Dead Pool 14th July 2019

Apologies for the late issue, life had to take precedence this week. However, a shorter than usual edition for you to read, even though we’ve had quite a spate of deaths over the last week. 

Look Who You Could Have Had:

In Other News

Sting has cancelled multiple European concert dates due to a mystery illness. The 67-year-old singer announced the news on Twitter on Tuesday just hours after revealing he couldn’t play his upcoming Munich concert under “doctor’s orders”. Taking to social media, the former The Police frontman apologised for “disappointing” any excited fans.  “It is with great regret that Sting’s concerts previously scheduled for Thursday, Jul 11 at Jazzopen in Stuttgart, Germany and Friday, July 12 at the Castle Garden in Slavkov u Brna, Czech Republic will be cancelled,” a statement on his Twitter read. “As reported earlier this week, Sting is under the weather and under doctor’s orders, was forced to also cancel concerts in Ghent, Belgium (Monday July 8) and Munich, Germany (Wednesday, July 10). “Sting sincerely regrets disappointing or causing any inconvenience to the fans.” he post added that fans could obtain refunds for their tickets on his website. Fans are currently none the wiser about the nature of the singer’s health issues. It comes after Sting was also forced to cancel a concert with Jamaican singer Shaggy back in 2018 due to medical reasons.  

Nell Gifford, co-founder of Giffords Circus, has revealed the sad news that she has a year to live. Giffords Circus, based at Fennells Farm in Lypiatt, is a Stroud institution, with many families returning year upon year for each new show. Nell, the creative visionary behind the circus, and also one of its glamorous performers, shared her cancer prognosis in an interview with the Evening Standard yesterday. “I have a poor outlook,” she said. “I’ve been diagnosed with a year to live and things like that and I can hardly remember the feeling of being without cancer. But I’m having loads of treatment under an incredible oncologist, ducking and diving through the NHS and private system.” Nell has kept her nine-year-old twins Red and Cecil fully informed about what’s going on. She said the circus ‘has become a lifeline’. “It always has been. It’s a support system, I’m the happiest I am here on the show. It probably props me up more than I prop it up. In the most calamitous times it’s been what I’ve turned to and what’s contained me and where I’ve felt safe. It’s the community, being by the horses; knowing you have your tribe; it’s cool.” Nell was diagnosed with breast cancer four years ago and has now been told the disease has spread to her bones and lymph nodes. Last month she was advised she would need more chemotherapy and since then has been dividing her time between hospital and her circus. Nell created the circus with her former husband, Toti Gifford, in 2000. Since then, it has been at the centre of her life and brought joy to thousands of people. Low-fi and vintage in feel, Giffords is now famed for its magical performances. 

On This Day

  • 1789 – French Revolution: Citizens of Paris storm the Bastille.  
  • 1865 – First ascent of the Matterhorn by Edward Whymper and party, four of whom die on the descent.  
  • 1881 – Billy the Kid is shot and killed by Pat Garrett outside Fort Sumner.  
  • 1992 – 386BSD is released by Lynne Jolitz and William Jolitz beginning the Open Source operating system revolution. Linus Torvalds releases his Linux soon afterwards.  
  • 2002 – French President Jacques Chirac escapes an assassination attempt unscathed during Bastille Day celebrations.


Last Week’s Birthdays

Harrison Ford (77), Patrick Stewart (79), Ken Jeong (50), Michael Mando (38), Topher Grace (41), Michelle Rodriguez (41), Anna Friel (42), Cheryl Ladd (68), Tamsin Greig (53), Bill Cosby (82), Stephen Lang (67), Mark Lester (61), Lil’ Kim (45), Caroline Quentin (59), Craig Charles (55), Chiwetel Ejiofor (42), Sofía Vergara (47), Peter Serafinowicz (47), Jessica Simpson (39), John Simm (49), Tom Hanks (63), Richard Roundtree (77), Kelly McGillis (62), Fred Savage (43), Scott Grimes (48), Brian Dennehy (81), Linda Park (41), O.J. Simpson (72), Courtney Love  (55), Richard Wilson (83), Jack White (44),  Kevin Bacon (61), Anjelica Huston (68), Jaden Smith (21), Billy Crudup (51), Jeffrey Tambor (75), Jack Whitehall (31), Shelley Duvall (70), and Ringo Starr (79).

Dead Pool 7th July 2019

After three earthquakes in California, you’d have expected a few celebrities on today’s list, however, the best we can muster is John McCririck and Vinny Jones’ wife. Luckily to fill the gap we have a guest post from Neil G. plus we have to award some points to Paul C. 71 well earned points for the aforementioned John McCririck!  

Look Who You Could Have Had:

In Other News

Stevie Wonder will have a kidney transplant later this year, he has announced. The singer told the crowd about his medical condition as he finished his set at British Summer Time Hyde Park. He said he had found a donor and would perform three more shows before the operation in September, saying: “I’m all good, I’m all good.” Fans greeted the news with a loud, supportive cheer, applauding the 69-year-old singer as he left the stage. He had just finished playing the song Superstition when he told the crowd he wanted to prevent “rumours” spreading about his health. “I’m all good, I’m all good, all good, I have a donor and it’s all good,” he said. “I want you to know, I came here to give you my love and thank you for your love. I love you and God bless you.”     

BBC newsreader Kate Williams has revealed she has a rare form of cancer. Williams, who works for BBC Radio 5 Live, said she was diagnosed with cystic peritoneal mesothelioma in 2017. Following surgery later that year, she said her first annual scan showed no evidence of disease, although there was a chance of reoccurrence. She was only aware of three others in the UK who have the cancer, which affects the abdominal cavity. Williams, who is married with two children, said: “If you look at the medical literature, they often quote 153 cases in the world. “And in the UK I know of three other people, mainly through a Facebook group that I joined. “If you look at mesothelioma it’s not a nice one to look at. It’s very aggressive, malignant, quite often caused by asbestos.” Having a rare disease was “really lonely”, she said. “It’s also quite traumatic because every time [I see a new doctor] I have to explain it,” she added. Describing her course of surgery, she said: “It’s called MOAS – mother of all surgeries. “They took out the cervix, uterus, fallopian tubes, ovaries, greater omentum, lesser omentum, pelvic peritoneum, another bit of my peritoneum.” She added: “I keep saying I’m lucky or it wasn’t too bad – my surgery was only about six hours. Williams said she still had problems with her bowels and stomach as well as weak bones following the surgery and will continue to have annual scans for the foreseeable future – although her first scan in November showed no evidence of disease.  

A ‘relieved’ Chris Froome says he will be following the Tour de France from bed after returning home to start his recovery from the crash which left him seriously injured. Froome, 34, broke his neck, femur, elbow, hip and ribs in the accident on 12th June. “It’s a huge disappointment not to be at the Tour but I’m relieved to finally be out of hospital and home,” he said. Froome hit a wall at 54km/h when he took a hand off his handlebars to blow his nose during a practice ride before stage four of the Criterium du Dauphine in Roanne, France. He would have been chasing a record-equalling fifth victory in the Tour, which starts in Brussels on Saturday. 

On This Day

  • 1928 – Sliced bread is sold for the first time (on the inventor’s 48th birthday) by the Chillicothe Baking Company of Chillicothe, Missouri.
  • 1954 – Elvis Presley makes his radio debut when WHBQ Memphis played his first recording for Sun Records, “That’s All Right”.
  • 1992 – The New York Court of Appeals rules that women have the same right as men to go topless in public.
  • 2005 – A series of four explosions occurs on London’s transport system, killing 56 people, including four suicide bombers, and injuring over 700 others.


Tales From The Darkside by Neil G.

A cheesy title for the following ramblings, I know – but what else would you call an article for the masterpiece of macabre that is “The Dead Pool”?

I could hardly have called it “The Wistful Musings from the Meadow of My Memories – A List of Those Whom I Wish Dead”.

To be fair though I do think about death a lot, particularly on or around December the 31st when I realise I’ve done no actual research into my Dead Pool list for the following year and it’s due in just a few hours.

I often ponder how I might die, in fact just the other day my father imparted to me recently what I would be receiving as my inheritance, “High cholesterol, dodgy prostate and a stamp collection”. Which of that trio might get me first is anyone’s guess but at this point the stamp collection is the clear favourite.

I mean I’m not actually sure how things could be worse at my coronial hearing:

Dr. – He was found dead surrounded by first editions of the Postal Service Commemorative 1st class stamp depicting the Margret Thatcher years, the excitement caused a peak to his blood pressure that his weak heart just couldn’t take.

Coroner  And his prostate?

Dr. – I beg your pardon?

Coroner – His prostate, man. Did it in some way contribute to his untimely death?

Dr. – Um, no your honour. By the normal method of examination it was perfectly fine…

The normal manner of investigation, I shudder, we men folk – such delicate flowers. A one-off finger (lubed) up the clacker as opposed to a lifetime, post-adolescence, of constant examination of the holiest of holies. A poem about prostate examination…

Oh no, oh no the indignity,

For the fingerer and the fingeree.

Right. Back on track and more about death. Who else has a steaming turd of a pointless list this year?

Seriously, I’m considering leaking to the Hollywood elite the miraculous life extending power of my list, those who at a five to midnight on December the 31st are predicted by the honest news available online to soon be ex-celebrities. Imagine the money on offer to be included in my list of the lucky, guaranteed to grant you an extension of at least five years, nay, if not a complete cure even.

Oh no, not next year, oh no. For my planning has begun in earnest already…

As such I will now retreat to some wistful musings from the meadows of my memories to come up with some names. And if by chance you find yourself wandering by some beautiful field full of long grasses and wildflowers, butterflies silhouetted against the setting sun as the beautiful song of the nightingale sounds out into the void, listen closely you may hear a list being repeated in a manner not dissimilar to that of the diminutive murderess of millions Arya Stark, “Donald Trump, Borris Johnson, Jeremy Hunt, Benjamin Netanyahu, Simon Cowell…” 

Well you know, you will have stumbled upon the meadow of my memory, take a look around… It’s entirely at your own risk.

Last Week’s Birthdays

Sylvester Stallone (73), Eva Green (39), Kevin Hart (40), Ned Beatty (82), Geoffrey Rush (68), Jennifer Saunders (61), 50 Cent (44), Burt Ward (74), Huey Lewis (69), Neil Morrissey (57), Ronni Ancona (51), Tom Cruise (57), Patrick Wilson (46), Kurtwood Smith (76), Yeardley Smith (55), Margot Robbie (29), Lindsay Lohan (33), Larry David (72), Jerry Hall (63), Pamela Anderson (52), Liv Tyler (42), Dan Aykroyd (67), Jean Marsh (85), Debbie Harry (74), David Prowse (84), Vincent D’Onofrio (60), Mike Tyson (53), Katherine Ryan (36), and Cheryl (36).

Dead Pool 30th June 2019

What’s all  this?! “Points?” I hear you say?? Yes!! With the death of the very well known Beth Chapman, our Laura has scored! Well done Laura, 99 points and a boost to fourth place!

Look Who You Could Have Had:

In Other News

Former Guns N’ Roses drummer Steven Adler has been rushed to hospital after suffering a stab wound, according to reports. The Media reports that someone called emergency services on Thursday night, to report that someone had stabbed themselves. Adler was apparently found at his home in LA with a stab wound to the stomach, and taken to hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. No one else was suspected to have been involved in the incident. Adler has struggled with substance abuse for decades. He was kicked out of Guns N’Roses over his issues with addiction in 1990, after achieving worldwide success as one of the original five in the late Eighties. Adler was later inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame with the group in 2012.  

Rapper Slim 400 was rushed to a Los Angeles hospital after suffering multiple gunshot wounds, according to reports. Local law enforcement told the media that they received a call at approximately 8.30pm on Friday night for a male who had been shot in Compton. Sources say the circumstances of the shooting are unclear, though it’s believed a black vehicle seen leaving the scene may be involved. The rapper is best known for his appearance on the track “Bruisin”, alongside YG and Sad Boy Loko. Podcaster Adam Grandmaison, known as Adam22, wrote on Twitter: “Slim 400 got shot 10 times and is currently in the hospital. Pray for him.” He also posted text screenshots that claimed the rapper had been shot in the face and back.

Former deputy prime minister and Labour veteran John Prescott has been admitted to hospital after suffering a stroke, his family has said. A statement on the 81-year-old’s Twitter account said he was taken to Hull Royal Infirmary on Friday. He is “over the worst” and “talking”, former Home Secretary Alan Johnson told the BBC. A statement from the family of Lord Prescott said the hospital staff had been “remarkable and we cannot thank them enough”. “He is receiving excellent care from the NHS,” they said, praising the “swift actions” of the paramedics and A&E staff. Mr Johnson said Lord Prescott was enormously grateful for the care he had received. “Now it’s about the aftercare – it’s what comes afterwards that is as important as what happens on the day of the stroke itself,” he said. “They want him to get proper rest to get over this, that’s the number one priority, to recover and get over that important after-stage.” He said there had been no concerns for Lord Prescott’s health in the days prior to the stroke and there were “no signs of him slowing down at all”.  

Former West Indies captain Brian Lara says doctors believe his health scare is “nothing major” after he was taken to hospital in Mumbai with chest pain. Lara, 50, had tests on Tuesday after suffering the pain in the gym but hoped to be discharged on Wednesday. “A couple of the tests have come back already,” said Lara in a message on Twitter from Cricket West Indies. “The doctors were quite happy that there is nothing major. I’ll be back in full health very soon.” One of the finest batsman in the game’s history, Lara is in India to perform media duties during the World Cup. “I think I maybe just extended myself too much in the gym this morning and there’s been a bit of pain in my chest,” added Lara. “I’m just letting everyone know I’m fine, I’m recovering and I’ll be back in my hotel room tomorrow. Lara is regarded as one of the greatest batsmen the game has ever seen.  

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has said she is “fine” following two bouts of shaking in public that have sparked concerns about her health. Speaking at the G20 summit in Osaka, she said she was convinced that “this reaction will disappear just as it has arisen”, German news agency DPA said. Asked what lay behind it and whether she had seen a doctor, she said she had “nothing in particular to report”. On Thursday she was seen shaking for two minutes at a ceremony in Berlin. The chancellor, who turns 65 next month, gripped her arms until she became steadier. She was offered a glass of water but did not drink it. The previous incident – which she later blamed on dehydration – saw her shaking while standing next to Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky in hot sunshine. In 2017 she had an earlier bout of shaking in hot weather on a visit to Mexico as she was attending a military honours ceremony. Reports said that subsequent medical checks had found nothing to be wrong. Mrs Merkel is now in her fourth term as chancellor, a role she began in November 2005. She has said she will leave politics when her current term ends in 2021. She has a reputation for remarkable stamina – during intensive late-night discussions at EU summits, for example. She has been in good health while in office, and even worked from home after a knee operation in 2011; she suffered a fall while skiing in 2014. Her absences were only brief on those occasions. 

On This Day

  • 1905 – Albert Einstein sends the article On the Electrodynamics of Moving Bodies, in which he introduces special relativity, for publication in Annalen der Physik. 
  • 1908 – The Tunguska Event, the largest impact event on Earth in human recorded history, resulting in a massive explosion over Eastern Siberia.  
  • 1934 – The Night of the Long Knives, Adolf Hitler‘s violent purge of his political rivals in Germany, takes place.  
  • 1937 – The world’s first emergency telephone number, 999, is introduced in London. 
  • 2007 – A Jeep Cherokee filled with propane canisters drives into the entrance at Glasgow Airport, Scotland in a failed terrorist attack.   
  • 2009 – Yemenia Flight 626, an Airbus A310-300, crashes into the Indian Ocean near Comoros, killing 152 of the 153 people on board. A 14-year-old girl named Bahia Bakari survives the crash.


  • 2012 – Yitzhak Shamir, Israeli politician, 7th Prime Minister of Israel (b. 1915)   
  • 2017 – Barry Norman, English television presenter (b. 1933)

Last Week’s Birthdays

Gary Busey (75), Amanda Donohoe (57), John Cusack (53), Mel Brooks (93), Kathy Bates (71), Felicia Day (40), Alice Krige (65), Aileen Quinn (48), Elon Musk (48), Tobey Maguire (44),  Courtney Ford (41), J.J. Abrams (53), Meera Syal (58), Ariana Grande (26), Ricky Gervais (58), Carly Simon (74), Iain Glen (58), Nancy Allen (69), Peter Weller (72), Mick Fleetwood (72), Selma Blair (47), Frances McDormand (62), Joss Whedon (55), and Bryan Brown (72).

Dead Pool 23rd June 2019

Yet another pointless week, however loads of interesting stories, in fact, too many, so I’ve saved some for next week. 

Look Who You Could Have Had:

In Other News

Megadeth frontman Dave Mustaine has revealed that he has been diagnosed with throat cancer. Due to the diagnosis, the heavy metal band have cancelled most of their forthcoming 2019 tour. “I’ve been diagnosed with throat cancer. It’s clearly something to be respected and faced head on – but I’ve faced obstacles before. I’m working closely with my doctors, and we’ve mapped out a treatment plan which they feel has a 90 per cent success rate. Treatment has already begun,” Mustaine wrote in an Facebook post. The recently announced “Megacruise” taking place between 13-19 October will take place as scheduled, “and the band will be a part of it in some form”, Mustaine wrote. They will also continue to work in the studio on the follow-up to their 2016 album Euphoria, which Mustaine said he “can’t wait for everyone to hear”. Mustaine founded Megadeth more than 30 years ago, pioneering the sound that would become known as thrash metal.  

Angela Merkel has said she is “fine” after her body was seen shaking uncontrollably during an official ceremony. The German chancellor blamed dehydration for the episode, telling reporters: “Since then I’ve drunk at least three glasses of water, which I apparently needed, and now I’m doing very well.” The violent trembling, which raised concern about her health, took place as she welcomed the president of Ukraine to Berlin, on a hot 30 degree day. The chancellor appeared to recover as the ceremony continued, walking down the red carpet with Volodymyr Zelensky. Ukranian president Mr Zelensky said he would have come to Ms Merkel’s rescue if she had been in any danger, telling: “She was standing next to me and completely safe.” Germany’s strict privacy laws mean it is not known whether Ms Merkel has any health problems. In 2014 she postponed a television interview at the last minute after reports that she was feeling weak, though her spokesperson said was able to carry it out later after eating and drinking. The Chancellor is due to step down as Germany’s head of government when her current term runs out in 2021. She has already resigned as leader of her conservative CDU party and give the reins to her protege, Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer – widely known as “AKK”.    

Alice Cooper has revealed he’s made a death pact with his wife. The 71-year-old rock star, who has been married to Sheryl Goddard, 61, for more than 40 years, suggested he will kill himself if his wife dies first in a brand new interview. “We’ve made a pact – there is no way of surviving without each other,” he said. “I couldn’t live without her. We always said there will never be a time when one of us will be mourning the other.” Cooper – whose real name is Vincent Damon Furnier – continued: “Whenever it does happen, we are going to go together. I’ve been married 43 years to the greatest girl in the world. We have never cheated on each other.” Goddard, a dancer and choreographer, performed for the rock star in the 1970s and 1980s. They married in 1976 and have three children together. Despite a brief break in the early 1980s when Goddard filed for divorce, the couple reconciled and have been together ever since. Goddard will perform with the Alice Cooper band in October this year when they come to the UK, and Cooper said: “She dances better now than she did in 1975. You would think people would want to get away from their wives but she is my best friend.” Cooper, who admitted to substance abuse in his younger years, said he weighs the same as he did when he was 30, crediting his health to not smoking and not having had an alcoholic drink for nearly 40 years. He said his mother, who is 96, is “indestructible” and that “it must be in the genes”.  

And finally, you may have noticed that I listed an obscure Indian magician in todays list, well he was lowered into a river while shackled in a bid to recreate Harry Houdini’s world-famous trick  and has managed to drown, police confirmed. Chanchal Lahiri was meant to escape and swim to safety but did not emerge from the Hooghly river in West Bengal state. Crowds who watched him take the plunge on Sunday alerted the police, who then launched a search operation. His body, which washed up some 1k from the site of the incident, was identified late on Monday. Mr Lahiri, also known as Mandrake, was lowered into the river from a boat for his trick. He was shackled with six locks and a chain as spectators on two boats watched him. Several people had also gathered by the shore and some stood on the landmark Howrah Bridge in Kolkata. According to the Press Trust of India, the crowd started to panic after Mr Lahiri did not appear after more than 10 minutes!! Jayanta Shaw, a photographer with a local newspaper, witnessed Mr Lahiri attempting the trick. He told the BBC that he spoke to him before the magician started his act. “I asked him why he risked his life for magic,” Mr Shaw said. “He smiled and said, ‘If I do it right, it’s magic. If I make a mistake, it becomes tragic.’” 

On This Day

  • 1960 – The United States Food and Drug Administration declares Enovid to be the first officially approved combined oral contraceptive pill in the world.  
  • 1972 – Watergate scandal: U.S. President Richard M. Nixon and White House Chief of Staff H. R. Haldeman are taped talking about using the Central Intelligence Agency to obstruct the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s investigation into the Watergate break-ins.  
  • 1973 – A fire at a house in Hull, England which kills a six-year-old boy is passed off as an accident; it later emerges as the first of 26 deaths by fire caused over the next seven years by serial arsonist Peter Dinsdale.  
  • 1996 – The Nintendo 64 home video game console is first released in Japan, with Nintendo ultimately selling 32.93 million units worldwide.  
  • 2016 – The United Kingdom votes in a referendum to leave the European Union, by 52% to 48%.


  • 1998 – Maureen O’Sullivan, Irish-American actress (b. 1911)  
  • 2006 – Aaron Spelling, American actor, producer, and screenwriter, founded Spelling Television (b. 1923)
  • 2011 – Peter Falk, American actor (b. 1927)

Last Week’s Birthdays

Meryl Streep (70), Bruce Campbell (61), Kris Kristofferson (83), Lindsay Wagner (70), Stephen Chow (57), Prunella Scales (87), Cyndi Lauper (66), Tim Russ (63), Chris Pratt (40), Juliette Lewis (46), Lana Wachowski (54), Lana Del Rey (34), Prince William (37), Nicole Kidman (52), Olympia Dukakis (88), Robert Rodriguez (51), John Goodman (67), Christopher Mintz-Plasse (30), Danny Aiello (86), Lionel Richie (70), Brian Wilson (77), Zoe Saldana (41), Aidan Turner (36), Kathleen Turner (65), Paula Abdul (57), Richard Madden (33), Isabella Rossellini (67), Paul McCartney (77), Jodie Whittaker (37), and James Bolam (84).

Dead Pool 16th June 2019

A controversial week, as Trump and Macron’s symbolic friendship tree dies; we have bad news for Trish, although her pick for a Woman, Grace Jones passed away, she’s not been listed on the Wiki obituaries so I am unable to dish out the points until there’s an entry! Again, the list of deaths is rather bereft, oh how we hark back to the days of David Bowie and Robin Williams! Let’s set the flying monkeys free, carrying their suicide enabling kits and gremlin luck infusers! 

Also as a side note, Tony Berry of the Houghton Weavers has died. Nickie thought I’d instantly know who he was, but sadly I had no idea of his earthy existence, nor the band, or ever heard any of their songs. So here’s the question to you Poolers, who has heard of this chap? 

Look Who You Could Have Had:

In Other News

Veteran broadcaster Bob Harris is to take a break from presenting his BBC Radio 2 country show after suffering an aortic dissection. The condition occurs when there is a tear in the wall of the major artery carrying blood out of the heart. “The aorta is basically the M1 of the body and any damage is regarded as extremely serious,” said Harris. “I am not exactly sure when I will be on air again but I am on the road to recovery now,” he continued. Harris, known to fans as “Whispering Bob”, said he suffered a tear to his aorta while out walking 10 days ago. “It was an incredibly scary moment and I am massively indebted to the ambulance crew who attended so promptly,” he said. Harris, 73, also paid tribute to the Intensive Care team and consultants at Oxford’s John Radcliffe Hospital, his wife Trudie and his “wonderful” family. Paul Sexton will host the next two editions of Harris’s hour-long show, which airs on Thursdays at 21:00. Harris, who was made an OBE in 2011 for services to music broadcasting, was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2007.  

Chris Froome has admitted he is lucky to be alive after speaking for the first time since his horror cycling accident. The four-time Tour de France winner crashed at nearly 35mph during his fourth-stage reconnaissance of the Criterium du Dauphine on Wednesday. Lying in his hospital bed, Froome also paid tribute to cycling fans following his life-threatening crash. “I know how lucky I am to be here today and how much I owe to all the paramedics and medical staff on the race, whilst this is a setback and a major one at that, I am focusing on looking forward. There is a long road to recovery ahead, but that recovery starts now and I am fully focused on returning back to my best.” The post was issued with a picture of Froome giving the thumbs up from his bed at the University Hospital of St Etienne where he underwent a six-hour operation. It has been reported that the 34-year-old suffered a fractured neck and faces six weeks in hospital. He also has a fractured right femur, a broken hip, a fractured elbow and fractured ribs and was in intensive care following the surgery. Froome is not expected to compete again this year. Froome took his hand off his handlebars to blow his nose before a gust of wind destabilised his bike. He crashed into a wall and lost consciousness. The Briton was airlifted to hospital where he has since been joined by his wife Michelle and Team Ineos doctor Richard Usher.   

Paul Sinha, one of the professional quizzers on ITV’s The Chase, has revealed he has Parkinson’s disease. “I will fight this with every breath I have,” tweeted the 49-year-old comic, going on to share further details of his diagnosis in a blog post. Sinha, a former GP, said he was told he had Parkinson’s – a degenerative brain condition – last month. He said it had been “a really, really tough two weeks” but said he did not “consider himself unlucky”. “Whatever the next stage of my life holds for me, many others have it far worse,” he continued. Sinha said he intended to “keep Chasing, keep writing and performing comedy [and] keep quizzing” while joking that appearing on Dancing on Ice was probably “out of the question”. “A lot of people have asked ‘What can I do to help?'” he concluded. “The answer is to treat me exactly the same as before.” Last month the BBC’s technology correspondent Rory Cellan-Jones revealed he has Parkinson’s, whose symptoms include involuntary tremors. Sir Billy Connolly and actor Alan Alda have also spoken about how they deal with the illness since being diagnosed in 2013 and 2015 respectively.   

And just as you thought life wasn’t harrowing enough, a glass ledge on the 103rd floor of the tallest skyscraper in Chicago cracked under visitors’ feet on Monday night. The all-glass area of the Willis Tower, in which sightseers can view the city of Chicago from a high point, is called the Skydeck. Its protective top layer is made of laminated glass, which is built to maintain its integrity even while it cracks. On Monday, it cracked into “thousands of pieces,” according to WBBM. In a video shared on Facebook, visitors appear nervous and scared, and immediately huddle away from the glass area. The Willis Tower, which was called the Sears Tower until 2009, said no one was ever in danger. The layer is known as the “Ledge,” and was constructed in 2009, after Tower officials noticed “the hundreds of forehead prints visitors left behind on Skydeck windows every week.” Build to hold five tons, the attraction give tourists and residents an immersive view of the midwestern city. Still, tourists appeared frightened, as the incident was, of course, not supposed to happen. “There was a woman with two kids and they looked really pale and scared because the floor just cracked,” witness Jesus Pintado told WBBM. “I’m scared of heights in general so when I saw that happen, I was like nope, not going on,” Karly Pintado, who was also on the 103rd floor that day, said.  

And finally, it’s the contest Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) fans never knew they wanted. On Sunday, Justin Bieber challenged Tom Cruise to join him in the octagon to solve a problem so fiendishly difficult no-one had previously bothered to think of it. Why does a 25-year-old pop star randomly decide to try to goad a 56-year-old movie star into fighting him? Needless to say, a calculation so onerous quickly won the attention of the very best minds the social media platform had to offer. Former UFC champion Conor McGregor was quick to talk up the bout’s prospects. “Does Cruise have the sprouts to fight?” he inquired, simultaneously offering his own company’s services in hosting the clash and then offering to fight actor Mark Wahlberg on the undercard. Sprouts or no sprouts, many took the view that in this match-up it’s Bieber who’s the turkey. Cruise famously performs his own stunts and the physicality exhibited in action films like the Mission Impossible series would give him the edge, many social media users argued. Others were just left confused by the whole thing. “At some point tonight Tom Cruise’s agent will have to call Tom Cruise and tell him Justin Bieber has challenged him to a fight,” another user tweeted. Tom Cruise is yet to respond. UPDATE: Justin Bieber doesn’t want to actually take on Top Gun star Tom Cruise in a fight as the pop star admitted that he wasn’t really serious about fighting the actor. Speaking recently with TMZ, Justin Bieber admitted he was only joking about the fight. Bieber also admitted that he said it almost randomly and didn’t realise the traction his challenge to Tom Crusie would get: “I don’t know him. He’s tight. The story is I saw an interview with him, and he was just on my mind. It was just a random tweet. I do that stuff sometimes.” “I think he’d probably whoop my ass in a fight.” It seems we won’t get to see a match between Tom Cruise and Justin Bieber after all. 

On This Day

  • 1883 – The Victoria Hall theatre panic in Sunderland, England kills 183 children.
  • 1884 – The first purpose-built roller coaster, LaMarcus Adna Thompson’s “Switchback Railway”, opens in New York’s Coney Island amusement park.
  • 1911 – IBM founded as the Computing-Tabulating-Recording Company in Endicott, New York.
  • 1944 – At age 14, George Junius Stinney, Jr. becomes the youngest person executed in the United States in the 20th century.
  • 1961 – Rudolf Nureyev defects from the Soviet Union.
  • 1963 – Soviet Space Program: Vostok 6 Mission: Cosmonaut Valentina Tereshkova becomes the first woman in space.


Last Week’s Birthdays

Courteney Cox (55), Helen Hunt (56), Neil Patrick Harris (46), Ice Cube (50), Jim Belushi (65), Yasmine Bleeth (51), Donald Trump (73), Boy George (58), Alan Carr (43), Stellan Skarsgård (68), Chris Evans (38), Ally Sheedy (57), Tim Allen (66), Malcolm McDowell (76), Richard Thomas (68), Simon Callow (70), Kathy Burke (55), Richard Ayoade (42), Joshua Jackson (41), Peter Dinklage (50), Shia LaBeouf (33), Adrienne Barbeau (74), Hugh Laurie (60), Jane Goldman (49), Elizabeth Hurley (54), Jürgen Prochnow (78), Johnny Depp (56), Natalie Portman (38), Michael J. Fox (58), Eddie Marsan (51), Griffin Dunne (64), and Nancy Sinatra (79).