First Dates includes hopefuls from Westmeath and Cavan in the new series.

From First Dates to OT to Room to Improve

TV WEEK (Wednesday 3rd to Tuesday 9th)

TOP SPECIALS

Operation Transformation (RTÉ 1, Wednesday 3rd, 9.35pm)

Kathryn Thomas will encourage the show’s new leaders as they embark on a health and wellness plan under the supervision of principal clinical psychologist Dr Eddie Murphy, general practitioner Dr Sumi Dunne and fitness expert Karl Henry. This season includes the launch of a new Meal Plan devised by OT expert, and member of the Irish Institute of Nutrition and Dietetics, Sophie Pratt, aiming to aid a more sustainable approach to healthy eating.

Julia (Sky Atlantic, Thursday 4th, 9pm)

With her trailblazing cooking show up and running on the air, Julia grapples with her rising celebrity and what that means for her, her colleagues and her show. Returning with husband Paul from France, she uses her singular joie de vivre to navigate WGBH, the White House and a threat from their past.

First Dates Ireland (RTÉ 2, Thursday 4th, 9.35pm)

The First Dates Restaurant is about to reopen as a new batch of hopeful singletons arrive for their dates with destiny. They include barista Hansun from Louth, who meets happy go lucky Ciaran from Dublin, whose idea of perfection is a can in the shower. In the first double date of the series, flirty Stephen from Athlone and his trusty wingman James from Cavan go all Iceman and Maverick in a combined bid to impress feisty Jade from Newry and Siobhan from Mayo.

Photo by Andres Poveda

Room To Improve (RTÉ 1, Sunday 7th, 9.30pm)

In the new series Dermot Bannon and Claire Irwin are in Urlingford, where Gráinne and Ivan have been dreaming about renovating his forefather’s old farmhouse for many years. This season features builds of all different shapes and sizes, with varying budgets, grants and tight deadlines.

Inside Penneys (RTÉ 1, Tuesday 9th, 8.30pm)

A journey into the fast-moving headquarters of one of Ireland’s best-known retailers. For some customers, Penneys has become a weekly pilgrimage in the hope of landing the latest must-haves. The company’s flagship site in Mary Street in Dublin opened in 1969 and has recently undergone its biggest refurbishment in almost 10 years to bring a fresh new shopping experience to customers.

Photo by Duncan de Young

Surreal Estate (Sky Sci-Fi, Tuesday 9th, 9pm)

Real estate isn’t all escrow and finding the home of your dreams. For homebuyers who find themselves in need of some paranormal assistance, The Roman Agency, led by Luke Roman, is back to do battle with ghosts, demons, and all things that go bump in the night in order to rid houses of their unsavoury occupants.

WATCH OF THE WEEK

Sinéad (RTÉ 1, Monday 8th, 9.35pm)

The death of Sinéad O’Connor was sad and shocking, and the reaction to her premature passing, in Ireland and from across the world, was instant and profound. She was heralded by some as a visionary who fought for the injustices of her time and as a courageous artist who had the voice of an angel. Tributes poured in from home and abroad, everybody from President Michael D Higgins to Madonna.

BEST FILMS

Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again (RTÉ 1, Friday 5th, 9.35pm)

In 1979 young Donna embarks on a series of adventures throughout Europe, making the acquaintances of Harry, Bill and Sam – the latter who breaks her heart. In the present day, Donna’s pregnant daughter retraces her mother’s steps on the Greek island. Worth the watch for Cher’s terrific cameo role.

Fast X (Sky Cinema, from Friday)

Over many missions and against impossible odds, Dom Toretto and his family have outsmarted, out-nerved and out-driven every foe in their path. Now, they confront the most lethal opponent they’ve ever faced – a terrifying threat emerging from the shadows of the past who’s fuelled by blood revenge.

Schindler’s List (RTÉ 2, Friday 5th, 9.45pm)

Liam Neeson is majestic as Oskar Schindler, the man who saved thousands of Jews from the gas chambers of Auschwitz. Rafe Fiennes is mesmerising as the brutal SS commander in a story that is both horrifying and uplifting at the same time. A harrowing but rewarding film.

CLASSIC MOVIE

Intermission (RTÉ 2, Wednesday 3rd, 9.35pm)

Cillian Murphy, Colin Farrell and Colm Meany lead a super Irish cast in this cracker comedy directed by John Crowley about love, break-ups, bank robbery, female moustaches and brown sauce in coffee. A laugh all the way, with great Dublin landmarks throughout.

KIDS STUFF

The Muppets Take Manhattan (RTÉ 2, Friday 5th, 2.55pm)

Kermit and friends decide to take their show to Broadway, but can’t find financial support, forcing the group to split up, all taking different jobs around the country. Then, just as Kermit finally finds a backer, he gets amnesia.

The Secret Kingdom (Sky Cinema, from Sunday)

Hidden beneath their bedroom floor lies a land of enchantment, which must be protected from an ancient enemy – the evil Shroud. As they embark on their quest to unite five mystical treasures and save the Kingdom, Peter and Verity face epic challenges that will test their bravery to the limit.

ON DEMAND

Fool Me Once (Netflix)

Another adaptation of a Harlan Coben novel has Michelle Keegan as a widow whose husband was brutally murdered. But when she later catches sight of him apparently alive on a ‘nanny cam’, she sets out to investigate the truth. Johanna Lumley and Richard Armitage co-star.

Criminal Record (Apple TV)

Eight-episode crime thriller starring Peter Capaldi and Cush Jumbo. An anonymous phone call draws two brilliant detectives into a confrontation over an old murder case – one a young cop in the early stages of her career; the other a well-connected veteran determined to protect his legacy – in a tug-o-war dealing with issues of race, institutional failure in a polarised Britain.

Good Grief (Netflix)

Daniel Levy stars as a man content living in the shadow of his larger-than-life husband, Luke Evans. But when he suddenly finds himself a widower, he falls apart – resulting in himself and two friends, Ruth Negga and Himesh Patel, embarking on a soul-searching trip to Paris that reveals some hard truths.

SPORTS CENTRE

EFL Cup: Semi-Finals (Sky Sports, Tuesday 9th, 7.30p,)

The first leg of the semi-finals takes place this week, with the remaining four teams playing the long game in a two-leg battle. As of time of writing, six Premier League teams remain in the competition, but only three will progress to this stage.