TV highlights

Friday, 8th April, 2011 9:53am

TV highlights

Conrad Gallagher ('Head Chef'): TV3, Friday.

'Head Chef' (TV3, Friday, 9pm) - International superchef Conrad Gallagher, the youngest ever to win a Michelin star, brings this brand new series to the screen which gives eight kitchen hopefuls the chance of a lifetime to become Ireland's Head Chef.

After whittling down thousands of hopefuls, the final 16 will be cut in half in the first episode to the reveal the final eight chosen by Gallagher. As a chef that constantly pursues perfection, Gallagher will set the eight finalists tasks to test their cooking abilities as they demonstrate their skill, determination and passion to kick-start or seriously boost their culinary careers.

The winner will win a month-long paid training course in wither of Gallagher's restaurants in Sligo or Dublin, plus €10,000 cash. If the new chef impresses their mentor, they could be offered a full-time job.

As each episode reaches boiling point, one hopeful will hang up their apron as the others continue their journey to win the title of Ireland's Head Chef. As tantrums simmer and egos burn out, who can handle the heat or be evicted from the kitchen?

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'Breaking The Silence' (RTE 1, Wednesday, 11.05am) - More deserving of a better transmission slot, this documentary charts life under the Burmese junta which has remained in power since 1962, constantly promising elections.

The documentary was clandestinely shot in regions where few foreigners have dared to venture, and looks at one of Burma's most dangerous zones - the Karen region - and meets people hiding in the jungle in order to resist forced relocation by the military regime, disclosing the secret networks of militants fighting along the Thai border, inside and outside of Burma, nowadays known as Myanmar.

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'The Restaurant' (RTE 1, Sunday, 7.30pm) - This week's chef at the restaurant is a proud Clare man, but is better known as a sports commentator and one of RTE's most popular sports presenters.

Marty Morrissey is always on the move with his job and he doesn't get to cook as often as he likes, so taking on 'The Restaurant' challenge was daunting. "This is like going into the Leaving Cert oral exam. This is a personal challenge..."

On the subject of star ratings, Marty's hoping to get plenty: "Nothing ventured, nothing gained! I hope you get one for turning up, two for not poisoning anybody and three if it's alright, so that's what I'm hoping for."

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'Baboons With Bill Bailey' (ITV, Friday, 8pm) - Cape Town in South Africa is home to some unique baboon families. Set against the beautiful backdrop of Table Mountain, this new series follows their stories as they struggle to survive in this busy and exotic urban landscape.

Bill Bailey brings his natural enthusiasm for the subject as he reveals the intricacies of life for these fascinating and endearing primates. He introduces us to three different families of baboons which he describes as: "The highway robbers of the Smitz troop, the rustic rascals the Tokai troop and the urbanites of Da Gama."

The series provides a unique insight into the lives of these intelligent, complicated primates, with incredible, candid footage of their daily lives.

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'When Piers Met...' (ITV, Saturday, 9.10pm) - This unique, access-all-areas film takes Piers Morgan to Andrew Lloyd Webber's Mediterranean hideaway and then back to the West End as he finds out what it's like to be married to the musical genius and what it's like to work for him.

With unprecedented access and no subject off limits, Morgan delves deep and asks Webber about his affair with singer, Sarah Brightman. And the composer also reveals how he's come to terms with living with cancer.

As he welcomes Morgan to his picturesque, rustic villa in the hilltops of Majorca, he serves him coffee and talks about his short attention span. he shows viewers around his pad and the pair chat about all the great hits he has produced, and the one that surprised the world - 'Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie Yellow Polka Dot Bikini'.

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Movie Of The Week: 'Australia' (RTE 1, Wednesday, 9.35pm) - Nicole Kidman and Hugh Jackman are directed by Baz Luhrmann in this epic adventure tale set in northern Australia before World War II. Kidman is an English aristocrat who inherits a sprawling ranch and reluctantly forms a pact with a stockman in order to protect her new property from a takeover plot. As the pair drive 2,000 head of cattle over an unforgiving landscape, they experience the bombing of Darwin, Australia, by Japanese forces first-hand.

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