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Dead Pool 18th February 2018

Welcome all, a slow week for the Dead Pool, other than Morgan Tsvangirai, I doubt many of you would have recognised any of last weeks deaths. A quick shout out to The Buttington Oak, which had stood outside Welshpool for over 1,000 years. Planted as a boundary marker along Offa’s Dyke it was one of the oldest trees in the country but sadly fell down last week. Its girth measured over 11 meters!

Look Who You Could Have Had:

  • Victor Milan, 63, American science fiction and fantasy author (Wild Cards, Deathlands, BattleTech), cancer.
  • Henrik, Prince Consort of Denmark, 83, French-born Danish royal, Consort (since 1972), complications from pneumonia.
  • Morgan Tsvangirai, 65, Zimbabwean politician and opposition leader, Prime Minister (2009–2013), colorectal cancer.
  • Gochomu J. Mudzingwa, 101, Zimbabwean traditional ruler, Chief Wozhele (since 2008), pneumonia.

In Other News

For the first time in years, Vladimir Putin has cancelled several public appearances due to illness – prompting speculation about the long-term durability of a leader feted for his virility. On Monday, there was no visit to Sochi. Tuesday, there was no discussion of microelectronics in the Kremlin. Wednesday, the President did not make an appearance at the “Mentor 2018” forum in Moscow. And next week, he will not travel to the Russian Far East. During his last public appearance, at the culmination of the Kremlin’s “Leaders of Russia” talent competition, the President showed obvious signs of illness. His voice was weak and crackly and he coughed throughout. The President struggled with public speeches, made mistakes and seemed unfocussed. On Tuesday, presidential press secretary Dmitry Peskov played down the suggestion of serious illness. Mr Putin would continue to work from the Kremlin or at his suburban residence in Novo-Ogaryovo, he said. It is not the first time that Mr Putin’s health has been a matter of extended debate. In late 2012, he cancelled several foreign trips and disappeared from public view. Then, the Kremlin claimed Mr Putin was nursing an old “sports injury”. Few were convinced at the time.

Marilyn Manson reportedly had a “meltdown” on a stage in New York this week where he delivered “incoherent rants” before ending the show. The American artist was performing at a venue in Huntington when he apparently began rambling about the audience’s “lack of love” among other subjects. Fans then reportedly began chanting “F**k you Manson” after he dropped his microphone and left the stage. One audience member wrote on Instagram after the gig:  “I wish I could say last night’s show was amazing, but it was just awful.” “Manson came out with a bang but the whole thing deteriorated very quickly,” they continued. “A couple songs in, he went into a conversation with the crowd about how much we loved him (or not). Asked for cheering and the usual rock star ego stuff.” “I think we all started to realise something was wrong. Once he was temporarily satisfied, it didn’t improve. They would start songs only to screech them to a halt a minute in. There were very drawn out versions of songs where Manson mostly rambled on about our lack of love and other bizarre things. After an hour and fifteen minutes of this, he threw his microphone and left the stage. House lights came on a couple minutes later. I don’t think they completed more than 4 songs. It was the strangest, saddest and worst concert I’ve ever been to, and I’ve been to a lot.” Last October, Manson was rushed to the hospital after a stage prop of two giant pistols fell on him during a concert in New York City.

A suspected big cat poacher has been eaten by lions near the Kruger National Park in South Africa, police say. The animals left little behind, but some body parts were found over the weekend at a game park near Hoedspruit. “It seems the victim was poaching in the game park when he was attacked and killed by lions,” said Limpopo police spokesman Moatshe Ngoepe. “They ate his body, nearly all of it, and just left his head and some remains.” Police have not yet established the victim’s identity. A loaded hunting rifle and ammunition were found next to the body, South African website Eyewitness News reports. Lion poaching has been on the rise in Limpopo province in recent years. The big cats’ body parts are sometimes used in traditional medicine, both within Africa and beyond.

On This Day

  • 1885 – Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain is published in the United States.
  • 1930 – Elm Farm Ollie becomes the first cow to fly in a fixed-wing aircraft and also the first cow to be milked in an aircraft.
  • 2004 – Up to 295 people, including nearly 200 rescue workers, die near Nishapur, Iran when a runaway freight train carrying sulfur, petrol and fertilizer catches fire and explodes.
  • 2010 – WikiLeaks publishes the first of hundreds of thousands of classified documents disclosed by the soldier now known as Chelsea Manning.

Deaths

  • 1294 – Kublai Khan, Mongol emperor (b. 1215)
  • 1546 – Martin Luther, German priest and theologian, leader of the Protestant Reformation (b. 1483)
  • 1564 – Michelangelo, Italian sculptor and painter (b. 1475)
  • 1967 – J. Robert Oppenheimer, American physicist and academic (b. 1904)

Last Week’s Birthdays

John Travolta (64), Molly Ringwald (50), Matt Dillon (54), Cybill Shepherd (68), Dr. Dre (53), Yoko Ono (85), Joseph Gordon-Levitt (37), Michael Bay (53), Lou Diamond Phillips (56), Rene Russo (64), Dominic Purcell (48), Paris Hilton (37), Rory Kinnear (40), Ed Sheeran (27), Michael Jordan (55), Patricia Routledge (89), Brenda Fricker (73), Barry Humphries (84), Christopher Eccleston (54), LeVar Burton (61), Amanda Holden (47), John McEnroe (59), Jane Seymour (67), Matt Groening (64), Simon Pegg (48), Andrew Robinson (76), Teller (70), Mena Suvari (39), Kim Novak (85), Stockard Channing (74), Kitten Natividad (70), Peter Tork (76), Robbie Williams (44), Jerry Springer (74), Josh Brolin (50), Christina Ricci (38), Michael Ironside (68) and Arsenio Hall (62).

Things More Likely To Kill You In 1970’s Britain Than Today

The workplace: There has been a big drop in fatal injuries at work since 1981. Before then, not all industries were required to report workplace injuries, so the data is patchy. But in the industries that did have to report, deaths fell sharply in the 1970s too. In the year 1986-87 there were 407 fatal accidents in workplaces around Britain. Three decades later the figure had fallen by two-thirds.  The size of the workforce has increased a lot in that time, so if we look at the death rate per 100,000 workers, the improvement is even greater. This is largely because of Britain’s transformation from an industrial economy to a service-based one. Clearly people working in factories and heavy industry are more at risk of fatal accidents than office workers, although some paper cuts can prove to be deadly! Coal mining and steel used to be big killers but now employ very few people in the UK. But these days the figures may be underreported, says Noel Whiteside, a public policy expert at the University of Warwick. The number of self-employed people is rising rapidly, making incidents harder to track. If a contractor is killed in a car crash on the way to a job, or has a heart attack while working from home, that would not count as a death in the workplace, she points out. Although workplaces are safer now, people generally work longer hours, and it is hard to measure the effects of health problems brought about by overwork. “I don’t think white-collar work was nearly as stressful 40 years ago,” Whiteside says. Improvements in general health levels are one reason for a decline in workplace deaths, but “there are some signs in the last two years that life expectancy has started to fall,” says Whiteside. But we can all agree, Health & Safety rules may have decreased the great unwashed killing themselves in Darwinian fashion.

Dead Pool 11th February 2018

Not a good week to be a drummer it seems…. No points to be awarded this week, so the status quo remains. A quick mention to you all about contributing to the newsletter; if you feel like you would like to write something, please do so and email it in, theres always room for death related articles or any creepy/scary/murderous stories. Or if I have missed something you may have read during the week, please let me know, we can always sneak something in the following week.

Look Who You Could Have Had:

  • Leon “Ndugu” Chancler, 65, American jazz/pop drummer (“Billie Jean”), prostate cancer.
  • John Mahoney, 77, English-American actor (Frasier, In the Line of Fire, Say Anything…), complications from throat cancer.
  • Mickey Jones, 76, American drummer (Kenny Rogers and The First Edition) and actor (Home Improvement, National Lampoon’s Vacation).
  • Jill Messick, 50, American film producer (Mean Girls, Frida) and talent manager (Rose McGowan), suicide.
  • Pat Torpey, 64, American drummer (Mr. Big), complications from Parkinson’s disease.
  • Lovebug Starski, 57, American rapper and disc jockey, heart attack.
  • Reg E. Cathey, 59, American actor (The Wire, House of Cards, Fantastic Four), Emmy winner (2015), lung cancer.
  • John Gavin, 86, American actor (Psycho, Spartacus, Imitation of Life) and diplomat (Ambassador to Mexico 1981–1986), pneumonia.
  • Liam Miller, 36, Irish footballer (Manchester United, Sunderland, national team), pancreatic cancer.

In Other News

One of the £14m Hatton Garden jewellery raiders,  Terry Perkins, has died in prison aged 69. Sadly, he wasn’t famous enough for our purposes as he hasn’t made the wiki list, yet… Perkins from Enfield, north London, was serving a jail term for the “largest burglary in English legal history”. One of four ringleaders of the 2015 raid, he was last week ordered to pay back £6,526,571 or face a further seven-year jail term, I guess he’s having a little giggle at that ultimatum now. Perkins and his fellow raiders stole goods after drilling into a vault at London’s Hatton Garden Safe Deposit. He was serving his sentence in HMP Belmarsh and is believed to have been ill for some time. Last Tuesday, the gang members were ordered to pay back £27.5m between them or have their sentences increased. Judge Christopher Kinch QC said the men jointly benefitted from an estimated £13.69m worth of stolen cash, gold and gems. Peter Rowlands, Perkins’ barrister, said his client – who had been diagnosed with “severe heart failure” – would have to serve the extra time as there was “no prospect” of any further funds being recovered.

Melanie Griffiths has been pictured with a scar on her nose and is believed to to have undergone surgery to remove a skin cancer from her nose four months ago. And despite having neither confirmed nor denied the reports, she showed off her ‘scar’ when she walked the red carpet at The Vienna Opera Ball in Austria on Thursday. Dressed in a classy black gown, the 60-year-old actress showed off the mark which was apparently left when she had basal cell carcinoma removed. It would be the second time she’s undergone a procedure to remove skin cancer, with her rep confirming that she had malignant cells removed in 2009. However, it was caught early and no further treatment was required.

On This Day

  • 1812 – Massachusetts governor Elbridge Gerry is accused of “gerrymandering” for the first time.
  • 1858 – Bernadette Soubirous’s first vision of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Lourdes, France.
  • 1938 – BBC Television produces the world’s first ever science fiction television program, an adaptation of a section of the Karel Čapek play R.U.R., that coined the term “robot”.
  • 1990 – Nelson Mandela is released from Victor Verster Prison outside Cape Town, South Africa after 27 years as a political prisoner.

Deaths

Last Week’s Birthdays 

Chloë Grace Moretz (21), Robert Wagner (88), Elizabeth Banks (44), Laura Dern (51), Keeley Hawes (42), Vince Gilligan (51), Mia Khalifa (25), Philip Glenister (55), Holly Willoughby (37), Tom Hiddleston (37), Ciarán Hinds (65), Joe Pesci (75), Mia Farrow (73), Seth Green (44), Nick Nolte (77), John Williams (86), Ethan Phillips (63), James Spader (58), Deborah Ann Woll (33), Ashton Kutcher (40), Chris Rock (53), Eddie Izzard (56), Garth Brooks (56), Mike Farrell (79), Rip Torn (87), Kevin Whately (67), Axl Rose (56), Jennifer Jason Leigh (56), Michael Sheen (49), Charlotte Rampling (72), Christopher Guest (70), Cristiano Ronaldo (33), Gabrielle Anwar (48), Natalie Imbruglia (43), Alice Cooper (70) and Jim Jefferies (40).

Things More Likely To Kill You In 1970’s Britain Than Today

In the first of a series of articles, we will be looking at how safer our lives are nowadays compared to forty years ago. As you know, humans tend towards pessimism when it comes to observing the world around them. A recent Ipsos Mori survey suggests we frequently think things are worse than they are, from murder rates to the prevalence of diabetes. But very often our perceptions don’t align with reality.

Winter deaths: More people die in winter than in summer because of cold weather and higher rates of infectious illnesses such as flu. But the difference between the number of people dying in winter compared with summer has fallen since the 1970s, when it averaged more than 40,000 extra deaths. By 2015-16, there were fewer than 25,000 excess deaths a year in winter compared with in summer. Much of this is because of general improvements in health, but our homes are also better heated and insulated now. These days almost all homes have some form of double glazing but in the early 1970s fewer than 8% did, according to The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government. Despite an overall downward trend in winter deaths, there are significant fluctuations year-on-year. That can be because of a particularly cold winter or bad flu strain. The highest number of excess winter deaths in recent times was in 1999-2000. “The main strain of flu that year affected older people more than the young, which likely contributed to the high number of winter deaths,” says Dr Annie Campbell, from the Office for National Statistics (ONS). Similarly, in 2014-15 the flu jab turned out to be less effective than usual in protecting people against the strain in circulation that winter. To allow for some of these natural variations, the ONS also produces a five-year average each year. It’s too soon to say how this year is going, but if you look at the whole winter period so far, figures from Public Health England suggest that there have been fewer excess deaths among the over-65s than the year before, or in 2014-15 when the strain of flu used in vaccines turned out not to be as good a match as usual to the main strain circulating that winter.

Dead Pool 4th February 2018

Points!!! Dave correctly guessed that the world’s oldest man would die this year and scores himself a whopping 37 points!! But kudos to Abi who’s bagged a second Death Row inmate this year! With the demise of John Battaglia she scores 88 points plus nobody will miss the evil twat who killed both his daughters as an act of revenge against his estranged wife. The world is truly a better place without him.

Look Who You Could Have Had:

  • Jerry Butler, 58, American pornographic actor
  • Francisco Núñez Olivera, 113, Spanish supercentenarian, world’s oldest known living man.
  • Mark Salling, 35, American actor (Glee) and musician, suicide by hanging.
  • Leah LaBelle, 31, Canadian-born American singer (American Idol), traffic collision.
  • Rasual Butler, 38, American basketball player (Miami Heat, New Orleans Hornets, Los Angeles Clippers), traffic collision.
  • John Battaglia, 62, American convicted murderer, execution by lethal injection.
  • Fidel Castro Díaz-Balart, 68, Cuban nuclear physicist and scientific adviser, ‘suicide’.
  • Dennis Edwards, 74, American Hall of Fame soul and R&B singer (The Contours, The Temptations), complications from meningitis.

In Other News

The recent death of an actor known for his roles in Maid Marian And Her Merry Men and Brush Strokes is being investigated by police. Howard Lew Lewis, who also appeared in Blackadder, died on 20th January in an Edinburgh hospital, aged 76. His daughter Debora Milazzo claims he had been placed on a regime of high-dose sedatives and maximum-strength opiate painkillers. Police Scotland confirmed it was investigating the complaint. The death is being treated as “unexplained”. The actor, known as Lewy, died in Ellen’s Glen House, a community hospital in Edinburgh just over a week ago. He was being treated for dementia. Ms Milazzo told the BBC Scotland News website: “I’m trying to get justice for my dad. She claims Mr Lewis had been needlessly placed on the kind of treatment plan that would be prescribed for the terminal phase of a malignant disease. Ms Milazzo insisted her father had not received a terminal diagnosis. “They suddenly just changed his medication and it was the new medication that killed him.”

Lady Gaga has cancelled the last 10 dates of the European leg of her world tour due to “severe pain”. In a statement posted on Twitter, the pop star apologised to fans and said she was “devastated”, but needed to put “myself and my well-being” first. The Grammy award-winning singer has fibromyalgia, a long-term condition which can cause pain all over the body. Shows in London and Manchester are among those affected. In the statement, it said the “tough decision” had been made on Friday night with “strong support from her medical team”. Ticket holders can apply for a refund from 6th February. “I’m so devastated I don’t know how to describe it,” Lady Gaga, 31, wrote. “All I know is that if I don’t do this, I am not standing by the words or meaning of my music.” The announcement comes after she started the UK leg of her tour at Birmingham Arena, so it’s no wonder she decided not to carry on afterwards.

US police investigating the mysterious death of film star Natalie Wood say her husband Robert Wagner is now a person of interest. Investigators in Los Angeles say Wagner has “constantly changed his story”, adding that his version of events does not “add up”. Wood was found drowned in 1981 during a California boat trip with Wagner and the actor Christopher Walken. Her death was ruled to have been an accident but questions have lingered. “As we’ve investigated the case over the last six years, I think [Wagner] is more of a person of interest now,” Lt John Corina of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s office told CBS News. “We know now that he was the last person to be with Natalie before she disappeared,” he said. “I haven’t seen him tell the details that match all the other witnesses in this case”. Conflicting versions of what happened on the yacht have contributed to the mystery of how the actress died in November 1981. Wood, who starred in West Side Story and Rebel Without a Cause, had been partying the night before her death. The coroner’s investigation ruled she had been drinking and may have slipped trying to board a dinghy. But police say two new witnesses have corroborated accounts of a fight between Wagner and Wood on the night she disappeared. They say it appears the actress was the victim of an assault. The post-mortem report said Wood had bruises on her body and arms as well as a facial abrasion on her left cheek. TV star Wagner, 87, has not commented on the latest developments but acknowledged in his memoir that he had argued with his wife before she disappeared.

A much-celebrated gannet, the only one of its kind living on an island off the coast of New Zealand, has been found dead surrounded by concrete replicas of birds it is believed he thought were his friends and family. Nigel “no mates”, as he was affectionately known, lived his life on the edge of a desolate cliff on the almost-uninhabited Mana Island, with only 80 fake gannets for company. His body was found alongside one particular concrete gannet replica conservationists say he believed was his partner. Nigel had attempted to woo the replica in 2013 in an act of courtship, which led to him building a nest from seaweed, mud and twigs for the bird. “No mates” Nigel was lured to the island five years ago by wildlife officials, who first placed the concrete replicas on the cliff side in December 1997, broadcasting their calls through a sound system in hopes of establishing a new colony. He was the first gannet to settle on Mana Island in 40 years and conservationists hoped there would be many more, but none followed and he developed a moniker among his fans of “the world’s loneliest bird”.  In a cruel twist of fate, three new gannets were spotted on the island last year on Christmas Eve, marking 20 years since the concrete colony was first established, and it was thought that Nigel would finally have some flesh-and-blood company. Nigel’s body has now been sent to the Massey University to determine a cause of death.  It is unknown where he will be laid to rest but one fan suggested on the Friends of Mana Island group that he be cremated and his ashes stored in a concrete urn made to look like him. Great work conservationists!

On This Day

  • 1703 – In Edo (now Tokyo), 46 of the Forty-seven Ronin commit seppuku (ritual suicide) as recompense for avenging their master’s death.
  • 1789 – George Washington is unanimously elected as the first President of the United States by the U.S. Electoral College.
  • 1974 – The Symbionese Liberation Army kidnaps Patty Hearst in Berkeley, California.
  • 1976 – In Guatemala and Honduras an earthquake kills more than 22,000.
  • 1977 – A Chicago Transit Authority elevated train rear-ends another and derails, killing 11 and injuring 180, the worst accident in the agency’s history.
  • 1998 – The 5.9 Mw Afghanistan earthquake shakes the Takhar Province with a maximum Mercalli intensity of VII (Very strong). With 2,323 killed, and 818 injured, damage is considered extreme.
  • 2004 – Facebook, a mainstream online social networking site, is founded by Mark Zuckerberg.

Deaths

  • 1983 – Karen Carpenter, American singer (b. 1950)
  • 1987 – Liberace, American singer-songwriter and pianist, (b. 1919)

Last Week’s Birthdays

Isla Fisher (42), Warwick Davis (48), Morgan Fairchild (68), Gemma Arterton (32), Brent Spiner (69), David Jason (78), Shakira (41), Jonathan Banks (71), Justin Timberlake (37), Minnie Driver (48), Dexter Fletcher (52), Christian Bale (44), Olivia Colman (44), Gene Hackman (88), Vanessa Redgrave (81), Phil Collins (67), Heather Graham (48), Katharine Ross (78), Tom Selleck (73), Oprah Winfrey (64), Marc Singer (70), Tim Healy (66), Elijah Wood (37), Ariel Winter (20), Alan Alda (82) and Frank Darabont (59).

Crematorium Fun! 

Ever wondered what makes a crematorium fun to work at? Well, wonder no more. Staff have revealed what keeps them on their toes, like the time when a coconut that was placed inside a coffin “sent fear” through staff at a crematorium when it exploded. Boom!

Apparently it’s quite a problem. Bolton Council has urged mourners to abide by crematorium rules and not “slip” items into coffins. Donna Ball, Assistant Director of Community Services, said a “hell of an explosion can sometimes occur”. Other items of concern include mobile phones, TV remotes, e-cigarettes and bottles of alcohol.

Ms Ball told us at Dead Pool Towers: “We are asking people to be considerate regarding the items they place into coffins before the cremation process. “We have seen a rise in things like e-cigarettes, bottles of whisky and vodka, golf balls, sometimes golf clubs, and mobile phones. Mobile phones in particular are a real issue for us”. Ms Ball said: “Usually the funeral director will pick them up but sometimes things  are slid inside peoples’ pockets and they are just not picked up during the process, then when they go through the cremation process a hell of an explosion can sometimes occur”. She added that electrical items with batteries also push crematorium emissions up to “unacceptable levels”.

Louise Walch-Grognet, of Fred Hamer Funeral Services, said they check the coffins to make sure contraband items are not slipped in. “They’ve asked can they put love letters in, cigarettes, ashes of their pets,” she said. “I’ve had a biker whose family wanted him to wear his leathers. Obviously we couldn’t do that”. The funeral director said on one occasion she was even asked if an extra set of underwear could be placed with the deceased. Ms Walch-Grognet said it was her procedure to “look under the lining of the coffin” after the service due to mourners trying to sneak items in.

I bet it’s a laugh a minute there!

Dead Pool 28th January 2018

Unsurprisingly, nobody scored this week, however we all know a few people on the list below. Without further ado, let’s get on with it!

Look Who You Could Have Had:

  • Howard Lew Lewis, 76, English comedian and actor (Brush Strokes, Maid Marian and Her Merry Men, Chelmsford 123).
  • Jim Rodford, 76, English bassist (Argent, The Kinks, The Zombies), injuries from a fall.
  • Connie Sawyer, 105, American actress (Dumb and Dumber, Pineapple Express, When Harry Met Sally…).
  • Simon Shelton, 52, British actor (Teletubbies, Incredible Games).
  • Ursula K. Le Guin, 88, American science fiction writer (A Wizard of Earthsea, The Left Hand of Darkness, The Dispossessed).
  • Lari White, 52, American country singer (“Now I Know”, “That’s My Baby”) and actress (Cast Away), peritoneal cancer.
  • Mark E. Smith, 60, English singer and songwriter (The Fall).
  • Stacey Young, 52, British fashion model, brain cancer.
  • Mort Walker, 94, American comics artist (Beetle Bailey, Hi and Lois), complications from pneumonia.
  • Ingvar Kamprad, 91, Swedish businessman, founder of IKEA.

In Other News

Neil Diamond has officially announced his retirement from touring due to his recent Parkinson’s diagnosis. The third leg of his 50th Anniversary tour, which was set to launch in March across Australia and New Zealand, has been cancelled as was medically recommended by his doctor. Fans who already purchased tickets will be refunded in full. “I plan to remain active in writing, recording and other projects for a long time to come,” the singer wrote in a statement Monday on his website. “My thanks goes out to my loyal and devoted audiences around the world. You will always have my appreciation for your support and encouragement. This ride has been ‘so good, so good, so good’ thanks to you.” Diamond will be presented with the Lifetime Achievement Award by the Recording Academy at the Grammy Awards on Sunday, thus assuring his death as soon as possible.

Sir Ken Dodd has pulled no punches in attacking the sick individuals behind a fake news report that claimed he had died. In an exclusive interview with the The Dead Pool editorial team, and speaking from his hospital bed, the national treasure told us he is on the road to recovery. This story of his demise was spread across the nation via social media. The veteran entertainer said: “These monstrous evil trolls – people – should go back to the hell they came from. I wish them a reverse curse.” Dodd, who celebrated his 90th birthday in November, was admitted to the Liverpool Heart and Chest Hospital a week last Friday with a severe chest infection. And having dismissed the sad people who caused such upset on Monday night, he said: “I’ve had a good day today (Tuesday) and I’m really starting to get some kind of recovery, but it is going to take some time. “According to the medical people here, millions of people all over Britain are suffering from the same complaint – and it takes a long time to get rid of it.”

Julian Assange’s long stay in the Ecuadorian embassy in London is having a “dangerous” impact on his physical and mental health, according to clinicians who carried out the most recent assessments of him. They renewed calls for the WikiLeaks publisher to be granted safe passage to a London hospital. Sondra Crosby, a doctor and associate professor at the Boston University’s school of medicine and public health, and Brock Chisholm, a London-based consultant clinical psychologist, examined Assange for 20 hours over three days in October. Although the two did not go into details, Assange’s health appears to be deteriorating significantly after more than five years holed up in the embassy. Since he sought refuge in the embassy in June 2012, following an extradition request from Sweden over allegations of sexual assault, there have been various reports that he has a serious shoulder issue that requires an MRI scan, which would be near impossible to organise inside the embassy. He is also said to have a lung problem. They added, “Our assessment reveals that he has had no access to sunlight, appropriate ventilation or outside space for over five and a half years. This has taken a considerable physical as well as psychological toll.”

Sir Elton John has announced he will stop touring in order to prioritise his family. Speaking in New York, the star said he would say goodbye to fans with a series of 300 dates spanning three years. “I always thought I was going to be like Ray Charles, BB King – on the road forever,” he said. “My priorities have changed. We had children and it changed our lives. That doesn’t mean to say I’m not going to be creative. But I’m not going to travel.” The star denied reports in the press that he was retiring due to ill health. “Last year I picked up an infection and I was very ill and it knocked me sideways,” he admitted. But I still did 96 shows. “Believe me – if you ever do 300 shows, you’re not in ill health.” Isn’t that what Michael Jackson said???

Fiften To One quiz show host William G. Stewart left more than £2.4 million in his will – but nothing to his eldest son, The Dead Pool can reveal. Stewart died aged 84 in September last year after a short illness. He left most of his fortune and his Surrey mansion to third wife Laura, 60, and four of his five children will inherit the estate once Laura passes away. But his first child, Nick, a media consultant, will not receive a penny, according to official records. Stewart produced and directed a string of programmes including Bless This House, Love Thy Neighbour and The Price Is Right before going on to pose the questions on Fifteen To One from 1988 to 2003. He initially wanted Jonathan Ross to host it but stepped into the limelight himself when Ross turned down the role. Last night, Nick’s wife Christine said he was not aware he had been left out of his father’s will. Stewart’s family declined to comment yesterday.

On This Day

  • 814 – Charlemagne dies of pleurisy in Aachen as the first Holy Roman Emperor. He is succeeded by his son Louis the Pious as king of the Frankish Empire.
  • 1393 – King Charles VI of France is nearly killed when several dancers’ costumes catch fire during a masquerade ball.
  • 1547 – Henry VIII dies. His nine-year-old son, Edward VI, becomes king.
  • 1896 – Walter Arnold of East Peckham, Kent, becomes the first person to be convicted of speeding. He was fined one shilling, plus costs, for speeding at 8 mph (13 km/h), thereby exceeding the contemporary speed limit of 2 mph (3.2 km/h).
  • 1956 – Elvis Presley makes his first American television appearance.
  • 1958 – The Lego company patents the design of its Lego bricks, still compatible with bricks produced today.
  • 1985 – Supergroup USA for Africa (United Support of Artists for Africa) records the hit single We Are the World, to help raise funds for Ethiopian famine relief.
  • 1986 – Space Shuttle program: STS-51-L mission: Space Shuttle Challenger explodes after liftoff, killing all seven astronauts on board.

Deaths

Last Week’s Birthdays

Bridget Fonda (54), Patton Oswalt (49), Alan Cumming  (53), James Cromwell (78), Mimi Rogers (62), Frank Miller (61), Scott Glenn (77), Ellen DeGeneres (60), Eddie Van Halen (63), Alicia Keys (37), John Terry (68), Kristen Schaal (40), Mischa Barton (32), Nastassja Kinski (57),  Ade Edmondson (61), Neil Diamond (77), Rutger Hauer (74), Gil Gerard (75), Olivia d’Abo (49), Linda Blair (59), Piper Laurie (86), Geena Davis (62), Martin Shaw (73), and Emma Bunton (42).

Dead Pool 21st January 2018

We have some winners people! Laura and Abi both correctly guessed that the powers that be would go ahead and execute Anthony Allen Shore by poking him with a deadly cocktail of chemicals. Can’t say we’ll be missing that guy. Well done to Laura and Abi, 95 points each!

Look Who You Could Have Had:

  • Cyrille Regis, 59, English footballer (West Bromwich Albion, Coventry City, Aston Villa), cardiac arrest.
  • Dolores O’Riordan, 46, Irish singer and musician (The Cranberries, D.A.R.K.).
  • Peter Wyngarde, 90, British actor (Department S, Jason King, Flash Gordon).
  • Charles Burnett III, 61, British-born American investor and land-speed record holder (Inspiration), helicopter crash.
  • Jessica Falkholt, 29, Australian actress (Home and Away), injuries from a traffic collision.
  • John Barton, 89, British theatre director, co-founder of the Royal Shakespeare Company.
  • Peter Mayle, 78, British author (A Year in Provence).
  • Anthony Allen Shore, 55, American serial killer and rapist, execution by lethal injection.
  • Jim Rodford, 76, English musician (The Kinks, The Swinging Blue Jeans, Argent)

In Other News

Sir Ken Dodd, 90, is in hospital battling for his life!! The goofy comedian is reportedly under the weather with a severe chest infection after catching the flu. Dodd’s hospital dash was apparently made by an ambulance in his hometown of Liverpool nearly a week ago. It’s been claimed he was struggling to breathe when paramedics were called on Friday. Ken caught the flu whilst performing a gig at the Liverpool Echo Arena in December. However, a spokesman for Sir Ken said that the comedy legend is expected to make a full recovery. “He went in for a check on Friday because with everything that has been going around and Ken’s age, it’s better to be safe than sorry. They are just keeping a close watch on him and making sure all is well. His wife is reportedly at his bedside with him.  Sir Ken rose to fame with his Diddy Men characters who appeared with him on stage and TV. He also had a radio and recording career, with his signature tune Happiness released in 1964. Dodd also made it into the Guinness Book of Records for telling 1,500 jokes in three and a half hours, none of which made anyone laugh.

BBC newsreader George Alagiah is to undergo medical treatment for bowel cancer for the second time. The news was confirmed by the 62-year-old’s agent, who added: “He is in discussions with his medical team about treatment options and the way forward.” Alagiah was previously treated in April 2014, returning to the screen 18 months later. In a statement, the BBC said: “Everyone sends George and his family their best wishes as he undergoes treatment.” Alagiah said: “My brilliant doctors are determined to get me back to a disease-free state and I know they have the skill to do just that. “I learned last time around how important the support of family and friends is and I am blessed in that department. I genuinely feel positive as I prepare for this new challenge.” Alagiah found out he had stage four bowel cancer in 2014 after complaining of blood in his stools. He had to undergo three operations to remove eight tumours in his liver as well as having chemotherapy.

Brazil legend Pele is resting at home according to his spokesperson, who dismissed reports he had been taken to hospital with exhaustion. The 77-year-old was due to travel to London this weekend for a dinner held in his honour by the Football Writers Association. Pele – the only player to win three World Cups – withdrew and the FWA said he was being monitored by doctors. But his spokesperson called reports of his hospitalisation “fake news”. “He just didn’t want to make a long and stressful trip to London, in and out of who knows how many planes and airports,” said Jose Fornos Rodrigues. “That’s all.” Pele has been taken to hospital for kidney and prostate problems in recent years.

Motor racing legend Sir Stirling Moss has decided to retire  from public life following a long illness. A statement from his son said Moss had made the decision because of his “slow recovery” from health problems. The 88-year-old spent 134 days in hospital after suffering a chest infection while on holiday in Singapore in December 2016. Moss and his wife will now “spend more time with each other and the rest of the family”, said the statement. Moss is widely regarded as one of the greatest Formula 1 drivers of all time, even though he did not win the World Championship. Moss was effectively forced to retire from top-level motorsport in 1962 after a crash at Goodwood left him in a coma for a month and partially paralysed for six months.

Radio host and TV presenter Chris Tarrant was found to be over the drink-drive limit after he was reported to police by a fellow pub-goer. The star had been served four brandy and ports at the Bladebone Inn in Bucklebury, Berkshire, before driving home, Reading Magistrates Court heard. Tarrant, who admitted drink-driving, was banned from driving for a year. After the hearing, he told reporters: “I made a mistake and I paid for it. I shouldn’t have driven.” The Who Wants to be a Millionaire host was found to have 50 microgrammes of alcohol per 100 millilitres of breath. The legal limit is 35 microgrammes.  The 71-year-old said he “honestly didn’t think” he had been over the legal limit when he got in his Mercedes to drive the short journey home, on 16th December. Prosecutor Hasrat Ali told the hearing that staff and drinkers at the pub were “concerned that he had decided to drive home”. “One member of the public had noticed that Mr Tarrant had stumbled near the bar area,” she said. As a result of a discussion in the pub, a member of the public phoned the police. Thirteen minutes after the call was made, officers arrived at Tarrant’s home in Osgoods Gully, Bucklebury. Tarrant’s counsel Simon Ray said the drinks that were bought in the pub were not all consumed by his client. He added that the TV presenter had a knee condition that explained the stumble. District Judge Shomon Khan said despite the “relatively low reading” nothing he could say would “reduce the seriousness of the offence”. He also fined Tarrant £6,000. He should have phoned a friend….

On This Day

  • 1793 – After being found guilty of treason by the French National Convention, Louis XVI of France is executed by guillotine.
  • 1961 – Four hundred thirty-five workers are buried alive when a mine in Coalbrook, Free State, South Africa collapses.
  • 1968 – A B-52 bomber crashes near Thule Air Base, contaminating the area after its nuclear payload ruptures. One of the four bombs remains unaccounted for after the cleanup operation is complete.

Deaths

Last Week’s Birthdays

Rainn Wilson (52), David Lynch (72), Tom Baker (84), Bill Maher (62), Buzz Aldrin (88), Katey Sagal (64), Dolly Parton (72), Tippi Hedren (88), Rob Delaney (41), Michael Crawford (76), Dave Bautista (49), Kevin Costner (63), Mark Rylance (58), Jason Segel (38),  Jane Horrocks (54), John Boorman (85), Samantha Mumba (35), Sharon Mitchell (61), Jim Carrey (56), Zooey Deschanel (38), Betty White (96), James Earl Jones (87), Sophie Dee (34), Naveen Andrews (49), Denis O’Hare (56), Kid Rock (47), Michelle Obama (54), Caroline Munro (69), John Carpenter (70), Kate Moss (44), James May (55), Eva Habermann (42), Sade (59), James Nesbitt (53), Mario Van Peebles (61), DJ Jazzy Jeff (52), Claudia Winkleman (46), Jason Bateman (49), Faye Dunaway (77), Carl Weathers (70), Mark Addy (54), LL Cool J (50) and Dave Grohl (49).