What's on TV
Thursday, 4 February 2010
Liam McKenna began his career at 19 years old when he won the Irish version of Popstars, and became a member of the band Six. After 2 years with the band he moved to Los Angeles and starred in a pilot tv series, and had a small role in the Tom Cruise movie 'Collateral'. In 2005 he moved back to Ireland and began presenting on the daily entertainment show TTV. In 2006 he became the presenter of 2 shows on the Sky Digital channel Bubble Hits. Also since 2006 he has assisted Louis Walsh with his acts on The X Factor.
Lost, Thursday, 9.00pm, RTE2
So it's the beginning of the end for Lost. Tonight is a 2 hour special, which airs here just 1 week after it aired in the US so we're right up to date with them. I was a massive fan of the show in season 1, but like a lot of people I kind of lost track of what was going on mid way through season 2, when the polar bears started appearing on the dessert island. Its not the sort of show you can dip in and out of, you really need to follow each episode religiously. Having said that I stuck with it and it's been worth it because the show has gotten back on track and the final episodes of last season were amazing.
The shows creators admitted that they really didn't have a plan for how the show would end up until recently, because they weren't sure how many more seasons they had to keep the show alive. However when it was agreed that this was the final season, they came up with an ending that they believe will satisfy everyone. Internet fan forums are buzzing with speculation about what the ending might be. My personal favourite is that by detonating the hydrogen bomb, time has been reset, and therefore the flight never crashed in the first place, so the whole thing never really happened.
8 Boys and Wanting a Girl, Thursday, 9:00pm, C4
What do you do if you really want to have a girl and you just keep on having boys? Keep trying, like the Bowens have, for 21 years? Forty-three-year-old Wendy Bowen has eight boys and is still desperate for her dream girl. Her biological clock ticking has turned it into an obsession. She's not alone though; across Britain there are women like Wendy who suffer from a psychological condition called "Gender Disappointment".
Michelle Priestley, from Bedford, loves all things girly and feminine. She never imagined herself as a mum of four boys. She loves her children dearly but, at 37, is getting desperate for a daughter. Michelle has persuaded husband Jason to give it one last try for a girl. There is a growing online community of parents using the internet to research ways of swaying the sex of their baby. Michelle is a regular visitor to an American website and has followed some fairly unusual natural gender swaying methods from it, such as dietary supplements, herbal extracts, and timing sex for a particular day. During the build-up to the day of her scan for her fifth child, tensions are running high. Michelle's anxiety is getting to her and her family. The cameras are with her when she finds out if she's finally going to have that longed-for daughter.
In Plymouth, 40-year-old Nicola Trathen decided six years ago that enough was enough after her fourth boy was born. She had heard of a way of choosing the sex of a child through a method called PGD (Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis), similar to IVF, but the sex of the fertilised egg is determined and chosen to implant into the mother accordingly. Gender selection, as Nicola was to find out, is not available in the UK for family "balancing". Legislators state that the social reasons are not strong enough. There are also concerns that without this ban, designer babies could become a huge market, and internationally it could exacerbate pre-existing social tendencies to favour sons. Nicola does not agree and went abroad for the treatment. She gave birth to twin girls who are now six and feels they have completed her perfect family.
Throughout America, PGD is legal and fertility clinics offer the treatment widely. Forty-one-year-old Allyson Burns, from Redhook, New York, has chosen to use PGD to help her have the daughter she's been trying for, for the last 16 years. She says she is blessed with four boys but feels there is something missing. This is her third and final attempt, having already spent $20,000 on previous treatment. PGD is not an easy option. It's an expensive, emotional rollercoaster and there are no guarantees. The filmmakers follow Allyson through the treatment to the nerve-wracking day of her pregnancy test. Will she finally get the baby girl she has longed for?
Live Six Nations Rugby Union Ireland V Italy, Saturday, 1.30pm, RTE2
The 2010 Six Nations kicks off this weekend with 6 hours of coverage on RTE2.
Ireland v Italy (Kick-off 2.30pm) and England v Wales (Kick-off 5.00pm). The opening fixtures of the championship come from Croke Park and Twickenham respectively. Ireland the 2009 Grand Slam winners begin their title defence against the Azzurri, safe in the knowledge that they have never lost to them in this competition.
Martin Johnson's tenure as England manager is likely to be defined by his team's achievements over the next six weeks, so getting under way in victorious fashion is considered as imperative today.
The Meaning Of Life With Gay Byrne, Sunday, 10.30pm, RTE ONE
In programme four Gay Byrne talks to former Taoiseach Bertie Ahern about how Catholicism influenced his approach to political and personal events in his life.
Bertie Ahern. Surely, everyone has now heard everything the former Taoiseach has to say on just about anything. except, perhaps, the things they'd most like to hear him talk about. And yet this is an interview with a difference, as Bertie talks candidly about his far from fashionable attachment to Catholicism and the influence it has had on his life and career. Unlike Tony Blair, of whom Alistair Campbell famously said, "We don't do God," Bertie does "do God", accepting that questions about his faith are a legitimate line of enquiry.
He reveals how, in spite of his instinctive attachment to the Catholic Church, he felt compelled to launch the enquiries that have exposed the institution's scandalous failings. He explains how he prays for assistance, when his back is against the wall politically, without letting his beliefs shape policy. He talks about how he reconciled his faith with the collapse of his marriage and "living in sin" with Celia Larkin. He also tells how Christian belief offered an unlikely breakthrough in his relations with Ian Paisley.