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What’s on telly tonight? Our pick of the best shows on Friday 16 November

Children in Need 2018
(Image credit: BBC/Ray Burmiston/Matt Burlem)

TV Times top picks for today

What’s on telly tonight? Here the TV Times team of expert reviewers highlight the best shows on Friday 16 November

Children in Need, from 7.30pm, BBC1/BBC2

It’s that time of year when stars of TV, music and sport come together for a night of non-stop entertainment and fundraising. Unlike the days of Terry Wogan, there’s now a huge team (okay, seven) of hosts, including Graham Norton, Mel Giedroyc, Tess Daly and Ade Adepitan, who present the mix of comedy, music and moving stories. Highlights include a Mastermind special and The One Show’s Rickshaw Challenge team completing their 423-mile journey from Calais to Salford. Before the big night, there’s a Bargain Hunt special at 12.15pm, featuring stars from Casualty including Sunetra Sarker, Michael French and Suzanne Packer. Rating: *****

100 Years of the RAF, 8pm, Channel 5

The RAF is the world’s oldest independent air force. Since it was founded in 1918, it has secured safety and freedom for many, both at home and abroad. Narrated by Sir Martyn Lewis, and with unseen archive footage from both world wars, this film is a fitting tribute to its courageous men and women. Rating: ****

Portillo’s Hidden History of Britain, 9pm, Channel 5

Disturbingly subtitled Countdown to WW3, this episode of Michael Portillo’s revealing series sees the presenter explore a vast derelict nuclear fortress built during the Cold War in 1953, close to Michael’s alma mater in Cambridge. Peering aroundthe dusty and dark bunker, he searches by torchlight for clues to its history and discovers the many rooms where government officials from all departments would have sought shelter in the event of a nuclear attack. Michael also boards an old Soviet submarine, and is alarmed to learn how dangerously close it came to British shores armed with its deadly nuclear-tipped torpedoes… Rating: *****

More previews tomorrow.