TV tonight: glitterballs at the ready as Strictly Come Dancing returns

Ammar Kalia, Phil Harrison, Ali Catterall and Graeme Virtue
·2-min read

Strictly Come Dancing Launch Show 2020

7.50pm, BBC One

Dust off those dancing shoes as the much-loved celebrity hoofing contest returns for a new series. Although coronavirus restrictions mean that regular judge Bruno Tonioli cannot join the live panel and that anyone with a positive Covid test will be immediately removed from the running, the lineup is looking strong for now: comic Bill Bailey, last year’s injury-prone Jamie Laing returns, while boxer Nicola Adams will be part of the show’s first same-sex pairing. Ammar Kalia

Guy Martin’s War Machines

7.15pm, Channel 4

Perhaps conveniently, it turns out that daredevil engineer Guy Martin has never watched any of the programmes he’s made for Channel 4. Tonight, he’s sitting down and recalling four of his projects: a Spitfire restoration, a wartime recreation, a tank mission and a flight in an Avro Vulcan. Phil Harrison

Royal Academy Summer Exhibition

8.15pm, BBC Two

Adding to the litany of exceptional circumstances this year has created, for the first time in its history the Royal Academy’s Summer exhibition will now fall in autumn. This special sees presenters Kirsty Wark and Brenda Emmanus chart the Royal Academy’s reopening. AK

Bone Detectives: Britain’s Buried Secrets

8.15pm, Channel 4

It’s the stuff of vampire movies: on the site of a planned housing estate near Amesbury in Wiltshire, eight Roman cemeteries have been uncovered. But one corpse has been stabbed and beheaded before burial. Palaeontologist Tori Herridge and her team investigate. Ali Catterall

The Apollo

9pm, Sky Arts

Apollo Theater in 2016.
Apollo Theater in 2016. Photograph: Torresigner/Getty Images

The setting for Michael Jackson’s first moonwalk and performances from the likes of Aretha Franklin, Stevie Wonder and Diana Ross, Harlem’s Apollo Theatre has been a fixture of live music since it first opened in 1914. This archive-laden documentary takes us through the building’s history. AK

Race to Perfection

9pm, Sky Documentaries

The exhaustive docuseries marking 70 years of Formula One has gotten a lot of mileage out of the gifts and quirks of individual drivers. The penultimate episode takes a broader look at the constructor teams that have made their mark on the moneybags sport, from McLaren to Ferrari. Graeme Virtue

Film choice

Get Carter, 9pm, TCM Movies

Comedy duo Vic Reeves and Bob Mortimer introduce this much-loved 1971 Michael Caine revenge thriller, irreverently noting that it might be “the earliest sighting of a duvet in a British film”. Reeves follows this gritty choice with a shock-laden cult classic, 1963 horror The Haunting, screening at 11.30pm. AK

Live sport

Rugby League: Leeds Rhinos v Salford Red Devils, 1.45pm, BBC One. The Challenge Cup final from Wembley Stadium.

Premier League Football: Manchester City v Arsenal, 5pm, Sky Sport Main Event. Top-flight clash from the Etihad.

Rugby Union: Exeter Chiefs v Racing 92, 4.15pm, Channel 4. The Champions Cup final.