TV Tonight: our highlights for Thursday, September 22

John with his son Joe.
John with his son Joe. (Image credit: ITV)

On TV tonight, comedian John Bishop stars in a moving and personal documentary, John & Joe: Life After Deaf on ITV, Keira Knightley features in My Grandparents' War on C4 and All Creatures Great and Small continues on Channel 5. Emma Willis: Delivering Babies returns to W and RuPaul's Drag Race UK makes a triumphant return to BBC Three. Here's what you shouldn't miss on TV tonight.

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

*Please note that these TV shows are subject to change — we will update this page if any alterations should be made to the TV schedules.*

John & Joe Bishop: Life After Deaf, 9 pm, ITV

John Bishop learns sign language.

John Bishop learns sign language. (Image credit: ITV)

John Bishop has given us plenty of laughs in the course of his stand-up career. But his latest show focuses on the star’s relationship with Joe, his deaf son. Joe, now 27, lost most of his hearing when he was just 15 thanks to a rare autoimmune condition. As John acknowledges, Joe’s diagnosis negatively affected their relationship, with anger and frustration on both sides. Now, as a way of healing their bond, John has made a commitment to learn sign language with Joe, which he also hopes will help his eldest son come to terms with his deafness. Cameras follow the pair as they begin lessons in this moving documentary. 

★★★★★ HD

My Grandparents' War, 9 pm, C4

Keira carries out research in the Churchill War Rooms.

Keira carries out research in the Churchill War Rooms. (Image credit: C4)

It’s emotional watching Keira Knightley sob as she reads out a war poem found among her late grandmother’s possessions that ends with, "There is never a cloud so heavy and black that it has not a silver lining." The actor looks at what life was like for her maternal grandparents, Jan and Mac, and discovers that, in 1942, Mac’s younger brother, Wilf, died off the coast of Indonesia when his ship was sunk. A year later, Jan’s brother, Andrew, was shot down over Germany, and Jan spent weeks agonising over his fate. It’s a tale of loss and grief, but also sibling love. 

★★★★ HD

All Creatures Great and Small, season 3, 9 pm, Channel 5

A mystery puzzles James and Farmer Billings.

A mystery puzzles James and Farmer Billings. (Image credit: Channel 5)

Newlyweds James (Nicholas Ralph) and Helen are totally loved-up – despite Helen’s dodgy cooking! – now that they’ve moved into their bedsit, but on the professional front things aren’t going quite as well for James. Stubborn vet Siegfried has theoretically given James more responsibility, but he doesn’t seem to want the eager youngster to take any initiative. Cue an epic battle of wills, which unleashes James’ rarely seen fiery temper. But will a mystery involving Farmer Billings (Lynda Rooke) and her poorly calves help the pair to reconcile? Meanwhile, Tristan is keen to prove his worth when the spirited daughter of Siegfried’s bitter rival needs him to save her
sick dog… 

★★★★ CC

Emma Willis: Delivering Babies, season 3, 9 pm, W

Emma on the wards with co-workers Corinne and Molly.

Emma on the wards with co-workers Corinne and Molly. (Image credit: W/UKTV)

Emma Willis’ heartwarming series returns for a third eight-part run, but even though the unflappable presenter is now a fully qualified Maternity Care Assistant, she returns to the Princess Alexandra Hospital in Essex with trepidation. It’s been three years since her last visit to the busy maternity ward and the experiences of her friends and colleagues during the pandemic are weighing on her mind. Her first shift is a roller coaster of emotions as she catches up with her mentors, assists with multiple births and prepares to take on even more training due to staff shortages. A heartfelt and inspirational watch – we’ve missed this show! 

★★★★ RM

RuPaul's Drag Race UK, season 4, 9 pm, BBC Three

A taste of the talent.

A taste of the talent. (Image credit: BBC)

Fans of RuPaul’s fabulous talent contest will be glad to see the arrival of a fourth series. A roster of 12 queens will be tasked with various challenges to test their drag race prowess over 10 tough weeks. Queen of queens Mama Ru has the final say on who stays and who goes, with Ru joined on the judging panel by Michelle Visage and, on a rotational basis, Graham Norton and Alan Carr, plus a celebrity guest judge. It’s Joanna Lumley tonight, with Alison Hammond, Mel B, Olly Alexander and Boy George to follow. 

★★★★ MC

Best box set to watch on TV tonight

Simon Reeve's South America, BBC iPlayer

Simon with soldiers from the French Foreign Legion

Simon with soldiers from the French Foreign Legion. (Image credit: BBC)

The adventurer is in South America to complete an epic 4000-mile trip from Peru to Paraguay with five new episodes. As usual Reeve takes on a journey that isn’t for the fainthearted, as he meets refugees, warlords and forgotten tribes. His new journey starts in the Guiana Shield, an area of pristine rainforest that spreads through Venezuela, Guyana, Suriname and French Guiana, which is being ravaged by the illegal gold mining trade. There, he visits a remote Wild West-style mining town where everything is paid for in gold, joins a former rebel fighter at his gold mine in the Suriname jungle and even raids an illegal mine with the French Foreign Legion. He also visits Brazil, Peru, Bolivia and Chile, finding extraordinary stories and meeting remarkable people along the way. Epic stuff. 

Best film to watch on TV tonight

Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie, 10.15 pm, BBC Three

Patsy and Edina are in the South of France.

Patsy and Edina are in the South of France. (Image credit: BBC)

The gang, including Saffy, Bubble and Mother, reunite for this 2016 big-screen outing. The plot revolves around Edina (Jennifer Saunders) trying to bag Kate Moss as a client, that’s if Patsy (Joanna Lumley) doesn’t sabotage everything first. The plot is supermodel-thin, but sturdy enough to support a truly gigantic guest list. Mwah, mwah! 

Live Sport

  • PGA Tour Golf, The Presidents Cup, 7.30 pm, Sky Sports Main Event/NOW

Soaps on TV tonight

If you watch just one thing on TV tonight…

Don't miss John & Joe: Life After Deaf on TV tonight — a beautiful film about a father and son growing together. 

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

Happy viewing!

Joanne Lowles
Freelance writer and editor

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.