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TV Tonight: our highlights for Thursday, Jan. 20

TV tonight - Martin Clunes with Chief Jimmy Namry in Tanna.
Martin Clunes with Chief Jimmy Namry in Tanna. (Image credit: ITV)

On TV tonight, Martin Clunes continues his travels in Islands of the Pacific on ITV, the candidates are tasked with making a non-alcoholic drink in The Apprentice on BBC1 and police procedural drama The Rookie returns to Sky Witness/NOW. 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

Martin Clunes: Islands of the Pacific, 9pm, ITV

TV tonight Martin Clunes on his travels across the Pacific.

Martin Clunes on his travels across the Pacific. (Image credit: ITV)

The British public were heartbroken when Prince Philip passed away last year, and his death would also have been mourned in a remote village on Vanuatu. This week’s episode features Martin’s visit to Tanna, a small community where people believe the Queen’s late husband was descended from a local deity, which is no less poignant for being filmed before the Duke of Edinburgh passed away. That isn’t the only royal tale on Martin’s itinerary, and when he arrives in Tonga, the only Pacific nation never to be colonised by European powers, he discovers a line of monarchs going back centuries. 

★★★★ SMA

The Apprentice 2022, 9pm, BBC1

TV tonight Lord Sugar and his sidekicks need a drink

Lord Sugar and his sidekicks need a drink. (Image credit: BBC)

Tonight, Lord Sugar asks the candidates to meet him at Mayfair’s Mercato Metropolitano, a grand old former church that’s now a massive market. And speaking of markets, he’s keen for his aspiring business partners to tap into the booming non-alcoholic drink sector. The teams are tasked with creating, branding and selling a new booze-free beverage. It’s fair to say at least one of their concoctions isn’t to anyone’s taste! Manufacturing misadventures and a last-minute fruity addition lead to sales tanking. In the boardroom one candidate has cold water poured on their dreams. All together now –  Show Me the Way to Go Home… 

★★★★ ER

The Rookie, 9pm, Sky Witness/NOW

TV tonight Lopez is kidnapped by La Fiera

Lopez is kidnapped by La Fiera. (Image credit: Sky)

Series four of the US police procedural picks up shortly after the dramatic events of the previous season finale. That ended with pregnant bride-to-be Detective Angela Lopez (Alyssa Diaz) being kidnapped from her wedding venue by escaped criminal La Fiera. As Lopez is unceremoniously shoved into a getaway car, her colleague Jackson West (Titus Makin Jr) finds himself in mortal danger as he puts up a fight against La Fiera’s henchmen. 

★★★ RMC

Best box set to watch on TV tonight

After Life, season 3, Netflix

TV tonight Ricky Gervais and Diane Morgan.

Ricky Gervais and Diane Morgan star. (Image credit: Netflix)

The final series of the award-winning comedy-drama written by and starring Ricky Gervais returns for its final six-part series. Although Tony still struggles to cope after the death of his wife Lisa (played in flashbacks by Kerry Godliman), this series has a more hopeful feel as Tony works through his grief and arrives at a more accepting and understanding place. He also contemplates his relationship with Emma (Ashley Jensen), and continues to be annoyed by his work colleagues, especially Kath (Diane Morgan). Meanwhile, he continues to find a kindred spirit in widow Anne (Penelope Wilton) and builds upon his friendships with eccentric locals ‘Postman Pat’ (Joe Wilkinson) and sex worker Roxy (Roisin Conaty). 

Best film to watch on TV tonight

Wild, 11.20pm, Film4

TV tonight Reese Witherspoon stars.

Reese Witherspoon as Cheryl Strayed. (Image credit: Film4)

Reese Witherspoon was Oscar-nominated for her portrayal of Cheryl Strayed, a woman who, after suffering several personal tragedies, walked from the Mojave Desert to Oregon – around 1,100 miles. Cheryl’s best-selling memoir is the basis of the film, directed by Jean-Marc Vallée, who died last month, aged just 58 (and who also collaborated with Reese on the HBO drama Big Little Lies). This is a warts-and-all tale which is not afraid of making us dislike aspects of Cheryl’s character, but gives us a rounded, believable person who is desperate to rid herself of her troubles by walking them off. 

Live Sport

  • EFL Cup, Arsenal v Liverpool, 7pm (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 Martin Clunes: Islands of the Pacific on TV tonight — Martin meets some fascinating people on these unique and diverse islands. 

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.