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TV tonight: our highlights for Friday 1st May

Samara Weaving and Laura Harrier

Hollywood is a drama about the seedier side of the movies' golden age

Feud's Ryan Murphy is back with a drama drawing heavily on Hollywood's dark secrets, legendary group the Shadows hit 60, and an all-star cast in witty comedy drama Trying. Here’s what you shouldn’t miss on TV tonight. 

  • Our hand-selected recommendations for what's on TV tonight include 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

The Shadows at 60, 9.30pm, BBC4

The Shadows

On top of the world in 1963

In June 1960, The Shadows – previously known as The Drifters – recorded Apache, a cover of an instrumental by guitarist Bert Weedon. Released the following month, it went to No 1, the first of an astonishing 14 singles to reach the Top Ten in the next four years alone. This documentary celebrates the 60th anniversary of The Shadows, who started out as Cliff Richard’s backing band but went on to become huge stars in their own right. ★★★★ JP


Hollywood, Netflix

Laura Harrier and Darren Criss in the bath

Did someone say steamy? Laura Harrier and Darren Criss

Fans of Ryan Murphy’s brilliant Feud, about the legendary friction between Bette Davis and Joan Crawford, will love this equally entertaining drama with walk-ons for the likes of Vivien Leigh and Rock Hudson. Set in the wake of World War Two, the series focuses on a variety of young wannabes as they try to make it big in Tinseltown, from hopeful director Raymond (Darren Criss) to aspiring actor Claire (Samara Weaving). But they soon find Hollywood is a hotbed of prejudice, passion and power games. It’s nostalgic but retains plenty of bite, and after watching it you’ll never look at those old Sunday afternoon movies in the same way again! ★★★★★ CC


Trying, Apple TV+

Rafe Spall and Esther Smith

Stars Rafe Spall and Esther Smith

Rafe Spall and Esther Smith are a couple preparing for parenthood in this wonderfully written comedy-drama which also features Imelda Staunton and Phil Davis. But after Jason and Nikki get the devastating news that they can’t have children, they decide to go down the route of adoption, which puts their relationship under an unforgiving microscope. While Nikki frets about lampshades – “You can’t get kids before you get lampshades, everyone knows that!” – Jason’s past comes back to haunt him when ex-partners are called on for references. All eight half-hour episodes are released today. ★★★★★ RM



Best box set to watch 

Feel Good, one series, All4

TV tonight Feel Good

Mae Martin and Charlotte Ritchie star

Canadian comic Mae Martin’s semi-autobiographical comedy series deals with serious issues – drug addiction, recovery and a toxic relationship with her mother, played by Friends’ Lisa Kudrow. But at its heart, it’s a love story between Mae and her new girlfriend George (Ghosts’ Charlotte Ritchie), plus it’s wonderfully witty. 



Best film to watch on TV tonight

Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood, 9pm, Sky Cinema Premiere

Leonardo DiCaprio and Brad Pitt

Leo and Brad star in Tarantino's latest

Quentin Tarantino’s sprawling, rollicking love letter to a long-gone Hollywood has moments that shine as well as those that misfire – not helped by his now-familiar revisionist bit of history for the ridiculously visceral finale. There are wonderful roles for Leonardo DiCaprio, as a fading star now forced to play guest villain in TV Westerns, and Brad Pitt as his laconic stunt double/best bud as it follows their adventures back in 1969, which gives Tarantino a chance to put together a scorching soundtrack. The writer/director also get his mitts on the Manson Family and Sharon Tate, played well by Margot Robbie but given too little to work with. It’s a long haul of a movie, but one with some splendid scenes along the way.


If you watch just one thing on TV tonight… 

Don't miss the lid-lifting new drama Hollywood.

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

Happy viewing!