A Connecticut mother switches houses with a woman in Dublin

A Connecticut mother switches houses with a woman in Dublin

TV WEEK

TOP SPECIALS Wednesday 8th to Tuesday 14th)

Shakespeare: Rise of a Genius (BBC 2, Wednesday 8th, 9pm)

Marking the 400th anniversary of the publication of William Shakespeare’s First Folio, this three-part docuseries tells the story of how a glover’s son from rural Stratford became the greatest writer who ever lived in a dangerous world of rebellion, murder and where a deadly plague nourished his creative genius.

Paddy Devlin – Gunnadóir na Gaillimhe (TG4, Wednesday 8th, 9.30pm)

The huge involvement of Irishmen and women in the British war effort was ignored until recently. This documentary tells their story for the through the eyes of a particular local hero – just one of the estimated 70,000 Irish people who volunteered to join the British Army during WWII.

Nationwide Big Houses of Ireland Series (RTÉ 1, Monday 13th, 7pm)

This series examines the history of the big houses in Ireland, from the truly grand to the more modest, and the people who lived in them and who worked in them. During the War of Independence and the Civil War, some 300 of these big houses were burned as physical symbols of colonisation over centuries and the power of landlords.

Blue Lights (RTÉ 1, Tuesday 14th, 10.15pm)

Siân Brooke has made the decision in her 40s to leave her steady job as a social worker to join the Police Service of Northern Ireland – it’s the biggest gamble of her life. She joins fellow rookies Annie and Tommy and the odds are at least one of them isn’t going to last.

The Great Erection Deception: The Stiff Nights Story (ITVX, Thursday 9th)

The true story of a Mormon man and his vegan business partner who made millions by duping their sex-loving customers into buying what they believed was an ‘all natural’ alternative to Viagra, which was actually laced with the same ingredient as the little blue pill.

BEST FILMS

The Last Rifleman (Sky Cinema, from Wednesday)

Inspired by true events, Pierce Brosnan stars as Artie Crawford, a World War II veteran living in a care home who has just lost his wife. On the 75th anniversary of the D-Day landings in Normandy, he embarks on an inspirational journey to France, to pay his final respects to his best friend.

Photo by Sofia Saint Romain

Charlie’s Angels (Film4, Friday 10th, 11.20pm)

A trio of elite private investigators – Cameron Diaz, Lucy Liu and Drew Barrymore – track down a kidnapped billionaire to keep his top-secret software out of lethal hands. They’re beautiful, they’re brilliant, and they work for Charlie, in this sexy update of the original 1970s action-comedy TV series.

Big George Foreman (Sky Cinema, from Friday)

Based on the true story of one of the greatest comebacks of all time and the transformational power of second chances. Fuelled by an impoverished childhood, Foreman channelled his anger into becoming an Olympic Gold medallist and World Heavyweight Champion, followed by a near-death experience that took him from the boxing ring to the pulpit.

Tara Road (RTÉ 1, Friday 10th, 11.50pm)

This adaptation of a Maeve Binchy novel is based around a grieving Connecticut mother (Andie MacDowell), who temporarily switches houses with another traumatised woman (Olivia Williams) in Dublin. Stephen Rea and Iain Glenn play the romantic males in this feelgood outing.

CLASSIC MOVIE

Ad Astra (Film4, Friday 10th, 8pm)

Brad Pitt and Ruth Negga star in this sci-fi story where an astronaut embarks on a daring mission to Neptune to uncover the truth about his father, who went missing on a space mission 30 years previously, and to investigate a mysterious power surge that threatens the universe.

The 2 Johnnies Late Night Lock In (RTÉ 2, Thursday 9th, 9.30pm)

The six-part series features comedy and entertainment from the Tipperary duo, joined each evening by some well-known pals for shenanigans down the ‘local’ to shine a light on all things Irish – characters, humour, music and silliness to be found in pubs throughout the country.

The Croods: A New Age (RTÉ 1, Saturday 11th, 7pm)

Nicolas Cage, Emma Stone and Ryan Reynolds star in this animated comedy about the prehistoric Crood family, who discover an idyllic paradise that meets all their needs – with one drawback, they must also learn to live with the Bettermans – a family a few steps apart on the evolutionary ladder.

ON DEMAND

Robbie Williams (Netflix)

The documentary explores Robbie Williams’s rise to fame and stardom and the media scrutiny he faced over the course of his earlier career. Coinciding with the 25th anniversary of his solo career, this is billed as ‘the definitive series on the most successful UK solo artist of all time’.

007: Road To A Million (Amazon Prime)

Nine pairs of everyday people are unleashed on an epic global adventure through a series of Bond-inspired challenges for a shot at each winning up to a life-changing £1,000,000 prize. Brian Cox is ‘the Controller’ – an on-screen mastermind who dictates where contestants go and what they do. If they get it wrong, their journey is over.

The Curse (Paramount+)

Emma Stone and Nathan Fielder star in a genre-bending series that explores how an alleged curse disturbs the lives of a newly married and successful couple as they try to conceive a child while also co-starring in their new home-improvement show called Flipanthropy. The show is filmed in the town of Espanola, New Mexico, close to the Los Alamos atomic bomb test site.

The Killer (Netflix)

Michael Fassbender plays a killer for hire – but also a clean living yoga devotee who prepares himself emotionally and physically before pulling off every hit. But when he makes a rare mistake, the killer becomes the hunted as the tables are turned in a pursuit across continents.

SPORTS CENTRE

URC Live (RTÉ 2, Friday 10th, 7pm)

Sadly the World Cup is just a memory now – and it’s back to normal provincial service. Alright, so it isn’t the Kiwis or South Africa, but live coverage of Ulster v Munster from Kingspan Stadium may well throw up some spectacular moves to keep us entertained.