TV tonight: our highlights for Monday 31st May

TV tonight 24 Hours in A&E
(Image credit: 2021 Tom Barnes/ The Garden)

24 Hours in A&E is just one of the gems on today...

24 Hours in A&E is back, LoD's Ted Hastings pops up in Inside No 9, and it's school trip time in Motherland. 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, 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

Inside No 9, 9.30pm, BBC2

TV tonight Inside No 9

Adrian Dunbar in a rare comedy role

James (Reece Shearsmith) has landed a small part in a true-crime drama about the unsolved disappearance of a baby years ago. He’s very excited, particularly about a scene he’s due to share with Line of Duty’s Adrian Dunbar, who’s playing the lead detective. But until then, he faces a long wait with an odd family in their caravan (the actors’ green room for the day). Adrian clearly has a ball sending himself up, while ex-Corrie star Bhavna Limbachia (Rana) steals every scene she’s in as polite but officious production staffer Jo. 

★★★★ SP

24 Hours in A&E, 9pm, C4

TV tonight 24 Hours in A&E

Consultant Rahail and the St George’s team are back

We’re back at London hospital St George’s with a series filmed last autumn. Life has become even more complicated for the dedicated emergency staff as they juggle trauma cases with the demands of a pandemic. Josh, 27, has had a high-speed motorbike crash and his pregnant partner reveals her worries about the future. Also in A&E is Georgie, who rushes in with her 10-month-old son, Phoenix, after she caught him with a bleach tablet in his mouth, and 21-year-old Ross arrives needing treatment for a dislocated shoulder. 

★★★ JL

Motherland, 9pm, BBC2

TV tonight Motherland

Yes, Mrs Lamb is judging you

It’s the school trip this week, with Julia, Meg and Liz reluctantly boarding the bus along with awful school secretary Mrs Lamb plus a travel-sick teaching assistant (a guest turn from EastEnders’ Natalie Cassidy). Meanwhile, Kevin is anxious about his impending driving test and the fact that it’s making his hands sweaty. ‘Do you think I need driving gloves?’ he frets. ‘Or a driving towel?’. This third series has been brilliant, with the writers effortlessly balancing snort-laugh jokes with poignant storylines involving issues like old age, cancer and divorce. It’s now one of the best comedies on TV. 

★★★★★ JP

Best box set to watch on TV tonight

The Hour, seasons one and two, Acorn TV/Amazon Prime Video/BritBox

TV tonight The Hour

Ben Whishaw stars

Ben Whishaw is far removed from his current role as a gangster in Fargo in this 2011/12 drama. Although both shows are set in the 1950s, here Whishaw plays a dedicated BBC journalist caught up in a conspiracy.

Best film to watch on TV tonight

The River Wild, 10.15pm, ITV (not Wales)

If you’ve planned a summer staycation on a boat or a barge, you might find this 1994 thriller a tad on the tense side. Meryl Streep plays Gail, a woman who decides a whitewater rafting holiday is the answer to her marriage problems, but then two escaped armed robbers (Kevin Bacon and John C Reilly) take her and her family hostage. They force former river guide Gail to negotiate the treacherous current and it’s no surprise that Meryl is totally believable in the role. 

Live sport

  • League Two Play-Off Final: Morecambe v Newport County 2.30pm (k-o 3pm), Sky Sports Main Event/Sky Sports Football/NOW 

Soaps on TV tonight

If you watch just one thing on TV tonight… 

Don't miss 24 Hours in A&E on TV tonight – the amazing NHS in the spotlight again

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

Happy viewing!