RTÉ Ten's top five telly picks for tonight

Updated: 21 January 2013 09:48

A look at how much Irish women drink; Hector goes country; a look at the life of the great Harry Belafonte; and a documentary about the Dutch painter Mondrian - here's tonight's top telly

A look at how much Irish women drink; Hector goes country; an insightful portrait of the life of the great Harry Belafonte; and a documentary about the Dutch painter Mondrian - here's tonight's top telly.

Reality Bites: Merlot and Me, RTÉ One

Maia Dunphy is a healthy, attractive, very sociable 30-something woman whose career as a TV producer, broadcaster and journalist offers her plenty of opportunities to party. Like a lot of women of her age Maia, who is married to comedian Johnny Vegas, likes a drink. In fact, she isn't averse to having a 'few too many' and would sometimes have a glass of wine or three at home on a school night. In this new documentary, the straight talking Ms Dunphy takes a cold, candid look at her personal drinking habits; particularly in the light of research from Alcohol Action Ireland which reports that Irish women's intake of alcohol has been rising steadily since 1995, and alarmingly since 2005. Six out of 10 Irish Women are now regularly drinking far too much with horrible implications for their looks, their physical and emotional health. In this film, Maia publicly faces the fact that she's one of them. (AC)

Storyville: Harry Belafonte: Sing Your Song, BBC Four, 10.00pm

Belafonte and Brando

Harry Belafonte: Sing Your Song surveys the life and times of singer, actor and activist Harry Belafonte. From his rise to fame as a singer and his experiences touring a segregated country, to his provocative crossover into Hollywood, Belafonte's ground-breaking career personifies the American civil rights movement and impacted many other social-justice movements. The film reveals Belafonte as a tenacious hands-on activist, who worked intimately with Dr Martin Luther King Jr, mobilized celebrities for social justice, participated in the struggle against apartheid in South Africa, and took action to counter gang violence, prisons, and the incarceration of youth. (AC)

Hector Goes... Country, RTÉ One, 9.35pm

Ireland has long had its very own brand of country music, a kind of mad collision between cowboy blues and farmer's lament. At a show band night. No better man so than `Ector (!!!) to dive into this twilight, glitter ball world. He does so in the company of Mike Denver, (Ireland's answer to Garth Brooks It sez here), and with the help of a few other country music giants, `Ector (!!!) prepares for his debut performance in the C&W hotbed that is Castleblayney. Oh yes! (AC)

Embarrassing Fat Bodies, Channel 4, 9.00pm

More edifying post-watershed, or in this case, post-water closet, fare from the Channel that likes to make you say, erm? Cynics out there will, of course, dismiss Embarrassing Fat Bodies as voyeuristic tosh but it is in fact very important edcuational telly that alerts us all to the dangers of poor diet and lack of exercise. Right? Well, maybe. Tonight's episode is called Toilet Troubles. Dr Dawn helps a type 2 diabetic whose diarrhoea disasters are putting strain on every organ in his body. Dr Christian refers a man with sky-high blood pressure for a pioneering treatment to reduce his waistline and help with his mortifying toilet malfunctions, and Dr Pixie helps a lady in her 40s whose weighty plumbing problem is so bad she's installed a portable toilet in her bedroom. (AC)

Mondarin, Sky Arts1, 10.00pm

Piet Mondrian's sharp, straight-lined paintings were once scoffed at as being mere wallpaper designs. They are now recognised as one of the most prevalent influences in 20th century art. After years of experimentation with realism, symbolism and cubism, the Dutch artist limited his palette to the three primary colours by the early 1920s, applying red, blue or yellow rectangular patches over a white canvas amid perfectly straight black lines at right angles to one another. This programme retraces the intellectual and human process that led Mondrian to geometric abstraction, the highly characteristic style that made him one of the major figures of the international artistic avant-garde. (AC)

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