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TV Tonight: our highlights for Monday, Jan. 31

TV tonight - Samuel Bottomley and Sheridan Smith star.
Samuel Bottomley and Sheridan Smith star. (Image credit: Channel 5)

On TV tonight, Sheridan Smith stars in new drama The Teacher on Channel 5, Jamie Oliver's new series The Great Cookbook Challenge begins on C4 and Kelvin is pining for pigs in Kelvin's Big Farming Adventure on BBC1. 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

The Teacher, 9pm, Channel 5

TV tonight Sheridan Smith and Kelvin Fletcher star.

Sheridan Smith and Kelvin Fletcher star. (Image credit: Channel 5)

English teacher Jenna Garvey (Sheridan Smith) is popular with staff and pupils, but outside work her life’s going off the rails – and after a drunken night out, she’s horrified to be arrested for sleeping with a 15-year-old pupil (Ackley Bridge’s Samuel Bottomley). As she desperately tries to piece together memories of that night, Jenna faces her own demons and asks herself: is she capable of such a despicable act? A sharp script and top-notch performances mean this four-parter (which also stars Kelvin Fletcher) will keep you guessing. Continues nightly. 

★★★★ SP

The Great Cookbook Challenge with Jamie Oliver, 8pm, C4

TV tonight Louise Moore, Jimi Famurewa, Jamie Oliver and Georgina Hayden

Louise Moore, Jimi Famurewa, Jamie Oliver and Georgina Hayden. (Image credit: C4)

Get ready for a cookery competition with a difference – namely, no grandiose title on offer, instead a book deal. Jamie Oliver plays mentor in this seven-part series that sees wannabe authors pitch their cookbook ideas. Tonight, a retired teacher is keen to pen a culinary love letter to Austrian food and a young chef wants to introduce Filipino cuisine to the UK. 

★★★★ RF

Kelvin's Big Farming Adventure, 8.30pm, BBC1

TV tonight Field studies: Kelvin and daughter Marnie

Field studies: Kelvin and daughter Marnie. (Image credit: BBC1)

After buying 10 sheep for his new home in the country last week, Kelvin Fletcher is feeling much more like a proper farmer and wants to expand his animal emporium into pigs. The only fly in the ointment is that he has to dash away to a motor-racing training session (another passion of his), leaving wife Liz Marsland to fly solo and bring home the bacon, as it were. Liz wasn’t too keen on the porkers last week; let’s hope the piglets aren’t the only things she’s calling swine by the time Kelvin waltzes back in… 

★★★★ JL

Best box set to watch on TV tonight

Hotel Portofino, season 1, BritBox

TV tonight Natascha McElhone stars.

Natascha McElhone stars. (Image credit: ITV)

There are glorious Italian seascapes, plenty of 1920s glamour, as well as an English family embarking on a brave overseas adventure in BritBox’s new series, which bears some similarities to the sunny escapism of ITV’s The Durrells. The six-episode story centres around Bella Ainsworth (Natascha McElhone), who has moved from dreary post-war Britain to set up a hotel in the stunning town of Portofino with her dashing but dangerous aristocratic husband, Cecil, and their grown-up children, Alice and Lucian. But as well as family secrets, troublesome hotel guests, run-ins with the mafia and the rise of Mussolini’s fascists, at the heart of the story is a classic whodunit mystery. Anna Chancellor, Vigil’s Adam James and Oliver Dench (Dame Judi’s nephew) are also among the top-name cast.

Best film to watch on TV tonight

Evening, 6.40pm, GREAT! movies

TV Tonight Claire Danes stars

Claire Danes stars. (Image credit: GREAT! movies)

Vanessa Redgrave, Meryl Streep, Claire Danes and Toni Collette enrich this wonderful tearjerker. Redgrave plays a dying matriarch recalling her first love 50 years earlier, with Danes as Redgrave’s younger self. The period scenes are superbly done and the present-day story is affecting, too. 

Live Sport

  • EFL, Portsmouth v Charlton Athletic, 7.30pm (k-o 7.45pm), Sky Sports Main Event/NOW

Soaps on TV tonight

If you watch just one thing on TV tonight…

Don't miss The Teacher on TV tonight – Sheridan Smith is great in this hard-hitting drama. 

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

Happy viewing!

Joanne Lowles
Joanne Lowles

Joanne Lowles has been writing about TV since 2002. After graduating from Cardiff University with a Postgraduate Diploma in Magazine Journalism, she worked for All About Soap magazine covering the ups and downs of life on the cobbles, the square and the Dales. 

Next came nearly 10 years at TV Times magazine as a writer and then deputy features editor. Here she spent many happy days interviewing the biggest names in entertainment and visiting the sets of some of our most popular shows including Downton Abbey, Call the Midwife and Strictly Come Dancing

With a love of nature and wildlife she’s also interviewed the leading experts in this area including David Attenborough, Chris Packham and Steve Backshall. She’s also travelled the world visiting Mongolia, Canada and South Africa to see how the best in the business make the most brilliant natural history documentaries. 

Freelance since 2013, she is now is a digital writer and editor for What to Watch, previews the best on the box for TV Times mag each week and loves being constantly surprised, entertained and informed by the amazing TV that she is lucky enough to watch.