What to watch on TV this week: From the rise of the food truck to Ladybird’s coming of age drama

Georgann Dolfay

With Irish restaurants closed for most of the past year, a bold new breed of chefs and entrepreneurs have taken top cuisine to the people in brightly painted food trucks. This culinary phenomenon is front and centre in this new RTÉ Player series, which puts the best food truck chefs in the ring. Over the course of six weeks, six contestants from across Ireland will compete in a series of challenges to see who can win the ‘Ireland’s Finest Food Truck’ title and a cash prize of €5,000.

mong those taking part are Seany McCleary of the Blasta Street Kitchen in Monaghan, who aims to cure his county’s love of the carvery; Kwanghi Khan of Dublin food truck Bites, who makes Asian fusion; Niamh Hegarty of Niamh’s Larder in Cork, who produces a mean picnic basket; Louise Brosnan of Mex West, who sells Mexican food in Kerry; Dan Howell of Dublin’s Man Street Kitchen, whose food is truly international; and seafood specialist Julia Hemingway of Julia’s Lobster Truck, in Clare.

A series of daunting challenges await, beginning with this week’s ‘signature dish’, which requires the chef to play to their strengths before they take on the ‘debut dish’, a new recipe that will showcase their creativity and flair. And as they cook, comic James Patrice will try to keep the chefs’ spirits up.

Film of the week

Lady Bird
Sunday, RTÉ1, 9.30pm

Greta Gerwig’s comic coming-of-age drama is loosely based on her own youth and features a compelling performance from Saoirse Ronan. She is Christine McPherson, a precocious and artistic student at a Catholic high school in Sacramento. She loathes her home town, dreams of moving to “a city with culture” and insists on being referred to as Lady Bird. This and many other aspects of Christine’s behaviour infuriates her kindly but exasperated mother, Marion (Laurie Metcalf), and as Lady Bird nears the end of her final year in high school, the pair are on a collision course. Gerwig’s film is both moving and hilarious, and Tracy Letts is very good as Lady Bird’s sad-eyed father.


Euro 2020
RTÉ2, 4.30pm
Two of European football’s traditional heavyweights, Portugal and Germany, meet in Munich for this Group F encounter. With commentary from Ger Canning, Ronnie Whelan.

Film: Hidden Figures
Channel 4, 7.30pm
Solid period drama telling the little known story of three African-American women who played a key role in NASA’s space programme. Octavia Spencer, Kevin Costner, Taraji P Henson star.

Paul Weller at the Barbican
BBC2, 8.30pm
In this concert at the London venue, Paul Weller sings songs from his Jam, Style Council and solo periods, with the backing of the BBC Symphony Orchestra.


Euro 2020
RTÉ2, 4.30pm
As Group A is decided, Italy face Wales at the Stadio Olimpico in Rome, and Switzerland play Turkey in Baku, Azerbaijan. Peter Collins, Didi Hamann and Liam Brady set the scene. Both kick-offs at 5pm.

Film: LA Confidential
TCM, 11pm
Crime thriller set in 1950s Hollywood and starring Russell Crowe and Guy Pearce as police detectives who reluctantly join forces to tackle corruption and murder. With Kevin Spacey, Kim Basinger.

Adventures in Space and Time
BBC2, 9pm
This week Brian Cox explores the mind-bending enigma of time, a concept we take for granted but which, to physicians, remains one of the greatest mysteries in the universe.


GAA 2021
TG4, 8pm
A look back at all the weekend’s GAA action, including the Allianz Football League finals and the Littlewoods Camogie League Final.

Film: Viceroy’s House
BBC4, 8pm
Drama based on Lord Louis Mountbatten’s period as Viceroy of India, when he struggled to deal with a rising tide of violence as the partition of the country loomed. Hugh Bonneville, Manish Dayal and Gillian Anderson star.

Border Lives
RTÉ1, 9.35pm
A hundred years ago, people in the border counties went to sleep in one country and woke up in another. Miriam O’Callaghan talks to people in communities that have been overshadowed by sectarianism in the century since.


Bake Off: The Professionals
Channel 4, 8pm
Among the challenges for the crack pastry chefs tonight are 24 miniature cone and carrot-shaped desserts, and a showpiece dessert involving two types of eclair and a time travel theme. With Tom Allen.

Film: Deadpool
Film Four, 9pm
Comic superhero adventure starring Ryan Reynolds as Wade Wilson, a wisecracking mercenary who gains mutant superpowers after a botched cancer treatment. With Morena Baccarin.

The Countess and the Russian Billionaire
BBC2, 9pm
Documentary exploring the privileged world of Russian investor and former Kremlin insider Sergei Pugachev and his British partner Countess Alexandra Tolstoy, whose fairy-tale existence is about to implode.


Euro 2020
RTÉ2, 7.30pm
Two tasty games as Group F reaches its climax, with France taking on Portugal in Budapest, and Germany facing Hungary in Munich. Darragh Maloney presents.

Film: The United States Vs. Billie Holiday
Sky Movies Drama, 10.30pm
Biopic based on the true story of how legendary blues singer Billie Holiday was persecuted by Federal authorities because of a song highlighting southern lynchings. With Andra Day, Natasha Lyonne, Trevante Rhodes.

Before We Die
Channel 4, 9pm
Hannah and Billy have figured out how the Mimicas plan to smuggle drugs into the UK, but with Christian out of action, they have no idea when or where the consignment will arrive.


Escape to the Chateau
Channel 4, 9pm
Dick and Angel restore a 150-year-old sash window and turn their small landing into a beautiful family space that will save money and bring the past to life.

Film: Love, Simon
Channel 4, 11.35pm
High school student Simon Spier is trying to find the best way of coming out to his family when an anonymous classmate starts blackmailing him. With Nick Robinson, Jennifer Garner, Josh Duhamel.

Our Town
RTÉ2, 9.30pm
New series following the lives of young people living in the Wicklow seaside town of Bray, including CJ and Sammy, an enterprising rap duo who’ve written a new anthem for Bray Wanderers FC.


Unreported World
Channel 4, 7.30pm
Seyi Rhodes reports on the issue of migrants who are being beaten back from entering the European Union by border guards on the notorious Balkan Route.

Film: The Producers
BBC1, 10.35pm
When a theatre producer figures out that a Broadway flop will make him more money than a hit, he stages a musical about the Third Reich. But it’s a big success.

The Last Leg
Channel 4, 10pm
Celebrity guests join Adam Hills, Alex Brooker and Josh Widdicombe for a review of the week. They’ll also look ahead to the Tokyo Paralympics.

Sheena McGinley’s stream of the week

PRIDE, Disney+, streaming now
Pride Month may be drawing to a close, but there’s still plenty of time to celebrate and educate as six renowned LGBTQ+ directors explore stories that have defined America as a nation. From the FBI surveillance of homosexuals during the 50s ‘Lavender Scare’, to the ‘culture wars’ of the 90s and beyond, this series explores the queer legacy of the civil rights movement and the battle over marriage equality. Depicting little known characters such as Madeleine Tress and 1980s videographer Nelson Sullivan — who chronicled a vanishing downtown New York City during the Aids epidemic — the series also features international figures such as civil rights pioneer Bayard Rustin, writer Audre Lorde, plus senators Tammy Baldwin and Lester Hunt. Expect the evolution of trans rights and identities chartered through interviews plus emotive archival footage.

Too Hot To Handle
Netflix, Wednesday
It’s baaaaaaahaaack. Netflix’s slightly more pious incarnation of Love Island returns with 10 “sexy new singles” who aren’t allowed get on down with each other. In case you need a rebrief; this “no dating” dating show involves very strict rules involving zero kissing, heavy petting, OR self-gratification of any kind — all while scantily clad. Those who break said rules will see the $100,000 prize drop faster than the contestants’ libido in the least sexy vacation getaway going.

Love, Victor
Disney+, streaming now
“Too gay for the locker room, but not gay enough for Benji’s friends…” Series two picks up with a newly out Victor (Michael Cimino) still stuck between a rock and a hard place. However, being ‘out’ brings new challenges for Victor. A family struggling with his revelation, a heartbroken ex-girlfriend in Mia (Rachel Naomi Hilson), and the difficulties of being an openly gay star athlete — all while navigating the relationship with Benji during junior year at Creekwood High!

The Naked Director
Netflix, Thursday
Whaddaya mean you’ve never heard of this off-kilter drama about the Japanese porn industry circa the mid-80s?! Adult movie magnate Muranishi returns for series two and moves towards his grand plan of “raining porn from the sky”. Urged to expand into satellite broadcasting, Muranishi gathers more capital — and more enemies. As ever, what goes up must come down, and his descent is nothing short of epic.

Apple TV+, streaming now
Thwack on the spandex and get lunging for this new Rose Byrne vehicle, which could be glibly summarised as Thelma & Louise meets Jane Fonda, but that wouldn’t be doing it justice. Broadly deemed a dramedy centring on the aerobics craze of the 1980s, it manages to address eating disorders, self-image, unfulfillment, and misogyny while bringing the warped giggles. It’s from the mind of Craig Gillespie, AKA the director of I Tonya, and therefore delightfully twisted.

Mysterious Benedict Society
Disney+, streaming now
Gary. Buster. Archibald. Forky. Is there a person, chicken, or kitchen utensil Tony Hale can’t depict?! The answer to that is, no. No, there isn’t. And that’s why he plays not one, but two, names in this new series based on YA novelist Trenton Lee Stewart’s best-selling book. Placed undercover at a boarding school known as The Institute, a group of orphans must foil a nefarious plot with global ramifications while creating a new sort of family along the way.

Our Friend
Amazon Prime, streaming now
After a tear-jerker? Casey Affleck, Jason Segel, and Dakota Johnson do their very best to tug on heartstrings in this torrid tale of lives being upended by cancer.

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