What’s on TV tonight: Man City v Real Madrid, Noughts + Crosses and more

Tuesday 26 April

Football: Man City v Real Madrid
Tue, BT Sport 2, 7pm
Having seen off Atlético Madrid in the quarter-final, Manchester City now turn their attentions to Real Madrid in this must-watch Champions League semi-final first leg at the Etihad Stadium (kick-off 8pm). City are favourites but Real seem blessed this season and, in Karim Benzema, possess Europe’s in-form striker. On Wednesday night, Liverpool host Villarreal in the other semi-final (BT Sport 2, 7pm). In the Europa League semi-final first legs on Thursday, Rangers face RB Leipzig in Germany (BT Sport 2, 7pm), while West Ham United welcome Eintracht Frankfurt (BT Sport 1, 7pm). And, finally, in the Europa Conference League semi-final first legs, also Thursday, Leicester City take on Roma (BT Sport 3, 7.15pm). In the other – remarkably, the only one of the six European semi-finals to not feature a British side – Feyenoord host Marseille (BT Sport Extra 1, 8pm). VP

Noughts + Crosses
BBC One, 10.40pm; NI, 11pm
This dramatic adaptation of Malorie Blackman’s seminal piece of Young Adult fiction returns for a second series. It differs from the popular books in that it has not yet doomed its central star-crossed couple, Sephy and Callum (Masali Baduza and Jack Rowan). As the new run opens, they are on the lam in an apartheid Albion in which relationships between the ruling black class and the white underclass are proscribed. Compounding the problem for Sephy’s father, prime minister Kamal Hadley (Paterson Joseph), is that she is pregnant, too, and it all comes at a time when he’s facing civil and internal unrest over his government’s cruel treatment of whites.

Alas, the main problem from season one remains – the audience just isn’t that invested in the two young lovers. The older characters, such as Joseph’s rigid patriarch and Helen Baxendale’s resilient Meggie, are more compelling. Still, Blackman’s race-reversal narrative is a conceit that gives us much to ponder as it deals with historical issues of race relations – it feels particularly topical as well. And it’s a rare pleasure to see so many black actors lead a prime-time BBC drama. This opener is also on BBC Three tomorrow at 9pm and the boxset is available on iPlayer. 

The Yorkshire Vet
Channel 5, 8pm
This warming series returns for a 14th run, splicing together gentle tales of fauna in peril with lush shots of hills and dales. Tonight, avuncular vet Peter Wright performs an emergency caesarean on a ewe, while Julian Norton and his wife, Anne, also a vet, face problems while opening their new veterinary practice in Thirsk. VP

Freeze the Fear with Wim Hof
BBC One, 9pm
Hof gains a glamourous assistant – his daughter Laura – for another  round of gleeful torture of B-list celebrities. Tonight’s icy challenges include immersion in barrels of ice water and racing in a blizzard, but far more compelling is the contestants’ sharing of confidences around the campfire. VP

Life After Life
BBC Two, 9pm
Teenage Ursula Todd (Thomasin McKenzie) gets help from a psychiatrist for her disturbing dreams about death as this evocative adaptation of Kate Atkinson’s novel continues. But Ursula’s world is upended by a shocking encounter and the entrance of Aunt Izzy (Jessica Brown Findlay), a glamourous flapper living large in London. The boxset is on iPlayer but this is one to be savoured. VP

DNA Journey
ITV, 9pm
Tonight’s genealogy headlines are delivered to Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean. But the problem with having two subjects is evident when it turns out that both have compelling forebears. When Torvill discovers she’s related to a footballing legend and Dean to a working-class British hero, the episode leaves us wanting more. VP

Derry Girls
Channel 4, 9pm
The gags arrive thick and fast as Lisa McGee’s award-winning Northern Irish sitcom continues its glorious victory lap. A trip to the seaside in Portrush becomes an away day from hell for the Quinns when a former friend buttonholes them en route in a very funny cameo by Sinéad Keenan, the new star of cop drama Unforgotten, and they end up with a rucksack full of contraband. VP

Pompeii: Sin City
Sky Arts, 9pm
An attempt to shed new light on Pompeii backfires somewhat in this peculiarly overwrought documentary. Actress Isabella Rossellini presents a bombastic voice-over exploring the more scandalous ancient myths depicted on the ruins’ walls. It’s accompanied by modern re-enactments of myths to a background of insistent pop music. Odd and inappropriate. VP

12 Angry Men (1957), b/w ★★★★★ 
Film4, 12.45pm
Sidney Lumet’s enduring, astonishingly powerful courtroom drama goes behind the closed doors of the jury room as an 18-year-old boy is put on trial for stabbing his abusive father to death. Henry Fonda, as one of the jurors, begs his 11 colleagues to suspend judgment and look closely at the facts of the trial. What results is an impressive study  in human nature as each of the jurors faces his own prejudices and emotions.     

A Shot in the Dark (1964) ★★★★
Film4, 4.50pm
The first sequel to The Pink Panther is by far the best Inspector Clouseau movie; star Peter Sellers would never be this funny again. Clouseau’s mangled vowels and loopy bungling are contrasted with a masterly deadpan turn from George Sanders as the millionaire whose gorgeous mansion is the scene of a murder. Pert parlourmaid Elke Sommer is the chief suspect, and director Blake Edwards manages the antics with a deft hand. It’s all great fun.     

The Ides of March (2011) ★★★★
Sky Cinema Greats, 6.15pm
George Clooney directs, co-writes and stars in this politically charged thriller about the world of media spin, soured idealism and dirty secrets in America. Mike Morris (Clooney) is a liberal state governor running for the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination. Ryan Gosling steals the show as the campaign’s devoted but highly ambitious press secretary, whose loyalties end up being tested to the limit. It’s gripping stuff.     

Wednesday 27 April

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