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TV Tonight: our highlights for Monday, May 23

TV tonight – Amanda Burton reprises her role as Sam Ryan.
Amanda Burton reprises her role as Sam Ryan. (Image credit: BBC)

On TV tonight, Amanda Burton returns to the role of Professor Sam Ryan as season 25 of Silent Witness begins on BBC One. Get ready for some tears as a new series of Long Lost Family: Born Without Trace starts on ITV, new documentary British Injustice with Raphael Rowe is on Crime+Investigation and David Attenborough narrates Prehistoric Planet on Apple TV Plus. Finally, Teen Mum Academy is on E4 and one-off documentary Troy Deeney: Where's My History? is on C4. Here’s what you shouldn’t miss on TV tonight.

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

Silent Witness, season 25, BBC One

TV tonight Hugh Quarshie and Amanda Burton star.

Hugh Quarshie and Amanda Burton star. (Image credit: BBC)

There’s a blast from the past in this milestone 25th series as Amanda Burton, the original star of the long-running forensic crime drama, returns to reprise her role as Professor Sam Ryan. The high-stakes story, running across all six episodes, sees Sam contact Nikki and her team after the shooting of her husband and a high-ranking politician. Since quitting the Lyell Centre, Sam has worked for the UN and has recently landed a big contract to provide ‘health passports’, endorsed by the health minister who is gunned down at the start of tonight’s episode. Is there more to her decision to use the Lyell to investigate the shooting than meets the eye? Continues tomorrow. 

★★★★ IM

Long Lost Family: Born Without Trace, 9pm, ITV

TV tonight Nicky and Davina help more foundlings

Nicky and Davina help more foundlings. (Image credit: ITV)

Nicky Campbell and Davina McCall return with three new episodes of the BAFTA-winning spin-off focusing on foundlings – people who were abandoned as babies and have almost no information about their birth parents. The series begins with two deeply moving tales: Andy, who was discovered on the steps outside a west London church more than 50 years ago, and Natasha, the show’s youngest foundling to date, who was found in the toilets of St Thomas’ Hospital, London, in 1989. After their DNA is examined, the show has some surprising and hugely emotional revelations for both. Continues until Wednesday. 

★★★★★ SP

British Injustice with Raphael Rowe, 9pm, Crime+Investigation

TV tonight Raphael seeks to right wrongs

Raphael seeks to right wrongs. (Image credit: Crime + Investigation)

A victim of a shocking miscarriage of justice himself, which saw him imprisoned for more than a decade, Raphael Rowe is now on a mission to examine other similar cases of injustice in recent British history. First, he looks at the case of the ‘Cardiff Newsagent Three’ – Michael O’Brien, Ellis Sherwood and Darren Hall – who were wrongly convicted of killing newsagent Phillip Saunders in 1987. Digging into the case, Raphael finds evidence of police coercion, apparently fabricated evidence and flawed legal procedure. Yet they still served 11 years in high-security prisons.

★★★★★ NH

Prehistoric Planet, Apple TV Plus

TV tonight Tyrannosaurus rex and its young

Tyrannosaurus rex and its young. (Image credit: Apple TV Plus)

What was life on Earth like 66 million years ago, when dinosaurs roamed the land, seas and skies? Drawing on the latest cutting-edge technology, this immersive five-part series, narrated by David Attenborough, shows us the dinosaurs and the world they inhabited in more vivid detail than ever before. Each episode (released daily, until Friday) visits a different habitat, starting with coastal waters, where we see a T-rex swimming with its young family and a giant air-breathing lizard having its scales cleaned by fish before engaging in a titanic territorial battle. 

★★★★ IM

Teen Mum Academy, 7.30pm, E4

TV tonight Charlina and daughter Maya at the Academy creche

Charlina and daughter Maya at the Academy creche. (Image credit: E4)

Six teen mums embark on a potentially life-changing experience under the guidance of US entrepreneur Jess Lizama. For three weeks, the UK teens live together with their babies at the Academy, where they’re mentored by Jess, a mum herself at 16. With a range of tasks to tackle, the end goal is for the girls to become successful businesswomen. Their first task is to pitch their ideas, which include carpentry and cake-making. 

★★★★ TL

Troy Deeney: Where's My History? 10pm, C4

TV tonight Footballer Troy shares his hopes

Footballer Troy shares his hopes. (Image credit: C4)

Birmingham City FC captain Troy Deeney was expelled from school at 15. Football saved him from a life of poverty, and now he wants kids from all backgrounds to feel a valued part of the education system. ‘We were never taught about Black people we could take pride in,’ says the Birmingham-born star. He makes a powerful and impassioned argument, calling on friends in high places, including boxer Anthony Joshua and actor David Harewood, to take his fight to the top of government. 

★★★★ JL

Best box set to watch on TV tonight

Derry Girls, seasons 1–3, All4

The Derry Girls jumping for joy.

The brilliant Derry Girls and the wee English fella.  (Image credit: Channel4)

The riotous third series has just finished on C4, but if anyone has missed this absolute gem of a comedy, then all three seasons are now available on All4. The series follows teenagers Erin (Saoirse-Monica Jackson), Orla (Louisa Harland), Clare (Nicola Coughlan), Michelle (Jamie-Lee O’Donnell), and James (Dylan Maguire), or 'the wee English fella' as everyone calls him, as they navigate life in Derry, Northern Ireland, in the early 1990s. The gang attend Our Lady Immaculate College run by the indomitable Sister Michael, played brilliantly by Siobhán McSweeney, who has seen all their madcap antics before and couldn’t care less. One of the best comedies on the box. 

Best film to watch on TV tonight

The Revenant, 11pm, ITV4

In this chilling real-life tale of survival from untamed 1820s America, Leonardo DiCaprio plays a frontiersman mauled by a bear and left for dead by his expedition. Astonishingly, he hauls himself through miles of frozen wilderness in search of revenge. DiCaprio is on awesome, Oscar-winning form and Tom Hardy, Domhnall Gleeson and Will Poulter are also impressive.

Live Sport

  • French Open Tennis, from 9.30am, Eurosport 1

Soaps on TV tonight

If you watch just one thing on TV tonight…

Don't miss Silent Witness on TV tonight – what a cast! One of our favourite crime dramas just got even better with a face from the past making a dramatic return. 

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.