TV tonight: second world war babies track down their Black heritage

An emotional journey for children born illegitimately to white mothers and African-American GIs. Plus: four single friends go on the same dinner date. Here’s what to watch this evening

Britain’s Secret War Babies

9pm, Channel 4

During the second world war, nearly 3 million US soldiers passed through Britain – 240,000 of whom were African American. After GIs struck up relationships with local women, an estimated 2,000 children were born – including John in Weymouth and Mary in south Wales, who are on a mission to trace their Black heritage. In this emotional one-off documentary, Good Morning Britain journalist Sean Fletcher, who says he relates to feeling like an outsider in a predominately white village, helps them to find answers. Hollie Richardson

The Repair Shop

8pm, BBC One

In Jay Blades’s workshop tonight: cobbler Dean Westmoreland works on a pair of custom-made running shoes, David Burville tries to get a barrel organ playing again and Kirsten Ramsay is tasked with restoring a drinks table in the shape of a bulldog. Just another day, then. HR

Dating With My Mates

8pm, W

Imagine going for a dinner date with your three single friends – as in, you are all there on the same date, in which a different potential match joins the group at the table for each course. Sounds like an awkward recipe for drama, right? And yet, it’s actually quite sweet when Hannah, Lou, Clare and Shannon from York do it. HR


9pm, BBC One

Delving into a ‘murky past’ … Douglas Henshall and Alison O’Donnell in Shetland. Photograph: Mark Mainz/BBC/Silverprint Pictures

The moody detective drama continues to be both the best (that ruggedly beautiful scenery) and worst (disproportionately high murder rate) possible advert for Scotland’s northernmost point. After a body in a suitcase is dredged from the water, DI Perez (Douglas Henshall) delves into the murky past of Danny Cairns, father of the missing Connor. Katie Rosseinsky


10pm, Sky Comedy

Paul (Martin Freeman) and Ally (Daisy Haggard) are on better terms, but it won’t last – their academic high-flyer Ava is about to jeopardise her bright future on a teenage whim. This family life drama is bleak, but witty and well suited to its stars. If Freeman’s resting-glum face was a TV show, Breeders would be it. Ellen E Jones

The Great

10.30pm, Channel 4

Pregnancy cravings leave Catherine (Elle Fanning) snacking on dirt and sucking nails (“And I will not be shamed!”) in between meetings with the Ottoman ambassador. But impending fatherhood hasn’t changed Peter (Nicholas Hoult) one bit – his offer to host a baby shower (featuring a game of “throw the turnip at the serf”) looks like another not-so subtle power grab. KR

Film choice

The Assistant (Kitty Green, 2019), 11pm, Film4

The Assistant
Internal affairs … Jon Orsini, Julia Garner and Noah Robbins in The Assistant. Photograph: Bleecker Street Media/Ty Johnson/Allstar

A clever attempt to explore Harvey Weinstein’s crimes through fiction, Kitty Green’s insidious drama follows a day in the lives of a New York film producer’s staff. Julia Garner is our central concern as Jane, five months into her job as assistant to a domineering movie boss, known only as “He”, who is heard ranting on the phone but remains unseen. She gets intimations of his darker actions – unexplained invoices, after-hours meetings with young female actors, the appearance of a new “assistant” – but are Jane’s suspicions enough to risk her position by complaining? It’s the details of office culture that make the film so disturbing – how easily predatory behaviour can be excused or enabled. Simon Wardell

Live sport

Racing: Ebor Festival, 1.30pm, ITV. Including the 3.35pm Juddmonte International Stakes, plus races at 1.50pm, 2.25pm, 3pm and 4.10pm.


Hollie Richardson, Katie Rosseinsky, Ellen E Jones and Simon Wardell

The GuardianTramp

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