TV tonight: our highlights for Sunday 26th April

New BBC1 documentary Primates is just one of the gems on today…

Chris Packham narrates BBC1 documentary Primates, Marc Warren stars in ITV’s new version of crime drama Van Der Valk, and Matt Lucas gives us some Reasons to be Cheerful on Channel 4. 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 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

Van Der Valk, 8pm, ITV

TV tonight Van Der Vall

Meet Piet and the team

Marc Warren has played plenty of villains during his long and successful career in British TV, but this is the first time he’s stepped into a detective’s shoes. The former Hustle star takes on the role of moody and mercurial Dutch detective Piet Van der Valk, a character made famous by Barry Foster back in the 1970s (currently showing on Talking Pictures TV on Friday nights). This feature-length opening episode sees him investigating two mysterious murders, yet the real star of this enjoyably familiar tale is the beautiful city of Amsterdam, with its fine architecture and peaceful canals. Also, keep an ear out for a revamp of the show’s classic theme tune! 

★★★★ SMA

Primates, 8.15pm, BBC1

TV tonight Primates

Blue-eyed black lemurs have a few tricks up their sleeves

If you enjoyed BBC1’s Big Cats, then you’ll be glued to this beautifully shot series about primates, narrated by Chris Packham. Tonight looks at survival: apparently there are more than 500 different species of primates, from huge apes to tiny lemurs, but all have found extraordinary ways to survive. The bearded capuchin monkeys of Brazil fashion sticks to poke out lizards packed with protein from rock crevices, while lion-tailed macaques in southern India have worked out how to steal jackfruit from squirrels. Perhaps most incredible are Madagascar’s blue-eyed black lemurs, who mix spit and formic acid from carpenter ants and apply it to their fur as a tick repellent!

★★★★★ HD

Reasons to Be Cheerful with Matt Lucas, 7.30pm, C4

TV tonight Reasons to be Cheerful with Matt Lucas

Matt Lucas presents

Matt Lucas fronting a Harry Hill-penned show? This will either be one of the funniest or most surreal things we’ve ever seen on TV – or probably both. This series celebrates how the public (plus their pets and a few famous faces including Tom Allen and Basil Brush) are entertaining themselves during lockdown.

★★★★ LP

Best box set to watch on TV tonight

Feel Good, one series, All4

TV tonight Feel Good

Mae Martin and Charlotte Ritchie star

Canadian comic Mae Martin’s semi-autobiographical comedy series deals with serious issues – drug addiction, recovery and a toxic relationship with her mother, played by Friends’ Lisa Kudrow. But at its heart, it’s a love story between Mae and her new girlfriend George (Ghosts’ Charlotte Ritchie), plus it’s wonderfully witty. 

Best film to watch on TV tonight

The Imitation Game, 11pm, C4

TV tonight The Imitation Game

Benedict Cumberbatch plays Alan Turing

Benedict Cumberbatch plays codebreaker extraordinaire Alan Turing in this biopic about a remarkable man who used his brain to wage war on the Nazis.

If you watch just one thing on TV tonight… 

Don’t miss Primates on TV tonight – no monkeying around!

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

Happy viewing!

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