What’s on TV tonight: Football: FA Cup semi-finals, Britain’s Got Talent, and more

Easter Saturday (16 April) 

Football: FA Cup semi-finals
Sat/Sun, BBC One/ITV
The two best football teams on the planet meet for the second weekend in a row after last Sunday’s epic Premier League showdown between Manchester City and Liverpool, this time in an FA Cup semi-final (Sat, BBC One, 3pm). That game delivered on the hype with a spell-binding 2-2 draw – leaving a one point gap at the top of the table – but there will be no sharing of the spoils in this knockout encounter at Wembley. Both sides are chasing historic, multi-trophy seasons, with Liverpool crowned League Cup champions in February and both still in the hunt for Champions League glory. 

On Sunday, Chelsea and Crystal Palace face off in the other semi-final, also at Wembley, with the Blues aiming to redeem themselves after losing in the final last year (ITV, 3.45pm). Man City and Chelsea fans have busy weekends in store, as their clubs also feature in the Women’s FA Cup semi-finals; City against West Ham United on Saturday at Victoria Road (BBC One, 11.30pm), and Chelsea in a grudge match against fierce rivals Arsenal on Sunday at Meadow Park (BBC Two, 12.15pm) – Chelsea beat Arsenal 3-0 in last year’s FA Cup Final. There are also some enticing midweek fixtures to keep an eye on in the men’s Premier League, including Liverpool v Manchester United (Tue, Sky Main Event, 7pm) and Chelsea v Arsenal (Weds, Sky Main Event, 7pm). VL

Snooker: World Championship
Sat, BBC Two, 10am
Ronnie O’Sullivan equals Steve Davis’s record of 30 World Championship appearances at the Crucible on Saturday. The two legends are neck and neck on six titles apiece, but wouldn’t Ronnie love to move one ahead? He faces serious competition from favourites Neil Robertson and Judd Trump, both hunting a second world title at the Crucible in Sheffield. VL

Rugby Union: Harlequins v Montpellier
Sat, Channel 4, Noon
Never ones for the straight and narrow, Harlequins prefer a wild, twisty, slightly unhinged route to glory. And after going 26-0 down at half time in the first leg of this Champions Cup quarter-final, they fought back with some thrilling rugby to finish 40-26 losers. A 14-point deficit going into this decisive second leg at the Stoop will look like a walk in the park for the Premiership champions. VL

Cycling: Paris-Roubaix
Sat, Eurosport 1, 1pm 
The best one-day race in cycling takes place over the Easter weekend, with the women’s race on Saturday and the men’s on Sunday (9.30am). Famous for cobbles, crashes and misery, this is the Hunger Games of cycling. The mantra is simple: stay on the bike and head for Belgium. VL

Boxing: Conor Benn v Chris Van Heerden
Sat, DAZN, 10pm
He knocked out Chris Algieri in December, and Conor Benn returns to the ring to defend his formidable 20-0 record against respected South African fighter Chris van Heerden. The pair meet at the Manchester Arena, with Benn desperate to secure a world title shot. VL

Britain’s Got Talent
ITV, 8pm
Producers have made some significant changes for this 15th series after a pandemic hiatus in 2021, possibly to attract those three million viewers who deserted the show between 2019 and 2020. A “Golden Moments” segment, in which each judge surprises unsuspecting individuals by inviting them to audition on the London Palladium stage, is one addition, along with the release of a Friday-night teaser on the show’s social media channels of one contestant’s audition. There’s also a new way to vote for your favourite act online. Meanwhile, Ant and Dec return as hosts, and the judging line-up is back to the dream team of Simon Cowell (who was replaced by Ashley Banjo for the final stages of the 2020 contest after a nasty bike accident), Amanda Holden, Alesha Dixon and David Walliams. 

The acts have all had an extra year to hone their talents, so they’ll all be brilliant, right? Well, it seems as though 2022 is going to be the year of the choir, with the NHS, Armed Forces and various schools forming groups. There’s also a busker called Maxwell who has a Paul Potts moment, but tonight we are treated to a young ventriloquist, the Scooter Boys (ages 6-10) show off their skills and a spooky magician gets the better of Holden. More tomorrow. VL

Easter From King’s
BBC Two, 6.20pm
There are Bible readings to tell the story of Christ’s death and resurrection at this service from the chapel of King’s College, Cambridge, and among the music to celebrate Christianity’s most holy festival are Mozart’s Ave Verum Corpus and a performance by soprano Anita Monserrat of I Know that My Redeemer Liveth (from Handel’s Messiah). VL

Romeo & Duet
ITV, 7pm
ITV’s new shiny-floor show, fronted by former Strictly Come Dancing star Oti Mabuse, is Blind Date redux. Rather than having the contestants trade cheesy scripted lines while separated by a screen, here the possible love matches must sing in order to attract their new partner (standing on a balcony, in a gesture of deference towards the terrible Shakespearean title), with who they later duet. Mabuse has little to do other than introduce the contestants and the format feels repetitive over an hour. VL

Titanic: Building the World’s Largest Ship
Channel 4, 7.20pm
This documentary gives the doomed steamship an origin story, charting how the state-of-the-art floating city was built in Belfast. Using modern technology to bring blueprints to life, it shows how overambitious designs played a central role in the ship’s demise. VL

TOTP: The Story of 1995
BBC Two, 7.35pm
The entertaining clips-and-quotes series reaches the peak of Britpop, when Blur and Oasis went head to head. Among others, Ronan Keating, Skin, Ian Broudie and Shaun Ryder recall their performances. TOTP: Biggest Hits 1995 follows at 8.35pm. VL

Beatrix: The Queen Who Gave Up the Crown
Channel 5, 8pm
While the Queen has made it clear that she will never abdicate, her continental cousins do things differently. This documentary explains the story behind how, in 2013, Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands decided to hand down the crown to her eldest son, Willem-Alexander. VL

Queens of Country: The Hits and the Heartbreak
Channel 5, 9.15pm
No genre does love going wrong better than country and western, and this programme shows why women are pre-eminent. There’s clips of the greats, including Dolly Parton, Tammy Wynette and Taylor Swift, plus some interesting nuggets, not least what inspired Crystal Gayle’s hit Don’t Make My Brown Eyes Blue. Dolly, Kenny & Friends: Greatest Hits follows. VL

Peter Pan (2003) ★★★ 
ITV, 3.05pm  
This live-action reimagining of the 1953 Disney classic from Australian director PJ Hogan works hard to retain the sense of wonder, but it tends to feel hectoring rather than relaxed. Nevertheless, small children can fully enter into the spirit of the simple story, in which Rachel Hurd-Wood gives an astonishingly expressive performance as Wendy and Jason Isaacs hams it up as Hook. The film is dedicated to Dodi Al-Fayed, who was due to exec-produce.

Captain Marvel (2019) ★★★★
Channel 4, 9.25pm
This isn’t the first female-led superhero film, but it feels revolutionary in its own way and delivers a subtle feminist subtext. Brie Larson brings a fresh emotional resonance as Vers, a member of an elite SWAT team for an alien species under a mentor (Jude Law) who seems determined to make her prove herself. Luckily, Nick Fury (Samuel L Jackson) is on hand. Sequel The Marvels is in cinemas next year.

I Blame Society (2020) ★★★
Film4, 11pm
This low-budget black comedy (both directed by and starring Gillian Wallace Horvat) features a young director who decides, after one too many rejections, to pivot towards the next best use of her skills – a career as a serial killer. The jokes are good, and Horvat creatively navigates her skeletal filming budget by incorporating phone and security camera footage, producing a scrappy and characterful satire well worth catching.

Easter Sunday (17 April)

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