TV tonight: Sky Atlantic’s ruthless drama about the brutal world of football | Television

The Great Game

9pm, Sky Atlantic

Most football fans don’t have a particularly favorable view of the agents who exploit the game by unsettling talented players. So this new eight-part drama starring Francesco Montanari as agent Corso Manni might be a tough sell, particularly during a World Cup that feels emblematic of the venality that has engulfed the game. The drama itself is a flash, glossy affair depicting a ruthless, brutal world. Manni has gone from riches to rags after a gambling scandal. Can he claw his way back to the top? Phil Harrison

Children in Need

7pm, BBC One

There’s a dress code for this year’s appeal: spotty! Or just slip into your comfiest PJs, text a donation and watch a night of skits, cameos and heart-tugging stories. Ade Adepitan, Mel Giedroyc, Chris Ramsey, Alex Scott and Jason Manford are your hosts for the evening. Hollie Richardson

Desiree Burch celebrates on QI. Photograph: BBC/Fremantle Media/Talkback


10pm, BBC Two

Tonight: animals beginning with the letter T, from tortoises to toads and (startlingly well-endowed) tapirs, prone to accidentally stepping on their own penises. Also, “What is the most terrifying news you can’t hear?” Is it, as Hannah Waddingham suggests, “your breasticles slowly drooping over time”? Ali Catterall

The Last Leg

10pm, Channel 4

The live-wire news send-up returns in time for Qatar 2022 which – along with the perennial #IsItOK social media tag – should provide plenty of material for Adam Hills, Josh Widdicombe and Alex Brooker. Helping them knock some satirical screamers into the top corner this week are Rose Ayling-Ellis, AJ Odudu and Peter Crouch. Graeme Virtue

Babylon Berlin

11 p.m., Sky Atlantic

A heady fourth season concludes, with the city in ever more acute turmoil. While Rath (Volker Bruch) seems to have a victory worth celebrating, the climax is built around internal strife for the Nazis: Stennes finally takes action against Hitler and plots a coup. It’s worth a shot… Jack Seale

The Big Narstie Show

11.05pm, Channel 4

In possibly the most unpredictable late-night chatshow going, Stephen Graham, who plays Mr Wormwood in the new Matilda film, and Paul Mescal, star of upcoming film Aftersun, join comedian Aisling Bea and social media sensation Nella Rose on the sofa. A good time is almost certainly on the cards. Sammy Gecsoyler

Movie options

Verbal sparring … Ryan Reynolds, left, and Will Ferrell in a scene from Spirited.
Ryan Reynolds, left, and Will Ferrell in a scene from Spirited. Photograph: Claire Folger/AP

Spirited (Sean Anders, 2022), AppleTV+
A Christmas Carol gets a fun remix in Sean Anders’s musical comedy. Will Ferrell plays the Ghost of Christmas Present, who works in a department of the afterlife dedicated to the redemption of bad people. He chooses permanent marketing consultant Clint (Ryan Reynolds) – “the perfect combination of Mussolini and Seacrest” – as the latest “perp” deserving of a spooky moral lesson. However, the PR guy proves a hard nut to crack, while Present falls for Clint’s assistant Kimberly (Octavia Spencer). The songs are serviceable but it’s Ferrell and Reynolds’s verbal sparring that hits the spot. Simon Wardell

Mark Rylance, right, and Mark Lewis Jones in The Phantom of the Open.
Real-life tale … ​​Mark Rylance, right, and Mark Lewis Jones in The Phantom of the Open. Photograph: Nick Wall/AP

The Phantom of the Open (Craig Roberts, 2021), 11.45am, 8pm, Sky Cinema Premiere
Golf has provided cinema with several plucky underdog stories (Tin Cup, Happy Gilmore) but few have featured a player as dreadful as Maurice Flitcroft. This real-life tale follows the Barrow shipyard worker (played with sympathetic precision by Mark Rylance) as redundancy inspires in him thoughts of a career in a sport for which he has absolutely no talent. His attempts to qualify for the Open are comic and squirm-inducing in equal measure, with moments of harsh financial reality that keep the film under par. SW

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