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what's on telly

The Remote: The Big Fella, ancient Egypt, and a pig - your weekly TV guide

From the youngest members of the family to teenagers to mum and dad, we’ve got you covered here.

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 watching…

Michael Collins: I mean, come on.

Easter Monday, nowhere to be, stuck inside, some fleeting thoughts about the 1916 Rising passing through your head, a faint twang of pride for Ireland after the past few weeks.

Most of the nation will scroll through their TV listings, come across this, and consider their evening sorted.

The 1996 film, directed by Neil Jordan, stars Liam Neeson as The Big Fella and  chronicles his life through the revolutionary years.

Where can I see it? RTÉ One at 9.30pm on Monday

Warner Bros. / YouTube

Something funny…

The Graham Norton Show: It’s back – but in a stripped-down format.

The Friday night chat show is on at the earlier time of 9pm, and is shorter than normal at just half an hour.

Constructing a show like Graham Norton’s during a pandemic isn’t easy, so expect something a bit different to usual.

That includes the red chair being relocated from the studio to the comfort of viewers’ homes…

Where can I see it? BBC One at 9pm on Friday


Something to watch as a family…

Babe: A perfect little film, striking the right balance between cute animals and mild peril.

A quick summary: A farmer ends up in possession of a piglet. This is not something the other animals on the farm are happy about, and they seek to bring about the pig’s downfall.

However, fear not, the young swine prevails.

Where can I see it? Sky One at 3.45pm on Good Friday (if family members are still working on Friday, you could also catch A Dog’s Purpose on RTÉ One at 6.35pm on Saturday instead)

Movieclips / YouTube

Something to stream…

Frasier: It’s a bit strange to look back on Frasier as a spin-off of Cheers, isn’t it?

It first aired in September 1993 – four months after the season finale of Cheers – and ran for more than a decade until 2004, essentially eclipsing its predecessor in the minds of an entire generation of television viewers.

As someone who is more likely to tune into Martin and Eddie than Sam Malone and Coach, I was shaken to my very core to learn that the entire series is on the RTÉ Player.

That means there’s 264 episodes waiting for you, equating to just shy of 100 hours of Frasier. If this doesn’t get you through the next few weeks of lockdown, I don’t know what will.

Where can I see it? RTÉ Player


Something sporty…

Laochra Gael:  This is the final episode in the series profiling a variety of players from Gaelic Games.

This week we’ll hear from Monaghan great Brenda McAnespie, who shares her story of winning an All-Ireland while pregnant and speaks of her experience of The Troubles.

These are the sort of inspirational stories that will get us through this drought of sport, and my colleagues on The42 assure me that this series is excellent.

Where can I see it? TG4 on Thursday at 9.30pm or catch up on the player.


Something to help with homeschooling…

Secrets of Egypt’s Valley of the Kings: Rather than sticking on RTÉ2′s Home School Hub again (which will still air on Good Friday and Easter Monday, by the way), wheel out this fascinating series on ancient Egypt.

The programme, now is its second season, follows archaeologists and Egyptologists as they explore the secrets the Valley of the Kings that are still revealing to those who search for them.

Parents are also allowed to watch this. Who doesn’t enjoy a bit of Ancient Egypt from time to time?

Where can I see it? All 4, or catch the latest episode this Sunday at 8pm on Channel 4.


Something from the archives…

The Man who shot Liberty Valance: We all need to switch off for a while right now to forget about everything that’s going on in the world, and while many of the programmes above fulfill that purpose, sometimes you just need an old Western.

TG4 is stepping in to fill that gap in your TV schedule. Complete with John Wayne and James Stewart, both appearing in black and white with southern twangs, indulge in a bit of escapism with this classic.

The plot? Something about an outlaw who killed a guy and some long-forgotten truth that has been rediscovered. I don’t know. Do you really need to know?

Where can I see it? TG4 at 9.10pm on Friday

Movieclips / YouTube

Something my housemates will slag me for watching…

Great Asian Railway Journeys – Chiang Mai to the River Kwai: Look, I saw this on the schedule, and frankly I could not resist adding it to the listings.

Michael Portillo gets on a train and just goes somewhere. Bliss.

Where can I see it? BBC Two at 8.15pm on Saturday

p0812764 BBC BBC

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