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

March 3rd-8th: From royal drama Mary & George to Imelda May on WB Yeats’s forgotten sisters

Inis na nÍontas

Sunday, BBC2, 10.15pm

Actor and comedian Ardal O’Hanlon goes island-hopping around the Irish coast in this new series, first aired on TG4 in January. The Father Ted and Death in Paradise star journeys from Rathlin in the north to Cape Clear in the south, meeting the islanders, observing the wildlife and uncovering the myths and legends of the islands. But this is a scary adventure for O’Hanlon, as it will be the first time that he’s presented a programme as Gaeilge. He’s always wanted to improve his Irish-language skills, and here’s his chance to dive in at the deep end. It helps that his mother, Teresa, is a native Irish speaker, so we’re sure he’ll do just fine.

The Push: Murder on the Cliff

Sunday, Channel 4, 9pm

In September 2021, 31-year-old lawyer Fawziyah Javad was on a mini-break in Edinburgh with her husband, when tragedy struck. Fawziyah, who was pregnant with her first child, fell to her death from Arthur’s Seat, the volcanic peak overlooking the Scottish city. This two-part series follows the subsequent trial of Fawziyah’s husband for her murder, with exclusive access to the court, and featuring astonishing testimony from Fawziyah herself, who had documented her husband’s domestic abuse and coercive control.

RTÉ Investigates: Botox and Beauty at all Costs

Monday, RTÉ1, 9.35pm

Some people will go to any lengths to achieve Instagram-perfect looks, but this documentary uncovers the ugly side of Ireland’s beauty industry. Reporter Pamela Fraher goes undercover and meets the people selling dodgy Botox and weight-loss drugs in beauty salons around the country, and learns how lack of regulation has turned Ireland into a wild west, filled with cowboys flogging illegal products and treatments – not a good look.

Celebrity Big Brother Live Launch

Monday, UTV, 9pm

With the successful reboot of Big Brother, it was only a matter of time before the celebrity version of the classic reality TV show would also be revived, and here it is, returning to our screens six years after it sputtered out. The great thing is that, given the hiatus, there should be no shortage of big names to choose from. So which superstars are rumoured to be entering the Celebrity Big Brother house? X Factor judge Louis Walsh, former This Morning presenter Fern Britton and TOWIE star Chloe Brockett are said to have signed up, along with Love Island star Ekin-Su and a fella called Gary Goldsmith, whose claim to fame is that Kate Middleton is his niece. Pass the Ray-Bans – I’m dazzled.


Home of the Year

Tuesday, RTÉ1, 8.30pm

A Dublin bungalow decorated in black and gold, a refurbished Georgian rectory in Derry and a modern industrial self-build in Cork are the homes featured in this episode of the popular home design competition. Architects Amanda Bone and Hugh Wallace and interior designer Sara Cosgrove will be casting their expert eyes over these three houses whose owners are hoping to make it through to the final in April. First up are Yann and Betty Lavy, who went for a luxury look when restoring their 1930s bungalow. Then it’s the turn of Kieran and Olivia McDaid, who transformed an 18th-century rectory into a bold and beautiful family home filled with interesting items the couple picked up on their global travels.

Mary & George

Tuesday, Sky Atlantic & Now, 9pm

Bridgerton is all well and good, but what better way to get the royal blood boiling than a period psychodrama featuring treachery, seduction, betrayal and murder. And this story of power-hungry aristo Mary Villiers and her son George has it all – plus Julianne Moore as the ruthless Mary, who helps her son inveigle himself into the court of King James I, and eventually (so it was rumoured) into the king’s bed. The series tracks the rise of the Villiers mother and son as they used all their political and social nous to become two of the most powerful players in 17th-century England.

Why Planes Vanish: The Hunt for MH370

Wednesday, BBC1, 8pm

It’s been 10 years since the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines flight HM370, and this documentary looks at one of aviation’s biggest unsolved mysteries. The Boeing 777 was flying from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing on March 8th, 2014, when it suddenly went off flight controllers’ radars, and was never seen or heard from again. This documentary looks at new evidence and new technology that may help solve the mystery and address the many unanswered questions from the families of the 239 passengers and crew who were lost.

The Rise and Fall of Boris Johnson

Wednesday, Channel 4, 9pm

This promises to be even more decadent and entertaining than I, Claudius. Boris Johnson has dominated Britain’s political landscape for much of this century, and this series tracks his path to power, paved with scandal, betrayal and his trademark bluster. That path took him from Eton messer and Oxford chancer to a storied career in journalism, then a swerve into politics to become the mayor of London and then the pasty face of the Vote Leave campaign, before achieving his greatest ambition; to head the Conservative Party and become prime minister. We’ll hear all about the back-stabbing, backroom plotting and those Covid parties at Downing Street.

First Dates Ireland

Thursday, RTÉ2, 9.35pm

How would you like to have a song written about you? Well, its easy: all you have to do is date Daniel from Mexico, then break up with him, and he’ll be penning a sad Adele ballad faster than you can say “Let’s stay friends”. He’s hoping to change the music up when he meets Dubliner Leon, who says he’s an old-fashioned romantic, at the First Dates restaurant. Meanwhile, Dylan and Lynn are hoping to bond over their shared love of tattoos, and when taxi driver Abi meets car salesman Seán, will it be taillights wagging or just a car crash?

Other Voices

Thursday, RTÉ2, 11.10pm

Dublin art-rockers The Murder Capital perform in St James’ Church in Dingle for this episode of Other Voices, and you can expect a hard-hitting, politically charged set from the band who have been making waves on the alternative scene around the world. And here’s an unexpected treat: the band will finish a barnstorming set with a tribute to the late Shane MacGowan. Also performing this week are drone-folk supergroup ØXN, featuring Katie Kim and Lankum’s Radie Peat, and New York singer-songwriter Julie Byrne.

Lily & Lolly: The Forgotten Yeats Sisters

Friday, Sky Arts, 8pm

The world knows about WB Yeats, one of the greatest poets in literature, and his brother Jack B Yeats, one of Irish art’s most vibrant and original figures, but little is known about their talented and clever sisters, Susan and Elizabeth. Lily and Lolly, as they were known, were central players in Ireland’s cultural and literary revival in the 1920s, but their contribution has been largely forgotten, and this new documentary, presented by Imelda May and coinciding with International Women’s Day, aims to bring these remarkable women out from the shadow of their famous brothers and explore their huge contribution to Irish life.

How to with John Wilson

Friday, BBC2, 11.05pm

Film-maker and self-confessed “anxious New Yorker” John Wilson returns with the second season of his very quirky series which, as he says, helps you solve problems you never even thought you had. What Wilson does is go around his native city with his camera, filming stuff he sees and people he meets, and often just opening doors to see what’s behind. Previous series featured such sage advice as How to Make Small Talk, How to Find a Spot and How to Remember Your Dreams, and the new series features tips on How to Find a Public Restroom and How to Clean Your Ears.