TV preview: Six things to watch on television this week

The Irish are out in force for this year’s Academy Awards in Los Angeles; closer to home, the race is on for the much-coveted Home of the Year prize

88th Academy Awards Sunday
Sky Movies Oscars, 11.30pm
We wouldn't normally give up a night's sleep to sit through Hollywood's annual orgy of self-congratulation. Tedious, overlong, and with a big-budget sense of its own importance ("Motion pictures"? Ya wha?), the Oscars are best watched in condensed form the following evening, or in short YouTube clips zooming in on the miscues, pratfalls, wardrobe malfunctions and gushing acceptance speeches.

This year, however, we'll be loading up on coffee and staying up all night for the 88th Academy Awards to cheer on the Irish squad, who have a record total of nine nominations. We won't rest till we see Saoirse Ronan getting the Best Actress Oscar for Brooklyn, Michael Fassbender bagging Best Actor for Steve Jobs, Lenny Abrahamson winning Best Director for Room and Emma Donoghue getting Best Adapted Screenplay for Room. The red carpet shenanigans begin at 11.30pm, followed by the ceremony itself at 1.30am. It's going to be a long night, but it might just bring a new dawn for Irish cinema.

When Ant and Dec Met the Prince
Sunday, UTV Ireland, 8pm
Ever wanted to get a peek inside Prince Charles's gaff? Or see what a typical day is like for the Prince of Wales? Ant and Dec (them again!) are granted special access to His Royal Highness in When Ant and Dec Met the Prince. The presenters will chat to Charles about the 40th anniversary of his charity The Prince's Trust, and join him on a packed schedule of engagements and events. They'll also chat to the Duchess of Cornwall and Princes William and Harry.

Sunday, RTÉ2, 9pm
Norway, Sweden and Denmark have produced some top-class murder mystery series, but now Iceland is hoping to muscle in on the Arctic action with a new drama Trapped. With a budget so big it could sink Iceland's economy, the makers are hoping Trapped can snare fans of The Killing, The Bridge and Fortitude. The story revolves around the discovery of a headless and limbless torso in a fjord near a remote Icelandic town, just as a severe storm is about to hit the region. One reviewer cruelly suggested Iceland should stick to exporting bacon.


Fire in the Blood: The Revivalists
Monday, RTÉ One, 8.30pm
Long before the Easter Rising and the War of Independence, a cultural revolution was already under way in Ireland, as the Celtic Revival took hold across a broad range of pursuits. Fire in the Blood: The Revivalists is a four-part series that focuses each week on one key figure who drove the Celtic revival forward. In the first programme, actress Derbhle Crotty profiles Lady Gregory, who joined forces with Yeats to found the Irish National Theatre Society, which became the Abbey Theatre. The series also looks at Douglas Hyde's role in the Irish language revival, the stained-glass masterpieces of Harry Clarke, and the founder of the GAA, Michael Cusack.

Home of the Year
Thursday, RTÉ One, 8.30pm
If you're going to let the world into your house to have a good poke around, you'd better make sure your gaff is looking its best. In fact, if you suffer from an interior inferiority complex, best not to watch the new series of Home of the Year – these houses will put your humble abode deep in the shade.

Over the series, 21 homeowners will open their doors to viewers and to a judging panel of architects, with one house being declared home of the year. First up is a couple who have transformed a dowdy end-of-terrace Victorian house into a palatial pad, a couple who have converted an old barn into a cosy rustic haven, and a teacher who has turned his bog-standard terraced house into a modern, minimalist space complete with a New York loft-style bedroom and floating bathroom.

The Third Voice
Thursday, BBC Two, 9pm
More promising is The Third Voice, the first of three standalone mysteries under the collective title Murder. Two brothers-in-law, Rafe and Leo, are out fishing on a stormy day when the riverbank collapses, and Rafe drowns. At least that's what it looks like. But detective Corinne Evans discovers that Rafe has been stabbed through the heart, and a witness claims to have heard a third voice on the riverbank that day.

Kevin Courtney

Kevin Courtney

Kevin Courtney is an Irish Times journalist