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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.

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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As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

Mussolini tried to warn his ally of the danger of bringing the country to its knees. So should we, says Patrick Cockburn
Britain's widening poverty gap should be causing outrage at the start of the election campaign

The short stroll that should be our walk of shame

Courting the global elite has failed to benefit Britain, as the vast disparity in wealth on display in the capital shows
Homeless Veterans appeal: The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty

Homeless Veterans appeal

The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty
Prince Charles the saviour of the nation? A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king

Prince Charles the saviour of the nation?

A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king
How books can defeat Isis: Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad

How books can defeat Isis

Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad
Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

She may be in charge of minimising our risks of injury, but the chair of the Health and Safety Executive still wants children to be able to hurt themselves
The open loathing between Barack Obama and Benjamin Netanyahu just got worse

The open loathing between Obama and Netanyahu just got worse

The Israeli PM's relationship with the Obama has always been chilly, but going over the President's head on Iran will do him no favours, says Rupert Cornwell
French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

Fury at British best restaurants survey sees French magazine produce a rival list
Star choreographer Matthew Bourne gives young carers a chance to perform at Sadler's Wells

Young carers to make dance debut

What happened when superstar choreographer Matthew Bourne encouraged 27 teenage carers to think about themselves for once?
Design Council's 70th anniversary: Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch

Design Council's 70th anniversary

Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch
Dame Harriet Walter: The actress on learning what it is to age, plastic surgery, and her unease at being honoured by the establishment

Dame Harriet Walter interview

The actress on learning what it is to age, plastic surgery, and her unease at being honoured by the establishment
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Art should not be a slave to the ideas driving it

Critics of Tom Stoppard's new play seem to agree that cerebral can never trump character, says DJ Taylor
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Bill Granger's winter salads

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George Ford: Cool head ready to put out dragon fire

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Michael Calvin's Last Word

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