From cin­ema to home view­ing, your en­ter­tain­ment wrap for the week

Irish Examiner - Weekend - - Inside - Des O’Driscoll Get daily TV news, pre­views, and re­views on Twitter via @des­odr1

SATUR­DAY Wel­come To Ed­in­burgh BBC Two, 7pm

Since its in­au­gu­ra­tion in 1947, the Ed­in­burgh Fes­ti­val has be­come one of Europe’s top arts events. This one-hour show looks at some of the high­lights, along the way meet­ing some of the per­fomers and artists.

Child Genius Chan­nel 4, 8pm

The five fi­nal­ists face two tough rounds of quiz questions be­fore a win­ner emerges for the ex­tremely du­bi­ous ti­tle of Bri­tain’s bright­est child.

The Run­way RTE One, 10.25pm

A feel­good film in­spired by the real events of what hap­pened in Mal­low in 1983 when Mex­i­can pi­lot Ruben Ocaña crash-landed an ex­ec­u­tive jet on the town’s race­course. For the movie ver­sion, the pi­lot has be­come Colom­bian, and the town’s fac­tory work­ers are seen to get to­gether to get him air­borne again.

SUN­DAY Fair City RTE One, 8pm

Trig­ger is dead and Carol is de­ter­mined to cel­e­brate her new-found free­dom. Else­where, Pete and Miriam are at log­ger­heads, while Kerri-Ann heads for a night out with the girls.

From Rus­sia To Iran: Cross­ing the Wild Fron­tier

Chan­nel 4, 8pm

We’ve pre­vi­ously seen Le­vi­son Wood walk­ing the length of the Nile, through the Hi­malayas, and from Mex­ico to Colom­bia. This time around, he’s un­der­tak­ing a 2,600 mile trek through the Cau­ca­sus moun­tains. It’s such a volatile area, you’d imag­ine there’s all sorts of trou­ble an ex mem­ber of the Bri­tish army’s Para­chute Reg­i­ment could get into, and he cer­tainly senses the ten­sion as he trav­els along Rus­sia’s heavy mil­i­tarised south­ern border.

Astro­nauts: Do You Have What it Takes? BBC Two, 9pm

We’ve al­ready had the singers, skaters and bak­ers – now its the turn of as­pir­ing astro­nauts. A panel of judges headed by space vet­eran Chris Had­field will put 12 con­tes­tants through all sorts to chal­lenges to de­cide on who would be the most suit­able to go to space. There are no guar­an­tees the win­ner will ac­tu­ally blast off, but pre­sum­ably, it’s not a bad line to have on your CV if you are ap­ply­ing to the rel­e­vant agen­cies. The can­di­dates in­clude a mil­i­tary pi­lot, a moun­taineer and a ballet dancer, with the first episode push­ing them to their phys­i­cal lim­its and also putting them through some men­tal tests.

The State Chan­nel 4, 9pm

It can be re­ally dif­fi­cult to fathom how a group like Is­lamic State could at­tract thou­sands of peo­ple from Europe to take part in such bar­bar­ity. Per­haps this new four-part se­ries, show­ing over con­sec­u­tive nights, can help us un­der­stand why. As well as be­ing a top­i­cal is­sue, the in­volve­ment of Peter Kos­min­sky (Wolf Hall, etc) adds an­other rea­son to put it on your view­ing list. It must have been a tough job for a drama writer. How do you make an au­di­ence em­pathise in some way with peo­ple who are gen­er­ally re­garded as evil and/or stupid? The hugely-re­spected writer/di­rec­tor says he’s based much of his story on ex­ten­sive re­search he did into the peo­ple who left Bri­tain join the mur­der­ous Is­lamist group. It fol­lows four young Bri­tish re­cruits who travel to join Isis in Syria, and see how their early en­thu­si­asm be­comes tem­pered by the re­al­ity of their new lives. One of the char­ac­ters is fe­male, and her naivety is un­der­lined by the way she’s “shocked” when she re­alises how badly Isis treats women. De­spite a slick dig­i­tal arm and so­cial me­dia cam­paign, Is­lamic State’s out­look and prac­tices are of­ten de­scribed as ‘me­dieval’, and writer Kos­min­sky has men­tioned sim­i­lar­i­ties to the world he por­trayed in Wolf Hall. For in­stance, in the era of Henry VIII, dis­senters in Eng­land were reg­u­larly tor­tured and killed in all sorts of bru­tal ways.

MON­DAY Hor­ri­ble His­to­ries: In­ge­nious In­ven­tors CBBC, 5.25pm

It’s all about in­ven­tors to­day, with print­ing press in­ven­tor Johannes Guten­berg about the his­tor­i­cal fig­ures to be hu­mor­ously skew­ered in the name of ed­u­ca­tion.

The Rose Of Tralee RTE One, 8pm

Dáithí O Sé in­ter­views the first of the 32 Roses; with the sec­ond batch and the an­nounce­ment of the win­ner com­ing in Tues­day’s show (see p46).

Jamie’s Quick & Easy Food Chan­nel 4, 8pm

Jamie Oliver re­turns with a new eight-part se­ries, promis­ing stress-free re­cip­ies that con­tain no more than five in­gre­di­ents.

TUES­DAY The Big Fam­ily Cook­ing Show­down BBC Two, 8pm

Two more fam­i­lies go head-to-head with their favourite tastes of home. The Karim fam­ily add some spice to the mix with dishes in­spired by their ori­gins in Pak­istan, while the Dawes clan mix sci­ence and Chi­nese in­flu­ences for their se­lec­tion.

WED­NES­DAY No More Boys And Girls: Can Our Kids Go Gen­der Free?

BBC Two, 9pm

The sec­ond and con­clud­ing part of the se­ries has Javid Ab­del­moneim ex­plores how gen­der­spe­cific toys in­flu­ence the skills that boys and girls de­velop. It in­volves co-op­er­a­tion from the par­ents as gen­dered toys are re­moved at home.

THURS­DAY The Thin Green Line RTE One, 7pm

Most of us only have a vague idea of what func­tions our em­bassies per­form. Help­ing peo­ple on hol­i­days who’ve had mis­for­tunes, and dish­ing out Fer­rero Rocher at lav­ish par­ties? This new se­ries should pro­vide a bit more in­sight. It be­gins with am­bas­sadors Dan Mul­hall in Lon­don, and David Dono­hue in New York.

Who Do You Think You Are? BBC One, 8pm

Fearne Cot­ton’s fam­ily his­tory in­cludes her great-grand­fa­ther, a for­mer miner who had never spo­ken about his ex­pe­ri­ences in the First World War.

Lego Masters Chan­nel 4, 8pm

A new se­ries to find the best Lego builders in Bri­tain and Ire­land. In this first episode, the 48 pairs of con­tes­tants are whit­tled down to just eight teams.

FRI­DAY Teach My Pet to Do That ITV, 8pm

Alexan­der Arm­strong shows you how to teach your pets var­i­ous tricks, through pos­i­tive re­in­force­ment. First up, a border col­lie is taught to drive a re­mote con­trol car, while a golden re­triever and a res­cued bat­tery hen learn to wipe their feet on com­mand. Per­haps these tech­niques could even work on kids?

Gar­dener’s World BBC Two, 9pm

Monty Don shows how veg­eta­bles such as pump­kins can eas­ily be grown in con­tain­ers, while there’s also ad­vice on top­i­ary from a guest ex­pert.


The Crown was one of the big Net­flix hits of last year, and sea­son two has been con­firmed for launch on De­cem­ber 8.

The stream­ing chan­nel has also scored quite a coup by sign­ing up the Coen broth­ers for a six-part western, The Bal­lad of Buster Scruggs, to be shown next year.

The State runs on Chan­nel 4 from to­mor­row.

Kevin Fong, Chris Had­field, and Iya White­ley fea­ture in Astro­nauts: Do You Have What it Takes?

Pic­ture: Sam Boal/Rollingnews

The Rose of Tralee is on RTÉ One on Mon­day and Tues­day.

Jamie Oliver be­gins a new show on Mon­day.

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