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TV tonight: our highlights for Monday 23rd March

Ioan Gruffudd as Andrew

The complications mount up as Laura's backstory is explored in Liar

Surprising new details are revealed in Liar. Plus: a horrific murder story from Judge Rinder and This Country bids farewell. Here’s what you shouldn’t miss on TV tonight. 

  • Our hand selected recommendations for what’s on TV tonight include 5 tv shows, a film and the latest trending need-to-binge-on-now box set 
  • Keep up to date with the latest soap spoiler storylines on TV tonight with our daily soap synopsis 
  • 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

Putin: A Russian Spy Story, 9pm, C4

Vladimir Putin

Were his years in the KGB decisive for Vladimir Putin?

This documentary series asks who President Vladimir Putin is, what shaped him, how he rose to power at such speed and how he now influences world politics. Using Putin’s own voice, plus testimony from authors, diplomats and people who have worked with him, this is an illuminating film about a man born into poverty in Leningrad (now St Petersburg). ★★★★ JL

Liar, 9pm, ITV

Laura and father Henry

Laura and her father Henry

As Renton’s investigation into Andrew’s murder takes another turn, writers Harry and Jack Williams cleverly keep us dangling by suddenly moving the action back eight years to uncover Andrew’s past in Edinburgh. And we’re very glad they did as we finally get to learn a little bit more about what made him into a monster and exactly why he has such a hold over old acquaintance Oliver. But the most surprising and emotional part of the episode comes as we also flash back to find out about Laura’s background and her relationship with her dad Henry – a really beautiful performance from Luther’s Dermot Crowley – and we discover just how far she will go to help those she loves…★★★★ CC

Cheer, Netflix

The Navarro College cheerleading team

Navarro College show how it's done

When it started in January, no one would have guessed that this series about an award-winning US college cheerleading team would pyramid to the heights it has. Reese Witherspoon and Ellen Degeneres love it, and its stars now sit on the front rows at fashion shows. So if you’ve missed the TV sensation of 2020 (so far), now’s a good time to catch up. Navarro College’s cheer squad (which includes boys!) are working towards the national championships under the tutelage of Monica Aldama, coach and surrogate mother to those whose backgrounds are far from the all-American dream. You’ll wince at the falls, cry at the back stories, and really wish you could do a backflip. All together now: “We can, we will, we must!” ★★★★ LP

This Country, 10.45pm (times vary), BBC1

Kurtan and Kerry in a bus shelter

Backed into a corner: Kurtan and Kerry

All good things must come to an end and sure enough this BAFTA-winning show arrives at its final-ever episode. Kerry and Kurtan (Daisy May and Charlie Cooper) are up in arms when the vicar informs them that he’s leaving to take up a new position in Bristol. While it’s sad to say goodbye to this terrific comedy, we hope the Coopers come up with ideas for a movie soon. Hollywood needs them! ★★★★★ NC

Judge Rinder's Crime Stories, 2pm, ITV

Judge Rinder

Judge Rinder: A gruesome double killing

The second and final week of Crime Stories begins with an emotional look back at the double murder of police officers Nicola Hughes and Fiona Bone. On 18 September 2012 a call reporting a burglary sent the two female officers to an address in Greater Manchester. But the call was a hoax and waiting for them was Dale Cregan, who was armed with a gun, a grenade and a bloodthirsty plan to kill the officers. The fathers of Nicola and Fiona recount what happened on that awful day and reveal how they have since dedicated themselves to campaigning for victim support and fundraising in memory of their daughters. ★★★ JL

Best box set to watch on TV tonight

World Without End, My5

Tom Weston Jones as Merthin

Tom Weston-Jones stars as Merthin

The plague is raging in medieval England in this eight-part drama about intrigue and murder. First shown in 2012, it stars Tom Weston-Jones, Charlotte Riley and Rupert Evans.

Best film to watch on TV tonight

The Fifth Element, 11.05pm, Channel 5

Milla Jovovich

Tight fit: Milla Jovovich

Director Luc Besson’s hugely expensive, French-made, knockabout sci-fi action adventure has outstanding special effects and outrageous costumes by Jean-Paul Gaultier. The film tells the overly convoluted tale of a humble taxi driver (Bruce Willis) who is recruited to save the galaxy from an evil energy force after a mysterious cloned alien (Milla Jovovich) crashes through the roof of his cab. The supporting cast includes Gary Oldman, Ian Holm and Chris Tucker.

Soaps on TV tonight

If you watch just one thing on TV tonight… 

Liar gets darker as Laura's earlier life is revealed.

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

 Happy viewing!