It’s been a funny old week; although we’ve had no klaxons, quite a few interesting deaths have come to pass, along with half a dozen racehorses that wont be mentioned. No points to awards this week, but plenty to be getting on with.
Look Who You Could Have Had:
- Sara Coward, 69, British actress (The Archers), breast cancer.
- Damian, 52, British pop singer, cancer.
- Al Jarreau, 76, American jazz and R&B singer (“Moonlighting“, “Since I Fell for You“, “We Are the World“), seven-time Grammy winner, respiratory failure.
- Kim Jong-nam, 45, North Korean political figure, member of Kim dynasty, poisoned.
- Bruce Lansbury, 87, British-American television producer (Murder, She Wrote, The Wild Wild West, Knight Rider) and screenwriter, complications from Alzheimer’s disease.
- Dick Bruna, 89, Dutch author and illustrator (Miffy).
- George Steele, 79, American professional wrestler (WWF) and actor (Ed Wood), renal failure.
- Warren Frost, 91, American actor (Twin Peaks, Matlock, Seinfeld).
- Daniel Vickerman, 37, South African-born Australian rugby union footballer (Brumbies, Waratahs, national team).
In Other News
Former boxer Michael Watson, the man who first started off The Dead Pool, was hurt in a suspected carjacking attempt last week in London, his friend has said. The 51-year-old, who suffered a near-fatal brain injury in a 1991 fight with Chris Eubank, was in a car with his carer when it was hit from behind. The carer tried to speak to the driver but was sprayed in the face with “some sort of ammonia”, former boxer Spencer Oliver told BBC Radio 5 live. Mr Watson was dragged along the road as a man drove off in his car, he said. Police said both men required hospital treatment, but their injuries were not life-threatening. Mr Oliver, who spoke to both Mr Watson and his carer, Lennard Ballack, after the incident, said the pair were at traffic lights in Chingford, east London, last Thursday when they got into difficulties. After a white Mercedes bumped into them, Mr Ballack got out, intending to tell the driver that no damage had been done, Mr Oliver said. But when he tapped on the car window, the driver leapt out and sprayed him with “some sort of ammonia”, he said. Mr Ballack fell to the ground and tussled with his attacker, while the passenger tried to hijack Mr Watson’s car, he added. Mr Watson got caught up in the seatbelt as he tried to get out. As the car was driven off, he was “hanging out of the door”, said Mr Oliver. The former boxer is now recovering at home from injuries to the skin caused by being dragged along the road. Mr Oliver said the incident had been traumatic and both men were still shaken up. Mr Watson’s 1991 WBO super-middleweight title fight with Mr Eubank left him partially disabled and ended his boxing career. He spent 40 days in a coma and had six brain operations and also made The Dead Pool Master a lot of dirty money!
The actor Harrison Ford has emerged unscathed following another mid-air mishap. Ford, 74, was told to land his single-engine plane on a runway at John Wayne Airport in Orange County, California, on Monday, but he mistakenly landed it on a parallel taxiway, passing over an American Airlines jet holding nearby, NBC reported. “Was that airliner meant to be underneath me?” Ford is heard asking air traffic controllers in a recording. American Airlines Flight 1456, with 110 passengers and six crew, departed safely for Dallas a few minutes later. Ford’s publicist, Ina Treciokas, declined to comment. Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Ian Gregor couldn’t confirm that Ford was piloting the Aviat Husky that overflew the Boeing 737, but he said the pilot received and had read back the proper landing instructions. The FAA is investigating. In March 2015, Ford was seriously injured when his second world war-era trainer crashed on a Los Angeles golf course when it lost power shortly after takeoff. The actor was praised for his ingenuity in avoiding more populated areas. In 1999, Ford crash-landed his helicopter during a training flight in which he and an instructor were practising auto rotations in Ventura County, northwest of Los Angeles; neither of them was hurt. An in another incident, Ford was flying a Beechcraft Bonanza in 2000 when wind shear forced him to make an emergency landing at Lincoln Municipal Airport in Nebraska. Ford and his passenger were uninjured when the plane clipped the runway.
The Jump has claimed its latest victim. Five-time Olympic champion Sir Bradley Wiggins has quit TV winter sports show The Jump after breaking his leg. The former Tour de France winner said he was “gutted” after sustaining a “small leg fracture” while taking part in snowcross training. Channel 4 said Sir Bradley had been keen to continue but would not appear after the fourth show in the series. Last year, injuries to a number of celebrities prompted a review of safety procedures on the reality show. Sir Bradley, who announced his retirement from cycling in December, tweeted: “Gutted to be leaving The Jump. I wanted to give you an injury update. “Seen a specialist, I have a small leg fracture and need to rest for 3-6 weeks. Good news no surgery or cast required. “Huge thanks to the crew and good luck to all of the cast. Due to the way the show is filmed, I’ll still be on until show four, so tune in. Before his departure, model Vogue Williams left this season of the show after suffering a knee injury in training. Last year’s series of The Jump was dogged by injuries, which resulted in seven celebrities quitting the programme.
On This Day
- 1674 – England and the Netherlands sign the Treaty of Westminster, ending the Third Anglo-Dutch War. A provision of the agreement transfers the Dutch colony of New Amsterdam to England, and it is renamed New York.
- 1847 – The first group of rescuers reaches the Donner Party.
- 1878 – Thomas Edison patents the phonograph.
- 1985 – William J. Schroeder becomes the first recipient of an artificial heart to leave hospital.
- 1985 – EastEnders, BBC‘s flagship soap opera, broadcasts for the first time.
- 1994 – Derek Jarman, English director and set designer (b. 1942)
- 2001 – Stanley Kramer, American director and producer (b. 1913)
- 2016 – Umberto Eco, Italian novelist, literary critic, and philosopher (b. 1932)
- 2016 – Harper Lee, American author (b. 1926)
Last Week’s Birthdays
Ashton Kutcher (39), Jennifer Aniston (48), Burt Reynolds (81), Jennifer Jason Leigh (55), Cristiano Ronaldo (32), Elizabeth Banks (43), Damien Lewis (46), Chloe Grace Moretz (20), Laura Dern (50), Chris Rock (52), Garth Brooks (55), Sheryl Crow (55), James Spader (57), Mia Farrow (72), Charlotte Rampling (71), Joe Pesci (74), Greg Norman (62), Sarah Palin (53), Christopher Guest (69), Michael Sheen (48), Nick Nolte (76), Seth Green (43), Axel Rose (55), John Grisham (62), Rick Astley (51) and Glenn Beck (53).
Next week peeps!