TONY ON TV: There’s no escape from the ‘summer of sport’

Aftera month in the Brazilian sun, Gary Lineker hot foots it back  to the UK to join Clare Balding and Hazel Irving and the rest of the BBC team reporting on the 20th Commonwealth Games.
Aftera month in the Brazilian sun, Gary Lineker hot foots it back to the UK to join Clare Balding and Hazel Irving and the rest of the BBC team reporting on the 20th Commonwealth Games.
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WELL, that’s it for another four years -- so, after a lacklustre final, well done to Germany for being World Cup champions and for the BBC and ITV’s ball-by-ball coverage over the past month, even if some of the TV pundits seemed to take waffling to a new level.

But, any hope of escaping from the ‘summer of sport’ look slim this weekend with golfing action from The Open at Hoylake vieing with speedy Lewis Hamilton and fellow drivers as they rev-up for Formula One in the German Grand Prix from Hockenheim.

And once that’s sorted there’s a few days to get ready for 12 days of sporting aspiration and achievement in the 20th Commonwealth Games from Glasgow to be officially opened by the Queen next Wednesday.

Gary Lineker, Clare Balding and Hazel Irving are among the BBC team reporting on the opening ceremony from the city’s Celtic Park, which will also mark the end of the epic journey for the Queen’s Baton Relay that has visited all 71 Commonwealth nations around the world in the lead-up to the event.

There’s also some pre-games tasters in store, including a spectacular concert ‘Live at Edinburgh Castle’ (Saturday, BBC1) with the likes of Il Divo, Rizzle Kicks, Paloma Faith, Kaiser Chiefs and Smokey Robinson; ‘The Seven Wonders of the Commonwealth’ (Sunday, BBC1) as the ever-busy Ms Balding, Dan Snow and others go globe-trotting to extraordinary natural beauty spots that most of us will never ever get to visit, while on Monday Scottish comedian Kevin Bridges stays nearer to home to host a special night of comedy live from Glasgow’s legendary Theatre Royal.

If you’re up for keeping fit, but ruling yourself out of the Commonwealth Games, then last Thursday’s visit to ‘Champneys’ (ITV1) would have ticked all right boxes.

However, the famous Tring health resort was giving out mixed messages as guests in dressing gowns shared space with workmen as the spa underwent a major renovation.

And, if that was not bad enough, the management put a priority on getting dates (ie the sort you can eat) ahead of a visit by the Arab royal family.

I’m not sure if they were same Saudi visitors who popped in (and then shopped off-camera) on ‘Inside Asprey: Luxury By Royal Appointment’ (ITV1), but when you’re after a £33,000 bespoke handbag you don’t want an audience.

But for 35p you can get a nice orange-coloured longlife bag from Sainsbury’s which will carry just as much, even if you miss out on the private jet used by the royal shoppers to cart their purchases back home. This high-flying approach to retail sure brings a new meaning to “you shop, we drop.”