The greatest (ITV4) show on Earth

If you thought ITV4 was only good for reruns of Police, Camera, Action! think again. It's also home to what we think could be a new benchmark that other sports highlights programmes should try to reach.

For the unitiated, we're talking about the Tour de France programme broadcast every night at 7pm. Bear with us, this is heady stuff that even the cycle-phobic should know about it.

This is a show that not only manages to achieve the logistically impressive feat of putting out a flawless one hour summary of the same day's events just a couple of hours after the wheels have stopped turning, it also manages to convey the behind-the-scenes antics and team machinations that make the Tour what it is - alongside a compelling sense of what it's actually like to schlep around France as part of the three-week long travelling circus.

Credit must go to the sardonic presenter Gary Imlach, unflappable reporter Ned Boulting and in-race commentators Paul Sherwen and of course, the legendary, Phil Liggett, who has previously even made American Esquire's list of all-time sportscallers.

The real secret however is in pitching itself at an already knowledgable audience without ever being esoteric. It's a lesson that the appallingly tired, sloppy and dumbed down Match of the Day needs desperately to learn. Go watch. Tour de France, tonight at 7pm, ITV4

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