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TV Tonight: our highlights for Saturday, May 21

TV tonight – Benny, Anni-Frid, Agnetha and Björn in their heyday.
Benny, Anni-Frid, Agnetha and Björn in their heyday. (Image credit: Channel 5)

On TV tonight, Channel 5 dedicates its evening schedule to pop group ABBA including the revealing documentary ABBA: The Missing 40 Years. The Great Garden Revolution returns to C4, it's a tough night for Iain in Casualty on BBC One, Aidan Turner can be seen in Leonardo on DRAMA, Liam Gallagher is on Later… with Jools Holland on BBC Two and find out what really happened to pilot Amelia Earhart in the More4 documentary Flying Solo: The Mystery of Amelia Earhart. 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

ABBA: The Missing 40 Years, 9.20pm, Channel 5

TV tonight Julie Walters.

Julie Walters talks about her memories of ABBA. (Image credit: Channel 5)

A new documentary that charts the turbulent years following the band’s split, with contributions from Julie Walters, Elaine Paige and those who knew the stars well. In an evening dedicated to the iconic Swedish pop group, Channel 5 is also showing the 1977 musical of the band on tour in Australia, ABBA: The Movie (7.15pm). It's gloriously tacky 1970s nostalgia as the stars (who play themselves) are pursued by a DJ seeking an exclusive interview. The evening ends with Greatest ABBA Cover Versions Ever (10.45pm) with stories from fellow musicians, including Dannii Minogue, Neil Arthur of Blancmange and Carla Bruni, among others.

★★★ MC

The Great Garden Revolution, season 2, 8.15pm, C4

TV tonight Errol, Bruce and Joel are in Chichester for their first project.

Errol, Bruce and Joel are in Chichester for their first project. (Image credit: C4)

The garden restoration series returns, beginning in a backyard belonging to a pair of NHS mental health workers. When horticultural gurus Joel Bird, Errol Reuben Fernandes and Bruce Kenneth arrive at the Chichester plot, there’s not a lot to see but gravel, more gravel and a falling-down shed. But in two shakes of a lavender plant the trio have transformed it into a beautiful sensory garden with fragrant Mediterranean planting, a stylish new shed, seating area and tranquil water feature. Each week a celebrity also shows off their patch, starting with Radio 1 DJ Greg James, who is very proud of his new lawn. 

★★★ JL

Casualty, 8.50pm, BBC One

TV tonight Don’t be a hero, Iain!

Don’t be a hero, Iain! (Image credit: BBC)

Iain (Michael Stevenson) channels his inner action-hero after he rescues seriously ill trafficking victim Elvira from a local car wash. When the police reveal there isn’t enough evidence to make arrests, the plucky paramedic takes the law into his own hands and gets into a violent fight with slavery boss Pavel. Iain arms himself with a piece of two-by-four as Pavel attacks him with a spanner. Will Iain’s particular set of skills save his life? Meanwhile, at the ED, Pavel’s henchman stabs Rash in an attempt to get to Elvira in this stirring episode. 

★★★★ ER

Leonardo, 9pm, DRAMA

TV tonight Aidan Turner as Leonardo da Vinci

Aidan Turner as Leonardo da Vinci. (Image credit: UKTV/DRAMA)

Former Poldark actor Aidan Turner stars as Renaissance genius Leonardo da Vinci in this eight-part drama, first shown on Prime Video. It begins in 1506 Milan, where Leonardo is arrested for poisoning Caterina de Cremona. It then sets the scene in flashbacks to his early days as an apprentice to Andrea del Verrocchio when he first met Caterina. With the artist’s star on the rise and with prestigious new commissions flooding in, could Leonardo’s reputation be in jeopardy? Aidan fans can also get their Poldark fix with all five series on Netflix, plus Being Human is available on BritBox.

★★★★ MC

Later… with Jools Holland, 10pm (times vary), BBC Two

The series continues from Alexandra Palace Theatre, London, with a performance from Liam Gallagher, who also chats to Jools about his favourite picks from the Later... archives. Among other acts in the round tonight are Grammy-winning Malian singer Oumou Sangaré, known for championing women’s rights through Wassoulou music. 

★★★ MC

Flying Solo: The Mystery of Amelia Earhart, 8pm, More4

TV tonight Pilot Amelia Earhart.

Pilot Amelia Earhart. (Image credit: C4)

In 1935, pioneering pilot Amelia Earhart hit the headlines after flying solo across the Pacific. Determined and fearless, she loved to fly and defy the critics who didn’t believe women were capable. In 1937, while attempting to circumnavigate the globe, she disappeared. No wreckage or body has ever been found, a mystery that has puzzled investigators for 85 years. In this film, Amelia’s niece, Amy Kleppner, talks about her aunt and the ongoing theories about what happened. 

★★★ JL

Best box set to watch on TV tonight

Derry Girls, seasons 1–3, All4

TV tonight The Derry Girls jumping for joy.

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

The riotous third series has just finished on C4, but if anyone 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 today

Crazy Rich Asians, 10.20pm (times vary), BBC One

TV tonight Constance Wu and Henry Golding star.

Constance Wu and Henry Golding star. (Image credit: BBC)

The first Hollywood movie in 25 years to feature an all-Asian cast (following The Joy Luck Club), this bright and breezy romcom sees Constance Wu travel to Singapore with boyfriend Henry Golding, only to discover his family is fabulously wealthy. There isn’t much new, but the fine cast, including a classy Michelle Yeoh, are endearing, while Ken Jeong and Awkwafina bring their comedy chops as a hilarious working-class-done-good family. 

Live Sport

  • Premiership Rugby Union, Saracens vs Northampton Saints, 5.15pm (k-o 5.30pm), BT Sport 1

If you watch just one thing on TV tonight…

Don't miss ABBA: The Missing 40 Years on TV tonight – find out what really happened when the iconic band split. 

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.