News

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.

Comedy: Bob Downe, Cochrane Theatre

Any US comic who can make his entry to "Yankee Go Home" is OK by James Rampton

Television & Radio: It's good to talk... or is it?

Words being used about The Gaby Roslin Show include `Seventies' and `Parkinson'. Adrian Turpin wonders if Channel 4 can possibly haul the chat show out of the grave

Film: Make whoopee not war

Also Showing: SGT BILKO Jonathan Lynn (PG) CUTTHROAT ISLAND Renny Harlin (PG) BALTO Simon Wells (U) LAWNMOWER MAN 2 Farhad Mann (12) DUNSTON CHECKS IN Ken Kwapis (PG)

Dole's wry wit leaves his rivals with the last laugh

The candidates for the Republican presidential nomination offer much to laugh about, most of it unintentional. The only one of the bunch who might have found alternative employment as a stand-up comedian, as someone who deliberately sets out to be funny, is Bob Dole.

Hill rises to the legend

Ian Whittell reports from San Antonio on a genius set to match Michael Jordan

PETER YORK ON ADS: No 108: MILLER PILSNER

PETER YORK ON ADS: ADVERTISING constantly pretends to be other things, particularly the editorial that surrounds it (thus those ambiguous pages in glossy mags which bear a modest disclaimer saying "promotion"). But it is a quite exceptional mark of the modern world when advertising actually becomes programming.

Small is beautiful; COMEDY

Rich Hall is one of America's best-loved comedians. Now he's

Regal presence elevates flagging ceremony

Sport on TV

TELEVISION / Ban it at once, but give me a copy first

According to the lovingly gathered clippings of early British sex films compiled for Doing Rude Things (BBC2), movie nudity was tolerated by the censors in the Fifties and Sixties provided it had no sexual connotation and was simply an exposition of the pleasures of naturism. As such, it had to be pubic-hair free.

Comedy / American? It's easier being gay

A RAFFISH, catty, minutely boss-eyed gay comedian from San Francisco, Scott Capurro has quickly and deservedly made a big name for himself in this country. He won the Best Newcomer award at last year's Edinburgh Festival, and has now reached a point on the banks of the mainstream where he gets to go on Pebble Mill and be asked leading questions by Alan Titchmarsh. "So you're a gay comedian, how do you go down in America?"

My night with Bob and George and Oscar

And the nominees were... tense.

This comes to you from the bottom of my gut

This year, the first presenter of the 67th Academy Awards (BBC1) reminded us, is the centenary of motion pictures; 100 years have passed, you thought, and they still can't get the words and the pictures to match up. Then again, maybe this guy was supposed to be there as a tuxedoed piece of leader tape, a five-minute dry run to allow technicians all over the world to adjust the machinery. His voice caught up with his lips just in time for him to introduce the traditional opening number - a baffling piece of cinematic illusion so clever that it was dumb. In the words of Tracey Ullman, it "tanked". That's the nice thing about Tracey, Hollywood hasn't changed her a bit.

Small town boy makes good

When the world tunes in to the Oscars next week, they won't be greeted by Billy Crystal or Whoopie Goldberg, but by a goofy, gap-toothed, ordinary guy called Dave, better known in America as TV's King of the Night. Phil Reeves reports

OJ: the suits, the Bronco, and, oh yeah, the trial

"So far OJ hasn't missed a minute of the proceedings in court," said Sue Ellicot on Sunday night, fronting The Trial of OJ Simpson, BBC2's helpful condensation of the story so far. Crikey, I thought, I would hope not. I mean if he's bored by all this stuff what hope for the rest of us? Even OJ, though, couldn't be expected to absorb all of the astonishing fringe festival of expertise that the trial has generated. CNN is best at this, occasionally delivering the equivalent of ball-by-ball commentary on the unfolding action. ("Jim, nice move from Marcia Clarke there. She's put the defence on the back foot?" "Absolutely, Tom, perfectly timed objection and Johnny Cochran wasn't ready for it. He's going to have to work his way out of this.") It would be nice if the State of California team could be described as The Offense, but that little detail apart it's often indistinguishable from the Superbowl.

TELEVISION / Innocent until proven famous

ALFRED HITCHCOCK once said he was delighted that television had started showing murder stories: 'It's bringing back murder into its rightful setting - the home.' Hitch would have been sorry to have missedThe O J Simpson Hearing (BBC2). In June, Simpson, a hugely popular ex-football star turned actor (think Daley Thompson, subtract Luton and add Greek god) was being pursued around the freeways of Los Angeles by the combined ululating forces of the LAPD. He was wanted for the murder of his estranged wife (think Tippi Hedren, add large chest) and her gentleman caller. The action was beamed live across the nation. Armchair thrillers don't come more gripping than this: 95 million Americans were Araldited to their sets. On Monday, it was our turn to be glued.
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Screwing your way to the top? Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth

Screwing your way to the top?

Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, says Grace Dent
Climate change threatens to make the antarctic fur seal extinct

Take a good look while you can

How climate change could wipe out this seal
Man Booker Prize 2014 longlist: Crowdfunded novel nominated for first time

Crowdfunded novel nominated for Booker Prize

Paul Kingsnorth's 'The Wake' is in contention for the prestigious award
Tour de France effect brings Hollywood blockbusters to Yorkshire

Tour de France effect brings Hollywood blockbusters to Yorkshire

A $25m thriller starring Sam Worthington to be made in God's Own Country
Noel Fielding's 'Luxury Comedy': A land of the outright bizarre

Noel Fielding's 'Luxury Comedy'

A land of the outright bizarre
What are the worst 'Word Crimes'?

What are the worst 'Word Crimes'?

‘Weird Al’ Yankovic's latest video is an ode to good grammar. But what do The Independent’s experts think he’s missed out?
Can Secret Cinema sell 80,000 'Back to the Future' tickets?

The worst kept secret in cinema

A cult movie event aims to immerse audiences of 80,000 in ‘Back to the Future’. But has it lost its magic?
Facebook: The new hatched, matched and dispatched

The new hatched, matched and dispatched

Family events used to be marked in the personal columns. But now Facebook has usurped the ‘Births, Deaths and Marriages’ announcements
Why do we have blood types?

Are you my type?

All of us have one but probably never wondered why. Yet even now, a century after blood types were discovered, it’s a matter of debate what they’re for
Honesty box hotels: You decide how much you pay

Honesty box hotels

Five hotels in Paris now allow guests to pay only what they think their stay was worth. It seems fraught with financial risk, but the honesty policy has its benefit
Commonwealth Games 2014: Why weight of pressure rests easy on Michael Jamieson’s shoulders

Michael Jamieson: Why weight of pressure rests easy on his shoulders

The Scottish swimmer is ready for ‘the biggest race of my life’ at the Commonwealth Games
Some are reformed drug addicts. Some are single mums. All are on benefits. But now these so-called 'scroungers’ are fighting back

The 'scroungers’ fight back

The welfare claimants battling to alter stereotypes
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Fireballs in space

Amazing video shows Nasa's 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action
A Bible for billionaires

A Bible for billionaires

Find out why America's richest men are reading John Brookes
Paranoid parenting is on the rise - and our children are suffering because of it

Paranoid parenting is on the rise

And our children are suffering because of it