TV tonight: our highlights for Wednesday 22nd April

Patrick, Esme and Joe
(Image credit: BBC/Love Productions/Mark Bourdillon)

Fancy a feelgood Wednesday? Sewing Bee is back!

The Great British Sewing Bee brightens up midweek, comedians step up to highlight mental health issues and environmental heroine Jane Goodall's remarkable life comes into focus. 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 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

Jane Goodall: The Hope, 8pm, National Geographic Channel

Jane Goodall and chimpanzee

Jane Goodall talks to the animals

Dr Jane Goodall is a bit like the Mother Teresa of the environment. Her remarkable career began in 1960 when she embarked on a study of chimps in Tanzania that led to fascinating scientific breakthroughs. But since 1986 she’s been on a quest to encourage people to save the planet and its wildlife, travelling 300 days a year across the globe, giving lectures and attending conferences. This inspiring film, part of the Earth Day celebrations, follows Jane, now 86, as she continues to work tirelessly to raise awareness of environmental issues. ‘I’ll die easier if I’ve done my bit and, even if it’s no use, I’m going to die trying,’ she says. But the truth is she’s done far more than most in the battle to save our planet. ★★★★ HD


The Great British Sewing Bee, 8pm, BBC1

Joe Lycett and the Sewing Bee contestants

Ready to rumble: Joe with this year's hopefuls

Let’s make a show about sewing, they said. It will be entertaining, they said. And, whoever ‘they’ are, they were right! Joe Lycett, Patrick Grant and Esme Young return with 12 excited contestants for a cosy new series. Tonight’s theme is ‘wardrobe staples’, and sees the sewers (looks wrong but it sounds right) make a wrap skirt, transform a standard man’s shirt into something feminine, and create made-to-measure tea-dresses for real-life models. The pressure’s on but like lovely Bake Off there’s no stitching up of contestants or cutting comments. Even sew (please, don’t be needled by our puns) will anyone unravel under the pressure? ★★★★ ER


Our Queen at War, 9pm, ITV

Princesses Margaret and Elizabeth in wartime

Princesses Margaret and Elizabeth broadcast during World War Two

The future Queen was just 13 at the outbreak of World War Two. The following six years, which she has described as ‘terrible and glorious’, would have a huge impact on her, and that transformation is examined in this one-off. Stories of her time in the ATS, and celebrating among the crowds on VE Day, are familiar, but the audio of Elizabeth and Margaret’s 1940 broadcast to the nation’s children is delightful, as are pictures of them in a fundraising pantomime at Windsor Castle. ★★★ IM


The Story of Plastic, 7pm, Discovery Channel

A turtle caught up in a plastic bag

This turtle has not struck lucky

It’s Earth Day today, and this documentary about the history of plastic production and its impact on the environment couldn’t be more timely. Featuring testimonies from scientists and environmental advocates all over the world, this illuminating film explores the real causes behind our struggle with plastic waste, and also names and shames the corporations who are the biggest culprits. Perhaps the most surprising revelation is how ocean clean-up projects are being co-opted as a distraction by some of the offenders, when what’s really needed is a switch to more biodegradable packaging in the first place. ★★★★ SP


Comedians Against Living Miserably 2, 9pm, Dave

Nish Kumar

Stepping up: Host Nish Kumar

This second of Dave’s stand-up comedy specials highlighting mental-health issues is hosted by Nish Kumar. He performs a set along with Suzi Ruffell, Seann Walsh and Darren Harriott, and the four also talk candidly backstage about their own mental health and its influence on their comedy. ★★★★ JP


Best box set to watch 

Snowfall, BBC iPlayer

Damson Idris

Franklin is caught in the crack crossfire

Set in LA in 1983, this US drama follows the first crack cocaine epidemic to sweep through the city, and the ensuing impact, via the stories of a group of characters whose lives are all fated to intertwine through drugs. British actor Damson Idris plays ambitious 19-year-old drug dealer Franklin Saint, who deals to rich school kids. Three series are available with a fourth in the pipeline.


Best film to watch on TV tonight

The Way Way Back, 2.25am, C4

Liam James and AnnaSophia Robb

Young love: Liam James and AnnaSophia Robb

Funny, touching and irresistibly charming, this coming-of-age comedy gets the pains and awkwardness of adolescence spot on. Tongue-tied, self-conscious 14-year-old Liam James is on summer holiday with his insecure mother Toni Collette, her creepy, controlling boyfriend Steve Carell and his snippy daughter Zoe Levin. Life couldn’t be more miserable until Liam gets a job at the local ramshackle water park run by an endearingly lazy Sam Rockwell. There is excellent support from the likes of Allison Janney, Maya Rudolph and AnnaSophia Robb, but it’s Rockwell who steals the film.

Soaps on TV tonight

If you watch just one thing on TV tonight… 

Gotta be Sewing Bee. It's what Wednesdays were made for!

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

Happy viewing!