TV guide: 12 of the best shows to watch this week, beginning tonight

Including Dancing with the Stars, Carnival Row, Full Swing, Liam Brady: The Irishman Abroad and The Gold

Dancing with the Stars

Sunday, RTÉ One, 6.30pm

This season of DWTS has already given us lots of great entertainment, not least the sight of former rugby international Shane Byrne doing some jaw-dropping headstands during a cha-cha. But fans will need to squeeze as much craic as they can from this series, because this may be the last twirl on the dance floor for the show, as RTÉ are struggling to meet the costs of all those sequins and spangles. This week it’s Dedicated Dance time, as the remaining contestants have to dedicate their dance routine to a special person in their lives. The good news is that no one will be turfed out this week for putting a foot wrong.

The Gold

Sunday, BBC One, 9pm

You’re out doing your common-or-garden armed robbery, when you accidentally end up carrying off the biggest heist in global history. Gold tells the true story of a 1983 robbery, when six men broke into a depot near Heathrow airport, and found themselves with a haul of gold bullion worth £26 million (€29 million) . The fallout from the robbery will kick-start the modern money-laundering industry, and leave a trail of murder and ruination. Hugh Bonneville, Jack Lowden, Dominic Cooper and Charlotte Spencer are among the solid-gold cast.

Liam Brady: The Irishman Abroad

Monday, RTÉ One, 9.35pm

It was 50 years ago when the shipworker’s son from Dublin’s northside signed up as a schoolboy with London club Arsenal, and in this documentary Brady visits many key places and moments in his glittering football career, including his time as a pivotal player with Italian side Juventus. Brady will look back on his time as an Irish player in London in the 1970s, including being attacked on the Tube following the Birmingham bombing. The documentary will also look at Brady’s fraught relationship with Ireland manager Jack Charlton.


Monday, BBC One, 9pm

Two close friends; two divergent careers; one fateful promise that will threaten everyone’s future. Leila Farzad stars as DCI Lou Slack and Andrew Buchan stars as crime boss Col McHugh in this thriller series set in the mean streets of Leeds, and produced by the good folk behind Chernobyl and This Is Going to Hurt. Lou and her team have been tasked with bringing down local crimelord Col, but Lou is harbouring a dark secret. Nearly two decades ago, she and Col made a pact which set them on their separate life courses, and now she has to face the consequences of that deal and confront her own role in Col’s rise to power.


Home of the Year

Tuesday, RTÉ One, 8.30pm

Is it that time already? I haven’t even got the house tidied up, and suddenly the Home of the Year judges are at the front door. It’s time for the new series of Home of the Year, in which ordinary homeowners showcase their extraordinary gaffs, in the hope of impressing the judging panel of architects Hugh Wallace and Amanda Bone, and interior designer Sara Cosgrove. The first episode features Ciara McMahon and Richie Hannify, who converted their mid-century Dublin home and had their wedding reception there; Gael and Kelda Jauvert, who converted a barn in Co Meath using old building material to create a lovely loft, and Niall McGuire, who built a brand new thatched cottage in Co Armagh.

Inside the Autistic Mind
Tuesday, BBC Two, 9pm

What’s going on inside the mind of someone on the autism spectrum? How do they process the world around them, and how do they navigate the twists and turns of communication and learning? Wildlife presenter Chris Packham was diagnosed with Asperger’s in his 40s. Now, going into his 60s, he’s been meeting people around Britain who are living with autism in one form or another, to provide an insight into how the autism mind works, and hopefully dispel some myths too.

Full Swing

From Wednesday, Netflix

Netflix has had success with its turbocharged documentary series on Formula One racing, but prepare for a real thrill ride in this immersive documentary series set in the headspinning world of PGA golf. The documentary will follow an elite group of professional golfers as they prepare for a gruelling season of competition, including the Masters, US Open, PGA championship and FedEx Cup playoffs. The series will go behind the scenes as the golfers train, travel and tee themselves up for some of the world’s biggest tournaments.

The Piano

Wednesday, Channel 4, 9pm

You know when you’re in a train station and you spot a piano on the platform, so you sit down and reel off a bit of Rachmaninov just to keep the commuters entertained while they wait for their train? This new talent show, presented by Claudia Winkelman, features a variety of people tinkling the ivories at various London travel hubs, but what these talented folk don’t know is that celebrity judges Lang Lang and Mika are watching and listening, and choosing the best players to perform in special final at the Royal Festival Hall. Among the contenders are a happy undertaker, a visually impaired teenager and a drag queen called A Miss Tori, who does a tribute to Tori Amos.

Other Voices

Thursday, RTÉ One, 11pm

The finest Irish music showcase on TV is back for another outing to the lovely surrounds of the Church of St James in Dingle, and a superb array of talent will be on display for this 21st season. Over the course of the new series, presenters May Kay and Huw Stephens will introduce such top-notch musical guests as Loyle Carner, Inhaler, Biig Piig, Just Mustard, Gill Band Soak and Gwenno. Episode one starts things off with a spark with performances from UK star Paolo Nutini, Dublin singer-songwriter Sorcha Richardson and folk virtuoso John Francis Flynn.

Lady Gregory: Ireland’s First Social Media Influencr

Thursday, RTÉ One, 11.15pm

Fresh from her telly travels to such places as Scotland and the US with fellow Hollywood actor Alan Cumming, Miriam Margolyes embarks on different kind of road trip to learn all about the legacy of Irish historical figure Lady Augusta Gregory. Margolyes wants to find out how deep an impact Lady Gregory has had on Ireland’s literary and political landscape, so she and Senator Lynn Ruane hop into a camper van to travel the land in search of the real Lady Gregory.

Hello Tomorrow!

From Friday, Apple TV+

For every scientific breakthrough, there’s a bunch of grifters hoping to make a quick buck. This series is set in a retro-futuristic world, where the look is American Graffiti, but the tech is Forbidden Planet. The classic 1950s cars hover above the ground, and retro-looking robots go around doing all the menial work. Billy Crudup stars as slick travelling salesman Jack Billings, who recruits a team to flog timeshares – on the moon. He’s out to convince folk that the moon is the ultimate suburban dream of the future, but not everyone is buying the sales pitch. Some are wondering what’s really going on behind this lunar living project, and it’s not long before Jack’s vision of the future starts to look decidedly fuzzy.

Carnival Row

From Friday, Amazon Prime

Orlando Bloom is back as former inspector Rycroft Philostrate aka Philo in season two of this fantasy/detective series, set in a world where mythical creatures known as the fae folk have arrived seeking refuge from a terrible war, leading to tensions between them and their human hosts. Philo is charged with investigating murders within the fae community, but has been concealing the truth that he’s half fae himself. Cara Delevingne is back as Vignette Stonemoss, a fae and Philo’s former lover, and if you’ve managed to make sense of the convoluted plot of series one, then you should have some idea of what’s going on as the series heads towards its epic ending.

Kevin Courtney

Kevin Courtney

Kevin Courtney is an Irish Times journalist