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TV tonight: our highlights for Wednesday 29th July

TV tonight Anne: The Princess Royal At 70
(Image credit: ITV)

Anne: The Princess Royal At 70 is just one of the gems on today...

ITV celebrates Anne: The Princess Royal At 70, Michael Portillo embarks on some Great Continental Railway Journeys, and there are more formidable women in Mrs America. Here’s what you shouldn’t miss on TV tonight.

  • Our hand-selected recommendations for what's on TV tonight include three TV shows, a film, live sport 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

Great Continental Railway Journeys, 8pm, BBC2

TV tonight Great Continental Railway Journeys

Michael with his father Luis’ Spanish ID

Michael Portillo and his colourful wardrobe return for another trip based on Bradshaw’s guide of 1936. He begins in Salamanca where his Spanish father was a professor 80 years ago. He explores this turbulent time in Spanish history and his father’s role in opposing the military rule of General Franco. He also travels to Madrid, rides the tram in Zaragoza, and meets author George Orwell’s son in Huesca. 

★★★ JL

Anne: The Princess Royal At 70, 9pm, ITV

TV tonight Anne: The Princess Royal At 70

Princess Anne turns 70 on 15 August

Despite spending her life in the public eye, Princess Anne guards her privacy fiercely, so this 90-minute one-off documentary is a treat. Royal biographer Robert Hardman and camera crew follow the princess as she relaxes at home with her grandchildren and glides through a huge amount of royal duties without a moan. The Princess talks about royal life, a kidnap attempt in 1974, being the first royal Olympian and her dislike of social media. A real force of nature. 

★★★★ RF

Mrs America, from 9pm, BBC2

TV tonight Mrs America

The formidable Bella Abzug

The only downside of a cast filled with A-list talent like Mrs America’s is that there are only so many acting awards to go around. Both Margo Martindale and Sarah Paulson make excellent cases for bagging a trophy tonight. Bella Abzug (Margo) is put in charge of the 1977 National Women’s Conference, but a carefully orchestrated campaign by Phyllis (Cate Blanchett) almost undermines it, and Bella faces flack from her own side for removing an important gay rights resolution from the agenda. Then, while Alice (Sarah) finds herself unmoored from Phyllis at the conference, she starts to see things differently… 

★★★★★ SP

Best box set to watch

Staged, one season, BBC iPlayer

TV tonight Staged

David Tennant and Michael Sheen

One of the most enjoyable lockdown comedies we’ve seen. David Tennant and Michael Sheen clearly relish their roles as fictionalised versions of themselves, as they prepare to rehearse a play via video calls.

Best film to watch on TV tonight

Cold War, 9pm, Film4

After 2013’s sublime Ida, another gorgeous black-and-white drama from fabulous film-maker Pawel Pawlikowski. It’s based on the story of his parents, with Joanna Kulig and Tomasz Kot as the young lovers zigzagging towards happiness as the Iron Curtain splits and reunites both countries and people. An elegant drama, with imagery that’s astonishingly beautiful. 

Live sport

  • Championship Football: Play-off Semi-final Second Leg 7pm (k-o 7.45pm), Sky Sports Football

Soaps on TV tonight

If you watch just one thing on TV tonight… 

Don't miss Anne: The Princess Royal At 70 on TV tonight – honouring the popular princess

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

Happy viewing!