From cinema to home viewing, your entertainment wrap for the week
SATURDAY Bright Netflix
A cop buddy movie with an inter-species twist. Will Smith and Joel Edgerton star in a film that has just been made available on the streaming channel.
Cinderella RTÉ One, 6.35pm
Lily James and Cate Blanchett star in a 2015 version of the classic fairy tale, directed by Kenneth Branagh.
The Wolverine Channel 4, 9pm
This 2013 instalment from the X-Men stable had Hugh Jackman’s character battling rival gangs in Japan.
CHRISTMAS EVE Frozen RTÉ2, 6.55pm
The animated feature that became a global phenomenon back in 2013. Presumably, many of the little girls who enjoyed it then are far to cool now to sing along to ‘Let It Go’.
Pat Shortt’s Music from d’Telly RTÉ One, 6.55pm
An hour-long special digs up such archive clips as one of Daniel O’Donnell’s first ever TV appearances, as well as a duet between Mary Black and Sinead O’Connor.
Ratburger Sky One, 6pm
David Walliams features in the cast of this adaptation of his own children’s book.
Carols From The Castle RTÉ One, 9.15pm
Mary Kennedy presents seasonal songs from Dublin Castle, with the RTÉ Concert Orchestra, Ralph McTell, and others.
Bridget & Eamon RTÉ2, 9.45pm
A Christmas special has Bridget having a eureka moment when she realises that the combination of the widow’s pension and a life assurance policy means Eamon would be worth more dead than alive.
An Béal Bocht TG4, 5.25pm Animated version of Flann O’Brien’s satire on the style of Gaeltacht autobiographies that were full of tales of childhood poverty.
The Great Christmas Bake Off Channel 4, 7.40pm
We’re not sure that it’s a great idea to schedule a baking show at a time when many people are swearing they’ll never eat again, but fans of Paul Hollywood and co will probably enjoy this festive competition between contestants from previous series.
Rocky Ros Muc TG4, 9.30pm
Excellent documentary on Connemara boxer Seán Mannion who emigrated to Boston and fought his way up the ranks to eventually challenge for the WBA light middleweight title.
ST STEPHEN’S DAY Reindeer Family & Me BBC Two, 8pm
Gordon Buchanan hangs out with a Sami family in Finnish Lapland to learn about reindeer before heading off into the wilderness with one of the animals he’s formed a bond with.
The Miniaturist BBC One, 9pm
One of two decent-looking period dramas beginning on BBC tonight (see p46 for Little
Women). Set in 17th-century Amsterdam, the two-part series revolves around the strange events that occur when an 18-year-old comes to the city to become the wife of a rich merchant.
U2 at Abbey Road RTÉ One, 11.10pm
Repeat of the BBC show where the Irish band chat to Cat Deeley about subjects such as their early days in Dublin, and their friendship with the late Michael Hutchence, as well as performing classic hits and more recent songs.
WEDNESDAY Alan Partridge: Why, When, Where, How And Whom?
BBC Two, 9pm
Steve Coogan’s character is one of the greatest comedy creations of the past three decades. In this documentary, we learn about his evolution from co-writers such as Armando Iannucci, and other stars of the various series, including Felicity Montagu who played Lynn, his long-suffering PA.
THURSDAY Attenborough and the Empire of the Ants BBC Two, 9.30pm
The nonagenarian presenter is in the Jura mountains in Switzerland to bring us a show on the fascinating ants who live there. Hightech cameras take us underground to where an estimated billion ants from various different colonies seem to live in peace.
Puncaí TG4, 9.30pm
A documentary on the punk movement in Ireland in the 1970s includes a contribution from Cork man Giordaí Ua Laoghaire, the guitarist with several of the city’s best bands of the early 1980s, who is now based in Berlin.
Birdman RTÉ2, 9.30pm
This Broadway-set film from Alejandro G Iñárritu won’t be to everybody’s taste, but it did win the best picture Oscar in 2015. Michael Keaton stars.
Bon Iver Live RTÉ2, 11.40pm
The channel is showing several of the concerts from the Sounds From A Safe Harbour festival.
FRIDAY Black Mirror Netflix
All six episodes of season four are available from today. For once, series creator Charlie Brooker won’t be the main focus of attention, as one of the instalments, ‘ArkAngel’, was directed by Jodie Foster. It tells of a mother who invests in a new technology to keep track of her daughter.
Know The Score RTÉ One, 6.30pm
A bumper sports quiz has team captains Ruby Walsh and Shane Byrne being joined by the likes of Kevin Doyle and Dean Rock.
Vic & Bob’s Big Night Out BBC Two, 9pm
Vic Reeves and Bob Mortimer return.
SEASONAL SOAPS Eastenders
RTÉ One, Sunday to Friday
The residents of Walford make their usual impressive efforts to drain you of any seasonal cheer. Max Branning has been at the centre of many plotlines in the past, but reaches new highs (and lows) over the next few days as he embarks on a psychotic bender that ends with high drama.
RTÉ One, Sun, Mon, Wed, Thurs
A scene featuring Kerri-Ann looking at a pregnancy tester is probably a good hint as to the drama she’s embroiled in over the next few days. Of course, the big question will be whether Mondo or Decco is the daddy. Other Christmas shenanigans include Aoife making a move on Robbie, Oakley taking revenge on Miriam, and heightened personal politics among the ‘group’.
Coronation Street TV3, Mon-Wed, Fri
Carla Connor is back, complete with leopardskin coat, and while there is plenty going on over Christmas, the producers of Corrie seem to be lining up their ducks for a major development in the new year. We do know that Peter Barlow finds out that vicar Billy Mayhew was responsible for the death of his twin sister Susan Barlow in a car crash in 2001. Luke Britton also confronts Pat Phelan over the death of Andy Carver, setting in train some more nasty events.
‘Cinderella’ is on RTÉ One this evening.
Anya Taylor Joy and Alex Hassell in ‘The Miniaturist’.
Max Branning will feature as one of the central characters in Eastenders for Christmas.
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