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

July 7th-12th: From new Instanbul-set crime crama The Turkish Detective to Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s new reality

The Turkish Detective: Yasemin Kay Allen, Ethan Kai and Haluk Bilginer. Photograph: Paramount

The Turkish Detective

Sunday, BBC2, 9pm

Meet Inspector Cetin Ikmen, “a beacon of hope and humour in a dark, difficult world”, according to Ben Schiffer, who writes and executive produces this new eight-part crime series adapted from the bestselling novels by Barbara Nadel. Ikmen is a detective solving crimes in the vibrant, multifaceted setting of modern-day Istanbul, and his investigations bring him deep into the rich culture and fascinating history of this bustling, frenzied city. Haluk Bilginer stars as the eccentric, unorthodox Inspector Ikmen, with Ethan Kai as British detective Mehmet Suleyman, who has moved to Istanbul to join the homicide team.

Guy Martin and the Lost WW2 Bomber

Sunday, Channel 4, 9pm
Guy Martin and the Lost WW2 Bomber

Mechanic, engineer and motorbike racer Guy Martin has taken on a lot of unusual projects, but this one is a humdinger: he sets out on a mission to salvage a second World War Lancaster bomber that crashed in a lake in the Netherlands and has been submerged there for 80 years. Martin and his team are also going to try to recover the remains of the plane’s missing crew members in this new series. To meet this huge recovery challenge, Martin will have to do something drastic – build a dam and drain the entire lake.


Monday, BBC2, 11.05pm
Michelle de Swarte in Spent. Photograph: Robert Viglasky/Various Artists Limited

Mia is a former catwalk model whose career is on the skids, and now she has to get out of bed for a lot less than fifty grand. She’s longer gracing the covers of fashion mags or advertising top perfume brands, but in her own well-coiffed head she’s still the queen of haute couture. Instead of chic hotels, though, Mia is crashing on people’s couches, and instead of limos, she’s taking the bus. Michelle de Swarte writes and stars in this fragrant new comedy drama about a woman who has to go back to her humble beginnings and redesign her life. It’s partly inspired by de Swarte’s own experiences in the modelling industry.

Spice Girls: How Girl Power Changed Britain

Monday, RTÉ2, 9.35pm

This 2021 music documentary celebrates 25 years since Scary, Baby, Ginger, Sporty and Posh burst on the pop scene with their chart-topping single Wannabe 28 years ago. This three-part series explores how The Spice Girls sparked a girl power revolution and remade the music industry in their own glamorous image. Episode one goes back to the beginning, tracking the group from its formation in 1994 to becoming the world’s biggest-selling pop act three years later.


Michael Palin in Nigeria

Tuesday, Virgin Media 1, 9pm

After countless travel series taking him to far-flung places, Michael Palin still can’t shake off his travel bug, and in this new series – already recently seen on UK television – he makes his first visit to Nigeria, which he describes as “an extraordinary country and a complex puzzle”. Over the course of the series, Palin travels 1,300km across this vast country, from the vibrant, bustling city of Lagos to the Islamic north, exploring the country’s natural wonders, and immersing himself in the cultural richness of the country.

Life in a Million Ads

Tuesday, 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.

Scéalta na gCorn

Wednesday, TG4, 8.30pm

It’s the final stop on Gráinne McElwain’s trophy-hunting tour of Ireland, and what better place to end her exploration of Irish sporting achievements than Co Cavan, home county of John Joe O’Reilly, the only man to captain the Cavan team to All-Ireland glory outside the country. She learns about the origins of the county’s most coveted trophy in Gaelic football, the Anglo-Celtic Cup, and how it got its name, and also gets the inside story of how local legend O’Reilly led the Breffni to All-Ireland victory over Kerry on the playing fields of New York.

Harry Wild

Wednesday, RTÉ1, 9.35pm

Harry’s wild adventures in Dublin continue, with the English professor turned private detective taking on a formidable foe: a ruthless Spanish hitman known as El Cazador (the Hunter) whose favoured weapon is the crossbow. Mind you, it’s not Harry the Iberian assassin is after, but Ben Finnegan, Orla’s sketchy ex. Apparently, Ben has to track down some stolen gems or he’s going to be the Hunter’s next trophy. Orla’s not too happy to see Ben again, and even less happy to be asking Harry and Fergus for help, but what else can she do?

Mastermind: To Think Like a Killer

From Thursday, July 11th, Disney+

In the late 1970s the United States was gripped by a spate of serial killings, and the FBI was desperate to track down and apprehend the murderers before they found their next victims. They turned to an unlikely source: a paediatric nurse named Dr Ann Burgess, who pioneered the nascent art of criminal profiling (and became the inspiration for the Netflix series Mindhunter). Her ability to think like a killer helped the FBI to catch dozens of murderers, and her compassion for and empathy with the mostly female victims put women’s safety at the centre of the conversation.

Path to Paris

Thursday, RTÉ1, 10.15pm
Ireland’s Nhat Nguyen. Photograph: Tom Maher/Inpho

This series follows some of Ireland’s greatest athletes and sportspeople as they set out on the long road to qualification for the Olympic and Paralympic Games, and in the second episode we meet gymnast Rhys McClenaghan, who has yet to add an Olympic medal to his growing collection; Vietnam-born badminton player Nhat N’Guyen, who competed in Tokyo 2020 and is now going for his second Olympics; and his sister, weightlifter Tham N’Guyen. The N’Guyen siblings have taken very different sporting paths, but both have their eyes on the same prize: an Olympic medal.

Prince Harry: Secrets of His Hollywood Life

Friday, Virgin Media 1, 8pm
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle spill the beans in a television interview with Oprah Winfrey. Photograph: Joe Pugliese/Harpo Productions via AP

So, how is the Spare getting on with his new life in LA? When Prince Harry and Meghan Markle left Blighty to make a new start free from the burden of royalty, and far from the glare of the British tabloids, they were expecting great things to happen. There’d be book deals, Netflix series, all sorts of offers and opportunities. But now, four years later, with Harry and his young family settled in their Hollywood home with their famous neighbours, what’s the reality for the Duke of Sussex? This documentary looks at how Harry is supporting his new LA lifestyle with public appearances and other lucrative deals.

Celebrity I Literally Just Told You

Friday, Channel 4, 10pm

This is the fast-moving gameshow in which contestants have to be on the alert, because they will have to answer questions freshly written on the spot about what just happened moments ago. An eye for detail will help, plus a good short-term memory. This week presenter Jimmy Carr mercilessly questions a bunch of celebs – Chico Slimani, Jonathan Ross, Oti Mabuse, Josie Gibson and Rylan Clark – about what just happened moments before, as they try to win up to £25,000 for charity. Will they be able to stop thinking about themselves long enough to recall what just happened?