Dead Pool 14th March 2021
Look Who You Could Have Had:
- Trevor Peacock, 89, English actor (The Vicar of Dibley, Hamlet, Fred Claus), complications from dementia.
- Cliff Simon, 58, South African actor (Stargate SG-1), kiteboarding accident.
- Goodwill Zwelithini kaBhekuzulu, 72, South African royal, King of the Zulus (since 1971), complications from diabetes.
- Murray Walker, 97, British motorsport commentator (Channel 4, BBC Sport, ITV Sport).
- Marvelous Marvin Hagler, 66, American boxer, undisputed middleweight champion (1980–1987).
In Other News
For those of us of a certain age, between buying your records on vinyl and then on CD, the cassette tape was your goto for music, especially if you wanted to record the Top 40 to play in the car. Such joy and wonder was brought to you by Lou Ottens, who sadly died at the age of 94 last week. Ottens, the head of product development at the Belgian Hasselt branch of Philips during the 1960’s wanted to make something small and more user friendly than a LP record. Unsurprisingly, Ottens’ invention was a great success worldwide, especially after the release of Sony’s Walkman. More than 100 billion cassettes have been sold since its launch in 1963, but the cassette tape more or less disappeared after the release of the Compact Disc, which was also developed by Ottens and his team of engineers twenty years later. Decades later, Ottens revealed in an interview that back in the 1960s he was completely unaware of the groundbreaking research he and his colleagues were doing. “Well, no. We were little boys who had fun playing. We didn’t feel like we were doing anything big. It was a kind of sport.” How all tapes morphed into a Queen album whilst stored in your car glove compartment is still unknown, scientists believe it could be a kind of magic…
Sarah Harding was told by a doctor that Christmas 2020 “would probably be her last” following her breast cancer diagnosis. In August, the Girls Aloud star shared a selfie from hospital to social media as she announced that the cancer had advanced to other parts of her body. In an extract of her book Hear Me Out, the singer has now revealed that she underwent a mastectomy and intensive chemotherapy since her diagnosis in August. While it initially “seemed like the chemo was working”, she writes, the cancer has spread further, with a secondary tumour growing on either the base of her spine or her brain. “In December my doctor told me that the upcoming Christmas would probably be my last,” Harding said. “I don’t want an exact prognosis. I don’t know why anyone would want that. Comfort and being as pain-free as possible is what’s important to me now.” The 39-year-old said that while she is considering treatment options, she doesn’t want to have radiotherapy and lose her hair “with no guarantees at the end of it”. “It might seem vain thinking about my hair, but my thinking was that if there’s a chance I’ve only got six months, then I’ve got six months,” she wrote. “Losing my hair probably wasn’t going to change that, so if there’s another way to manage the disease or treat it, then let’s do that. I don’t want to feel like I have to spend whatever time I have left hiding away.” She also revealed that she nearly died of sepsis in hospital and had to be put into a coma for two weeks.
On This Day
- 1900 – The Gold Standard Act is ratified, placing the United States currency on the gold standard.
- 1926 – The El Virilla train accident, Costa Rica, kills 248 people and wounds another 93 when a train falls off a bridge over the Río Virilla between Heredia and Tibás.
- 1964 – Jack Ruby is convicted of killing Lee Harvey Oswald, the assumed assassin of John F. Kennedy
- 1883 – Karl Marx, German philosopher and theorist (b. 1818).
- 1932 – George Eastman, US inventor & businessman, founded Eastman Kodak (b. 1854).
- 1999 – Kirk Alyn, American actor (b. 1910).
- 2010 – Peter Graves, American actor (b. 1926).
- 2014 – Tony Benn, English politician, Postmaster General of the UK (b. 1925).
- 2018 – Jim Bowen, English stand-up comedian and TV personality (b. 1937).
- 2018 – Stephen Hawking, English physicist and author (b. 1942).
They’re Sill Alive?!?!
Dead Pool favourite Pete Doherty was always top of the class. Born in Hexham, Northumberland, his dad John was a major in the Royal Signals and his mum Jacqueline Michels a lance corporal in the Royal Nursing Corps. An exemplary student, despite moving around the country as a military child, he achieved 7 A*s in his GCSEs, two As at A-Level and went on a poetry tour of Russia with the British Council when he was 16 after winning a competition. After college, he moved to London to study English Literature at the University of London but quit a year in; got a flat with muso Carl Barat and co-founded The Libertines in 1997.
By 2002, their album Up the Bracket had turned the band into mainstream indie stars, but less than two years later, Pete – who turned 42 on 12th March – got kicked out of the band for abandoning rehab amid a spiralling drug addiction. Years of turbulence followed, from an explosive relationship with Kate Moss to a string of arrests and failed rehab stays and the tragic drugs deaths of some of those closest to him. But what became of Pete after his initial foray into fame….
He met Kate Moss in January 2005 at Kate’s 31st birthday party and had planned to marry in the summer 2007. Pete famously drew a picture of them using his own blood, which sold for £5,000 last year. But their split was an acrimonious one, with the star accusing his ex of burning his beloved teddy Pandy – claims she has never responded too. Then in 2012, when Kate was married to The Kills star Jamie Hince, Pete claimed she called him out of the blue to make peace and check on his welfare. “I got a call which came as a surprise as we haven’t exchanged a word since it ended. And believe me, it ended nastily. But she was friendly and just asked me what I was up to. She wanted to know why I hadn’t written any songs recently and whether I was still taking drugs. She told me that despite everything that had happened between us, she was still rooting for me and that was nice. It means a lot to me to know that.” Meanwhile, he fathered a son, with Liam Gallagher’s ex Lisa Moorish in 2003 and a daughter with South African model Lindi Hingston in 2011.
In 2015, Pete’s friend and former Libertines bandmate Alan Wass, 33, died from a heart attack after being ‘unlawfully’ given an injection of heroin, an inquest at Westminster coroner’s court ruled. Five years earlier, Goldsmith heiress Robyn Whitehead, 27, died at a Hackney flat where she had been making a documentary with Pete and his friend, fellow musician, Pete Wolfe, in January 2010. The inquest at Poplar Coroner’s Court in September 2011 found she had died from heroin poisoning and recorded a verdict of misadventure. As a result of the investigation, Pete was sentenced to six months in jail for possession of cocaine. In 2006 Mark Blanco fell from the balcony of a flat in Whitechapel, east London after rowing with people inside. Pete was caught leaving the scene on CCTV as Blanco lay dying on the pavement. Pete denied any involvement in his death and said he ran away because he was in possession of drugs. He told NME: “I can understand it does look dodgy. How ashamed do you think I am that I stepped over the body and legged it down the street? The film footage made me feel sick, sick to the stomach. Completely ashamed. I’m stepping over a dying man… I was on bail at the time. I had pockets full of drugs.” The coroner ruled out suicide and ordered the Metropolitan police to reopen the investigation, but in 2011 the CPS rules that there was insufficient evidence to charge anyone in relation to his death. Asked about the tragedies he has been associated with, Pete said: “I wasn’t even in the fucking country when Alan died. I saw Robyn the night before. Mark Blanco … well, fuck knows what happened to him.”
Before her death from alcohol poisoning in July 2011, tragic Amy had been good friends with Pete. But in 2012 he claimed they’d actually been lovers but said it ended badly. “This is difficult for me to admit. But, yes, it’s true. Amy and I were lovers,” he said. “I loved her then and, well, I still do today. But towards the end, as only lovers can, she became quite mean and cruel to me. She didn’t suffer fools… and believe me, she had a mean right hook.”
In his early days in London, Pete has told how he funded his addiction by working as a gay prostitute. In Libertine’s biography, Kids in Riot, he said: “I was working in a bar, selling drugs, working on a building site, writing poetry in the graveyard shift at The King’s Head – and I was wanking off old queens for like £20.”
He’s attempted rehab numerous times over the years, and EastEnders’ star June Brown, who played Dot Cotton, even once stepped in and offered him a lifeline. June, 94, ran a charity that helped pay for addicts to get treatment at a Thai monastery called Thamkrabok, which claims to have one of the highest success rates in the world. “Anyone can go,” she said at the time. “We will pay your fare, all you need is to commit to treatment. I’m a huge Libertines fan. It’d be a marvellous place for Pete to kick his addiction.” Pete signed up but sadly only lasted a few days before he fled for the bright lights on Bangkok. After a second stint in Thailand in 2014 he declared that he’d beaten his demons once and for all, but unsurprisingly relapsed within ’10 minutes’ of getting home to Margate.
During his last major interview in 2019, he admitted he was still as addicted as ever but lamented what he could be and achieve if he wasn’t controlled by his hunger for drugs. “A part of me would like to be clean. Just so I can feel things. There are so many people in my life who deserve better. It really is a mental deficiency.I’d be a force to be reckoned with! I’d have money and self-respect and clean hands.”
Pete still lives in Margate and was hospitalised in 2019 after pricking his finger on a hedgehog spike and at 42 years of age is still a very good shout as a Maverick.
Last Week’s Birthdays
Jaimie Alexander (37), Michael Caine (88), Jamie Bell (35), Billy Crystal (73), Quincy Jones (88), Harry Melling (32), Annabeth Gish (50), William H. Macy (71), Danny Masterson (45), Titus Welliver (59), Aaron Eckhart (53), Liza Minnelli (75), Jodie Comer (28), Thora Birch (39), Johnny Knoxville (50), John Barrowman (54), Olivia Wilde (37), Sharon Stone (63), Jon Hamm (50), Chuck Norris (81), Oscar Isaac (42), Juliette Binoche (57), Freddie Prinze Jr. (45), Aidan Quinn (62), Cynthia Rothrock (64), and Micky Dolenz (76).