No tickets? No problem: Glastonbury, Wimbledon and Tour de France TV guide

This week sees the start of three of our biggest spectator events, but with touts, bad weather and possible early drop-outs to contend with, you’re better off at home with the remote – and couch-potato Hugh Montgomery’s how-to guide


Coverage begins this Friday at 7pm on BBC3 and is spread across BBC2, 3 and 4 throughout the weekend

When to watch

Friday, BBC4, 11.05pm, as Nile Rodgers and Chic consecrate this year’s summer of disco on the West Holts stage; Saturday, BBC2, 10.30pm, as the Rolling Stones deign to share at least some of their Pyramid set with TV viewers; and Sunday, BBC3, 8pm, for some superlative young ’uns, NYC indie-rockers Vampire Weekend and dance-soul diva Jessie Ware.

Who to invite

Unfamiliar neighbours with whom you will segue from extreme social diffidence to a group robot-Haka in a matter of tunes. Once they’re home in bed, crank up some gabba; subsequently ask them how they enjoyed the authentic “Glasto sleeping experience.”

What to eat and drink

For nibbles, three-day-aged Laughing Cow triangles, smooshed in tarpaulin. To drink, plastic bottles of vodka with an infusion of coke and “Tuborg shandies”, aka pints of the official festival beer topped off with some key brand messaging.

What to say

Bobby Womack is on at the same time as The xx? Pffft. Push the red-button! Clashes are for ancient warriors and muddy luddites.

What not to say

It’s about so much more than the music. Like that time I worked out the future of sustainable living with a bongo-playing Crouch End satyr in Shangri-La …


Coverage begins tomorrow at 11.30am on BBC2 and continues on BBC1 and 2 over the next fortnight

When to watch

In the men’s, a certain Number 2 seed kicks off against German Benjamin Becker on Monday morning, while the quarter-finals is already being talked up as the stage to watch with potential Nadal v Federer and Murray v Tsonga clashes. In the women’s meanwhile, the question is: can anyone stop Serena Williams? She starts her title bid against Luxembourg's Mandy Minella.

Who to invite

A group of friends all in agreement that tennis is the Meryl Streep of sports – brilliantly technical and peerlessly dramatic, that is – and that a furrow-browed Scot will, with the utmost degree of near-certainty, lift the Championship trophy this time round.

What to eat and drink

You could serve straight and do strawberries, cream, champagne and Pimm’s but we’d suggest taking the opportunity to lob some bad puns and so plump for rounds of SueBarkardis (Bacardi shaken with vast quantities of sunny charm) and a hearty McEnRoenie and cheese.

What to say

Who needs that lunk-head ‘Man of Steel’ when you’ve got the Murray double-handed backhand in HD?

What not to say



Coverage begins this Saturday at 7pm on ITV4 and continues on the channel until 21 July

When to watch

Choice stages include Stage 1 (29 June), the first of three in Corsica, as the Tour comes to the island for the first time; Stages 15 (14 July) and 18 (18 July), two famously demanding mountain ascents; and Stage 11 (10 July) which takes place in the breathtaking climes of Mont-St- Michel.

Who to invite

A maximum of three Mamils, aka “Middle Aged Men in Lycra” at any one time, lest they drown out the TV commentary with tales of their own Tours De Cornwall/Kent/ Dorking. A smattering of Francophiles to provide background on the pretty locales if the peloton dulls.

What to eat and drink

To drink, why not treat your guests with rounds of homemade electrolyt-ails? (That’s cocktails with re-energising electrolyte minerals replacing alcohol, obviously). To eat, a selection of carb-loaded canapés eg risotto balls filled with three varieties of pasta and sandwiched between blinis.

What to say

I will eat my Rapha cycling cap if Chris Froome hasn’t bagged the yellow jersey come Alpe D’Huez

What not to say

Are those calves waxed or Immac-ed, do you think?


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