Football

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

the big game

21:00, Sky Atlantic

Most soccer fans don’t have a particularly favorable view of agents who exploit the game by disrupting talented players. So this new eight-part drama starring Francesco Montanari as agent Corso Manni could 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 bright and brilliant affair depicting a brutal and ruthless world. Manni has gone from riches to rags following a gambling scandal. Can he claw his way back to the top? phil harrison

Children in need

19:00, BBC One

There’s a dress code for hotness this year: with spots! Or just throw on your coziest pajamas, text a donation, and watch an evening of skits, cameos, and heartwarming stories. Ade Adepitan, Mel Giedroyc, Chris Ramsey, Alex Scott and Jason Manford will be your hosts for the evening. holly richardson

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

QI

22:00, BBC Two

Tonight: Animals beginning with the letter T, from turtles to toads to (surprisingly well-endowed) tapirs, prone to accidentally stepping on their own penises. Also, “What’s the scariest news you can’t hear?” Is it, as Hannah Waddingham suggests, “your breasts slowly drooping over time”? Ali Catterall

the last stage

22:00, Channel 4

The live news feed returns in time for Qatar 2022 which, coupled with the perennial #IsItOK social media hashtag, should provide plenty of material for Adam Hills, Josh Widdicombe and Alex Brooker. Rose Ayling-Ellis, AJ Odudu and Peter Crouch help them take down some satirical screamers in the top corner this week. Graeme virtue

Babylon Berlin

23:00, Sky Atlantic

A heady fourth season concludes, with the city in increasingly acute turmoil. While Rath (Volker Bruch) seems to have a victory worth celebrating, the climax builds on the infighting of the Nazis: Stennes finally takes action against Hitler and plots a coup. Worth a shot… jack seale

Narstie’s Big Show

23:05, Channel 4

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

movie options

Verbal combat... Ryan Reynolds, left, and Will Ferrell in a scene from Spirited.
Ryan Reynolds, left, and Will Ferrell in a scene from Spirited. Photo: Claire Folger/AP

Energetic (Sean Anders, 2022), AppleTV+
A Christmas Carol gets a fun remix in Sean Anders’ musical comedy. Will Ferrell stars as the Ghost of Christmas Present, who works in an afterlife department dedicated to redempting evil people. He picks perma-tanned marketing consultant Clint (Ryan Reynolds), “the perfect mix of Mussolini and Seacrest,” as the latest “perpetrator” deserving of a lurid moral lesson. However, PR turns out to be a tough nut to crack, while Present falls for Clint’s assistant Kimberly (Octavia Spencer). The songs are serviceable, but it’s Ferrell and Reynolds’ verbal sparring that hits the spot. Simon Wardell

Mark Rylance, right, and Mark Lewis Jones at The Phantom of the Open.
True story… Mark Rylance, right, and Mark Lewis Jones in The Phantom of the Open. Photo: Nick Wall/AP

The Ghost of the Open (Craig Roberts, 2021), 11.45am, 8pm, Sky Cinema Premiere
Golf has provided cinema with several gritty underdog stories (Tin Cup, Happy Gilmore), but few have featured as terrifying a player as Maurice Flitcroft. This true-life story follows shipyard worker Barrow (played with likable precision by Mark Rylance) as redundancy inspires thoughts of a career in a sport for which he has absolutely no talent. His attempts to qualify for the Open are comical and squirm-provoking in equal measure, with moments of harsh financial reality keeping the film below par. SOUTHWEST

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