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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.

Accidental Heroes of the 20th Century: 13: Bill Hicks, American Comedian

SOME TIME in the Eighties serious newspapers started appointing critics to review stand-up comedy, which must have been about the most dispiriting job on the paper unless you actually enjoyed spending endless nights listening to jokes about airline travel and fast food (American comics) or daytime television and masturbation (Brits).

Interview: Harry's game anyone can join in

Harry Hill's humour may be quirky, but it's certainly not exclusive. It even works on Americans. Vanessa Thorpe meets the man who subverted stand-up

Clinton Crisis: Stand-up comics fail to see funny side of Clinton fiasco

CIGARS, ANYONE? How about a little tearful repentance over breakfast? Much of the White House fiasco sounds like the script of a raunchy, off- the-wall comedy show.

Film: Fan Facts: Drew Barrymore star of 'The Wedding Singer'

Cutey pie: The 23-year-old has worked hard to earn her reputation as Hollywood's No 1 reprobate tearaway. She got off to a bad start, starring placidly in a dog food ad at the age of three and cutely in ET at the age of seven (director Steven Spielberg must have been very proud of his god-daughter).

MISSY IN ACTION

MISSY (MISDEMEANOUR) ELLIOTT, the 25-year-old hip-hop performer who is energetically redefining the boundaries of rap music, is a singer, songwriter, arranger, producer and talent scout. Six months ago, few people outside the music industry had heard of her; six months from now, it will be necessary to pretend that you've known about Missy Elliott for years. She is the biggest and blackest female rap star Middle America has ever seen. She is the latest incarnation of an American phenomenon: what US magazines like to call the "New Negro".

Winter Olympics: Rivalry on Ice, the dream show

Remember Kerrigan v Harding? Mike Rowbottom samples the new soap, Lipinski v Kwan

The best medicine

It was a big step, leaving medicine for a career in comedy. But the odd 'bad night' on stage is a breeze compared to nights of watching patients die. And Harry Hill hasn't had a bad night in a long time

Tennis: Wimbledon '97 - Pioline puffs to keep pace with Pete

Richard Edmondson witnesses a one-sided competition set before a Centre Court crowd with a penchant for the clinical finish

Boxing: Holyfield spurns chance to bite back

Last week's dental debacle continues to exercise the imagination of the American public, and Evander Holyfield chose the nation's most public forum, David Letterman's Late Show on CBS television, to air his views.

The post-Lettermen

Now it's Channel 5's turn to try to crack the chat-show format. Ben Thompson reports

Celebs dry up as telly chat goes over the top

More channels mean more talk about less, writes Vanessa Thorpe

Why are they famous?; Ulrika Johnson

Main Claim: Phwoarrrh-ish weather girl made good. Our Ully, a Swedish import, was TV-am's resident weather girlie for three years. Simultaneously exploiting and subverting the job's associations with bimboid blondness, she became a general famous person. She then became a proper presenter on the people's top thickie show, Gladiators. She then became the totally surprising searing wit that is Ulri-ka-ka-ka on Shooting Stars. She has recently topped it all with kitsch ad stardom, seducing Gary Lineker in a crisps ad. "I am just a pair of breasts," she explains.

Star-spangled chat show plugs the Kremlin line

For the devoted viewer of that American institution, the late-night talk show, it comes as a surprise. There's the familiar set, the metropolitan skyline, sparkling with wicked nocturnal promise.

Down and in: Life after politics for new US cult hero

He may have been trounced in the Presidential election. But at the crusty old age of 73, Bob Dole is proving there is life after politics: first as a glowingly reviewed performer on the late- night talkshows - and now as the first major party White House candidate to star in a commercial advertisement.
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Syrian conflict is the world's first 'climate change war', say scientists, but it won't be the last one

Climate change key in Syrian conflict

And it will trigger more war in future
How I outwitted the Gestapo

How I outwitted the Gestapo

My life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
The nation's favourite animal revealed

The nation's favourite animal revealed

Women like cuddly creatures whilst men like creepy-crawlies
Is this the way to get young people to vote?

Getting young people to vote

From #VOTESELFISH to Bite the Ballot
Poldark star Heida Reed: 'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'

Poldark star Heida Reed

'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'
The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
Families clubbing together to build their own affordable accommodation

Do It Yourself approach to securing a new house

Community land trusts marking a new trend for taking the initiative away from developers
Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

Money, corruption and drugs

The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

150 years after it was outlawed...

... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all
Tony Oursler on exploring our uneasy relationship with technology with his new show

You won't believe your eyes

Tony Oursler's new show explores our uneasy relationship with technology. He's one of a growing number of artists with that preoccupation
Ian Herbert: Peter Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

The England coach leaves players to find solutions - which makes you wonder where he adds value, says Ian Herbert
War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn