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.

Not got a McJob? The advertisers have a slot for you

I HAVE been worried for some weeks about the television commercials for Sega, which seem to be full of sound and fury signifying nothing. Why is the presenter in a caravan park in Potsdam? Why is he so vile? How come they couldn't manage the lip-synch? Why, when they come on, do I want to have an epileptic fit?

REVIEW / All dressed up and a long way to go . . .

THE OLD truism has it that 'Bad books make good television and vice versa.' It's a truism that isn't true, in fact, but it's certainly the case that a book's reputation will provide a slope down which your expectations roll; in the case of classics the gradient is always steeply against the adaptor. So the question to ask about Stephen Lowe's Scarlet and Black (BBC 1) is not whether it has coarsened Stendhal's masterpiece but how? Has it found sufficient compensations in its own style to make good the necessary disregard for the author's? If you like American mini-series then I think you will answer yes. This is not so much Scarlet and Black as Stendhal's I'll Take Paris.

A bit of this, a lot of chat: A Cheap joke here, the chat-show in America remains a serious (and seriously rich) business. And onem man is taking it over. Giles Smith reports

This week, British viewers get to meet Larry Sanders, the American chat show host with the cheesy grin and the slick blazers. Sanders is a spoof, played by the comedian Garry Shandling, who roams the set of The Larry Sanders Show, caught up in back-stage pettiness and on-air disasters, in the most memorable of which a guest appearance by a spider-handler goes horribly wrong. The comedy is detailed, as befits an inside job: Shandling occasionally stood in for Johnny Carson on The Tonight Show, and so learned about cheesy grins and slick blazers at first hand.

Do It, Sandra, Shock Me

IN THE LOBBY of Sandra Bernhard's Mayfair hotel, there was a butch-looking woman cooing over the September issue of American Playboy. 'Look,' she said, gesturing at the magazine, 'It's Sandra.' I looked, and it was. Sandra snarling in a bunny girl costume; Sandra buried beneath an orgiastic heap of naked bodies; Sandra maitresse-style, in leather gear; and, perhaps most memorably, Sandra in nothing but gold body paint - supine, with legs splayed - stroking her neatly trimmed and gilded pudendum. 'I am in many ways, the perfect woman,' read Bernhard's accompanying text, in an elaborate parody of bunny gush, 'ready to serve you, service your every need and love you until you beg me to stop. I'm Sandi, the dream girl I grew up to be.'

CHAT-SHOWS / The blarney's over: Wogan ends tonight after seven years of chatter. Mark Lawson reflects on the one celebrity Terry never interviewed

In its small way, the scrapping tonight of the Wogan chat-show is as significant an indication of changes of will and priority in the television industry as the scrapping of the European Fighter Aircraft would be for the defence industry. The abandonment of Wogan - screened three times a week on BBC1 since 1984 - marks the end of a cherished experiment.
Career Services

Day In a Page

Independent Travel
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
Lake Como St Moritz & the Bernina Express 7 nights from £809pp
Vietnam
Lake Maggiore, Orta & the Matterhorn 7 nights from £939pp
South Africa
Spain
Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
Amir Khan: 'The Taliban can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'

Amir Khan attacks the Taliban

'They can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

How podcasts became mainstream

People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

Christmas cocktails to make you merry

Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
5 best activity trackers

Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

Paul Scholes column

It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture