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Dead Pool 2nd December 2018

A points extravaganza!!! With the sad passing of George  H.W. Bush, twelve of us have scored! Well done to Paula, Jemm, Debbie, Julia, Christine, Sarai, Doug, Mark, Nick, Laura and Julie who all score 56 points, but an extra gold star to Paul G. for scoring 156 points by having Bush down as his Cert. With only this month left to go, the top end of the table looks quite static as they’ve already scored with their Cert & Woman and just below them are a few of you who have yet to score your big points, who knows what will happen!! 

Look Who You Could Have Had:

In Other News

Fernando LaFuente says he has been “watching my own death” after a club he had played for reported he had died. When Ballybrack FC told the Leinster Senior League that LaFuente had died in a traffic accident, one of their matches was postponed and others were preceded by a minute’s silence. The club has apologised and the league has started an investigation. “My work started sending me all these news articles – that’s how I found out I was dead,” LaFuente told RTE Radio. The Spaniard, who has moved to Galway and no longer plays for Ballybrack, said the club contacted him last week to let him know he may hear reports he had been involved in an accident. He added: “I was aware there was going to be some story on me but I thought it was going to be me breaking a leg or something like that. LaFuente acknowledged the idea of a man in his 20s “with his whole life in front of him” dying in a car accident was “sad” but added: “It’s funny for me because I’ve been watching my own death.” Ballybrack’s game against Arklow Town was called off following their announcement, and the league placed a death notice in an Irish newspaper offering its “heartfelt condolences” to his family and the club. LaFuente said: “I have a really good relationship with the club. As soon as I heard the news, I wrote to them. They got straight back to me and told me what was going on and they apologised. “I had to call my mum straight away and she basically didn’t know anything. She saw this morning my photo on all the newspapers. I haven’t spoken with her yet because she didn’t answer any of the messages I sent.” League chairman David Moran told us the club’s secretary had resigned on Tuesday.  

A British rower is in a coma in a US hospital after falling down some stairs. Anna Thornton was hurt in the fall earlier this month in Seattle, Washington, where she is studying. British Rowing confirmed she was in a “stable but serious condition” and are supporting her and her family. The 21-year-old, from Nottingham, defended her double scull title at the World Under 23 Championships in July. In a statement, the University of Washington said: “We have been closely monitoring the condition of Anna Thornton, a member of the UW women’s rowing programme who is in a stable but serious condition with injuries resulting from an accident earlier this month. “At this time our focus is on supporting her, her family and teammates in any way possible. Anna’s family has requested for their privacy to be respected at this time.” Miss Thornton started rowing at the Nottingham Rowing Club at the age of 12 and represented Team GB Juniors at the 2014 Youth Olympic Games in Nanjing, China. She is currently in her third year of studying public health at the University of Washington. The statement from British Rowing added: “At this time our focus is on supporting her and her family in any way possible.”  

A multimillionaire farmer died after his dog hit a lever inside the cab of his tractor, putting the vehicle in motion and crushing him as he was building a rookery, an inquest has heard. Entrepreneur Derek Mead left the JCB farm loader with the engine running and with the animal inside, as he worked on the structure in his garden. The father-of-three was crushed against a gate and suffered a fractured vertebrae and traumatic asphyxia in the accident on 4th June 2017. He was found by his son who called the emergency services. Paramedics tried to save him but he died at the scene. It is thought the small dog may have jumped up to see where the 70-year-old was, and hit the lever, which was apparently as easy to turn on as a car indicator, putting the vehicle into motion, the inquest at Flax Bourton, Bristol, heard. Son Alistair, who cried throughout the one-hour hearing, found Mr Mead trapped against the gate and unresponsive. In a statement read at the inquest, he said: “Dad was crouched down facing the machine with his back to the gate as if he had seen the machine coming towards him and ducked to avoid it.” Summing up, assistant coroner Dr Peter Harrowing said: “Mr Mead was very experienced in using the piece of equipment. “The most likely explanation is that the dog inadvertently moved the shuttle lever, causing Mr Mead to be trapped against the gate. “The death of Mr Derek Mead was one of a very tragic accident.” 

On This Day

  • 1697 – St Paul’s Cathedral is consecrated in London.  
  • 1982 – At the University of Utah, Barney Clark becomes the first person to receive a permanent artificial heart.  
  • 1999 – The United Kingdom devolves political power in Northern Ireland to the Northern Ireland Executive following the Good Friday Agreement.

Deaths

Last Week’s Birthdays

Sarah Silverman (48), Woody Allen (83), Deep Roy (61), Bette Midler (73), Ben Stiller (53), Ridley Scott (81), Mandy Patinkin (66), Billy Idol (63), Gemma Chan (36), Joel Coen (64), Don Cheadle (54), Diane Ladd (83), Gena Lee Nolin (47), Karen Gillan (31), Judd Nelson (59), Ed Harris (68), Martin Clunes (57), Jon Stewart (56), Armando Iannucci (55), William Fichtner (62), Sharlto Copley (45), Kathryn Bigelow (67), Robin Givens (54), Bill Nye (63), Rita Ora (28), Hafþór Júlíus Björnsson (30), Kristin Bauer van Straten (52), Tina Turner (79), DJ Khaled (43), Christina Applegate (47), John Larroquette (71) and Bruno Tonioli (63).

Dead Pool 25th November 2018

Welcome all, to a strangely historical deadly day, where the Earth itself has tried to kill more people than people have. Normally we’d find one or two deadly earthquakes per day, but the 25th of November seems to have fuckloads of disasters listed, so make sure you stay inside! With just over FIVE weeks to go, it’s probably time for you to start researching next years list.

Look Who You Could Have Had:

In Other News

Zimbabwe’s former President Mugabe, 94, is unable to walk because of ill health, President Emmerson Mnangagwa has said. Mr Mugabe has been in Singapore for treatment for an undisclosed illness for the past two months, he added. The former president also made several medical trips there towards the end of his time in power. Mr Mnangagwa became head of state a year ago after Mr Mugabe was ousted following the intervention of the army. Up to that point, Mr Mugabe was the only president Zimbabwe had known, having been in power for 37 years. President Mnangagwa was addressing a rally in his predecessor’s home area when he talked about the former leader’s health. “He is now old. Of course, he now is unable to walk but whatever he asks for we will provide,” the AFP news agency quotes him as saying. When Mr Mugabe was in power officials said he was being treated for eye problems, denying rumours that he had cancer. Despite being unable to walk, Mr Mnangagwa said the former leader was feeling better and would be back in the country next week. Unsurprisingly, the government is paying for Mr Mugabe’s treatment.      

A woman allegedly killed her boyfriend and served his remains in traditional dish, police in the United Arab Emirates have said. The alleged victim’s brother was visiting the suspect to ask about his sibling when he spotted a tooth in her blender, prosecutors say. Although she told him they had broken up, his suspicions were aroused and he called in the police. At first the woman denied involvement but then broke down and said that she had killed him during a “moment of insanity” They added that the Moroccan native also claimed that she had supported the victim during their seven-year relationship, and then he told her that he was going to marry someone else in her homeland. It is then alleged that she butchered his body and minced it in a blender. She reportedly told investigators that she used the meat to cook machboos, a dish made from rice, spices, and typically, lamb, not human. She is then alleged to have served this to a group of construction workers nearby in order to get rid of the evidence. The leftovers were fed to neighbourhood dogs. The suspect allegedly asked a friend for help to clean the house. While she noticed the bloodstains, the friend is not thought to have witnessed the crime. Investigators did not offer details on how she carried out the killing, but they said that the woman faces a court date once the investigation is complete.

On This Day

  • 1667 – A deadly earthquake rocks Shemakha in the Caucasus, killing 80,000 people.  
  • 1759 – An earthquake hits the Mediterranean destroying Beirut and Damascus and killing 30,000-40,000.  
  • 1833 – A massive undersea earthquake, estimated magnitude between 8.7-9.2, rocks Sumatra, producing a massive tsunami all along the Indonesian coast.
  • 1839 – A cyclone slams India with high winds and a 40-foot storm surge, destroying the port city of Coringa (which has never been completely rebuilt). The storm wave sweeps inland, taking with it 20,000 ships and thousands of people. An estimated 300,000 deaths result from the disaster.   
  • 1926 – The deadliest November tornado outbreak in U.S. history kills 76 people and injures more than 400.  
  • 1950 – The Great Appalachian Storm of November 1950 impacts 22 American states, killing 353 people, injuring over 160, and causing $66.7 million in damages.  
  • 1984 – Thirty-six top musicians gather in a Notting Hill studio and record Band Aid’s “Do They Know It’s Christmas?” in order to raise money for famine relief in Ethiopia.  
  • 1987 – Typhoon Nina pummels the Philippines with category 5 winds of 165 mph and a surge that destroys entire villages. At least 1,036 deaths are attributed to the storm. 
  • 1996 – An ice storm strikes the central U.S., killing 26 people. A powerful windstorm affects Florida and winds gust over 90 mph, toppling trees and flipping trailers.  
  • 2000 – The 2000 Baku earthquake, with a Richter magnitude of 7.0, leaves 26 people dead in Baku, Azerbaijan, and becomes the strongest earthquake in the region in 158 years.  
  • 2008 – Cyclone Nisha strikes northern Sri Lanka, killing 15 people and displacing 90,000 others while dealing the region the highest rainfall in nine decades.  
  • 2009 – Jeddah floods: Freak rains swamp the city of Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, during an ongoing Hajj pilgrimage. Three thousand cars are swept away and 122 people perish in the torrents, with 350 others missing.

Deaths

Cunt of the Week

An American man who was killed by tribespeople on a remote Indian island said he was travelling there to “declare Jesus to these people”. In a letter to his family in the days before his death, missionary and adventurer John Allen Chau said they “might think I’m crazy”, but that he was willing to risk death to try and convert the people of North Sentinel island to Christianity, even though he didn’t speak their language. Also, what Chau might not have considered is that the Sentinelese are rather quite happy not knowing about Jesus. It is illegal for anyone to travel to the small island, part of the Andaman and Nicobar chain which sits in the Bay of Bengal and is administrated by India. Members of the Sentinelese tribe have resisted contact with the outside world for generations and are known to attack outsiders with bows and arrows. Initial reports of Mr Chau’s death described him as an adventure tourist, and police told journalists it was “a case of misdirected adventure”.  But in his letter and journals Mr Chau makes clear that his primary motivation for visiting North Sentinel was that of a Christian missionary. Describing his first encounter with the tribe Mr Chau wrote that he kayaked to shore and was met by a group of young people carrying bows and arrows. “I hollered, ‘My name is John, I love you and Jesus loves you,’” he wrote. One of the young Sentinelese shot at him and the arrow pierced a copy of the Bible he was carrying. As you can see, God did try to intervene to save his life, but the stupid cunt persevered. He returned to the island the next day, 16th November. On the morning of 17th November, the fishermen watched from the boat as members of the tribe dragged Mr Chau’s body along the beach and buried him, police said. It is unclear whether the authorities will risk further conflict with the Sentinelese by travelling to the island to recover Mr Chau’s remains. In Mr Chau’s journals from his final days at North Sentinel, according to the Washington Post, he makes clear just how aware he was of the potentially deadly outcome of visiting the Sentinelese. “I don’t want to die!” he wrote. “Would it be wiser to leave and let someone else continue? No. I don’t think so. I still could make it back to the US somehow as it almost seems like certain death to stay here. His letter to his parents begins: “You guys might think I’m crazy in all this but I think it’s worth it to declare Jesus to these people. Survival International estimates that there are around 100 tribespeople living on North Sentinel. They are primarily hunter-gatherers, although they also fish using small canoes, and unlike most of the protected tribes in India have been almost completely isolated from the outside world “for thousands of years, as far as we know”, Ms Grig said. Researchers don’t even know what language they speak, let alone what belief system they follow. “People in the Andamans are appalled anyone would attempt to go there,” she said. “Not only is there an enormous risk to [the visitor’s] life, but it is potentially devastating for the tribe, who will have no resistance to the sorts of diseases you might bring in from outside. We know of Amerindian tribes where 90 per cent have been wiped out on first contact.” A disastrous British colonial expedition to the island in 1880 could explain why the tribe is so hostile to outsiders. The explorers kidnapped two elderly Sentinelese tribespeople and four children, but when the adults quickly became sick and died, the children were immediately returned to the island with “gifts”. “Who knows what devastation sending them back wrought, particularly if they were carrying any pathogens,” Ms Grig said. “It is conjecture, but it may well be part of their history and shared knowledge – that when you have contact with outsiders, many people die. If that’s the case, it is clearly self-defence when they kill someone [like Mr Chau] in this manner.” What is blatantly obvious from what has happened, Darwinism is certainly beating Christianity at this point.

Last Week’s Birthdays

Katherine Heigl (40), Sarah Hyland (28), Stephen Merchant (44), Denise Crosby (61), Billy Connolly (76), Conleth Hill (54), Michelle Gomez (52), Miley Cyrus (26), Kelly Brook (39), Ricky Whittle (37), Scarlett Johansson (34), Jamie Lee Curtis (60), Mark Ruffalo (51), Mads Mikkelsen (53), Terry Gilliam (78), Goldie Hawn (73), Alexander Siddig (53), Björk (53), Carly Rae Jepsen (33), Sean Young (59), Ming-Na Wen (55), Bo Derek (62), Jerry Hardin (89), Adam Driver (35), Jodie Foster (56), Meg Ryan (57), Terry Farrell (55), Robert Beltran (65), Owen Wilson (50), Linda Evans (76), Delroy Lindo (66) and Alan Moore (65).

Dead Pool 18th November 2018

After what seems to have been months without a single point scored, we’ve now have had a glut of deaths and I can finally bestow some points at last! 55 points to Mark, Laura, Lee and Paula for correctly guessing that Stan Lee would die this year! Well done all of you!    

Look Who You Could Have Had:

In Other News

Miley Cyrus, Robin Thicke and Gerard Butler are among those whose homes have  been damaged or destroyed as two wildfires sweep through California. The singer said she had been left “devastated” after her Malibu home was destroyed in the blaze as California battles one of the most destructive fire’s on state record. “My house no longer stands but the memories shared with family & friends stand strong. I am grateful for all I have left. Sending so much love and gratitude to the firefighters and LA country Sheriff’s department!” In another tweet, Ms Cyrus shared details of how to donate to various organisations involved in the relief effort. Actor Gerard Butler also took to Twitter to share a picture of the charred remains of his car and home, which were also destroyed in the Malibu fire.  He wrote: “Returned to my house in Malibu after evacuating,” he wrote in the post. “Heartbreaking time across California.” Singer Robin Thicke’s Malibu home also burned down entirely, according to his representative. The 41-year-old singer said on Instagram that he, his girlfriend and his two kids are “safe and surrounded by friends and family” and “thankful to firefighters”. “As we drove to safety, they risked their lives trying to save our home,” Mr Thicke said. Many other celebrities including Orlando Bloom, Alyssa Milano and Lady Gaga were forced to evacuate their homes in southern California. But don’t feel overly sorry for these people, Gerard Butler is worth £30 Million, Robin Thicke has £15 Million and the 25 year old Miley Cyrus is worth a staggering £200 Million.  

David Arquette was bloody, mangled and nearly tortured Friday night in a wrestling match … and there was NOTHING FAKE about it. David was in a ‘deathmatch’ — that’s the name and not really an understatement — at a Game Changer Wrestling event. The actor-turned-wrestler was up against Nick FN Gage and it was just brutal. Gage broke a light tube over Arquette’s head. You see David grab his neck as blood pours from the area. Shockingly, the fight continues. Toward the end, it looks like David gives up, climbing out of the ring, but then the 47-year-old hops back in as he bleeds profusely. Gage stomps on him, but David fires back by smacking Gage with a chair. It didn’t take long … David gets pinned. After the match, David told his fans he needed a few stitches and he was fine. He ended by saying death matches weren’t his thing… 

And finally, a loyal dog which has waited on a busy road for more than 80 days after its owner died there has captured the hearts of online communities in China. Footage of the animal in the middle of the road in Hohhot, Inner Mongolia, has been viewed 1.4 million times on the popular Sina Weibo microblog. China’s Pear Video website said the dog has been seen in the road every day since its owner died on 21st August. A taxi driver said people try to help but the dog runs away. “Drivers often give the little dog bits of food, but when we get out, he goes away,” he said. “This owner’s relationship with her dog was very deep. After she was killed, this little dog has just stayed standing guard. “Every day it’s in the road, I always see it. The relationship between man and dog is so true.” 

On This Day

  • 1421 – A seawall at the Zuiderzee dike in the Netherlands breaks, flooding 72 villages and killing about 10,000 people. This event will be known as St Elizabeth’s flood. Sadly they couldn’t find a little boy with a finger that day…   
  • 1928 – Release of the animated short Steamboat Willie, the first fully synchronised sound cartoon, directed by Walt Disney and Ub Iwerks, featuring the third appearances of cartoon characters Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse. This is considered by the Disney corporation to be Mickey’s birthday.    
  • 1963 – The first push-button telephone goes into service.    
  • 1978 – In Jonestown, Guyana, Jim Jones led his Peoples Temple to a mass murder–suicide that claimed 918 lives in all, 909 of them in Jonestown itself, including over 270 children.    
  • 1987 – King’s Cross fire: In London, 31 people die in a fire at the city’s busiest underground station, King’s Cross St Pancras.   
  • 1991 – Shiite Muslim kidnappers in Lebanon release Anglican Church envoys Terry Waite and Thomas Sutherland.

Deaths

  • 1247 – Robin Hood, heroic outlaw in English folklore (b. 1160)  
  • 1886 – Chester A. Arthur, American general, lawyer, and politician, 21st President of the United States (b. 1829)  
  • 1962 – Niels Bohr, Danish footballer, physicist, and academic, Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1885)   
  • 2002 – James Coburn, American actor (b. 1928)   
  • 2015 – Jonah Lomu, New Zealand rugby player (b. 1975)

Last Week’s Birthdays

Rachel McAdams (40), Martin Scorsese (76), Tom Ellis (40), Danny DeVito (74), Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio (60), RuPaul (58), Jonathan Ross (58), Maggie Gyllenhaal (41), Missi Pyle (46), Martha Plimpton (48), Gemma Atkinson (34), Gigi Edgley (41), Mark Benton (53), Beverly D’Angelo (67), Jonny Lee Miller (46), Petula Clark (86), Sandahl Bergman (67), Paul McGann (59), Prince Charles (70), Gerard Butler (49), Whoopi Goldberg (63), Jimmy Kimmel (51), Ryan Gosling (38), Anne Hathaway (36), Gustaf Skarsgård (38), Wallace Shawn (75), Neil Young (73), Leonardo DiCaprio (44), Demi Moore (56), Calista Flockhart (54) and June Whitfield (93).

Dead Pool 11th November 2018

After unleashing the evil flying monkeys last week, I was expecting a deluge of celebrity deaths. You could see that the flying beasts were trying their best after the massive blaze in Malibu left many superstars running for their lives, alas none perished, not even Jaden Smith. What mostly rubbed salt into the wound was that whilst they were busy trying to barbecue Lady GaGa, they totally ignored everyone else! The following list is the poorest I have ever seen since starting our Dead Pool in 1994. In fact, you can’t even call it a list, it is just one name. Oh my days! I might have to make a pact with a crossroads demon to kick things off again…. 

Look Who You Could Have Had:

In Other News

The murderer of schoolgirl Sarah Payne has been attacked in his cell at a top security prison. Eight-year-old Sarah Payne was snatched and killed by convicted paedophile Roy Whiting in West Sussex in 2000. Whiting, now 59, was found guilty in 2001 of her abduction and murder and will serve a minimum of 40 years. The Sun newspaper said he was taken to hospital after being “stabbed by two convicted murderers with makeshift blades” at HMP Wakefield. A Prison Service spokesperson said: “A prisoner at HMP Wakefield was attacked on Thursday evening and received hospital treatment. “The prisoner is back in prison in a stable condition and the incident is being investigated by police.” In a statement, West Yorkshire Police said it was called to the prison at about 19:15 GMT on Thursday to a report a prisoner had been assaulted. It said the injuries “were not life threatening” and an investigation was taking place. Upon conviction in 2001, the trial judge, Mr Justice Richard Curtis, said he believed Whiting was “an evil man” and “a cunning and glib liar”. In July 2011, Whiting was stabbed in the eyes at Wakefield jail by fellow inmate, convicted murderer Gary Vinter. In 2002, Whiting was attacked with a razor blade by fellow Wakefield inmate Rickie Tregaskis. Let’s hope someone else has a go.    

John McCririck health update: The star, who recently shed three-stone due to a severe bout to flu, said he now feels like a “dinosaur” following his job loss. “You’re a lost soul wandering around an environment you’re no longer part of,” he told us. He continued: “Life is empty. I don’t expect to be alive this time next year. It’s a question of slipping away. “I’ve prepared the Booby [his wife, Jenny] for it. When I’m gone she knows exactly what to do and she’ll be fine.” John recently revealed he has been suffering for much of the year with a chest infection but doctors are unsure of the cause. Earlier this month, John shocked viewers on Big Brother’s Bit On The Side as he displayed a noticeably thinner frame. After fans commented on his “frail and gaunt” appearance, John revealed he had been ill with the flu. John revealed his flu battle left him unable to speak for three months, one wishes he still had the flu.  

And finally, a tale warning to young men out there. Sam Ballard, an Australian man who was paralysed after eating a slug, has died at the age of 28. The promising rugby player was only 19-years-old when he swallowed the slug as a dare and became infected by a rare parasitic infection. A student at Barker College, He swallowed the mollusc at a party in Sydney in 2010. He was taken to hospital after spells of dizziness and vomiting. He was found to have been infected with rat lungworm, a parasite normally found in rats but also sometimes in snails and slugs. The teenager then contracted eosinophilic meningoencephalitis, a form of meningitis, and lapsed into a coma for 420 days before doctors revived him. But when he woke he was diagnosed with a serious brain injury. Further complications from the original infection left him paralysed and in need of constant care. “Sam was 19, and in a single night, his life had changed forever,” wrote a news reporter on Monday. “While doctors had managed to save him in time, he was now confined to a wheelchair, with limited communication skills, and needing 24 hour-a-day, seven-day-a-week care.” “His friends have stuck by him ever since. On Friday, Sam passed away, surrounded by his family and loyal, loving mates.” His mother Katie Ballard previously said she did not blame the friends who dared her son at the 2010 party. Remember kids, it’s not just drugs and guns that kill, it’s slugs too! 

On This Day

  • 1880 – Australian bushranger Ned Kelly is hanged at Melbourne Gaol.  
  • 1918 – World War I: Germany signs an armistice agreement with the Allies in a railroad car in the forest of Compiègne.   
  • 1923 – Adolf Hitler was arrested in Munich for high treason for his role in the Beer Hall Putsch.   

Deaths

Last Week’s Birthdays

Taron Egerton (29), Hugh Bonneville (55), Neil Gaiman (58), Ennio Morricone (90), Tracy Morgan (50), Lou Ferrigno (67), Robert Duncan McNeill (54), Tara Reid (43), Matthew Rhys (44), Gretchen Mol (46), Richard Curtis (62), Gordon Ramsay (52), Jack Osbourne (33), Emma Stone (30), Sally Field (72), Thandie Newton (46), Ethan Hawke (48), Rebecca Romijn (46), Lori Singer (61), Nigel Havers (67), Tilda Swinton (58), Sam Rockwell (50), Famke Janssen (54), Robert Patrick (60), Sam Shepard (73), Tatum O’Neal (55), Tamzin Outhwaite (48), Armin Shimerman (69), Elke Sommer (78), Chris Addison (47), Art Garfunkel (77), Bryan Adams (59), Matthew McConaughey (49), Olivia Taylor Dudley (33), Ralph Macchio (57) and Loretta Swit (81).

Dead Pool 4th November 2016

I’d forgive you if you have never heard of any of this weeks deaths before now, we seem to have hit a polar opposite of last year where it seemed that anyone who was someone was dying. Time to free the Evil Flying Monkeys I feel….    

Look Who You Could Have Had:

  • Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha, 60, Thai duty-free retailer (King Power) and football club owner (Leicester City), helicopter crash.  
  • Whitey Bulger, 89, American gangster (Winter Hill Gang) and convicted murderer, beaten.  
  • Sir Jeremy Heywood, 56, British civil servant, Cabinet Secretary (2012–2018), cancer.

In Other News

Ex-Lib Dem leader Paddy Ashdown is being treated for bladder cancer. The former MP  for Yeovil told us that he had been diagnosed three weeks ago and while the outcome was “unpredictable” he had “complete confidence” in the care he was getting at the Somerset town’s hospital. The ex-marine commando led the party between 1988 and 1999, during which it became a growing force in UK politics. “I’ve fought a lot of battles in my life,” he told the website. “This time I am lucky enough to have the magnificent help of our local hospital, and my friends and family, and that gives me great confidence”. Later, he tweeted that he had been “moved” by people’s reactions, but it “did not merit a fuss”. The longest serving leader of the Lib Dems in its history, the 77-year old peer remains an influential figure within the party. 

Actor Charles Lawson, best known as Jim McDonald on Coronation Street, has said he was diagnosed with exhaustion before suffering a mini-stroke on stage. A doctor asked him whether he would consider pulling out of playing Ian Rankin’s  detective Rebus, he said. But Lawson responded that he would “feel like a chicken” if he did. He went on to have the stroke mid-show in Edinburgh this month. “I knew I hadn’t a clue what was happening, and then it just all went black,” he said. Lawson is now back on tour in Rebus – Long Shadows with co-stars Cathy Tyson and John Stahl, and told BBC Breakfast he feels “very well”. He told viewers who may be in a similar position to “listen to your alarm bells”. “I didn’t sleep properly for a month,” Lawson said. “I lost a stone. [On] press night we opened and everything was fine and all reviews were good.” Lawson said: “First night in Edinburgh. Packed house. Second half, Cathy, John and myself were on stage. There’s a 35-page scene, the climax of the piece, and I was looking at John and I was aware very quickly something was wrong. “I went deaf. The colour changed – my vision changed.” He said he could hardly see Tyson, and thought Stahl was messing about by reciting lines from a different play. “I remember feeling annoyed,” he said. “And I remember moving to where I should have been, and there was a piece of me that knew something was wrong. “And then big John just put his arm around me and said, ‘Come on big lad, off you go’.” Lawson went backstage and said he felt fine within 20 minutes, but scans the following day revealed the transient ischemic attack (TIA) – or mini-stroke. 

Although not famous enough for our purposes, Mario Segale, the man after whom video game hero Super Mario was named, has died aged 84. Mr Segale was a successful Italian-American property developer from the US state of Washington. In the 1980s, he leased a warehouse to Nintendo of America who decided to name the star of their new video game after him. Mr Segale joked to the Seattle Times in 1993 that he was “still waiting for my royalty cheques”. Super Mario was originally called Jumpman until Nintendo decided it wanted to give the character a proper name. Mr Segale said it was Minoru Arakawa, who had been tasked with setting up Nintendo of America, who told him the video game hero carried his name. The Mario series is often cited as the most successful video games franchise of all time.

On This Day

  • 1839 – Newport Rising: The last large-scale armed rebellion against authority in mainland Britain.  
  • 1922 – In Egypt, British archaeologist Howard Carter and his men find the entrance to Tutankhamun‘s tomb in the Valley of the Kings.  
  • 1960 – At the Kasakela Chimpanzee Community in Tanzania, Dr Jane Goodall observes chimpanzees creating tools, the first-ever observation in non-human animals.  
  • 2008 – Barack Obama becomes the first person of biracial or African-American descent to be elected President of the United States.

Deaths

  • 1995 – Yitzhak Rabin, Israeli general and politician, 5th Prime Minister of Israel, Nobel Peace Prize laureate (b. 1922)   
  • 1995 – Paul Eddington, English actor (b. 1927)  
  • 2008 – Michael Crichton, American physician, author, director, producer, and screenwriter (b. 1942)

Last Meals

A convicted double murderer has been executed by electrocution in Tennessee – the first man in the state to be killed that way since 2007. The Supreme Court turned down the last minute appeals of Edmund Zagorski, 63, without comment. Asked if he had any last words in the death chamber, the inmate said “Let’s rock” shortly before the execution was carried out. Zagorski had asked for the electric chair over lethal injection believing it would be a quicker and less painful way to die. Zagorski was pronounced dead at 7:26pm on Thursday at Riverbend Maximum Security Institution in Nashville. For his last meal, Zagorski chose pickled pig knuckles and pig tails. Death row inmates are allowed $20 for a special meal before they’re executed. Zagorski was convicted of the killing of two men during a drug deal. Prosecutors said Zagorski shot John Dotson and Jimmy Porter and then cut their throats after robbing them. The two men had come to him to buy a large amount of marijuana.  

Last Week’s Birthdays

Dolph Lundgren (61), Kate Capshaw (65), Tom Savini (72), Dylan Moran (47), Anna Wintour (69), David Schwimmer (52), Stefanie Powers (76), Toni Collette (46), Jenny McCarthy (46), Anthony Kiedis (56), Peter Jackson (57), Willow Smith (18), Stephen Rea (72), Michael J. Anderson (65), Vanilla Ice (51), Clémence Poésy (36), Henry Winkler (73), Jessica Hynes (46), Juliet Stevenson (62), Ivanka Trump (37), Winona Ryder (47), Ben Foster (38), Rufus Sewell (51), Richard Dreyfuss (71) and Dan Castellaneta (61).