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When Chris Christie briefly considered a bid for the White House in 2011, many suggested the popular New Jersey Governor was too fat to be President. However, if he decides to run in 2016 his weight may be less of a burden; in an interview with the New York Post, Christie has revealed that he underwent secret gastric-band surgery earlier this year, and observers say it is already paying off.

Sarah Sands: Insult America, Russell, but please make sure it's funny

The Americans are the least cynical people on earth, someone remarked to me recently. And so we send over Russell Brand, a comically depraved figure, an MTV Byron, who lewdly insults a virgin boy band and takes on the most powerful figure in the world, the US President.

Woods aims for US Open return after knee surgery

Tiger Woods has had arthroscopic surgery on his left knee to repair cartilage damage, his second operation in five years on the same knee. He is expected to be absent for at least a month while he recovers.

You Write The Reviews: Vampire Weekend, XL Recordings

It is a rare thing in music to come across an album that manages to be both familiar yet exotic, brief yet perfectly formed, intellectual yet instantly accessible; and to achieve this with a debut album is rarer still. Vampire Weekend, freshly plucked from a sleepy Columbia University campus, have created something astounding, infused with a staggering range of styles that ripple and crackle with charm and vibrancy.

Tony Blackburn: My Life in Media

'It can be quite stressful when these ratings figures come out, which I don't believe in. I don't think anyone knows who's listening or not.'

Leading political satirists plan 'unscripted' return

American television's most popular political satirists, Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert, will return to the air in the new year despite the Hollywood writers' strike, raising the prospect of some much-needed levity to carry voters and pundits through the presidential primary season.

Henman upbeat after curse of Tursunov strikes again

When you are ranked No 71 in the world you always need the luck of the draw. Tim Henman will be unseeded at Wimbledon later this month and could face the likes of Roger Federer or Andy Roddick in the first round. Even worse, he might be drawn against Dmitry Tursunov.

The talk of Tinseltown: Scots comic to host 'Late, Late Show'

In the film Saving Grace he played a gardener who grows a marijuana crop in a widow's vegetable patch; in Big Tease he played a Scottish hairdresser who tries to crimp his way to success in Los Angeles and in I'll Be There he played a former pop star who discovers he has a teenage daughter.

Spotlight: The New York comedy circuit

New York has had a cold winter. So cold that, according to the comedian Ben Bailey, everyone in the city looked as if they were homeless, wearing at least three coats and having permanently runny noses. Though the advent of spring on the weekend I arrived certainly cheered most of the population, comedians, of course, remained professionally cynical. “What is all this about the wind-chill factor?” growled Lewis Black. “Why do I need to know what temperature it could have been if it hadn't been for the breeze?”

`Babes' stir football fever

Letter from washington

Poppy Folly: Your stars - It could happen

People misconstrue the Aries sector. The aggression and energetic imbecility that we associate with the sign mark it out as the natural homeland for fascists. But though Ariens are bullies (Ethel Kennedy, Tamerlane the Great) they generally lack the mental stamina to construct and adhere to an ideological framework. More simply, and less to their credit, they're not obedient enough.

Accidental Heroes of the 20th Century: 24 - Groucho Marx, Comedian

WHEN GROUCHO was in his seventies, he commented on the Indian summer he was enjoying professionally. "I'm going to Iowa for an award," he said. "Then I'm appearing at Carnegie Hall. It's sold out. Then I'm sailing to France to be honoured by the French government," and, pausing so the audience might show an elderly gentleman due reverence, he added, "I'd give it all up for one erection."
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Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam