Classy Italian drama My Brilliant Friend returns for a third season, Owen McDonnell stars in new thriller The Holiday, Amol Rajan Interviews Nile Rodgers about his musical career, while dog lovers will lap up the return of Crufts . . .

Pick of the Day

My Brilliant Friend, 9.00pm, Sky Atlantic

Now, here’s a real treat.

This engrossing HBO drama about female friendship is a beautifully-crafted adaptation of the much-loved Neapolitan novel series by Elena Ferrante.

Fingers crossed, they maintain the standard in this third season.

Based on Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay - the third novel in Ferrante’s series - it continues the story of feisty, rebellious Lina and her lifelong friend, the brilliant and bookish Elena.

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We pick things up with Lina, now separated from her husband, living with her young son in a new neighbourhood of Naples and working at a local factory.

Elena has left Naples, earned a degree from an elite college, and published a novel, all of which has opened the doors to a new world of intellectual pursuits.

As the two friends move into an era of rapid change in sexual politics and social norms, it’s a time of seemingly limitless possibilities.

But will their friendship survive against this background of dramatic change?

Don’t Miss

First Dates Ireland, 9.30pm, RTÉ2

This week, Mateo and the gang greet beautician Katarina from Portlaoise, who returns to the restaurant for a date with Shane (both below) from Meath.

Unfortunately, they don’t get off to an ideal start as Shane admits only minutes into their date that he is slightly intimidated by her.

Meanwhile, gym enthusiast Tim meets Lauren, and Ciara from Mayo sits down for dinner with Orla from the Dublin west suburb of Lucan.

The Apprentice, 9.00pm, BBC One

More fun and games as the candidates are tasked with creating and branding a new baby food, before pitching and selling it to leading retailers.

When one team's recipe is classed as hard to stomach, its members seem destined for the chopping block.

Those overseeing the branding also place themselves in the firing line after devising a less than tasteful logo.

Needless to say, the extent of errors leads to very problematic pitches. As usual, Alan Sugar's lieutenants, Karren Brady and Tim Campbell, monitor events with interest.

Lilies of the Field, 10.50pm, BBC Four

This comedy drama from 1963 features an Oscar-winning performance from the recently-deceased Sidney Poitier, with Francesca Jarvis, Lisa Mann and Isa Crino.

Travelling handyman Homer Smith stops at a remote farm in the Arizona desert to get water when his car overheats, and encounter a group of German, Austrian and Hungarian.

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He agrees to repair a roof for them, but the mother superior has a bigger task in store for him.

On the back of his performance, Poitier became the first person of colour to win an Academy Award for a leading role and only the second ever to win at all after Hattie McDaniel won the Best Supporting Actress Award for Gone with the Wind.

Contractors, 9.30pm, TG4

The series following farming contractors up and down the country, who are drafted in to help farmers during their busiest time of the year, continues.

The sun has decided to shine and all the contractors from Donegal to Kerry, Meath to Limerick, Tipperary to Clare are busy mowing, shaking out, raking, baling, harvesting and making pit silage.

There’s a large local gathering in Kilfenora as Eoin Collins hosts a meitheal, Peadar finishes his sheep shearing while the O'Donoghues (Karen Donoghue, above) are out on a big estate - literally making hay while the sun shines.

New or Returning Shows

The Holiday, 9.00pm, Virgin Media One

Galway born actor Owen McDonnell (Killing Eve) stars as cheating husband Sean, in this brand new, twisty thriller.

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His wife Kate is played by Jill Halfpenny while Lara McDonnell (Artemis Fowl) and Aidan McCann (Red Rock) play their children, Lucy and Daniel.

The story follows Kate, who discovers that her husband is having an affair during a luxurious holiday in the Mediterranean.

The troubled couple are sharing a villa with four of Kate's closest friends, one of whom is the adulterous partner - but she doesn't realise that the guilty party could be prepared to kill in order to keep their secret safe.

Amol Rajan Interviews Nile Rodgers, 9.00pm, BBC Two

The journalist speaks to the legendary Chic star, songwriter and producer (below) who has written and/or produced a variety of worldwide hits over the decades.

Aside from Chic, Rodgers’ chart-topping CV includes David Bowie's Let's Dance, Madonna's Like a Virgin, and Daft Punk's Get Lucky.

Nile Rodgers discusses his childhood in 1960s’ New York, setting up Chic with the late Bernard Edwards (what a bass player!), and the racism that still troubles America.

Crufts, 3.00pm & 8.00pm, Channel 4

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My youngest niece Ciara is a veteran of Crufts – and this year her sister is aiming to make it through the pre-contest cut-off. Go Team Ailish!

There's afternoon and evening coverage with Clare Balding hosts from the NEC in Birmingham, as the first day concludes with more action from the `blink-and-you'll-miss-it" dog sport of Flyball.

There's also Freestyle Heelwork to Music, in which canines and their owners perform creative choreographed tricks set to music.

Jason Quigley: Lift Your Heels, 10.30pm, Virgin Media Two

Here's what promises to be a high-access documentary following Ireland's middleweight boxing hero, Jason Quigley (above), as he fights for a world title.

The fighter allows cameras into his training camp, family home and talks openly about his struggles with mental health.

New to Stream

Love, Life & Everything in Between, Netflix

People in the Arab world are often considered alien and get 'othered’ by some in the West. But really they’re just the same. We’re all members of the same Human Race.

Here’s an ode to Valentine's Day in various Arab cities. This anthology series is apparently tinged with dark humour as it explores love at large - and relationships up close.

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