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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.

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.
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