John Byrne's essential telly for the coming week includes Celebrity MasterChef, 2 Broke Girls, Silicon Valley, Game of Thrones and the Irish Country Music Awards.

Monday June 20


Game of Thrones, 2.00am and 9.00pm, Sky Atlantic

Opinions have been divided about the sixth run of this sprawling epic - some of us made our mind up years ago about this show - but the penultimate episode tends to be where the tension traditionally racks up ahead of the season finale.

Some of GOT's most spectacular and memorable moments have occurred in the next-to-last episodes of the season. From Ned Stark’s execution to The Battle of Blackwater; The Red Wedding to The Battle of Castle Black - and last year when Daenerys escaped the Fighting Pits on her dragon.

Be prepared for the unexpected!

Tuesday June 21


The Border, 10.00pm, Channel 4

This is the latest from Walter Presents, the Channel 4 strand across TV and online that showcase non-English language dramas from around the world. In fairness, some it has been very good.

The latest offering is a Polish thriller that promises to be both haunting and topical. It features the captain of a border guard unit who is the sole survivor of a bomb attack who's looking to find out who killed his comrades.

After the episode premiere, the full series will be immediately available on All 4.


Soundbreaking, 9.00pm, Sky Arts

This looks brilliant: an eight-part documentary that traces the history of music recording, featuring original interviews with some of the most celebrated recording artists, producers and music innovators of the last 50 years.

Episode one profiles some of the most accomplished and revered producers in the recording industry, from George Martin's work with The Beatles to Phil Spector's Wall of Sound, Rick Rubin's redefining of Johnny Cash, and artist-producers such as Joni Mitchell and Prince.


2 Broke Girls, 8.00pm, E4

Amazing that this so-so and very 1970s-like sitcom has lasted five seasons, although the presence of Josh Groban's girlfriend Kat Dennings as one of the cup cake-making odd couple goes a long way to explaining why it's remained popular.

As the new run begins, city planners target Han's diner and Max and Caroline's cupcake outlet for destruction in order to build a new cinema. Meanwhile, are Oleg and Sophie on the verge of making an important announcement?


Born on the Same Day, 9.00pm, Channel 4

This new history series looks at key moments in the parallel lives of three people born on the same day in the same year, exploring how their lives entwine with the major events of their collective lifetime.

This episode tells the stories of the first supermodel and all-round good egg, Twiggy; campaigner against hate crimes Sylvia Swain; and Anne Smith, who uncovered a family secret that was hidden for 50 years.

Wednesday June 22


Euro 2016: Italy v Republic of Ireland, 7.30pm, RTÉ2

Following last Saturday's hammering by Belgium, the Republic of Ireland must win their third and final Group E game to remain in the competition.

Italy - already through as group winners - will be playing their second string, but still offer a huge challenge as opponents given their technical superiority to the Irish. There'll be plenty for host Darragh Maloney and panellists John Giles, Eamon Dunphy and Liam Brady to discuss.

Live coverage from Stade Pierre Mauroy in Lille comes with commentary from George Hamilton and Ronnie Whelan. (KO 8.00pm).

Here's Weso's opening game goal against Sweden:


Celebrity MasterChef, 8.00pm, BBC One

Here's something to cheer up the non-football audience. 20 B-to-Z-listers are hoping to follow in the footsteps of last year's winner Kimberly Wyatt by impressing judges John Torode and Gregg Wallace.

Singer Sinitta is no stranger to reality TV. She's been a mentor on The X Factor and has appeared on I'm A Celebrity . . . Get Me Out of Here and (spare me from) The Jump.

Among the others involved are Amy Childs, Jimmy Osmond, Donna Air, Gleb Savchenko, Laila Morse, Sid Owen, Richard Coles and Tommy Cannon. It's like a celebrity unemployment exchange.


Silicon Valley, 10.10pm, Sky Atlantic

Season three of this spot-on satire about the Californian home to many of the world's largest dot-com corporations and thousands of start-up companies has so far been a high-tech hoot.

With Richard Hendricks back in control at the head of Pied Piper and work finally progressing on the platform, the gang release a beta test and get an unexpected response.

Friday June 24


Irish Country Music Awards, 9.35pm, RTÉ One

The stars of Irish country music gather for the inaugural RTÉ Irish Country Music Awards, live from RTÉ studios and hosted by Daniel O’Donnell.

Some of Irish country music's biggest acts are set to perform, including Nathan Carter, Big Tom, Derek Ryan, Michael English, Mike Denver, Lisa McHugh and Philomena Begley.

Awards up for grabs on the night include Female Artist, Male Artist, Live Act, Video and Newcomer of the Year. Winners will be decided by an independent committee overseen by the Irish Country Music Association (ICMA).

The ICMA Entertainer of the Year will be one of two categories open to a public vote. The nominees are: Nathan Carter, Derek Ryan, Mike Denver and Jimmy Buckley.


Glastonbury, BBC Two & BBC Four

In contrast to the stetson-friendly Irish Country Music Awards, the BBC will be putting on wellies and heading to Worthy Farm for a weekend of rock 'n' roll highlights, beginning with the first day’s action and the whole of Muse's headlining set.

BBC Music will also be delivering plenty of coverage for audiences tuning in at home or on the move, via radio, online and TV with more to see on the telly via the BBC Red Button.

Here's a 'best bits' compilation from last year's festival:

John Byrne