TV tonight: Our highlights for Monday 4th January

Traces cast
WARNING: Embargoed for publication until 00:00:01 on 24/12/2020 - Programme Name: Traces - TX: n/a - Episode: Traces - Iconic (No. n/a) - Picture Shows: Prof. Kathy Torrance (JENNIFER SPENCE), Prof. Sarah Gordon (LAURA FRASER), Emma (MOLLY WINDSOR), Daniel (MARTIN COMPSTON) - (C) UKTV - Photographer: Des Willie (Image credit: BBC / UKTV / Des Willie)

Traces is one of the gems on TV tonight...

The first episode of forensic drama, Traces, starts tonight, starring Line of Duty favourite Martin Compston, while Bradley Walsh and his son, Barney, embark on a new adventure in Breaking Dad.  Here's what else you shouldn’t miss on TV tonight. 

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

Traces, 9pm, BBC1 and BBC iPlayer 

Traces TV Tonight

Molly Windsor plays forensic lab technician, Emma in Traces (Picture: BBC/UKTV/Vishal Sharma) (Image credit: BBC / UKTV / Des Willie)

Martin Compston plays a prime suspect in this forensic drama from Scott and Bailey’s Amelia Bullmore, first shown on Alibi last year. The story centres on forensic lab technician Emma (Molly Windsor), who is dating builder Daniel (Martin) while delving into her mum’s unsolved murder. Daniel, meanwhile, is being investigated in relation to a fatal fire. It’s good to see a crime drama with three strong female leads, and Molly underplays her role nicely. Look out, too, for Gregory’s Girl star John Gordon Sinclair as Emma’s dad. Continues tomorrow. ★★★ IM

Breaking Dad, 8pm, ITV 

Barney Walsh Breaking Dad canal jumping

Barney Walsh tries canal jumping in the Netherlands in Breaking Dad (Picture: ITV) (Image credit: ITV)

While we loved seeing Bradley Walsh and his son Barney tested to the limit during their all-action trips to America, it was the palpable bond and mutual pride between the duo that was at the heart of their entertaining travelogue. And that’s the case again as they cut a swathe through Europe and sample some more high-octane local pastimes – much to Bradley’s chagrin! The trip begins in the Netherlands where Bradley’s attempts at canal jumping and track cycling prove hilarious. But the pièce de résistance sees him bravely battle his fear of heights to scale the world’s tallest climbing wall. ★★★★ CC

Rick Stein’s Cornwall, 6.30pm, BBC2

Rick Stein serves up a delicious dollop of comfort telly with this series running every day for the next three weeks. The affable chef steers clear of the usual tourist traps, sharing his insider knowledge of Cornwall’s best food, history and cultural hotspots. His family home at Trevose Head, a heritage apple orchard which inspires him to make his mum’s Apple Charlotte pudding, and a clam bake on the beach with his son, Jack, get things off to a moreish start. ★★★★ RF

Best box set to watch on TV tonight

The Cry, BBC iPlayer, series one

The Cry TV Tonight

Jenna Coleman and Ewen Leslie star in The Cry. (Picture: Synchronicity Films Ltd/Lachlan Moore/Matt Burlem) (Image credit: Synchronicity Films Ltd/Lachlan Moore/Matt Burlem)

This four-part BBC thriller, starring Victoria favourite Jenna Coleman, is a drama not to be missed. When Joanna and Alistair travel to Australia with their baby son, Noah, they are bracing themselves to fight for custody of Alistair's daughter. But soon their lives start to unravel when they face an unthinkable tragedy. However, not everything is as it seems, and soon Joanna is about to discover that the truth is far worse than she could have ever imagined.

Best film to watch on TV tonight

Ghost, Channel 5, 10pm

Patrick Swayze is murdered and comes back as a spirit to prevent the same thing happening to his sweetheart, Demi Moore. Whoopi Goldberg plays a wisecracking medium roped in to help in this box-office hit that mixes action and comedy with a love story. The romance, including the famous potter's wheel scene is a little bit soppy, but the acting and decent effects for the time result in a very satisfying movie. ★★★★

Live sport

  • Southampton v Liverpool,  7pm (k-o 8pm), Sky Sports

Soaps on TV tonight

  • Emmerdale, 7pm
  • Coronation Street, 7.30pm
  • EastEnders, 8.05pm

If you watch just one thing on TV tonight… 

Don't miss the first episode of Traces - a great new drama to get your teeth into. The second episode will air tomorrow at 9pm on BBC1.

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

Happy viewing!

Claire Crick
Assistant Managing Editor at What To Watch

Claire is Assistant Managing Editor at What To Watch and has been a journalist for over 15 years, writing about everything from soaps and TV to beauty, entertainment, and even the Royal Family. After starting her career at a soap magazine, she ended up staying for 13 years, and over that time she’s pulled pints in the Rovers Return, sung karaoke in the Emmerdale village hall, taken a stroll around Albert Square, and visited Summer Bay Surf Club in sunny Australia. 

After learning some tricks of the trade at websites Digital Spy, Entertainment Daily, and Woman & Home, Claire landed a role at What’s On TV and writing about all things TV and film, with a particular love for Aussie soaps, Strictly Come Dancing and Bake Off

She’s interviewed everyone from June Brown — AKA Dot Cotton — to Michelle Keegan, swapped cooking tips with baking legend Mary Berry backstage at the NTAs, and danced the night away with soap stars at countless awards bashes. There’s not a lot she doesn’t know about soaps and TV and can be very handy when a soapy question comes up in a pub quiz! 

As well as all things soap-related, Claire also loves running, spa breaks, days out with her kids, and getting lost in a good book.