Latest

Dead Pool 11th August 2019

This weeks big news is the suicide of that lovely individual called Jeffrey Epstein. However convenient his death may be to some major players in the world, it’s crass and pointless to engage in conspiracy theories about it, as we’ll probably never know who committed Epstein’s suicide.

Look Who You Could Have Had:

 In Other News

Country music legend Willie Nelson has canceled his tour just as it began, due to a medical issue. The 86 year old singer took to his verified Twitter on Wednesday night, to reveal that his tour with Allison Krauss is canceled due to a breathing problem. Nelson didn’t indicate whether there were any plans in the immediate future to hit the road again. ‘To my fans, I’m sorry to cancel my tour, but I have a breathing problem that I need to have my doctor check out. I’ll be back Love, Willie,’ the singer said. He wouldn’t elaborate on the medical issue, but Nelson had just embarked on his tour on Monday, with a performance at the Allen County War Memorial Coliseum in Fort Wayne, Indiana. This isn’t the first time that Nelson has been forced to cancel numerous performances due to medical issues. Nelson has had a history of emphysema, and in 2012 he canceled a performance in the Denver area due to complications with emphysema due to the high altitude. In 2015, after several years of difficulties with emphysema, Nelson underwent stem cell therapy to improve his lungs. A longtime cigarette smoker, he quite several years ago but continued smoking marijuana, though in 2008, he used a carbon free method to avoid effects of smoke.

You might remember that Jimmy Osmond, 56, suffered a stroke during a pantomime performance of Peter Pan in Birmingham at the end of last year. The singer fell ill on stage but still continued his performance and signed autographs for fans before being rushed to hospital. Now, Merrill Osmond, 66, who was previously the lead singer of the sibling’s group The Osmonds, has said a return to the stage for his brother is unlikely. He commented: “I think they are off the cards. I think they are off, brother. We used to be called The Osmond Brothers. Now it’s down to Brother Osmond.” Merrill went on to say his brother’s illness is a “big enough disaster” to prevent him from performing again. “He definitely needed space – and he still does. He doesn’t want to meet with anybody,” he added.  

Happy Mondays star Shaun Ryder says he’s taking more pills than ever because ‘getting old is really shit’. Bizarrely, the singer, now 56, now pops more prescription drugs than ecstasy tablets. He told us: “I’m on so many fucking drugs I rattle when I walk. I have to take all sorts of bleedin’ stuff for all me different ailments. Shaun has never hidden his past struggles with drugs – he’d regularly indulge in a cocktail of booze, heroin, cocaine, ecstasy and marijuana after a gig. But these days, while on tour with the band four decades later for their greatest hits tour, he’s got a new addiction to contend with. “Just shit loads of chocolate really,” he said. “It used to be sex, drugs and rock ’n’ roll. Now it’s just rock ’n’ roll – the wife is gutted. Shaun recently hit the headlines about his appearance when all his body hair fell out. He explained in an interview that he now has ‘no eyelashes, no fingernails, no head, no hair whatsoever’ – and it has left doctors completely baffled. “I got alopecia and all me hair fell out,” he said. “At the start of this year I had hair and a beard and then, almost overnight, the whole lot went, eyelashes, eyebrows, even me pubes. “They don’t know what’s caused it. At first they thought I had that immune deficiency thing, but I haven’t. Then they said it was linked to me under active thyroid but that just makes me fat and tired. “And I haven’t produced any testosterone for 10 years. I used to have injections but now I’m on the gel which is better.” 

On This Day

  • 1934 – The first civilian prisoners arrive at the Federal prison on Alcatraz Island.
  • 1942 – Actress Hedy Lamarr and composer George Antheil receive a patent for a Frequency-hopping spread spectrum communication system that later became the basis for modern technologies in wireless telephones and Wi-Fi.
  • 1969 – The Apollo 11 astronauts are released from a three-week quarantine following their lift-off from the moon.
  • 2000 – An air rage incident occurs on board Southwest Airlines Flight 1763 when 19-year-old Jonathan Burton attempts to storm the cockpit, but he is subdued by other passengers and dies from his injuries.

Deaths

Last Meals

Friedrich Heinrich Karl “Fritz” Haarmann was a German serial killer, known as the Butcher of Hanover, the Vampire of Hanover and the Wolf-Man. Between 1918 and 1924, Haarmann is known to have committed at least 24 murders, although he is suspected of murdering a minimum of 27. All of Haarmann’s victims were males between the ages of 10 and 22, the majority of whom were in their mid- to late-teens. The victims would be lured back to one of three addresses in which Haarmann is known to have resided throughout those years. He is known to have killed upon the promise of assistance, accommodation, work, or under the pretence of arrest. At Haarmann’s apartment, the victim would typically be given food and drink before Haarmann bit into his Adam’s apple, often as he was strangled. In many instances, this act would cause the victim to die of asphyxiation, although on several occasions, Haarmann would bite completely through his victims’ Adams apple and trachea. (Haarmann would refer to the act of biting through his victims’ neck as being his “love bite”.) All of Haarmann’s victims were dismembered before their bodies were discarded, usually in the Leine River, although the dismembered body of his first known victim had simply been buried, and the body of his last victim had been thrown into a lake located at the entrance to the Herrenhausen Gardens. Following Haarmann’s arrest, rumours would circulate that the flesh of his victims had been consumed by Haarmann himself or sold upon the black market as pork or horse meat. Although no physical evidence was ever produced to confirm these theories, Haarmann was known to be an active trader in contraband meat, which was invariably boneless, diced and often sold as mince. Haarmann was found guilty of 24 of the 27 murders for which he was tried and sentenced to death by beheading in December 1924. In addition, in accordance with German practice, his honorary rights of citizenship were revoked. 

At 6 o’clock on the morning of 15 April 1925, Fritz Haarmann was beheaded by guillotine in the grounds of Hanover prison. In accordance with German tradition, Haarmann was not informed of his execution date until the prior evening. Upon receipt of the news, he observed prayer with his pastor, before being granted his final wishes of an expensive cigar to smoke and Brazilian coffee to drink in his cell. No members of the press were permitted to witness the execution, and the event was seen by only a handful of witnesses. According to published reports, although Haarmann was pale and nervous, he maintained a sense of bravado as he walked to the guillotine. The last words Haarmann spoke were: “I am guilty, gentlemen, but, hard though it may be, I want to die as a man.”  Immediately prior to placing his head upon the execution apparatus, Haarmann added: “I repent, but I do not fear death.” Following Haarmann’s execution, sections of his brain were removed for forensic analysis. An examination of slices of Haarmann’s brain revealed traces of meningitis, although no sections of Haarmann’s brain were permanently preserved. Nonetheless, Haarmann’s head was preserved in formaldehyde and remained in the possession of the Göttingen medical school from 1925 until 2014, when it was cremated.

Last Week’s Birthdays

Antonio Banderas (58), Rosanna Arquette (59), Anna Kendrick (34), Sam Elliott (75), Gillian Anderson (51), Rhona Mitra (43), Eric Bana (51), Melanie Griffith (62), Audrey Tautou (43), Dustin Hoffman (82), Charlize Theron (44), Abbie Cornish (37), Michael Shannon (45), David Duchovny (59), M. Night Shyamalan (49), Michelle Yeoh (57), Barbara Windsor (82), Geri Horner (47), Mark Strong (56), Tawny Kitaen (58), Meghan Markle (38), Billy Bob Thornton (64), and Barack Obama (58). 

Dead Pool 4th August 2019

They say self praise is no praise, however I’ve managed to write a bumper edition of the newsletter when fuck all seems to be happening in the world of celebrity deaths. Fair play to me! In fairness, this year is turning out to be a bit of a washout, scoring has been low and barely anyone of notable fame has passed away. Let’s hope the latter third of the year delivers something better. 

Look Who You Could Have Had:

 In Other News

Michael Schumacher watched last weekend’s German Grand Prix alongside former Ferrari team boss Jean Todt, the FIA president has revealed, and he is still “fighting” to recover from the serious head injuries he suffered in a skiing accident six-five-and-a-half years ago. The seven-time Formula One world champion struck his head on a rock in a skiing accident in December 2013 while skiing with his son Mick in the Meribel resort. Schumacher received emergency treatment at Grenoble Hospital before being transferred to Switzerland’s University Hospital in Lausanne, and returned to the family home in Geneva in September 2014 where a state-of-the-art clinic had been installed to continue his treatment. Updates on Schumacher’s condition have been sparse, with his family keen to keep the matter private unless they feel it necessary to let the public know about his recovery. But a number of the German’s friends from the motorsport world make numerous visits to see him, with current FIA president and former Ferrari team principal Todt one of his most frequent guests. Speaking to Radio Monte-Carlo this week, Todt revealed that he was at the family home over the weekend to join Schumacher in watching Sunday’s Grand Prix at Hockenheim. “I’m always careful with such statements, but it’s true. I saw the race together with Michael Schumacher at his home in Switzerland,” Todt said. He added that the 50-year-old is making “good progress”. “Michael is in the best hands and is well looked after in his house. “He does not give up and keeps fighting.” Little is known about what condition Schumacher is in, though Todt did say that is saddens him that they cannot share the same relationship that they had while together at Ferrari for their trophy-laden partnership that brought five drivers’ championships and six constructors’ championships. “His family is fighting just as much and of course our friendship cannot be the same as it once was,” Todt added. “Just because there’s no longer the same communication as before. Schumacher’s lawyer confirmed in 2016 that he “cannot walk” after the family took legal action against a German publication for saying otherwise, and Todt was keen to honour their desire for privacy by not revealing any details on his current condition.  

Amanda Barrie is best known for playing Alma Sedgwick in Coronation Street, a role she played on and off for 20 years. But one thing fans of the star may not know about her is the potentially life-threatening allergy she lives with. The 83 year old actress “blew up like a balloon” one night as part of an allergic response to anaphylaxis. Her throat became swollen and she struggled to breathe until medics gave her powerful antihistamines to counteract the extreme reaction. “It was really terrifying”. But what is most frightening about the actress’ ordeal is she didn’t know what triggered her anaphylaxis. Amanda has had a couple of extreme allergic reactions since her first ordeal, which occurred September 1998 – the night of Diana, Princess of Wales’ funeral. But none have been as serious as the first episode. She now carries an Epipen with her at all times in case of emergency.  

Home And Away star Ray Meagher had to be hospitalised for emergency heart surgery this week. The actor, who plays Alf Stewart on the Australian soap, had to undergo a triple bypass after doctors discovered three serious blockages during a routine health check. The 75-year-old is reportedly feeling “very very lucky” that the blockages were found in time. He and his wife have had to cancel their planned winter trip to Queensland so he can recover at home in Sydney. The Melbourne Herald Sun reports that a simple stent procedure should have been enough to keep Ray’s heart ticking along but “the extent of the coronary calcification meant he was scheduled for open heart surgery the next day”. Ray sparked worries about his health when he announced he would be scaling back his role on Home and Away earlier this year. He told This Morning: “Over the last 10-20 years, each Christmas I come over to Britain to do a pantomime, and more recently I went over twice to do Priscilla Queen Of The Desert in the West End. “Once was a six month stint, another a run of four months in that same show. “If you average my time out over the last 10-15 years, I probably average 40 weeks a year. “From now on, on a new contract, I’ll probably work 35-36 weeks of the year. So it’s just taking a tiny bit more time out, but I ain’t going nowhere.” 

On This Day

  • 1693 – Date traditionally ascribed to Dom Perignon‘s invention of champagne; it is not clear whether he actually invented champagne, however he has been credited as an innovator who developed the techniques used to perfect sparkling wine.
  • 1783 – Mount Asama erupts in Japan, killing about 1,400 people. The eruption causes a famine, which results in an additional 20,000 deaths.
  • 1944 – The Holocaust: A tip from a Dutch informer leads the Gestapo to a sealed-off area in an Amsterdam warehouse, where they find and arrest Jewish diarist Anne Frank, her family, and four others.

Deaths

  • 1875 – Hans Christian Andersen, Danish novelist, short story writer, and poet (b. 1805)
  • 1962 – Marilyn Monroe, American model and actress (b. 1926)
  • 1997 – Jeanne Calment, French super-centenarian; holds records for the world’s substantiated longest-lived person (b. 1875)

Last Meals

Otto Adolf Eichmann was a senior Assault Unit Leader in the Nazi SS Obersturmbannführer and one of the major organisers of The Holocaust. He was tasked with facilitating and managing the logistics involved in the mass deportation of Jews to the extermination camps during WWII. At the end of the war, Eichmann was captured by US forces and spent time in several camps for SS officers. Following his trial, Eichmann was convicted on 15 counts of crimes against humanity, war crimes, crimes against the Jewish people, and membership in a criminal organisation. The judges declared him not guilty of personally killing anyone and not guilty of overseeing and controlling the activities of the Einsatzgruppen. He was deemed responsible for the dreadful conditions on board the deportation trains and for obtaining Jews to fill those  trains.  In addition to being found guilty of crimes against Jews, he was convicted for crimes against Poles, Slovenes and Gypsies. When considering the sentence, the judges concluded that Eichmann had not merely been following orders, but believed in the Nazi cause wholeheartedly and had been a key perpetrator of the genocide. For his last meal, Eichmann’s final request was a bottle of Carmel, an Israeli red wine; which you can still buy from Ocado for £10.95. He drank about half of the bottle, which seems a bit of a waste to me. Eichmann was hanged at a prison in Ramla hours later. His last words were reported to be:

Long live Germany. Long live Argentina. Long live Austria. These are the three countries with which I have been most connected and which I will not forget. I greet my wife, my family and my friends. I am ready. We’ll meet again soon, as is the fate of all men. I die believing in God.

Rafi Eitan, who accompanied Eichmann to the hanging, claimed in 2014 to have heard him later mumble “I hope that all of you will follow me”, making those his final words.  Within hours Eichmann’s body had been cremated, and his ashes scattered in the Mediterranean Sea, outside Israeli territorial waters, by an Israeli Navy patrol boat.

Last Week’s Birthdays

Evangeline Lilly (39), Stephen Graham (45), Martin Sheen (78), John Landis (68), Mamie Gummer (35), John C. McGinley (59), Steven Berkoff (81), Edward Furlong (41), Kevin Smith (48), Sam Worthington (42), Jason Momoa (40), Wesley Snipes (57), Michael Biehn (63), Emilia Fox (45), Dean Cain (53), J.K. Rowling (54), Christopher Nolan (49), Arnold Schwarzenegger (72), Hilary Swank (45), Lisa Kudrow (56), Jean Reno (71), Laurence Fishburne (58), Frances de la Tour (75), Paul Anka (78), Wil Wheaton (47), David Warner (78), and Elizabeth Berkley (47).

Dead Pool 28th July 2019

Another pointless week, sadly marked by the passing of Rutger Hauer. Although many of you have seen him in Blade Runner, my personal favourite of his was Salute of the Jugger, but most if his 80’s films were awesome! 

Look Who You Could Have Had:

In Other News

Comedian and broadcaster Sir Michael Palin is to have surgery to fix a “leaky valve” in his heart. The Monty Python member discovered a problem with his mitral valve – a small flap that stops blood flowing the wrong way around the heart – five years ago. It had not affected his general fitness until earlier this year, he said. “Recently, though, I have felt my heart having to work harder and have been advised it’s time to have the valve repaired,” he wrote on his website. “I shall be undergoing surgery in September and should be back to normal, or rather better than normal, within three months.” According to the NHS, a leaking mitral valve – known as mitral regurgitation – can cause dizziness, breathlessness, tiredness and chest pain, and can potentially lead to an irregular and fast heartbeat, high blood pressure and heart failure. The 76-year-old has cancelled a book tour scheduled for October to promote his North Korea Journal, a spin-off from his recent Channel 5 documentary about the country. 

Wealthy financier Jeffrey Epstein was found semi-conscious in his prison cell on Thursday, US media reports say. The 66-year-old, who is awaiting trial on sex trafficking charges, was reportedly found sprawled on the floor with injuries to his neck on Wednesday. The cause is unclear – neither suicide attempt nor assault has been ruled out. He has been at the New York facility since being denied bail last week. Epstein has pleaded not guilty to sex trafficking and conspiracy charges. The US Bureau of Prisons issued a statement saying that Epstein was, as of noon local time (16:00 GMT), at New York’s Metropolitan Correctional Centre and “not in a local hospital as has been reported”. But it was not clear if he had been treated for injuries either at a hospital or the prison, with officials saying “we do not share information on an inmate’s medical status or their conditions of confinement”. He was taken to a nearby hospital in Manhattan, reports say, but his condition has not been made public. Investigators are working to establish what happened.  According to the indictment, the financier is accused of paying girls under the age of 18 to perform sex acts at his Manhattan and Florida mansions between 2002 and 2005. 

Finally, because Nickie is obsessed with it, I’m bringing back the Last Meals section. A few longtime subscribers might remember a few of these from back in the day, so forgive me if I’m repeating myself. 

We’ll start with John Wayne Gacy (1942 –1994). He was an American serial killer who raped, tortured and murdered at least 33 teenage boys and young men between 1972 and 1978 in Cook County, Illinois. All of Gacy’s known murders were committed inside his Norwood Park ranch house. His victims were typically induced to his address by force or deception, and all except one of his victims were murdered by asphyxiation or strangulation with a makeshift garrotte, his first victim was stabbed to death. Gacy buried 26 of his victims in the crawl space of his home. Three other victims were buried elsewhere on his property, while the bodies of his last four known victims were discarded in the Des Plaines River. Gacy became known as the “Killer Clown” because of his charitable services at fund-raising events, parades, and children’s parties where he would dress as “Pogo the Clown” or “Patches the Clown”, characters that he had created. Popular rumour suggests that Ronald McDonald was retired due to Gacy’s actions and that many horror clown stories are based on him. For his last meal, Gacy requested 12  fried shrimp, a bucket of original recipe KFC, french fries, and a pound of strawberries. His final statement to his lawyer before his execution was that killing him would not compensate for the loss of others, and that the state was murdering him. His final spoken words were “Kiss my ass”. One fun fact, prior to being convicted, Gacy managed three KFC outlets. Nom Nom! 

On This Day

  • 1540 – Thomas Cromwell is executed at the order of Henry VIII of England on charges of treason. Henry marries his fifth wife, Catherine Howard, on the same day.
  • 1976 – The Tangshan earthquake measuring between 7.8 and 8.2 moment magnitude flattens Tangshan in the People’s Republic of China, killing 242,769 and injuring 164,851.
  • 2005 – The Provisional Irish Republican Army calls an end to its thirty-year-long armed campaign in Northern Ireland.

Deaths

Last Week’s Birthdays

Nikolaj Coster-Waldau (48), Taylor Schilling (34), Donnie Yen (55), Jason Statham (52), Kate Beckinsale (46), Sandra Bullock (55), Kevin Spacey (60), Helen Mirren (74), Nana Visitor (62), Eve Myles (41), Mick Jagger (76), Roger Taylor (70), Matt LeBlanc (52), Iman (64), Elisabeth Moss (37), Jennifer Lopez (50), Summer Glau (38), Anna Paquin (37), Lynda Carter (68), Danny Dyer (42), Daniel Radcliffe (30), Woody Harrelson (58), Charisma Carpenter (49), Ronny Cox (81), Slash (54), Willem Dafoe (64), Rhys Ifans (52), Selena Gomez (27), Terence Stamp (81), Danny Glover (73), Louise Fletcher (85), Ross Kemp (55), John Woodvine (90), and Paloma Faith (38).

Dead Pool 21st July 2019

Yup, we’re really struggling to find anyone you’ve ever heard of this week!   

Look Who You Could Have Had:

In Other News

Hong Kong actor Simon Yam has been stabbed while speaking at an event in southern China. According to his manager, Lester Mo Gee-man, Yam was stabbed in the stomach but police say his injuries are not life-threatening. The 64-year-old actor is currently undergoing “a minor operation” at a hospital in Zhongshan city. “He was stabbed in his stomach and slashed on his arm, but was conscious the entire time,” Lester Mo Gee-man told the South China Morning Post. He added: “A preliminary investigation showed his injuries were not critical but the doctors are still deciding whether to operate on him”. Yam has appeared in more than 125 movies and 40 television series.  His most high-profile Hollywood role came in 2003 Hollywood sequel Lara Croft: Tomb Raider -The Cradle of Life. Yam was attending the opening of new shop in Zhongshan in the southern province of Guangdong on Saturday when a man rushed the stage and attacked Yam. Two videos have surfaced on Weibo, China’s version of Twitter. One shows Yam clutching his stomach after the attack. A suspect has been detained, but a motive remains unclear.   

Labour MP Emily Thornberry was taken to hospital after coming off her bicycle in an accident outside Parliament. The shadow foreign secretary was involved in a collision with a vehicle in Parliament Square, Westminster, outside the House of Commons on Friday. The Islington South and Finsbury MP was taken to hospital in an ambulance. spokesperson for Ms Thornberry said she had now been discharged and was “hugely grateful” for the support of the paramedics and A&E staff. “She will be back to work and back on her bike as soon as possible,” the spokesperson added. Looks like she’s not that good at cycling, so we should really keep an eye on her.  

A man choked to death on a piece of meat about five months after his brother died in exactly the same way. An inquest has been opened into the death of Selwyn Francis, 68, who choked on food at a restaurant in Flintshire and died in hospital two days later. He died a day after an inquest heard his brother Gwyn Francis had died after choking on a piece of steak at a pub. Their brother Kenneth Francis had said he and his two brothers ate quickly without chewing their food properly. Kenneth Francis told the inquest into Gwyn’s death that Selwyn had choked on a piece of steak at the same pub 18 months earlier but the obstruction had been cleared by someone performing the Heimlich manoeuvre. “I said it should be a warning to us all,” Kenneth Francis had told the earlier inquest. Let’s hope that Kenneth chews his food from now on. 

On This Day

  • 356 BC – The Temple of Artemis in Ephesus, one of the Seven Wonders of the World, is destroyed by arson.
  • 1865 – In the market square of Springfield, Missouri, Wild Bill Hickok shoots and kills Davis Tutt in what is regarded as the first western showdown.
  • 1969 – At 02:56 UTC, astronaut Neil Armstrong becomes the first person to walk on the Moon.
  • 1972 – The Troubles: Bloody Friday: The Provisional IRA detonate 22 bombs in central Belfast in the space of 80 minutes, killing nine and injuring 130.
  • 1983 – The world’s lowest temperature in an inhabited location is recorded at Vostok Station, Antarctica at −89.2 °C (−128.6 °F).
  • 2001 – At the conclusion of a fireworks display on Okura Beach in Akashi, Hyōgo, Japan, 11 people are killed and more than 120 are injured when a pedestrian footbridge connecting the beach to JR Asagiri Station becomes overcrowded and people leaving the event fall down in a domino effect.

Deaths

  • •1796 – Robert Burns, Scottish poet and songwriter (b. 1759)
  • •1967 – Basil Rathbone, South African-American actor and singer (b. 1892)
  • •1998 – Alan Shepard, American admiral, pilot, and astronaut (b. 1923)
  • •2004 – Jerry Goldsmith, American composer and conductor (b. 1929)
  • •2015 – E. L. Doctorow, American novelist, short story writer, and playwright (b. 1931)

Last Week’s Birthdays

Diana Rigg (80), John Francis Daley (33), Gisele Bündchen (38), Benedict Cumberbatch (43), Jared Padalecki (37), Brian May (72), Kristen Bell (39), Vin Diesel (52), Priyanka Chopra (37), Alex Winter (54), Donald Sutherland (84), David Hasselhoff (67), Konnie Huq (44), Phoebe Cates (56), Will Ferrell (52), Corey Feldman (48), Travis Fimmel (40), Diane Kruger (43), Brigitte Nielsen (56), Forest Whitaker (58), Celia Imrie (67), Jesse Ventura (68), Linda Ronstadt (73), Phoebe Waller-Bridge (34), Jackie Earle Haley (58), David Mitchell (45), and Kyle Gass (59).

Dead Pool 14th July 2019

Apologies for the late issue, life had to take precedence this week. However, a shorter than usual edition for you to read, even though we’ve had quite a spate of deaths over the last week. 

Look Who You Could Have Had:

In Other News

Sting has cancelled multiple European concert dates due to a mystery illness. The 67-year-old singer announced the news on Twitter on Tuesday just hours after revealing he couldn’t play his upcoming Munich concert under “doctor’s orders”. Taking to social media, the former The Police frontman apologised for “disappointing” any excited fans.  “It is with great regret that Sting’s concerts previously scheduled for Thursday, Jul 11 at Jazzopen in Stuttgart, Germany and Friday, July 12 at the Castle Garden in Slavkov u Brna, Czech Republic will be cancelled,” a statement on his Twitter read. “As reported earlier this week, Sting is under the weather and under doctor’s orders, was forced to also cancel concerts in Ghent, Belgium (Monday July 8) and Munich, Germany (Wednesday, July 10). “Sting sincerely regrets disappointing or causing any inconvenience to the fans.” he post added that fans could obtain refunds for their tickets on his website. Fans are currently none the wiser about the nature of the singer’s health issues. It comes after Sting was also forced to cancel a concert with Jamaican singer Shaggy back in 2018 due to medical reasons.  

Nell Gifford, co-founder of Giffords Circus, has revealed the sad news that she has a year to live. Giffords Circus, based at Fennells Farm in Lypiatt, is a Stroud institution, with many families returning year upon year for each new show. Nell, the creative visionary behind the circus, and also one of its glamorous performers, shared her cancer prognosis in an interview with the Evening Standard yesterday. “I have a poor outlook,” she said. “I’ve been diagnosed with a year to live and things like that and I can hardly remember the feeling of being without cancer. But I’m having loads of treatment under an incredible oncologist, ducking and diving through the NHS and private system.” Nell has kept her nine-year-old twins Red and Cecil fully informed about what’s going on. She said the circus ‘has become a lifeline’. “It always has been. It’s a support system, I’m the happiest I am here on the show. It probably props me up more than I prop it up. In the most calamitous times it’s been what I’ve turned to and what’s contained me and where I’ve felt safe. It’s the community, being by the horses; knowing you have your tribe; it’s cool.” Nell was diagnosed with breast cancer four years ago and has now been told the disease has spread to her bones and lymph nodes. Last month she was advised she would need more chemotherapy and since then has been dividing her time between hospital and her circus. Nell created the circus with her former husband, Toti Gifford, in 2000. Since then, it has been at the centre of her life and brought joy to thousands of people. Low-fi and vintage in feel, Giffords is now famed for its magical performances. 

On This Day

  • 1789 – French Revolution: Citizens of Paris storm the Bastille.  
  • 1865 – First ascent of the Matterhorn by Edward Whymper and party, four of whom die on the descent.  
  • 1881 – Billy the Kid is shot and killed by Pat Garrett outside Fort Sumner.  
  • 1992 – 386BSD is released by Lynne Jolitz and William Jolitz beginning the Open Source operating system revolution. Linus Torvalds releases his Linux soon afterwards.  
  • 2002 – French President Jacques Chirac escapes an assassination attempt unscathed during Bastille Day celebrations.

Deaths

Last Week’s Birthdays

Harrison Ford (77), Patrick Stewart (79), Ken Jeong (50), Michael Mando (38), Topher Grace (41), Michelle Rodriguez (41), Anna Friel (42), Cheryl Ladd (68), Tamsin Greig (53), Bill Cosby (82), Stephen Lang (67), Mark Lester (61), Lil’ Kim (45), Caroline Quentin (59), Craig Charles (55), Chiwetel Ejiofor (42), Sofía Vergara (47), Peter Serafinowicz (47), Jessica Simpson (39), John Simm (49), Tom Hanks (63), Richard Roundtree (77), Kelly McGillis (62), Fred Savage (43), Scott Grimes (48), Brian Dennehy (81), Linda Park (41), O.J. Simpson (72), Courtney Love  (55), Richard Wilson (83), Jack White (44),  Kevin Bacon (61), Anjelica Huston (68), Jaden Smith (21), Billy Crudup (51), Jeffrey Tambor (75), Jack Whitehall (31), Shelley Duvall (70), and Ringo Starr (79).