Appetite for Distraction

What to watch and listen to this week: Recalling Diana’s shattered fairytale 25 years on

A Sky documentary draws us back to the Princess of Wales’s tragic story through archival footage, while Sean Bean and Nicola Walker grapple with life’s challenges as a veteran married couple in a new BBC drama

Happily never after: the wedding of Princess Diana and Prince Charles in 1981. Picture: Tim Graham Photo Library via Getty

Reviews and previews by Emmanuel Kehoe, Nadine O’Regan and Jenny Murphy Byrne


Sean Bean and Nicola Walker in Marriage. Picture: Rory Mulvey

Marriage, Sunday, 9pm, BBC One

Two acting stalwarts head up this new drama series written by Bafta-winning Stefan Golaszewski. Sean Bean plays Ian, with Nicola Walker starring as Emma, his wife of 30 years. The couple return from a Spanish holiday to changed circumstances: Ian has been made redundant and is coping badly. Emma’s job is demanding and she’s having trouble relating to his difficulties. EK

The Princess, Sunday, 9pm, Sky Documentaries, Now

Twenty-five years ago this month, Princess Diana died in a car crash in a Paris underpass with her then companion Dodi Fayed, son of Egyptian millionaire Mohammad Al-Fayed. The supposed fairy-tale wedding between her and Prince Charles in 1981 had come off the rails, a case of happily never after. This documentary draws solely from audio and video footage from the time and allows the narrative to unfold as if dealing with contemporaneous events. It’s directed by Ed Perkins (Black Sheep, Tell Me Who I Am). EK

Singer Pauline Scanlon and violinist Aoife Ní Bhriain in Cúltír

Cúltír, Sunday, 9.30pm, TG4

Singer Pauline Scanlon and violinist Aoife Ní Bhriain get together for a county-by-county tour of Ireland, beginning in Cork. Singer, songwriter and musician John Spillane and the Céilí All-Stars perform in Tot’s pub in Ballygurteen. There’ll also be a segment on road bowling and another on the natural beauty of the Gaeltacht town of Ballyvourney, the burial place of Seán Ó Riada. EK

Vyacheslav Dovzhenko and Yuliya Abdel Fattakh star in Hide and Seek

Hide and Seek, Sunday, 10.30pm, Channel 4

This eight-episode 2019 Ukrainian crime drama from Channel 4’s Walter Presents series of foreign language productions throws together two detectives with rather different approaches to crime solving. Played by Vyacheslav Dovzhenko and Yuliya Abdel Fattakh, they have to get together to hunt down a child kidnapper who has already taken several children and who taunts the cops with cryptic messages posted online. Fiction, but set in a Ukraine before the latest Russian invasion. EK

Porn industry veteran Ron Jeremy, who features in an eponymous documentary on Channel 4. Picture: Titus Moody

Porn King: The Rise & Fall of Ron Jeremy, Monday, 10pm, Channel 4

In October 2004, Ron Jeremy, a veteran in the US porn industry, was the invited guest of the Trinity Philosophical Society. This two-part documentary (part two is on Tuesday at the same time) shows the performer as he is now. A year ago, Jeremy (real name Ronald Hyatt) was indicted and charged with 34 counts of sexual assault, including a dozen counts of rape. He has pleaded not guilty to all charges. At his last court appearance, according to his lawyer, the case against him was adjourned pending a mental assessment. EK

Meitheal: The Story of a Search revisits the events surrounding the ill-fated Irish Coastguard rescue near Blacksod Lighthouse in 2017

Meitheal: The Story of a Search, Tuesday, 10.30pm, RTÉ One

In this poignant documentary, filmmaker Fergus Sweeney returns the viewer to the tragic events of 2017, when the crew of Irish Coastguard helicopter Rescue 116 became lost at sea, following a crash en route to Blacksod Lighthouse. Featuring testimonials from the coastal community of Erris in North Mayo, It also tells of those who cycled from Dublin (where 116 was based) to Blacksod a year later in memory of its crew. NO’R

Love Yourself Today, a tribute to Damien Dempsey. Picture: Ross-McDonnell

Love Yourself Today, Thursday, 10.15pm, RTÉ One

This live music-laden tribute to the work of singer-songwriter Damien Dempsey incorporates within it the stories of several of his most ardent fans, showing the viewer how his music helped them, in some cases, to literally change their lives for the better. NO’R


Eve Hewson, Sharon Horgan, Anne-Marie Duff, Eva Birthistle and Sarah Greene in murder-comedy Bad Sisters

Bad Sisters, from Friday, Apple TV+

This murder-comedy series sees Sharon Horgan – who created the series – take her gift for comedy into a new genre. The Garvey sisters are beset by tragedy when a family member unexpectedly dies. But is it really a tragedy, or is something more sinister behind it? Starring Horgan, Anne-Marie Duff, Eva Birthistle, Sarah Greene, Eve Hewson, Claes Bang and Brian Gleeson. NO’R

Five Days at Memorial, which fictionalises the real-life aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Picture: Russ Martin

Five Days at Memorial, Apple TV+

Based on the book by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Sheri Fink, Five Days at Memorial is an eight-part series that chronicles the real-life impact of Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath on a local hospital. Horrific decisions had to be made concerning life and death at a New Orleans hospital when floodwaters rose, power failed and the heat soared – decisions that would leave workers traumatised. Starring Vera Farmiga, Robert Pine and Cherry Jones, the first three episodes of the series are available now. NO’R


Xenoblade Chronicles 3: a stunning game with sweeping vistas and a compelling narrative

Xenoblade Chronicles 3, Nintendo Switch

Xenoblade Chronicles 3 is a typical Japanese role-playing game, in the sense that you’ll be completely overwhelmed by its highly-detailed gameplay mechanics and tutorials within the first couple of minutes. Beneath the sprawling menu system is a stunning game with sweeping vistas and a compelling narrative. It’s the perfect game for the Nintendo Switch, allowing you to jump back in whenever you have the time. Unlike its predecessors, Chronicles 3 allows your cast of colourful characters to change job classes, revolutionising the gameplay and providing one of the many addictive reasons to keep playing. JMB