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Dead Pool 11th March 2018

No points to award this week, in fact, the deaths are somewhat lacklustre to be sure. Luckily Trevor Baylis thought he’d help us out by being the only pictured death this week, as I doubt very much you could pick out the others in a line up. However, there’s plenty to read and discuss, so without further ado…

Look Who You Could Have Had:

In Other News

After performing the first of two scheduled live stand-up shows last Sunday night, ‘filmmaker’, comic book writer, and actor Kevin Smith suffered a near-fatal heart attack. A week later, in his first Facebook post after breaking the news of the heart attack, Smith revealed that he was recovering at home from the hospital, and also that he was in his second day as a vegetarian. The fat cunt said he was feeling well, and that his heart was actually getting more oxygen than it had in a long time. He thanked his friends and fans for the support and kind words they’d sent, and then he signed the message, “from Vegetarian Kev, Day 2.” Smith said he’d had a 100-percent blockage of his LAD artery, which is also called “the Widow-Maker.” He was lucky to survive, and wrote, “This is all a part of my mythology now and I’m sure I’ll be facing some lifestyle changes.”

Former BBC Breakfast presenter Bill Turnbull has revealed he has been diagnosed with prostate cancer. The 62-year-old said it was found in November and  cancer has spread to his legs, hips, pelvis and ribs. Turnbull told the Dead Pool media team that he wanted to encourage people to get tested, saying: “Maybe if I’d got it earlier and stopped it at the prostate, I’d be in a much better state.” He said he had put long-term aches and pains down to “old age”. Turnbull said in his interview he had had prostate tests when he was aged 40 and 50. But he said he was “cross” for having prided himself on not visiting a GP in four years and only sought help when his pains could no longer be alleviated with pills. Turnbull said it “saddens me that I’m not going to be around as much as I thought with my wife and family… I realised if things progress as they do on average, I can’t plan beyond 12 years”. So he’ll be dead at the age of 74, I bet Michael Jackson would trade places with him in a heartbeat.

Remember Poo Watch? Well, the man suspected of swallowing a stash of drugs has won his freedom – and a stand-off with police – after refusing to go to the toilet for 47 days. Lamarr Chambers was arrested in Harlow, Essex on 17th January and charged with two counts of possessing class A drugs with intent to supply. The 24-year-old refused to take laxatives or be X-rayed during his time in custody, but continued to eat and drink. Essex Police tweeted daily updates of what they described as “poo watch”. But officers decided to release Mr Chambers from custody on Monday “following medical and legal advice”, and the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) dropped the charge. Although Mr Chambers was rearrested on a separate charge of being concerned in the supply of a Class A drug, he was released on bail and taken by police car to hospital for medical treatment.

A top South African triathlete is battling to save his legs after assailants cut into them with a blunt saw, causing severe injuries, while he cycled to training. Mhlengi Gwala, 27, successfully underwent surgery after the attack which occurred in the early hours of Tuesday morning in the coastal city of Durban, confirmed Dennis Jackson, director of the elite athlete program in KwaZulu-Natal province. Multiple attackers pulled Gwala from his bicycle as he cycled up a steep hill and sawed into his right calf, damaging muscle, nerves and bone, according to Jackson, who spoke by phone to the triathlete about the ordeal. The assailants missed a main artery and surgeons are confident they can save the leg, Jackson said. The attackers also started sawing into Gwala’s left leg before fleeing, enabling the athlete to crawl to a road and flag down a passing car to take him to a hospital. The grisly attack has alarmed athletes in Durban who routinely get up in the early morning darkness to train when few people are on the roads, and there was no immediate explanation for why Gwala was targeted. The athlete had offered his cell phone, wallet and bicycle to the assailants, who still went for his legs and were speaking in a language that Gwala could not understand.

And finally, Martin Shkreli, the former drug firm executive found guilty of defrauding investors, has been sentenced to seven years in prison. The 34-year-old wept at a hearing as a federal court judge in Brooklyn, New York, handed down the prison term. Shkreli was convicted last year of sending fake account statements to investors while concealing huge losses from two hedge funds he ran. He first became notorious in 2015 for hiking the price of a lifesaving drug. His lawyers had asked the judge to impose a sentence of 12 to 18 months, while prosecutors were seeking at least 15 years. “I’ve got my begging voice on,” Shkreli’s lawyer Benjamin Brafman told the judge on Friday, while acknowledging his client could be annoying. “There are times when I want to hug him and hold him and comfort him and there are times when I want to punch him in the face,” said Mr Brafman. After a jury found him guilty in August last year, Shkreli was allowed to remain free pending sentencing. But a month later he offered social media followers $5,000 if they could bring him hair from former US presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, who repeatedly criticised him during her campaign. A judge revoked bail and Shkreli was jailed. Prosecutors moved to seize $7.4m of his assets, including a single copy of an album by American hip hop group the Wu-Tang Clan that the disgraced executive is said to have paid $2m for at auction in 2015. Lets hope Big Brenda in cell 13 gets hold of him.

On This Day

  • 1702 – The Daily Courant, England’s first national daily newspaper is published for the first time.
  • 1864 – The Great Sheffield Flood kills 238 people in Sheffield, England.
  • 2004 – Madrid train bombings: Simultaneous explosions on rush hour trains in Madrid, Spain, kill 192 people.
  • 2011 – An earthquake measuring 9.0 in magnitude strikes 130 km (81 mi) east of Sendai, Japan, triggering a tsunami killing thousands of people. This event also triggered the second largest nuclear accident in history, and one of only two events to be classified as a Level 7 on the International Nuclear Event Scale.

Deaths

  • 1955 – Alexander Fleming, Scottish biologist, pharmacologist, and botanist, Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1881)
  • 2006 – Slobodan Milošević, Serbian lawyer and politician, 3rd President of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (b. 1941)

Last Week’s Birthdays

Sharon Stone (60), Jon Hamm (47), Chuck Norris (78), Robert Llewellyn (62), Juliette Binoche (54), Aidan Quinn (59), Cynthia Rothrock (61), Micky Dolenz (73), Rachel Weisz (48), Bryan Cranston (62), T.J. Thyne (43), E.L. James (55), Rob Reiner (71), Shaquille O’Neal (46), Amy Okuda (29), Alan Davies (52), Jolene Blalock (43), Eva Mendes (44), Matt Lucas (44), Paul Blackthorne (49), Fred Williamson (80), Penn Jillette (63), Patsy Kensit (50) and Dominique Pinon (63).

Dead Pool 4th March 2018

This week was turning out to be a washout, luckily, when I woke up this morning quite a few notables had passed on. Luckily for us, we even have some points to dispense! Nickie and Nicola both guessed that Roger Bannister would make his final run and score them both 62 points each. Well done both of you!

Look Who You Could Have Had:

  • Scott Westgarth, 31, British boxer, injuries sustained in match.
  • Lance Clark, 81, British shoemaker (Clarks).
  • Peter Miles, 89, English actor (Z-Cars, Doctor Who, Blake’s 7).
  • David Ogden Stiers, 75, American actor (M*A*S*H, Beauty and the Beast, Better Off Dead), bladder cancer.
  • Davide Astori, 31, Italian footballer, heart attack.
  • Sir Roger Bannister, 88, British middle-distance athlete and first person to run a sub-four-minute mile

In Other News

I hope you all had some fun in the snow last week, unlike actress Sarah Parish who has broken a leg while trying to snowboard on a plastic sledge. The TV star of Broadchurch and Mistresses is spending a second day at the Royal Hampshire Hospital in Winchester following her accident. Parish, 49, posted a message on Instagram on Saturday alongside footage of her being treated by paramedics. She told fans she had been given “enough morphine to knock the Navy out but still in pain”. In her message, she added: “Note to self: cheap plastic sledges are for sitting in and gently trundling down primary slopes NOT a substitute for a stand up snowboard.” Doctors were due to operate on her on Saturday and place a pin through her shin, Parish said. The actress joined Broadchurch for its third season last year, playing the role of Cath Atwood – a friend of rape victim Trish.

Missy Elliot and Snoop Dogg are among the stars praying for hospitalised rapper Rick Ross. The 42-year-old is in hospital in Miami, with unconfirmed reports from some US media suggesting he’s in a critical condition. “Prayers up for my guy Rick Ross”, Snoop wrote. “Hope you pull thru my brotha.” It’s unclear what his condition currently is. Reports from TMZ claim that doctors have put Rick Ross on extracorporeal membrane oxygenation – also known as extracorporeal life support, a technique of providing prolonged cardiac and respiratory support. The publication claims someone from his home called 911 in the early hours of Thursday and said the person in distress was breathing heavily and was unresponsive. The caller said the man in distress had a history of seizures — something we know Rick Ross has suffered from before – and they were trying to wake him up but he was ‘slobbering at the mouth’. However, not every star wished him well, 50 Cent outraged Ross’ fans by posting a picture of Rocky IV character Ivan Drago at the point he famously utters “if he dies, he dies” after beating Apollo Creed to death.

Cancer-stricken Linda Nolan will turn down chemotherapy so she can live the last months of her life pain-free – after seeing the agony sister Bernie went through. Linda was diagnosed as incurable a year ago this week and has no idea how long her illness will remain treatable. Now she reveals she could not bear the same ordeal her sister faced as she died of secondary breast cancer five years ago. Yesterday the 59-year-old singer told how she wants to live more than ever. But she wants that life to be as enjoyable as possible, partying with friends and family, and even enjoying a little revenge on those who’ve wronged her. Linda – one of the six Nolan Sisters – first found a lump in her breast in 2005, and was told she had an aggressive stage three cancer. After gruelling treatment she was given the all-clear a year later, but 12 months ago she was told the disease was back and she had secondary cancer in her hip. The same condition claimed 52-year-old Bernie’s life in 2013 after it spread to her lungs, liver and brain.

On This Day

  • 1519 – Hernán Cortés arrives in Mexico in search of the Aztec civilisation and its wealth.
  • 1899 – Cyclone Mahina sweeps in north of Cooktown, Queensland, with a 12 metres (39 ft) wave that reaches up to 5 kilometres (3.1 mi) inland, killing over 300.
  • 1908 – The Collinwood school fire, Collinwood near Cleveland, Ohio, kills 174 people.

Deaths

  • 1238 – Joan of England, queen of Scotland (b. 1210)
  • 1994 – John Candy, Canadian comedian and actor (b. 1950)
  • 2008 – Gary Gygax, American game designer, co-created Dungeons & Dragons (b. 1938)

Last Week’s Birthdays

Julie Bowen (48), Miranda Richardson (60), Charlie Brooker (47), Brian Cox (50), Bryce Dallas Howard (37), Daniel Craig (50), Rebel Wilson (38), Gates McFadden (69), Jon Bon Jovi (56), Chris Martin (41), Alexander Armstrong (48), Lupita Nyong’o (35), Ron Howard (64), Javier Bardem (49), Jensen Ackles (40), Zack Snyder (52), Dirk Benedict (73), Justin Bieber (24), Harry Belafonte (91), Roger Daltrey (74), Paul Hollywood (52), John Turturro (61), Rae Dawn Chong (57), Stephanie Beacham (71), Kate Mara (35), Timothy Spall (61), Adam Baldwin (56), Michael Bolton (65), Sean Astin (47) and Téa Leoni (52).

Dead Pool 25th February 2017

Points!!!! Lots too! Lets begin with 183 points to Sylvia for predicting the demise of Catherine Nevin, fantastic score due to her relatively low age and that Sylvia stuck her in as her Woman. 51 points to Mark, Laura, Lee, Julie and Nicola for guessing Billy Graham. Surprisingly, the stalwart of the Dead Pool didn’t score that many points given that he has refused to die over the countless years we’ve been running The Dead Pool. Well done all of you who scored!

Look Who You Could Have Had:

  • Catherine Nevin, 67, Irish murderer, brain tumour.
  • Emma Chambers, 53, English actress (The Vicar of Dibley, Notting Hill, How Do You Want Me?).
  • Billy Graham, 99, American evangelist and Southern Baptist minister.
  • Eddy Amoo, 74, British soul singer (The Real Thing).
  • Sridevi, 54, Indian actress (English Vinglish), heart attack.
  • Barbara Alston, 74, American singer (The Crystals, Da Doo Ron Ron), complications from influenza.

In Other News

Stephen Fry is recovering from surgery for prostate cancer and said “it all seemed to go pretty well”. The broadcaster, who had his operation in early January, said on his website: “They took the prostate out,” adding: “So far as we know it’s all been got.” He said it was an “aggressive” cancer but it “doesn’t seem” to have spread. The former QI host added: “For the moment I’m fit and well and happy and I just wanted to let you know because rumours had started to swirl.” In the video on his site, he said: “You have to recover and that’s what I’ve been doing.” He said his family and “my darling, darling husband” Elliott Spencer had been “just marvellous”. “Here’s hoping I’ve got another few years left on this planet because I enjoy life at the moment and that’s a marvellous thing to be able to say, and I’d rather it didn’t go away,” he added. His condition was given a Gleason Score – a scale used to rate the aggressiveness of prostate cancer – of nine out of 10 before the operation, in which surgeons removed 11 lymph nodes.

To paraphrase the great American humourist Mark Twain, Twitter reports of Sylvester Stallone’s death are an exaggeration. Stallone and his brother confirmed on social media the actor was alive and well after he was the victim of a “death hoax”. Death hoaxes usually originate from a website or person intending to spread the rumour,  and go viral as web-users are duped into believing the claim. In Stallone’s case, pranksters even mocked up fake pictures showing the actor in his “final days”. The hoax, which started overnight in the US while the actor and his representatives were asleep, raced across the internet. By morning, Stallone was already being mourned by a legion of adoring fans. However Rocky refused to stay down. The 71-year-old actor and his brother took to social media to debunk the prank. “Please ignore this stupidity,” Stallone wrote in an Instagram post. “Alive and well and happy and healthy.”

An attempted execution in Alabama was halted after medical personnel repeatedly jabbed the death row inmate in the ankles, lower legs and groin but failed to find a usable vein, according to a court filing by his lawyer. The dramatic night began with a temporary stay of execution at around 6pm local time – lifted by the US Supreme Court just three hours later – and ended in confusion as 61-year-old Doyle Lee Hamm was returned to his cell shortly before midnight on Thursday. Lawyer Bernard Harcourt, who has represented Hamm for 28 years, said he was seeking information about what happened during the attempted execution. “He’s in great pain from yesterday evening, physically, from all of the attempts to access his veins in his lower extremities and in his groin,” Mr Harcourt said. He has long argued that his client, who was diagnosed with lymphoma in 2014, should not face lethal injection as his veins were “severely compromised” due to the cancer and treatment, and the procedure would cause severe and unnecessary pain.

And finally, a suspected drug dealer has refused to use the toilet for 37 days and is now at “risk of death”, a court has been told. Lamarr Chambers, 24, allegedly swallowed the drugs while being chased by police in Essex and has since rejected laxatives and an X-ray but has continued to eat and drink. Essex Police officers have been tweeting daily updates of the operation they described as “poo watch” since the man was arrested in Harlow on 17th January. He has been charged with two counts of possessing class A drugs with intent to supply. Police said they would continue to apply to court for custody extensions until he empties his bowels or allows doctors to retrieve the package he is suspected of swallowing. Chelmsford Magistrates’ Court has now been told that Mr Chambers was being kept in a normal prison cell with two police officers with him at all times and has therefore not had the privacy to use the toilet. His defence lawyers claimed there was “the potential of something going seriously wrong. We’re in an arena of risk of death.” They added that the drugs that Mr Chambers had allegedly swallowed was not necessarily crucial evidence. The situation has been described as “unprecedented” and the previous record for avoiding emptying the bowels was thought to have been 33 days.

On This Day

  • 1336 – Four thousand defenders of Pilėnai commit mass suicide rather than be taken captive by the Teutonic Knights.
  • 1797 – Colonel William Tate and his force of 1000–1500 soldiers surrender after the Last invasion of Britain.
  • 1994 – Mosque of Abraham massacre: In the Cave of the Patriarchs in the West Bank city of Hebron, Baruch Goldstein opens fire with an automatic rifle, killing 29 Palestinian worshippers and injuring 125 more before being subdued and beaten to death by survivors.

Deaths

Last Week’s Birthdays

Billy Zane (52), Edward James Olmos (71), Dennis Waterman (70), Emily Blunt (35), Dakota Fanning (24), Kelly Macdonald (42), Peter Fonda (78), Aziz Ansari (35), Drew Barrymore (43), Thomas Jane (49), Jeri Ryan (50), Julie Walters (68), Kyle MacLachlan (59), James Hong (89), Jenna Haze (36), Sheila Hancock (85), Nigel Planer (65), Niki Lauda (69), Sophie Turner (22), Tuppence Middleton (31), Kelsey Grammer (63), William Baldwin (55), Tyne Daly (72), Anthony Daniels (72), Rihanna (30), Brenda Blethyn (72), Sidney Poitier (91), Anthony Head (64), Cindy Crawford (52), Mike Leigh (75), Trevor Noah (34), Ivana Trump (69), Benicio Del Toro (51), Jeff Daniels (63), Ray Winstone (61), Leslie Ash (58), Seal (55) and Smokey Robinson (78).

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.