world that got out of control? This fascinating documentary tells the story of a daring scheme cooked up by a charismatic young curator named Ben Moore, who in 2021 announced the launch of an exclusive sale of NFTs – artworks that exist only in digital form. The works on sale were to be based on a very familiar image – stormtrooper helmets from Star Wars, with a number of top artists creating their own variations on the iconic headgear. The pieces sold out in just a few seconds, making Moore and his colleagues instantly rich, but it all quickly went up in smoke like the Death Star, leaving collectors empty-handed.

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David Puttnam: The Long Road Home

Thursday, RTÉ1, 10.15pm
David Puttnam: The Long Road Home. Photograph: Miki Barlok

The Oscar-winning director’s journey from north London school dropout to Oscar-winning director to Irish citizen is explored in this warm-hearted documentary directed by Edel O’Mahony and produced by Clíona Ní Bhuachalla, who says she was “immediately captivated” by Puttnam, who is now in his 80s. Puttnam won an Academy Award for Chariots of Fire in 1982, but in the subsequent years he became an educationalist, environmentalist and political activist. He talks about his life growing up in London during the Blitz, his friendship with fellow director Alan Parker, his time as chief executive of Columbia Pictures, and the events which led to him and his beloved wife of 60 years, Patsy, to successfully apply for Irish citizenship and settling down in west Cork.

Isle of Wight Festival 2024

Friday, Sky Arts & Now, 7pm

It’s time to get on the ferry once more for another visit to the Isle of Wight as it hosts its long-running festival. The first-ever Isle of Wight festival was in 1968, featuring Jefferson Airplane, The Crazy World of Arthur Brown and Tyrannosaurus Rex (later T Rex). This year’s festival is headlined by The Prodigy, with The Streets, Crowded House and The Darkness also gracing the main stage, and Sky will be there to bring all the musical action right to your livingroom. There will aslo be sets from the Big Top stage by The Pretenders and Johnny Marr.

Disco: Soundtrack of a Revolution

Friday, BBC4, 10pm

You might have thought punk music was the genre that really shook up the status quo in the late 1970s but you’d have been wrong. The real seismic sound, one that shook society’s booty and sparked a resurgence of black power in the charts and a sexual revolution on and off the dance floor, was disco music. This three-part series looks at how disco fever spread around the world, with episode two focusing on the liberation promised by such anthems as Donna Summer’s Love to Love You Baby and Sylvester’s You Make Me Feel Mighty Real.