Dead Pool 27th December 2020

Here we are again, the last newsletter of the year. Comes around so quickly!! With just a few days to go, anything could happen! I’ve already had about a dozen 2021 lists and they’re all fantastic! You will have to think deeply if you haven’t submitted yours already. 

Just so you know, the winner will be declared on Friday 1st January, which will also be the day I’ll send out the 2020 review, a copy of everyone else’s list and a new email address list if you want to send the group a klaxon for instance. 

Donations to keep us running will be the same as usual, PayPal page on the website. The page will be opened on 1st January for four weeks, and as always, you’re not obliged to contribute as 2020 has been a shit year for all of us. But if you think a years worth of newsletters, a trophy, a few giggles and a cool website is worth a couple of quid, your contribution will be thankfully received; running costs for 2021 will be roughly £140, about the price of a pint each if we have our usual numbers taking part, although that usually ends up being the price of a night out and a taxi for me to make up the shortfall. 

Look Who You Could Have Had:

In Other News

In a candid recent interview comedy legend  Billy Connolly confessed he feels close to death, and thinks about it “quite a lot”. Connolly was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in 2013, “I don’t think I’ve got that long”, he said to us. “I don’t want to be a comedian you feel sorry for”, said the performer who has chosen to remain off the stage as he doesn’t feel comfortable with the symptoms of the disease showing. “There’s an American boy who says, ‘Shaking is the new cool.’ He’s got it on a T-shirt. And bless him, but I don’t want to do it,” said Connolly. In 2019, the Glaswegian comic announced his poignant, provocative last tour The Sex Life of Bandages, in which he joked about the disease “Drooling has taken over my life,” he mused. “It’s so unattractive.” The Sydney Opera House date of the final tour was released as a film. Connolly explained how his condition is getting worse. “Nothing’s working,” he said, revealing that his condition is affecting his mood. “I’m having a bit of a sad time”. The comic has tried alternative treatments to curb symptoms of the brain disorder, which causes shaking, stiffness, affects balance and causes difficulty walking. Some research suggests Cannabis helps: “but I get bombed out of my head”, said Connolly on trying the remedy in Florida, where he now lives and there is a Compassionate Medical Cannabis Act. “I don’t like it. My daughter bought me cigarettes with CBD. It helped a little, but not enough to write home about.” Voted “most influential comedian of all time” in a 2012 poll, the comic also received a special recognition National Television Award in 2016, and was knighted in 2017.   

Tom Parker, 32, has shared on Instagram that since beginning radiotherapy and chemotherapy treatment, he has been suffering from “bad” memory loss. The Wanted singer explained how the brutal hospital sessions have left him forgetting what he has “just done” throughout the day. Tom said: “As some of you know, I have been through chemo and radio, haven’t I? “Which was pretty god-damn brutal, but some of the side effects from the chemo and radio are you get bad memory loss.” He then asked his wife Kelsey Harwick: “Mine was already bad, wasn’t it? His spouse responded: “Horrendous already, so now I’m like… literally, it’s even worse!” Tom elaborated that he struggled to remember daily activities, but would sometimes recall “weird” things, such as a present he bought for his daughter Aurelia. He continued: “But it’s the weirdest thing because like, I’ll go to her [Kelsey], ‘What did I just do?’ But I can remember stuff like this…” Tom is best known for being in boyband The Wanted, who achieved fame in the early 2010s with singles including All Time Low and Glad You Came. 

Australian golfer Greg Norman is in hospital after suffering from coronavirus. The 65-year-old, who won two Open championships in 1986 and 1993, confirmed  on his Instagram page that he had been admitted to hospital on Christmas Day due to contracting Covid-19. The former professional golfer posted a picture from his hospital bed, along with a second image of a doctor standing behind a protective screen that showed Norman in isolation from other patients. Norman added: “This sums it all up. My Christmas Day. On behalf of millions, fuck CoVid. This get this shit behind us never to experience it again.” Several golfers sent their best wishes to Norman, with British trio Justin Rose, Lee Westwood and Ian Poulter among those to wish the Australian golfing great a “speedy recovery”. Norman, who earned the nickname The Great White Shark, spent more than 300 weeks at the top of the world golf rankings, and was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 2001.  

Johnny Ruffo recently announced the heartbreaking news his brain cancer had returned after he experienced “an unexpected week of seizures and excruciating headaches.” The 32 year old former Home And Away actor kicks off another round of chemotherapy over the festive season. The actor and talented singer first battled the illness in 2017, and had since been given the all clear after brain surgery and multiple rounds of chemotherapy. Johnny wrote on social media “After an unexpected week of seizures and excruciating headaches it is with a heavy heart that i have to let you know i now have another huge battle ahead of me as my brain cancer has returned,”. He added: “though i will dig deep and beat this s*hit disease again #f***cancer.” The former X factor Australia’s doctors had actually discovered his first tumour by chance when he headed to hospital suffering from migraines. At the time, the star underwent life-saving surgery to have the 7cm tumour removed before undergoing chemotherapy and radiotherapy. 

On This Day

  • 537 – The construction of the Hagia Sophia in Constantinople is completed. 
  • 1831 – Charles Darwin embarks on his journey aboard HMS Beagle, during which he will begin to formulate his theory of evolution.  
  • 1836 – The worst ever avalanche in England occurs at Lewes, Sussex, killing eight people.  
  • 1939 – The 7.8 Mw  Erzincan earthquake shakes eastern Turkey with a maximum Mercalli intensity of XI (Extreme). At least 32,700 people were killed.  
  • 2007 – Former Pakistani prime minister Benazir Bhutto is assassinated in a shooting incident.


  • 1923 – Gustave Eiffel, French architect, co-designed the Eiffel Tower (b. 1832)  
  • 1958 – Harry Warner, Polish-American film producer, co-founded Warner Bros. (b. 1881)  
  • 1982 – Jack Swigert, American pilot, astronaut, and politician (b. 1931)  
  • 1994 – Fanny Cradock, English author and critic (b. 1909)  
  • 2003 – Alan Bates, English actor (b. 1934)  
  • 2007 – Benazir Bhutto, 11th Prime Minister of Pakistan (b. 1953) 
  • 2012 – Norman Schwarzkopf, Jr., American general and engineer (b. 1934)  
  • 2016 – Carrie Fisher, American actress, screenwriter, author and producer (b. 1956)

Last Female on Death Row?

A ruling by a federal judge to delay the execution of the only woman on federal death row could push the new date into the early days of the administration of President-elect Joe Biden, who has said he would work to end federal capital punishment. The woman, Lisa Montgomery, had been scheduled to be executed the 8th of December, but that date was delayed after two of her lawyers tested positive for the coronavirus shortly after travelling to a federal prison in Texas to visit her in November. Should Montgomery’s life be spared as a result of the series of delays caused by the infection of her lawyers, it would be a rare reprieve for a prisoner from a virus that has swept through prisons, infecting inmates crammed into shared spaces.

But if the Department of Justice appeals the decision, a higher court would most likely overturn it. Since the Supreme Court paved the way for federal executions to proceed in June after a 17-year hiatus, the justices have been largely unreceptive to requests for reprieve from federal inmates scheduled for execution. The Justice Department had rescheduled her execution for January 12th, but Judge Randolph Moss of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia ruled Thursday that the January execution date had been unlawfully rescheduled because a stay order, which was issued because of her lawyers’ illnesses, was still in effect. 

Montgomery, of Melvern, Kansas, was convicted in 2008 of killing Bobbie Jo Stinnett, who was 23 years old and eight months pregnant at the time, and cutting a baby from her abdomen. She tried to pass off Stinnett’s baby as her own before admitting to the crime. A jury convicted her of kidnapping resulting in death in federal court in Missouri.

Montgomery’s lawyers have said that she has severe mental illness, which was inherited from both of her parents and worsened by the abuse she endured as a child, including being sex-trafficked by her mother and gang-raped by men. 

Federal execution rules state that a prisoner will receive notice of his or her execution date at least 20 days in advance. However, when the rescheduled date is fewer than 20 days from the earlier execution date, the prisoner must be notified only “as soon as possible.” The stay in Montgomery’s case barred the government from executing her before December 31st. How long the government will wait to execute her after that point remains unclear. Once Biden is sworn in on January 20th, the chances of Montgomery’s execution become increasingly unlikely. Representatives for Biden did not immediately respond to a request for comment about whether he would intervene in Montgomery’s case should her execution fall under his purview. A spokesperson for the president-elect told us that Biden “opposes the death penalty now and in the future.”

If Montgomery is executed, it would be the first federal execution of a woman since 1953, when Bonnie Heady was killed in a gas chamber for the kidnapping and murder of a 6-year-old boy in Kansas City, Missouri. The Trump administration resumed federal executions in July for the first time since 2003.

Last Week’s Birthdays

Timothée Chalamet (25), Wilson Cruz (47), Gérard Depardieu (72), John Amos (81), Maryam d’Abo (60), Jared Leto (49), Kit Harington (34), Temuera Morrison (60), Shane Meadows (48), Phil Spector (81), Sissy Spacek (71), Helena Christensen (52), Annie Lennox (66), Nadiya Hussain (36), Anil Kapoor (64), Ricky Martin (49), Finn Wolfhard (18), Harry Shearer (77), Carla Bruni (53), Ralph Fiennes (58), Vanessa Paradis (48), Samuel L. Jackson (72), Jane Fonda (83), Kiefer Sutherland (54), Steven Yeun (37), Julie Delpy (51), and Michael Horse (71).

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