ITV's latest reality show, which concluded last Sunday with the England rugby player and Zara Phillips' squeeze Mike Tindall (pictured) emerging triumphant, was addictive viewing. Sporting and minor celebrities did battle over the poker chips, resulting in a six-way final showdown. Every man and his dog might be playing Texas Hold 'Em these days, and a new online poker company seems to launch each week, but All Star brought the game to life and provided its sponsor, Littlewoods Poker, with valuable cut-through.
- BBC2's Coast
The BBC is a curious organisation. One minute, it's wasting £3.5 million securing an exclusive contract with Graham Norton and raising the hackles of all those who want the licence fee abolished, the next it's producing an interesting series about the British coastline that's steeped in public value. Granted, it might not sound like the most promising material, but the enthusiasm and genuine passion of the presenters makes this a quirky TV hit. Try it. You might be surprised.
- Cycling to work
Two sets of terrorist attacks and fine weather (well, some) have prompted countless Londoners to take to their bikes. Sales, from foldaway models to multi-gear machines, have rocketed across the capital. If you're shying away from joining London's growing number of lycra lovers, consider the sheer efficiency of cycling to work: the average four-mile journey in London takes 40 minutes by car, 30 minutes by public transport and a trifling 22 minutes by bike. But then that's 22 minutes of taking your life in your hands on London's busy and dangerous roads.
- Great British Beer Festival
Real ale may still be the preserve of the beard-and-belly brigade, but what's so wrong with that? With more than 450 native beers on offer, ranging from Old Stoatwobbler to Gravedigger's Mild, as well as foreign perry, beer and cider, the Great British Beer Festival provides some reassuring simple pleasure in a depressingly uncertain world. The Camra extravaganza is on at London's Olympia until Saturday. And if you want to look like a real aficionado, then an ill-fitting T-shirt and personalised tankard are essential.
AND ONE THING WE DON'T ... the start of the football season
Or rather when The Sunday Times' sports section tips your team to win the league they're in. Cue a season of massive underachievement, mid-table mediocrity and injury problems. It's never good to start off as favourites because you can only end up disappointed. Even Chelsea fans must wonder whether this is a good position to be in.