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1 of 1 Pat Shortt: not just a funny face
Pat Shortt: not just a funny face

John Byrne’s TV choices for the week ahead (Dates covered: Sat May 31 - Fri Jun 6)

Jamie Oliver is back, Pat Shortt stars on Bank Holiday Monday, while we bid adieu to The Island with Bear Grylls. It's another busy one, folks . . .

Pick of the week

Orange is the New Black (Netflix, from Friday June 6)

Along with Kevin Spacey’s House of Cards, Orange is the New Black has shown that internet streaming giants Netflix are here to stay as television continues to be revolutionised.

The season two premiere of the women's prison dramedy, created by Jenji Kohan, picks up nearly a month after the season one finale, where Piper (Taylor Schilling) is dealing with the traumatic repercussions from her fight with Pennsatucky (Taryn Manning).

Trailer Time: please note it contains strong language

Star of the week

Pat Shortt

Garage (Monday, RTÉ One)

After many years as one of Ireland’s top funny men with the like of D'Unbelievables and Killinascully, Pat Shortt saw his career go to another level when he starred in this 2007 film as a lonely petrol station attendant who slowly begins to come out of his shell. As well as earning IFTA, Evening Standard and the Monte Carlo Festival awards for his startling performance in Garage, Shortt was being seen as a serious actor rather than just a comic. Subsequently he has played roles in films such as Soulboy, The Guard and Calvary. More recently he’s been getting rave reviews for his performance alongside Daniel Radcliffe in the Broadway production of The Cripple of Innishmaan.

Trailer Time:

Starting this week

Jamie’s Money Saving Meals, 8.30pm, Channel 4

Jamie Oliver returns with a new serving of Money Saving Meals, packed full of super impressive and surprisingly affordable recipes that offer great food every single day without blowing the budget. In the first episode, Jamie makes a piri piri pork belly with crispy crackling. There's also frugal hangover noodles topped with Asian-style crispy and runny fried egg; and two very different ideas for making the most of leftover lamb from the Sunday roast - a scrumptious lamb biryani and a healthy, punchy, crunchy noodle salad. There's a midweek showstopper in the form of Jamie's grilled garlic mussels with sweet tomato soup, and clever tips on how to use super-cheap frozen veg like spinach and broccoli.

Trailer Time:

Also starting this week:

D-Day Sacrifice, Tuesday, National Geographic

For No Good Reason, Wednesday, Sky Atlantic

My Last Summer, Wednesday, Channel 4

Ending this week

The Island with Bear Grylls, Monday, Channel 4

In this final episode the men enter their fourth week of living on the island with the group hungry and divided. As island life starts falling apart, the men's bodies and minds are beginning to show the strain of the experiment. Even when a stingray arrives in the fishing nets, arguments follow close behind. To put an end to the crisis, the group call an election for an island leader. But not everyone appears ready to back the new chief.

Also ending this week:

Dragons’ Den, Sunday, RTÉ One

Drama of the week

Playhouse Presents . . . Space Age, 9.00pm, Sky Arts 1

Richard Wilson (One Foot in the Grave) and Simon Callow (Being Shakespeare) star as ageing astronauts in a poignant and witty drama written by Nick Moran (Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels) and Ralf Little (The Café). Eager to escape the indignity and hopelessness of their nursing homes, John (Wilson) and Dudley (Callow) have volunteered for a brave space mission that aims to seek out and prepare new planets for human settlement. Their only company is Iris, the starship’s temperamental speaking computer (voiced by Robert Vaughn).

Trailer Time:

Comedy of the week

Modern Family, Monday, Sky 1

This show is surprisingly still as funny as it was in the beginning. This week is Gloria stepping up to organise the family photo shoot. Before that, Phil gets into a tizz after tracking down the Carly Simon’s Nobody Does it Better, the song to which he lost his virginity. The trip down memory lane makes Phil feel guilty, like he’s cheating on Claire, so he attempts to dispose of the single. Claire then accuses Cam of being too snobby to accept her daughters’ hand-me-downs, while Jay enters his beloved Stella into a dog show.

Trailer Time: here's a gag reel/bleepers clip from season one

Documentary of the week

The World Cup’s 50 Greatest Moments

Rio Ferdinand and Olly Murs present The World Cup’s 50 Greatest Moments – and let’s hope it’s not too anglocentric.  It will certainly include England winning the World Cup in 1966; Johann Cruyff’s turn in 1974; Gordon Banks’ amazing save from Pele in 1970; Maradona’s two goals against England in 1986; the all-dancing Roger Milla; Ally’s Tartan Army in 1978; as well as our own great moment, the Republic of Ireland at Italia 90.

Trailer Time: here's the penalty shoot-out v Romania in full

Film of the Week

Blazing Saddles, Thursday, Sky Atlantic

A Million Ways to Die in the West may be in the cinemas right now, but this is the ultimate frontier funny film. Possibly Mel Brooks’ finest hour, it stars Gene Wilder and Cleavon Little as the only hopes to save the residents of Rock Ridge from an evil railway company. As un-PC as it gets, this comic classic simply wouldn't be allowed a release these days.

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