TV tonight: our highlights for Thursday 23rd April

A Thank You NHS sign
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The stars come out - or stay in! - for a very special evening

The Big Night In sees the stars of comedy, music and entertainment stepping up. Gordon, Fred and Gino wrap up their US tour and Joe Cole stars in a gritty new crime drama. Here’s what you shouldn’t miss on TV tonight. 

  • Our hand-selected recommendations for what's on TV tonight include five TV shows, a film and the latest trending need-to-binge-on-now box set 
  • For more information about what’s on TV tonight see our TV Guide 

What's on TV tonight 

Our expert TV journalists have picked the best things on TV tonight... 

Best TV shows on TV tonight

Gangs of London, 9pm, Sky Atlantic/Sky Box Sets/NOW TV

Joe Cole

Sean steps up when his crime boss dad is murdered

This London-based crime drama is a thrilling ride but, be warned, it is extremely violent. Joe Cole (Peaky Blinders) stars as Sean, who becomes a leading player in the capital’s criminal underworld after his father is the victim of a contract killing. Ignoring the family’s closest advisor, he places an embargo on the drugs trade – incurring the wrath of other crime families – until the killer is identified. All episodes will be available as a boxset from today. ★★★★ IM

Gordon, Gino and Fred: American Road Trip, 9pm, ITV

Gordon, Gino and Fred

No, this is their first rodeo!

Tonight’s final episode is titled ‘Brokeback Mountain’. Not entirely sure why… Maybe because the guys are playing at being cowboys in Texas? Or perhaps Gordon, Gino and Fred don't know how to quit each other? Either way, it’s another testosterone-fuelled outing with the lads, involving tree-felling, bourbon, beefy BBQs – they’ve got to keep up the pretence of this being about food – and (contractually obliged?) skinny-dipping. As fun as the series has been, we’re glad the ride is over with the three amigos and their massive egos making it home unscathed. ★★★ ER


The Big Night In, 7pm, BBC1

Gary Barlow

Gary Barlow is just one of the big names tonight

Two of the nation’s telethon titans, Children in Need and Comic Relief, join forces for a three-hour extravaganza (taking a five minute pause to Clap for Our Carers at 8pm) going large on comedy and escapist fun. A socially distanced Lenny Henry, Matt Baker, Paddy McGuinness and Zoe Ball are our hosts for an evening all about raising money for the frontline warriors battling Covid-19, and shouts will also be going out to the local heroes making life more bearable for those most at risk. Confirmed as we go to press are Catherine Tate, Peter Kay, Gary Barlow and the stars of Strictly, slotted between some of the greatest comedy sketches of all time. Stay safe and enjoy! ★★★★★ SM


Tiger King, Netflix

Joe Maldonado and a tiger

Joe Maldonaldo-Passage and friend

American zoo owner Joe Exotic is the subject of this true-crime series, currently one of Netflix’s most-watched programmes. Exotic (real name Joseph Maldonado-Passage) was jailed for 22 years in January for attempted murder and wildlife offences. He ran an animal park in Oklahoma until animal-rights activist Carole Baskin started campaigning against his controversial methods. Her rallies threatened Exotic’s business, and in retaliation he went to the media, vowing revenge and provoking legal action. From there events turned truly bizarre… Louis Theroux’s 2011 America’s Most Dangerous Pets, featuring Exotic, can be seen on BBC iPlayer. ★★★★ JE


Best box set to watch 

Snowfall, BBC iPlayer

Damson Idris

Franklin is caught in the crack crossfire

Set in LA in 1983, this US drama follows the first crack cocaine epidemic to sweep through the city, and the ensuing impact, via the stories of a group of characters whose lives are all fated to intertwine through drugs. British actor Damson Idris plays ambitious 19-year-old drug dealer Franklin Saint, who deals to rich school kids. Three series are available with a fourth in the pipeline.


Best film to watch on TV tonight

Cabaret, 10pm, Talking Pictures TV

Liza Minelli

Come hear the cabaret: Liza Minnelli

Anyone who watched last year’s Fosse / Verdon (available on BBC iPlayer and highly recommended) will see Cabaret, the film that earned Bob Fosse a Best Director Oscar, in a different light – especially the scene with the gorilla costume. Made nearly 50 years ago, Cabaret, set in pre-war Berlin, is still astonishing today, from Kander and Ebb’s fantastic songs to Liza Minnelli and Joel Grey’s knockout performances.

If you watch just one thing on TV tonight… 

The Big Night In - great entertainment for a great cause!

Not found anything you want to watch on TV tonight? Check out our TV Guide. 

Happy viewing!