The best TV to watch tonight

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

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Lord Lucan : My Husband, the Truth

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9:00pm, ITV

This, in so many ways, is an extraordinary interview. Here is a woman who at 79 has decided, in the most forthright way imaginable, to give her account of one of the most infamous stories of modern times.

Lady Lucan lays bare – quite literally at one point – every aspect of her life with the husband who, in 1974, murdered their nanny in mistake for her and later, it’s presumed, committed suicide. At times it’s possible to hear her express what sounds like pity for her husband. It was, she says, “my marriage” that caused Sandra Rivett’s death. “I think he was overwrought and went mad with the pressure.”

It’s a story of aristocratic excess, a wildly dysfunctional marriage and, it needs repeating, the murder of an innocent woman. With that caveat, it is a compelling hour of television.

24 Hours in Police Custody

9:00pm, C4

The excellent, eye-opening series about Bedfordshire police returns with a deeply disturbing case. In the Hilton Hotel at Luton Airport a man is waving around a blood-stained fire extinguisher in the lobby. The man – a 21-year-old Latvian – has attacked a fellow guest in the lift and wants to surrender to police. “All blood, everywhere blood,” says the receptionist to the 999 operator. 

When Sgt Williams takes control of the scene, it’s all more chaotic than it would be in a crime drama. As paramedics treat the victim in the right-hand lift, other guests keep emerging from the left-hand lift, oblivious, to find a lobby full of tetchy coppers (“This side of that thing. You’ve just walked through blood…”) As the investigation unfolds, it looks to be a chillingly random crime in which the victim was simply “the unluckiest man in the world”.

Love Island

9:00pm, ITV2

Let’s get this out there from the start: Love Island is the guiltiest of TV pleasures. Admittedly, watching sun- and fame-seeking young singletons embark on a summer of romance won’t be for everyone, but now in its third series, the ITV2 reality show is blossoming into a big hit.

The contestants looking for love – or at least their five minutes in the tabloids and the Majorcan sunshine – include a motorsport grid girl and a former member of early noughties boy band Blazin’ Squad. Presenter Caroline Flack is returning, as is irreverent narrator Iain Stirling, who has hopefully packed plenty more witty put-downs into his hand luggage.

American Gods

Amazon Prime

Shadow (the solidly excellent Ricky Whittle) gets a clearer idea of who is his mentor Mr Wednesday (Ian McShane, loving every second) is and what he’s capable of, as the pair dive into another of America’s new gods: the gun. 

Star Trek

8:00-10:30pm, E4

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The 11th Star Trek motion picture is a prequel to the original TV series – a canny decision from producer/director JJ Abrams (Mission: Impossible III), tasked with reviving the franchise following the largely unloved TV series Enterprise. A big budget ($150 million) and top-flight digital effects designed to snare a new audience combine with a scene-setting scenario and enough in-jokes to satisfy the old guard. Big and noisy, but equally interested in relationships, it really works. A young, impulsive James T Kirk (Chris Pine), made cynical by a pre-credits tragedy, reluctantly attends Starfleet Academy and stows aboard the USS Enterprise. Here his frosty relationship with Vulcan first officer Spock (Zachary Quinto from TV’s Heroes) thaws in the grip of an epic, time-travelling battle with Eric Bana’s impressive Romulan foe, Nero. Light relief is provided by Simon Pegg’s offbeat engineer Scotty and an already grumpy Dr “Bones” McCoy (Karl Urban). With the help of his young and pretty cast, Abrams has managed to successfully reboot a 43-year-old formula.