From cinema to home viewing, your entertainment wrap for the week
SATURDAY Harvey TG4, 1.05pm
A rare chance to see James Stewart in the classic comedy drama from 1950. A man’s insistence that he has a 6ft rabbit as a friend, causes much concern amongst his family.
The Secret World of Emily Bronte Channel 4, 6.05pm
Emily Bronte died on December 19, 1848, at the age of 30. In this documentary, model Lily Cole delves into the Yorkshire writer’s short life, and her only novel, Wuthering Heights, published a year before her death. We also hear how her father was Irish, a man who came from rural poverty in Co Down, before growing up to become a priest in the Church of England.
SUNDAY Cities: Nature’s New Wild BBC Two, 8pm
Following on from the final episode of Planet
Earth II, this new three-part series looks at animals who have adapted to living in urban environments. We’ll see such creatures as huge pythons in Bangkok, huge colonies of fruit bats in Adelaide, and penguins in Cape Town.
Ireland’s Fittest Family - Celebrity Special RTÉ One, 8.30pm
Four families will be led by their celebrity member in this one-off special, with the winning team getting €10,000 for the charity of their choice. Cork actress Norma Sheahan, 2FM’s Keith Walsh, singers Sean and Conor Price, and Dancing with the Stars judge Brian Redmond will take part.
Les Misérables BBC One, 9pm
It’s not the first time Victor Hugo’s novel has been adapted for TV (eg, Gérard Depardieu and John Malkovich starred in a French version in 2000 that’s well worth tracking down), nor will it be the last. In this six-part series, Dominic West plays Jean Valjean, the ex convict who eventually turns his life around after a long spell in prison.
RTÉ One, 9.30pm
A documentary on Jason Sherlock, a Dubliner who stood out both for his sports skills and his mixed race background. As well as his prowess with the Dublin footballers and soccer clubs such as UCD and Shamrock Rovers, we also hear about his early summers spent in Ballyhea, Co Cork, where he describes how he was made feel very welcome in the local GAA club. He talks about a family background that involved a mother from Ireland and a father from Hong Kong, but Jason never knew him well. His father was murdered in South Africa in 1995, and the film includes a moving visit to where his ashes are kept.
Rory Gallagher Irish Tour 1974 TG4, 10.30pm
The concert film from the Cork star’s tour in the mid-’70s, when the raging Troubles in the North didn’t stop Gallagher from playing in Belfast, a city he had close ties to. As well as the Ulster Hall, there’s also footage from the Carlton Cinema in Dublin and the gig at Cork City Hall. Watch out for a young Peter Aiken in the footage — his father Jim was promoting the tour. You may also spot that the after-party scenes in Cork were filmed at Cork Boat Club in Blackrock.
Other Voices Ballina: Villagers RTÉ 2, 11.40pm
A set from Conor O’Brien and co recorded at the recent event at St. Michael’s Church in the Co Mayo town.
NEW YEAR’S EVE Pope Francis in Ireland: Behind the Scenes RTÉ One, 7pm
Observational documentary filmed around the Pope’s visit in March 2018. The action begins eight months beforehand, as the 50-strong team appointed by Archbishop Diarmuid Martin begin to put plans in place. Along the way, we meet various volunteers — including the man who ironed the Pope’s vestments — and the gardaí charged with overseeing the security of the event.
The Inbetweeners Channel 4, 9pm
A one-off special reunites the four lads eight years after the end of the final series. Unfortunately, it’s not for a new drama — instead
they’ll be picking out some of the best bits from old episodes.
Mrs Brown’s Boys RTÉ2, 9.45pm
The second and final part of the seasonal offering from Brendan O’Carroll.
The Graham Norton
NYE Show BBC One, 10.40pm (Virgin One, 11.35pm)
Guests on the sofa include Olivia Colman, Nicholas Hoult, Keira Knightley and Guy Pearce.
Jools Annual Hootenanny BBC Two, 11pm
Jools Holland rings in the new year will the help of George Ezra, Jess Glynne, Marc Almond and others.
NEW YEAR’S DAY Luther BBC One, 9pm
Idris Elba returns in the role of the detective who seems to come across some particularly grisly cases, and fans should note the entire four-part series runs on consecutive nights this week, from Tuesday to Friday.
Escape at Dannemora Sky Atlantic, 9pm
First episode of an eight-part thriller that further embellishes the reputation of Ben Stiller as a director. He helms a story based on a real-life prison break in 2015 when two killers escaped from a facility in upstate New York. Patricia Arquette plays the prison officer who has become romantically involved with both prisoners.
Conor McGregor: Notorious RTÉ2, 9.30pm
This documentary on the Irish fighter did well in cinemas on release last year, and now is probably a good time to show it on TV before other events in McGregor’s storied life make it look out of date. The Dubliner himself was executive producer on the film, so you’re not going to see a warts’n’all take on a character who divides opinion in his native land.
A Series of Unfortunate Events Netflix
The third and final season of the excellent adaptation of the Lemony Snicket tales. Seven episodes cover the last four books in the series.
The Witches Netflix
Anjelica Houston stars in this excellent take on the Roald Dahl story from recently-deceased director Nicolas Roeg. Parents be warned — this has some genuinely scary moments.
WEDNESDAY The Truth About Vegans Channel 4, 10pm
Is moving to a non-animal diet one of your New Year’s resolutions? This special from the Dispatches team looks at how the rising trend is beneficial to the environment, and looks some of the more radical activists promoting the concept.
THURSDAY Liveline: Call Back RTÉ One, 6.30pm
Joe Duffy revisits the tale of Cork man Billy White who was in Dublin for a job interview when the sole of his good shoes fell off. Kind cobbler Andrei Pop hastily fixed the brogues and refused to take any money for the job as the relieved interviewee rushed off. Here we see Billy being reunited with Andrei to thank him in person.
RTÉ One, 9.35pm
If you haven’t yet seen Creed II, this is a good opportunity to see the original in the recent reboots of the Rocky series from 2015.
Graham Norton’s Good Story Guide BBC One, 10.35pm
A departure from the regular show, the Corkonian host promises to go behind the scenes to reveal what makes a good story. Stalwart guests Rob Brydon and Miriam Margolyes offer insight, and highlights clips include entertaining anecdotes from the likes of will.i.am and Tom Hanks.
Weather woman Jean Byrne is one of the people opening their houses for Celebrity Home of The Year on RTE One on Wednesday. See p48
Luther runs from Tuesday to Friday.
Jayo explores the life of Jason Sherlock, including his memories of hurling in north Cork.
Benicio Del Toro as Richard Matt and Patricia Arquette star in the highly-rated Escape at Dannemora, on Sky Atlantic from Tuesday.