The week’s TV and ra­dio

The Irish Times Magazine - - INSIDE - Kevin Court­ney

The scene is set for the mother of all bat­tles, as mighty forces meet in a flurry of fire and steel. No, we’re not talk­ing about the sea­son fi­nale of Game of Thrones ( Mon­day, 2am & 9pm), al­though that’s shap­ing up to be a se­ri­ous show­down. We’re talk­ing about an­other hugely pop­u­lar war­mon­ger­ing fran­chise, The Great Bri­tish Bake Off ( Tues­day, Chan­nel 4, 8pm), which re­turns to our screens with a whiff of cordite and vanilla ex­tract, as 12 ama­teur bak­ers line up their armies of hun­dreds and thou­sands in a bid to cap­ture the Bake Off throne.

The story so far: hav­ing suc­cumbed to the temp­ta­tion of filthy lu­cre, the show has en­sconced it­self in its new home on Chan­nel 4. But while judge Paul Hol­ly­wood has re­mained loyal, the rest of the Bake Off team re­fused to make the trek to the dark side, so new judge Prue Leith has been re­cruited, along with new pre­sen­ters Sandy Toksvig and Mighty Boosh man Noel Field­ing. Will the new crew raise the flour to a new level or will this se­ries be a flat souf­flé? Cry havoc and let slip the dogs of war, as they say, and don’t beat the eggs too hard.

And for those who just can’t get enough of that sweet stuff, The Great Bri­tish Bake Off – An Ex­tra Slice ( Thurs­day, Chan­nel 4, 10pm) will see Jo Brand and a panel of celebrity Bake Off fans pick over the crumbs from the latest episode and chew over the go­ings- on in the tent.

Diana, Princess of Wales died 20 years ago this week, and if you haven’t al­ready maxed out on Diana- re­lated ret­ro­spec­tives, then Diana, 7 Days ( Sun­day, BBC One, 7.30pm; Tues­day, RTÉ One, 9.35pm) might be worth watch­ing. The doc­u­men­tary by award- win­ning film­maker Henry Singer looks back on an ex­tra­or­di­nary week in his­tory, as Bri­tain – and the world – re­acted to the news of Diana’s death with an un­prece­dented out­pour­ing of grief. The doc­u­men­tary fea­tures in­ter­views with many of the peo­ple who were at the cen­tre of events, in­clud­ing her sib­lings Lady Sarah McCorquo­dale and Earl Spencer, her lady- in- wait­ing Anne Beck­with- Smith, prime min­is­ter Tony Blair and Diana’s two sons, Wil­liam and Harry. Get the tis­sues out – this could trig­ger a few col­lec­tive mem­o­ries.

JK Rowl­ing is best known for a cer­tain be­spec­ta­cled boy wiz­ard, but she also pub­lished sev­eral crime nov­els un­der the pseu­do­nym of Robert Gal­braith, which fol­low the ad­ven­tures of pri­vate in­ves­ti­ga­tor Cor­moran Strike, whose own back­story is al­most as strange as Harry Pot­ter’s. Strike: The Cuckoo’s Call­ing ( Sun­day, BBC One, 9.05pm; Mon­day, BBC One, 9pm) stars Tom Burke as the epony­mous de­tec­tive, with Hol­l­i­day Grainger as his as­sis­tant Robin El­la­cott. Su­per­model Lula Landry has fallen to her death from a bal­cony, but was it sui­cide? When Lula’s step­brother asks Strike to find out the truth, he’s only too happy to take on the case, as he’s broke. Mean­while, his new as­sis­tant does some de­tec­tive work of her own, and dis­cov­ers her boss’s dad was a hell­rais­ing rock star, and his mother was a groupie.

Are you a psy­chopath? Is your boss a psy­chopath? Are you mar­ried to a psy­chopath? Am I a psy­chopath? The world is fas­ci­nated by psy­chopaths – we just love those cold, cal­cu­lat­ing minds which see puny hu­mans as mere in­sects. But what is a psy­chopath, and could we spot one in our lo­cal su­per­mar­ket? Hori­zon: What Makes a Psy­chopath? ( Tues­day, BBC Two, 9pm) walks a thin eth­i­cal line by ac­tu­ally com­mu­ni­cat­ing with one of Bri­tain’s most no­to­ri­ous psy­chopaths, the Moors Mur­derer Ian Brady. The team struck up a cor­re­spon­dence with

Brady, and his let­ters form part of their re­search into the psy­cho­pathic urge to prey on oth­ers.

Ev­ery crime se­ries needs a bad guy to pur­sue, but what do you do when your bad guy has been killed at the end of se­ries two, and the view­ers want more? Nar­cos ( from Fri­day, Netflix) has found the an­swer: go af­ter an even big­ger en­emy. Af­ter Pablo Es­co­bar, Colom­bia’s most no­to­ri­ous drug king­pin, is killed in a rooftop shootout at the end of sea­son two, the way is clear for a new drug car­tel to take over lu­cra­tive co­caine trade – the Cali Car­tel. Led by four god­fa­thers, the Cali Car­tel ran 90 per cent of the drug trade in Colom­bia, and their ten­ta­cles ran into all lev­els of govern­ment and of­fi­cial­dom. But will they have the charisma of ac­tor Wag­ner Maura, who played Es­co­bar? And will view­ers get hooked on the new se­ries?

Sum­mer hol­i­days are end­ing, back to school is loom­ing, and that means one thing: time for Ryan Tubridy to get back to the telly and show us why he’s worth nearly half a mil­lion squids. The Late Late Show ( Fri­day, rtÉ One, 9.35pm) re­turns for its 56th out­ing, and our ex­haus­tive re­search tells us it will once again fea­ture “chat, mu­sic and craic” with “celebrity guests, in- depth in­ter­views and the sto­ries that get the na­tion talk­ing”. See, we’re worth all that moola the Ir­ish times pays us ( don’t push it – Ed).

Judges Paul Hol­ly­wood ( left) and Prue Leith ( right) will bring the taste while pre­sen­ters Sandy Toksvig Noel Field­ing bring the funny to the re- birth of The Great Bri­tish Bake Off on Chan­nel 4. PHO­TO­GRAPH: CHANNEL4

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