Dead Pool 5th May 2019

We’re now into May and the lack of celebrity deaths is starting to take its toll. Looks like wealth and an easy life does wonders for your longevity. 

Look Who You Could Have Had:

In Other News

The unmarked grave of Joseph Merrick – who is better known as the Elephant Man – has been traced after nearly 130 years, it has been claimed. Merrick had a skeletal and soft tissue deformity which saw him as a freak show attraction, then a medical curiosity. His skeleton has been preserved at the Royal London Hospital since his death. But author Jo Vigor-Mungovin says she has now discovered Merrick’s soft tissue was buried in the City of London Cemetery after he died in 1890. After a miserable adolescence and time as a travelling exhibit, Leicester-born Merrick ended up at what was then called the London Hospital in Whitechapel, east London, where he surprised staff by proving to have an intelligent and sensitive personality. He became a minor celebrity and in May 1887 was visited by Alexandra, Princess of Wales, who afterwards sent him Christmas cards. After his death, Merrick’s body was dissected and his skeleton preserved as an anatomical specimen.

Japan’s Emperor Akihito has declared his abdication in a historic ceremony at the Imperial Palace in Tokyo. In his last public address as emperor, Akihito handed over the symbols of power and thanked the public for their support during his 30-year reign. The 85-year-old was given permission to abdicate after saying he felt unable to fulfil his role because of his age and declining health. He is the first Japanese monarch to stand down in more than 200 years. His eldest son, Crown Prince Naruhito, formally ascended the throne later on Wednesday. A new era – called Reiwa, meaning order and harmony – will begin in Japan’s unique calendar. While the emperor holds no political power, he serves as a national figurehead. Akihito has endeared himself to many Japanese people during his reign as he has interacted with those suffering from disease and disaster. The 85-year-old had surgery for prostate cancer in 2003 and a heart bypass operation in 2012. In a rare speech in 2016, he said that he feared his age would make it hard for him to carry out his duties and strongly hinted that he wanted to stand down.  

Just when you thought it was safe to enjoy Brexit once more, the death toll from the most recent Ebola epidemic in the Democratic Republic of Congo has passed 1,000, the health ministry says. DRC’s Ebola outbreak began in August and is the second deadliest in history. World Health Organisation deputy director Dr Michael Ryan said mistrust and violence was harming efforts to tackle the disease as it spread through the east of the country. There have been 119 documented attacks on medical centres and staff since January, Dr Ryan said. WHO staff anticipated “continued intense transmission”, he added, in a briefing to reporters in Geneva. Health workers have plenty of vaccines – more than 100,000 people have already been given the treatment. But continuing violence in the east of the country where militias are present, as well as mistrust of doctors, was hindering their programme, Dr Ryan said. The DRC is also suffering from an outbreak of measles which has killed more than 1,000 people, with 50,000 cases reported. WHO staff have confirmed measles in 14 of the country’s 26 provinces, in both rural and urban areas. Ebola is still contained within two provinces in the DRC but it is becoming harder to monitor the spread of the virus because of violence. The WHO said the risk of a global spread is low, but it was very likely cases would spread into neighbouring countries. 

On This Day

  • 1215 – Rebel barons renounce their allegiance to King John of England — part of a chain of events leading to the signing of the Magna Carta. 
  • 1260 – Kublai Khan becomes ruler of the Mongol Empire. 
  • 1821 – Emperor Napoleon dies in exile on the island of Saint Helena in the South Atlantic Ocean.  
  • 1905 – The trial in the Stratton Brothers case begins in London, England; it marks the first time that fingerprint evidence is used to gain a conviction for murder.   
  • 1961 – Alan Shepard becomes the first American to travel into outer space, on a sub-orbital flight.   
  • 1980 – Operation Nimrod: The British Special Air Service storms the Iranian embassy in London after a six-day siege.


  • 1316 – Elizabeth of Rhuddlan, daughter of King Edward I of England (b. 1282)
  • 1821 – Napoleon, French general and emperor (b. 1769)   
  • 1985 – Donald Bailey, English engineer, designed the Bailey bridge (b. 1901)

Last Week’s Birthdays

Will Arnett (49), Randy Travis (60), Christina Hendricks (44), Rob Brydon (54), Frankie Valli (85), Ben Elton (60), Sandi Toksvig (61), Dwayne Johnson (47), Christine Baranski (67), Ellie Kemper (39), Matt Berry (45), David Suchet (73), Lily Allen (34), David Beckham (44), Donatella Versace (64), Jamie Dornan (37), Julie Benz (47), Joanna Lumley (73), Una Stubbs (82), Gal Gadot (34), Kirsten Dunst (37), Burt Young (79), Michelle Pfeiffer (61), Uma Thurman (49), Daniel Day-Lewis (62), Kate Mulgrew (64), Jerry Seinfeld (65), Willie Nelson (86), Anita Dobson (70), Jessica Alba (38), Penélope Cruz (45), Ann-Margret (78), Mary McDonnell (67), and Jay Leno (69).

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