The best TV to watch tonight

Your indispensable guide to the best things on the box...

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The Truth About Sleep

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9pm, BBC1

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Sleep, Macbeth observed, “knits up the ravell’d sleeve of care… [is the] balm of hurts minds… Chief nourisher in life’s feast.” And he’s a man who knew a thing or two about insomnia. He was the chap who murdered sleep, after all. 

Chronic bad-sleep and human guinea pig Michael Mosley, who actually gave up being a doctor because he “becomes really, really grumpy when my sleep is cut”, looks at why Britain is such a sleep-deprived nation, costing the country nearly £40 billion a year in days off and lack of productivity. 

And this isn’t just about being bright-eyed and bushy-tailed in the morning, a chronic lack of sleep could possibly lead to Type 2 diabetes and obesity. “Put simply,” says Mosley, “I found when I was sleep-deprived, my blood sugars went into a pre-diabetic range. That was kind of worrying.”

Born to Kill

9pm, C4

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“There are traits that concern me” observes the psychiatrist of teen killer Sam (Jack Rowan) at the start of this final episode. You’re telling me. But with the funeral of his second victim Cathy (his mum’s best friend) due and his murderer dad Peter (Richard Coyle) just out of prison, a full-blown reckoning feels unavoidable. More unexpected is the way a drama that has hitherto been as studiously slow-paced as it has been tense and dark suddenly throws up a flurry of action and excitement in a brilliantly constructed last hour. 

The wintry, sodium-lit urban sprawl provides magnificent atmosphere but the real sparkle comes from Kate Ashfield and Tracey Malone’s writing and a fabulous ensemble. Rowan is particularly good, as is Romola Garai as Sam’s poor mum Jenny, a woman who needs all the professional help she can get.

The World According to Kids

8pm, BBC2

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Britain’s best child has been located – and he lives in Bradford. Daniel’s about to start secondary school and wants to be a scientist. He loves debating, too, but he’s not sure about being prime minister because if you lose an election, “you might have to leave a cat that you love at Downing Street”. 

He’s also lovely about his mum. “She makes us tea and gives us a home, I could never repay her”. The kids have poignant things to say about adulthood. “I’m afraid because I might grow up homeless or I might end up being famous,” says one young boy. “I might grow up living a normal life, I might grow up living a sad life.” 

Mr & Mrs Smith

9pm, Comedy Central

It might seem odd to see Brad Pitt in a film about a marriage in serious trouble, particularly as it came out immediately after his own domestic strife hit the headlines. But then he and Jennifer Aniston never tried to assassinate each other, which is exactly the enjoyably daft premise of this action comedy.

Pitt and co-star Angelina Jolie (who consequently got hitched) play the married couple who are a) bored with each other (to many, the movie’s most preposterous conceit) and b) professional killers (unknown to one another) hired to rub each other out.

Director Doug Liman combines the wit he demonstrated in Swingers with the talent for stylish mayhem he showed in The Bourne Identity to great effect here, though some will feel that he lurches into overkill in the last half hour. Although it’s supremely silly, Pitt and Jolie look outrageously good in their roles and it’s fun while it lasts.

Casting Jonbenet

Netflix

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This is the tale of JonBenet Ramsey, the American child pageant queen mysteriously killed in her family’s home, Christmas day 1996. Who did it? And why? Local actors from her hometown try to answer with this dramatisation of the murder. Enlightening and terrifying.