TV preview: six things to watch on television this week

Farmers in the boardroom, Jack Dee on the Brexit referendum desk, memories of Euro 2012 and Big Brother 2016

Farmer in Charge
Monday, RTÉ One, 6.30pm
Want to make your business grow? Get a farmer in to run the show. That's the premise of this new series, in which an ailing urban business calls in someone from the agricultural sector to muck in and sort out its problems. After all, reckon the producers, sure weren't farmers the original Irish entrepreneurs, the CEOs of their own rural businesses, with barns instead of boardrooms? They could apply their farming skills to help businesses pull themselves out of the mire. In the first programme, a hairdressing salon in Tallaght takes on Cork dairy farmer Maurice Walsh to sort out its tangled business affairs.

Monday, BBC One, 9pm
In 2003, Reg and Sally Keys were devastated by the news that their son Tom was among six military policemen murdered in Iraq following a scale-down in security. Soon grief gave way to anger, and then to action, as Reg took a stand against the Iraq war by putting himself forward as an independent candidate against Tony Blair in his home constituency of Sedgefield. Reg tells the story of the man who raged against the Iraq war machine and directly challenged the prime minister for dragging Britain into the war. The drama is written by Jimmy McGovern and stars Tim Roth as Reg, with Anna Maxwell Martin as Sally.

Jack Dee's Referendum Helpdesk
Tuesday, BBC Two, 10pm
In this three-part series, comedian Jack Dee and his panel of guests use their limited knowledge to answer audience questions about Brexit. If you're looking for reassurance that you're making the right choice, you've probably come to the wrong place, but you're guaranteed a few laughs. Dee is also up to more Brexit shenanigans in Power Monkeys (Wednesday, Channel 4, 10pm) in which he mercilessly satirises all sides of the debate, helped by a comedic team that includes Claire Skinner and Archie Panjabi.

Euro 2012: You'll Never Beat The Irish?
Tuesday, RTÉ One, 7pm
Do you have fond memories of Ireland's glorious Euro 2012 campaign? I thought not. We went to Poland with high hopes, but Giovanni Trapattoni's squad were thrashed by Croatia, Spain and Italy, and crashed out ignobly with no points. Commentator George Hamilton said that it was a "chapter in Irish international football that's quite possibly best left unread".


But for the 30,000 Irish fans who flocked to Poznan and Gdansk, Euro 2012 was an unforgettable trip. Despite the dispiriting events on the pitch, the fans refused to be despondent, singing The Fields of Athenry with gusto even as Ireland was being slaughtered by Spain.

Euro 2012: You'll Never Beat The Irish? is the second of three programmes in the run-up to our adventure in France, and looks back on Euro 2012 from the point of view of the fans who made the most of their visit to Poland. While the squad came back with nothing, Uefa did present the Irish fans with an award for best behaviour.

Big Brother 2016
Tuesday, TV3, 9pm
You'd have thought the Big Brother format would have run out of steam after 16 series, but the show that started the reality TV craze is back for another excruciating series, as a fresh bunch of self-absorbed narcissists are incarcerated in a building for a number of weeks, with little else to do but sit around shouting at each other or sit in a hot tub flirting with each other.

The live launch of Big Brother 2016 introduces us to the latest crop of contestants, with episodes on Wednesday at 10pm, Thursday at 9pm and the first live eviction on Friday at 9pm. But there won't be much rest for the housemates – in a desperate attempt to make it more interesting, the programme makers seem to have recruited Freddie Krueger to enter the Big Brother house.

"From day one, the housemates will be under attack from an unseen, ominous, dark force that will have a dramatic and divisive effect on the house," according to a statement. "The housemates are not alone and they should be prepared for paranoia and suspicion." Sorry, isn't every series of BB all about paranoia and suspicion?

New Blood
Thursday, BBC One, 9pm
A group of young people sign up as guinea pigs for a drug trial in India, but the trial goes horribly wrong, leaving many of its participants with mental scars and lasting trauma. Six years later, one of the participants is found dead and PC "Rash" Sayyad becomes convinced that it's murder and that the others who took part in the trial are in danger. New Blood is a new detective drama written by best-selling author Anthony Horowitz. Set in London, Rash and his fellow investigator, Stefan Kowolski from the Serious Fraud Office, try to uncover the link between the murders and a powerful pharmaceutical corporation.

Kevin Courtney

Kevin Courtney

Kevin Courtney is an Irish Times journalist