TV tonight: our highlights for Sunday 20th December

His Dark Materials is just one of the gems today...

His Dark Materials comes to a thrilling finale as the series ends, the winner of Sports Personality of the Year is announced, and Bradley Walsh shares his tips on how to win a gameshow. Here’s what you shouldn’t be missing on TV tonight. 

  • Our hand-selected recommendations for what’s on TV tonight include three TV shows, a film, live sport and the latest trending need-to-binge-on-now box set 
  • 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

His Dark Materials, 7.10pm, BBC1 

TV tonight His Dark Materials

This season of His Dark Materials comes to a close tonight (Picture: BBC/Bad Wolf/HBO)

This series of the compelling fantasy has been quite the wild ride and there’s no let-up in this humdinger of a finale. Dafne Keen and Amir Wilson have been sensational throughout as angst-ridden but courageous youngsters Lyra and Will, and they both pull out all the stops as their characters’ epic destinies draw nearer and the quest to find Will’s dad, John, aka Jopari, becomes increasingly urgent. Meanwhile, Jopari and Lee Scoresby continue their own dogged mission to find the bearer of the subtle knife – not knowing it is Will… ★★★★ CC

Sports Personality of the Year, 8pm, BBC1

It’s fair to say 2020 has been a challenging year for sport, with events such as the Olympics and Euros cancelled or postponed and sport taking place without fans. However, there have been many memorable moments, and this year’s Sports Personality pays tribute to the stars and unsung heroes, while Marcus Rashford will receive a special award for his work in raising awareness of child food poverty. Lewis Hamilton, Tyson Fury, Ronnie O’Sullivan, Jordan Henderson, Hollie Doyle and Stuart Broad are among the nominees. ★★★★ rmc

How to Win a Game Show, 9.15pm, ITV 

TV tonight The Chase

Game show master Bradley Walsh shares some top tips in how to win (Picture: ITV)

Bradley Walsh shares his tips on how to win some of the biggest game shows on the box. From holding your nerve to being a team player, training your brain or handling the host. Ant and Dec, Stephen Mulhern and Chris Kamara contribute, plus there’s some fab archive clips of vintage game show legends Sir Terry Wogan joking around on Blankety Blank and Sir Bruce Forsyth presiding over Play Your Cards Right. ★★★ JL

Best box set to watch on TV tonight

Call the Midwife, BBC iPlayer, series 1 to 9

TV Tonight, Call the Midwife

Catch up on all the drama from Poplar before the Christmas special (Picture: BBC/Neal Street Productions/Soph)

Call the Midwife is back on BBC1 for a Christmas special, so why not binge watch the entire nine series before tuning in on Christmas Day? Or, if you’re new to Call the Midwife, now is your chance to catch up on all the drama from Poplar. Based on the best-selling memoirs of Jennifer Worth, Call the Midwife follows a group of midwifes in the poverty-stricken East End of London in the 1950s. 

Best film to watch on TV tonight

The Death of Stalin, 9.30pm, BBC2 (NI Monday)

Although the timeline has been heavily compressed, this black comedy shows pretty much what happened when Soviet leader Stalin died in 1953, as the power elites resorted to sordid deals, backstabbing and murder. Scrambling for advantage are Steve Buscemi’s Khrushchev, Jeffrey Tambor’s Malenkov, Sir Michael Palin’s Molotov and Sir Simon Russell Beale’s venal Beria. What each man needs to gain power is the military behind them, led by Field Marshal Zhukov (brilliant Jason Isaacs). Even if politics isn’t your bag, this is a fantastic film by Armando Iannucci, who unleashes his rapier wit to devastating effect. ★★★★ NP

Live sport

  • Renault Super Sunday: Brighton & Hove Albion v Sheffield United, 11.30am (k-o midday), Sky Sports
  • Renault Super Sunday: Tottenham Hotspur v Leicester City, 2pm (k-o 2.15pm), Sky Sports
  • Barclays FA Women’s Super League, Brighton & Hove Albion v Reading Women, 2pm (k-o 2.30pm), BT Sport
  • Premier League: West Bromwich Albion v Aston Villa, 6.45pm (k-o 7.15pm), BT Sport

If you watch just one thing on TV tonight… 

Don’t miss the last episode of His Dark Materials on TV tonight – it promises to be a wild ride!

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

Happy viewing!

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