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The Remote: A weekly TV guide to keep everyone in the house happy

From the youngest members of the family to teenagers to mum and dad, we’ve got you covered here.
Mar 26th 2020, 1:25 PM 17,216 9

AS WE ALL get used to the new measures brought in to restrict the spread of the coronavirus, it’s fair to assume there’ll be a growing number of combatants in the battle for the remote control in most households. 

With a greater than ever selection of content available – not just on TV but on phones and tablets, ironically, that paradox of choice can make it even more difficult to find something everyone can enjoy at the same time. 

Here at The Remote we’ll be trawling through the TV listings to bring you a range of recommendations each week, including shows for the kids, favourites everyone in the household – either in family homes or apartment shares – can enjoy together, and must-see Irish-produced content the whole country will be watching as one.

We’ll focus mainly on free-to-air TV and freely available streaming services – with the occasional recommendation from subscription services too.

Stay tuned… 

Something half the country will be talking about…

First Dates Ireland: Gasp as strangers shake hands and share kisses on the cheek with total strangers, marvel as they sit across from each other at small tables in a sit-down restaurant. 

You can be guaranteed half the population of the nation will be tuning into this tonight and sharing their thoughts, observations and predictions on their social media platform of choice. 

Why not join the fun? You can always switch over when That-Cringeworthy-Couple-Who Can’t-Possibly-Be-Real-People come on again.

Where can I see it? Thursday night on RTÉ 2, catch up on the RTÉ Player

Something funny…

If you’re looking for a comedy panel show that most of the family – well, families with older kids and teenagers – can enjoy together, it’s worth checking out Would I Lie to You on BBC One. 

Team captains David Mitchell and Lee Mack are joined by comedian Jon Richardson and the Oscar-winning Olivia Coleman, amongst others, for this week’s outing, with Rob Brydon in the presenter’s chair as usual.

In case you were wondering, Graham Norton won’t be back on our screens until 10 April.

Where can I see it? BBC One at 8.30pm on Friday

Source: BBC/YouTube

Something to watch as a family…

Monster’s University: The 2013 prequel to the classic Monster’s Inc isn’t generally regarded as one of the top-tier entries in the Pixar back catalogue, but it’s still well worth a look.

John Goodman and Billy Crystal reprise their roles as Sulley and Mike from the first movie, as they attend the titular third-level institution to brush up their ‘terrifying children’ skills. 

What could possible go wrong? 

When can I see it? 6.35pm on Saturday on RTÉ One

Source: JoBlo Movie Trailers/YouTube

Something for the weekend…  

Love is Blind: You’ve probably already heard of Netflix’s high concept dating show. It’s been so successful for the streaming platform that it’s just been renewed for two more series. 

The premise is straightforward: several dozen highly attractive Americans are sent to live in two separate communal living spaces – one for the men, one for the ladies. 

‘Dates’ between various contestants are then arranged – the catch being that neither party can see the other (their conversations take place in spaces called ‘pods’ that look like they may have been put together by the same interior decorator who designed the bedrooms in Star Trek The Next Generation). 

This being America, of course, proposals and weddings feature as part of the concept. 

It’s compulsive viewing – but don’t be surprised if you spend half of every episode cringing behind a cushion. 

Where can I see it? Netflix

Source: Netflix/YouTube

Something sporty… 

Laochra Gael: The latest series of the popular TG4 programme profiling and celebrating some of the star names of Gaelic Games kicked off earlier this month. 

Former Galway hurler Iggy Clarke is next up, and in tonight’s episode he recalls the time he served as a priest.

The 1980 All-Ireland winner offers insights into various aspects of his life, including the factors which led to him questioning this vocation and ultimately leaving the priesthood.

Where can I watch it? TG4 tonight at 9.30pm or catch up on the player

Iggy Clarke speaking on Laocra Gael. Source: TG4

Something to help with homeschooling…

Home School Hub: RTÉ is launching its new Home School Hub on TV and online from Monday. As part of the broadcaster’s response to the Covid-19 crisis, the hub will provide primary school children with daily lessons from the comfort of their homes.

On RTÉ2, RTÉ Player, and on, children will be able to watch, download and engage with curriculum-based content, project work, and other activities designed to keep them engaged, entertained and learning.

On TV, a lineup of bilingual teachers will present three short class segments aimed at 1st and 2nd class, 3rd and 4th class and 5th and 6th class. After the programme the kids will be directed to follow-up material on the website. 

Where can I watch it? 11am to 12pm weekdays on RTÉ 2, and online

shutterstock_1408608215 Source: Shutterstock/

Something from the archives…

Father Ted: Believe it or not, it will be 25 years next month since Father Ted first debuted on our screens. 

The classic sitcom, which spawned so many catchphrases most of us have lost track at his stage, is regularly repeated on Channel 4 and RTÉ – but if you want to watch the whole thing from the start, you can find every episode online at the Channel 4 streaming service All4. 

You just need to register, provide an email address and a few other basic details, and you’re in. 

Where can I watch it? Streaming at All4

Source: Channel 4/YouTube

While we’re on the subject of classic Irish television, RTÉ announced last night that a range of classic favourites will be returning to TV in the coming weeks – including all five seasons of Love/Hate, Bachelors Walk and Pure Mule. 

Something to get involved in…

RTÉ is responding to the ongoing crisis by launching into production of ‘Operation Covid Nation’. Expect it to debut on your screens in the coming weeks.  

As you might have guessed, it comes from the team who brought you Operation Transformation – and while it could be argued that the title perhaps needs a little work, the sentiment of the show is better-judged. 

According to the promotional bumf from the national broadcaster, Kathryn Thomas and her team of experts will be helping households “deal with the reality of isolation and how we can all play our part in supporting the most vulnerable by our own actions”.

They’re looking to hear from households across the country who’d like to take part in the show – including people living alone, in house shares, working remotely and those struggling to adapt to home schooling children. 
A broadcast date is yet to be confirmed but if you’re interested in taking part, you can find a link to an application form here.
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Daragh Brophy


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