Listings TV and radio for the week ahead
The Lady in the Van Saturday, BBC2, 9pm Maggie Smith is terrific as Miss Shepherd, the real- life bumptious bag lady who lived in a camper van and found a permanent parking spot outside the London home of writer Alan Bennett. Naturally, he put pen to paper to turn this quirky, quintessentially British story of human connection into a book, then a play and this film directed by Nicholas Hytner. Alex Jennings ( ABOVE, with Smith), is the sympathetic cardi- clad Bennett, who is too timid to turn the prickly and mentally vulnerable woman away, even though she defecates all over his home. Unbroken Wednesday, RTÉ One, 9.35pm Angelina Jolie directs the amazing life story of Louis Zamperini, the self- proclaimed regular guy who competed in the Berlin Olympics in 1936, but whose life took some terrible turns. While serving in the US Air Force during the second World War, he crashes in the Pacific Ocean and is cast adrift. He is saved, only to be thrown into a PoW camp where cruel Japanese commander The Bird ( Takamara Ishihara) singles him out for special punishment. However, Zamperini’s heroic run in Berlin provides him with the inspiration to keep on keeping on. Jack O’Connell ( BELOW) gives a lionhearted performance as the hero. Fifty Shades of Grey Thursday, RTÉ2, 9.30pm The first part of EL James’s bestselling trilogy becomes a film, with Dakota Johnson as Anastasia, the student who is tempted to become a submissive sex slave to dominant billionaire mega- mogul Christian Grey ( Jamie Dornan). Those after titillation should look elsewhere – the kinkiness is tame and the nudity softcore. Nevertheless, it is an entertaining soap opera romance.