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TV Tonight: our highlights for Monday, Jan. 3

TV tonight - Sheridan Smith as the mother of a serial killer’s first victim.
Sheridan Smith as the mother of a serial killer’s first victim. (Image credit: BBC)

On TV tonight, Sheridan Smith stars in Four Lives a hard-hitting drama about the victims of serial killer Stephen Port on BBC1, Sir David marvels at the power of bird song in Attenborough's Wonder of Song also on BBC1 and on ITV it's time for a giggle with the stars from the cobbles in Coronation Street: Soapy Slip-Ups. 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 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

Four Lives, 9pm, BBC1

TV tonight Stephen Merchant plays serial killer Stephen Port.

Stephen Merchant plays serial killer Stephen Port. (Image credit: BBC)

Over the next three nights, this compelling drama covers the true story of the four young gay men murdered by Stephen Port in 2014 and 2015 in London, with the focus – as the title suggests – very much on the victims and their families rather than the killer. Tonight’s episode stars Sheridan Smith as Sarah, the mother of Port’s first victim, Anthony Walgate, and follows Anthony’s (Tim Preston) story and that of Gabriel Kovari (Jakub Svec). Written and produced by Jeff Pope and Neil McKay, who have collaborated on acclaimed series including The Moorside, it also features Stephen Merchant as serial killer Port. 

★★★★ JP

Attenborough's Wonder of Song, 6.30pm, BBC1

TV tonight David Attenborough presents

David Attenborough presents. (Image credit: BBC)

This is a fascinating look at how and why birds and other animals sing, as Sir David Attenborough shares seven favourite audio recordings from the natural world. They include the song of the humpback whale, which had a huge impact on the conservation movement when recorded and included on an album in 1970. Songbirds such as the nightingale unsurprisingly dominate the list, with the star of the show being master mimic the lyrebird, seen imitating a car alarm and a chainsaw in an astonishing archive clip. 

★★★★ IM

Coronation Street: Soapy Slip-Ups, 8pm, ITV

TV tonight Simon wonders if he got away with it this time

Simon wonders if he got away with it this time. (Image credit: ITV)

As you’d expect on the nation’s favourite and most fun soap, it’s not all dour deliberation and intense study of scripts behind the scenes at Corrie. Here’s a collection of entertaining outtakes, with stars Jennie McAlpine (Fiz), Jane Danson (Leanne), Simon Gregson (Steve) and Jack P Shepherd (David) among those taking us through their struggles with wardrobe, props and dialogue. Emmerdale get their turn tomorrow  (7.30pm). 

★★★ JP

Best box set to watch on TV tonight

Cobra Kai, season 4, Netflix

TV tonight Daniel and Johnny played by Ralph Macchio and William Zabka.

Daniel and Johnny played by Ralph Macchio and William Zabka. (Image credit: Netflix)

Long-time martial-arts rivals Daniel LaRusso (Ralph Macchio) and Johnny Lawrence (William Zabka) will need to bury their differences for good when The Karate Kid spin-off series returns for a fourth season. It’s the only way they will be able to stop ruthless sensei John Kreese (Martin Kove), aided by his old Vietnam war buddy Terry Silver (Thomas Ian Griffith), from winning LA’s All Valley Karate Tournament. The stakes are particularly high this year – the losers will have to leave the area for good. But can Daniel and Johnny really bring themselves to bury the hatchet?

Best film to watch on TV tonight

The Peanut Butter Falcon, 10pm, BBC2

Zack Gottsagen, an actor with Down’s syndrome, is remarkable in this madcap adventure. He’s run away from his home and is taken under the wing of errant crab fisherman (a generous performance by Shia LaBeouf), who agrees to help him on his quest to visit his wrestling idol (Thomas Haden Church). The plot may not hold water, but the film’s feel-good warmth is irresistible.

Live Sport

  • EFL, Swansea City v Fulham, 2.45pm (k-o 3pm), Sky Sports Main Event/NOW
  • Premier League, Manchester United v Wolves, 5pm (k-o 5.30pm), Sky Sports Main Event/NOW
  • World Darts Championship, 8pm, Sky Sports Main Event/NOW

Soaps on TV tonight

If you watch just one thing on TV tonight…

Don't miss Four Lives on TV tonight – a hard-hitting and compelling drama.

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

Happy viewing!