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: 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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Abuse - and the hell that came afterwards

Abuse - and the hell that follows

James Rhodes on the extraordinary legal battle to publish his memoir
Why we need a 'tranquility map' of England, according to campaigners

It's oh so quiet!

The case for a 'tranquility map' of England
'Timeless fashion': It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it

'Timeless fashion'

It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
If the West needs a bridge to the 'moderates' inside Isis, maybe we could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive after all

Could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive?

Robert Fisk on the Fountainheads of World Evil in 2011 - and 2015
New exhibition celebrates the evolution of swimwear

Evolution of swimwear

From bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine