The RTÉ Player team share their top picks to watch on RTÉ Player this week.
It’s back! The second series of Celebrity Operation Transformation returned this week to RTÉ One with X Factor singer Mary Byrne, beauty expert Triona McCarthy, chef Gary O’Hanlon, social media influencer James Patrice and singer Kayleigh Cullinan facing the scales and the experts at the weekly weigh in, and experiencing the highs and lows as they embark on one of their biggest challenges to date. The well known leaders will also face the ultimate test of fitness, strength and courage with brand new weekly physical group challenge. Kathryn Thomas will present four one-hour episodes following the five leaders across a month as they inspire viewers to get back in shape post summer following the OT food and fitness plan. Go to RTÉ Player now to watch the first episode, or meet each of the leaders and see them at their first weigh in with RTÉ Players Celebrity Operation Transformation Extras. Viewers can also follow the five leaders food and fitness plans by logging onto rte.ie/ot, where they’ll find all the information they need, including a selection of brand new added recipes, perfect for autumn.
For the first time in Irish broadcasting history, cameras have been given complete access to one of Ireland’s most loved and visited public spaces – Phoenix Park. In this monumental new six-part documentary series, viewers go behind-the-scenes like never before in one of Europe’s largest city parks. Phoenix Park is like a city within a city. Three hundred and fifty years old and spanning over 1,750 acres in the centre of Dublin, it is a diverse microcosm lived in and enjoyed by dignitaries and Dubliners alike. Throughout this landmark series, viewers will get a chance to meet some of the people who give the Phoenix Park its unique charm. There’s Barbara and her “children”, six Maltese dogs, former Dublin hurler Joey Towell, who teaches hurling to busloads of tourists every single day for free, and Gráinne, the park’s beloved ice-cream lady-cum-matchmaker. Go behind the scenes at the residence of US Ambassador to Ireland, Kevin O’Malley. With unprecedented access for Irish television, viewers are taken on a tour of the splendid Deerfield Residence and journey into the luxurious guest bedroom where John F. Kennedy stayed during his historic visit to Ireland in 1963. We meet Phoenix Park’s head deer keeper, Terry, who has been casting a watchful eye over the park’s 500-strong herd for seven years and counting and rangers James and Ciarán – known fondly as Ponch and John from CHiPs – as they take us on their morning patrol, unlock the gates, carry out the dreaded commercial vehicle checkpoint, and check on the welfare of some of the homeless who have had to spend the night in the park. Watch It’s A Park’s Life now on RTÉ Player.
What Not to Miss?
Is it humankind’s greatest achievement? 12 billion miles away a tiny spaceship is leaving our Solar System and entering the void of deep space. It is the first human-made object ever to do so. Slowly dying within its heart is a plutonium generator that will beat for perhaps another decade before the lights on Voyager finally go out. But this little craft will travel on for millions of years, carrying a Golden Record bearing recordings and images of life on Earth. In all likelihood Voyager will outlive humanity and all our creations. It could be the only thing to mark our existence. Perhaps someday an alien will find it and wonder. The story of Voyager is an epic of human achievement, personal drama and almost miraculous success. Launched 16 days apart in autumn 1977, the twin Voyager space probes have defied all the odds, survived countless near misses and almost 40 years later continue to beam revolutionary information across unimaginable distances. With less computing power than a modern hearing aid, they have unlocked the stunning secrets of our Solar System on a journey as revolutionary as the first circumnavigation of the globe and humankind’s first footprint on the moon. In this powerful, poetic and cinematic feature documentary, THE FARTHEST celebrates these magnificent machines, the men and women who built them and the vision that propelled them farther than anyone could ever have hoped. Launched from a fractious planet, these pioneers sail on serenely in the darkness – an enduring testament to the ingenuity of humankind and the untapped limits of the human imagination. Passionate organic storytelling with people, images, archive and opinion woven with daring and brio makes THE FARTHEST a genuinely cinema-scale adventure. Watch now on RTÉ Player.
Doc of the Week
Ireland is one of the wealthiest countries in the world. But beneath this surface lies a startling health inequality. Children born in poverty will die on average 6 years earlier than children born into affluence. It is your social position that will determine the quality of your life and ultimately how long you will live. The statistics are stark. Those living in disadvantaged areas are twice as likely to become obese, twice as likely to experience mental health difficulties, and three times as likely to get cancer. In this powerful documentary, Dr Eva Orsmond immerses herself in communities on both sides of the socio-economic divide to find out why? As a doctor working in public health, she believes that poor nutrition lies at the heart of this injustice but, as she discovers, health inequality is far more complex and it is getting worse. As Dr Eva discovers, in the Ireland of 2017, geography is destiny. Children in deprived areas have fewer opportunities and are less likely to stay on in education. This means they are less likely to get well paid jobs that would take them out of their poverty trap, and enable them to make better choices for their health. This hard-hitting documentary tells an uncomfortable story revealing the shocking loss of life caused by health inequality, the effects of a major socio-economic divide, and the devastating effects of poverty on those caught in its grasp. Watch now on RTÉ Player.