Dead Pool 17th March 2024

Here we go again! The week has flown by yet again and more celebrities have been force-choked into the afterlife. Alas no points to be awarded, but plenty to read about. 

Look Who You Could Have Had:

In Other News

The inventor of karaoke, Shigeichi Negishi, has died at the age of 100. The Tokyo-based entrepreneur was the first person to automate and commercialise karaoke in 1967 when his ‘Sparko Box’ went on sale. Author Matt Alt, who interviewed the entrepreneur in 2018 for his book Pure Invention: How Japan Made the Modern World wrote Mr Negishi’s obituary in The Wall Street Journal, published on Thursday. He also shared photos of the legendary inventor on his Twitter account. Mr Negishi died on 26th January after a fall, his daughter Atsumi Takano told Mr Alt. Karaoke came to Mr Negishi through an “epiphany”, Mr Alt wrote, when an engineer at an electronics company he ran in 1967 heard him singing to himself and told him he wasn’t very good. Mr Negishi, 43 at the time, told the employee to “give me a break,” before thinking: “If only they could hear my voice over a backing track!” And while the invention of karaoke has widely been credited to Japanese musician Daisuke Inoue, who released the ‘8 Juke’ box in 1971, it was in fact Mr Negeshi’s Sparko Box that marked the first singalong machine known to man four years prior. It is recognised as the earliest by the All-Japan Karaoke Industrialist Association, the country’s largest organisation of karaoke manufacturers and retailers, according to Mr Alt. Mr Negishi created some 8,000 Sparko Boxes and placed them at establishments throughout Japan, but his venture was rather short-lived as he “grew tired of the conflict with musicians and the grind of door-to-door sales and maintenance,” Mr Alt said. He left the karaoke business entirely in 1975 and his innovative Sparko Box soon gave way to similar iterations. Now, according to Mr Alt, only one remains, and is kept by Mr Negishi’s family as a memento. Mr Negishi, who has three children, five grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren, never patented his creation. His daughter told Mr Alt: “Truly, the patent never bothered him. He felt a lot of pride in seeing his idea evolve into a culture of having fun through song around the world. To him, spending a hundred years surrounded by his family was reward enough.”  

Christie Brinkley has told fans about her experience undergoing treatment for skin cancer in a new social media post. The American model and actor, 70, shared a post about her health to Instagram on Wednesday, along with pictures of her face, where doctors had operated to remove cancerous cells. In the caption, she shared her positive thoughts about the cancer being detected at an early stage, before quipping that the surgeons had taken great care with her wounds. She wrote: “The good news for me is we caught the basal cell Carcinoma early. And I had great Doctors that removed the cancer and stitched me up to perfection like an haute couture Dior.” The star, who has featured in TV programmes such as Parks and Recreation, Ugly Betty and The Goldbergs, went on to reiterate the importance of SPF and regular checkups to her followers. “The good news for you is that all of this can be avoided by being diligent with your sun protection! I got serious a bit late so now for this ole mermaid/gardener, I’ll be slathering on my SPF 30, reapplying as needed, wearing long sleeves and a wide-brim hat. And doing regular total body check-ups…that is a MUST!” Brinkley noted that she was “lucky” that her cancerous spot was picked up early, as a doctor noticed it by chance while examining her daughter. “It wasn’t my appointment so I wasn’t going to say anything but at the VERY end I asked if he could just look at a little tiny dot I could feel as I applied my foundation. He took a look and knew immediately it needed a biopsy! He did it then and there! So make your own good luck by making that check-up appointment today. And slather up my friends!” In the accompanying images, Brinkley is seen with an incision close to her hairline, then later with a bandage covering the cut area.  

Louis Walsh has revealed he has been fighting a rare form of blood cancer. The former X Factor judge was diagnosed with Waldenstrom Macroglobulinaemia. Speaking  on Celebrity Big Brother, the 71-year-old star said he was recovering from a rare cancer, adding that it had been a “reality check”. Louis made the admission in a conversation with housemates Levi Roots and Ekin-Su. Asked about his experiences in lockdown, he replied: “I was sick, and I think nobody knew I was sick. I had cancer – a mild version, a rare one, in my blood. I didn’t even know I had it until I went to the hospital. They checked me and then they found it.” Louis said it affected him mentally. Pointing to his head, he admitted: “It’s just up here, even when I go past a hospital I almost get sick. It’s all gone, I’m fine. It was just the shock of being sick and that word – nobody wants that word. I have it blocked out, a reality check.You see so many people sick and it’s terrible. In my world it was all about pop music and all that. I didn’t think of anybody getting sick or anything like that. And that was like, wow, reality check – you’re in the real world.” Friends of the star told the Flying Monkeys the condition is the reason why Louis has been sleeping so much in the reality show’s house. A source said: “Louis is in remission currently but you can see how frail he is and that he has lost a lot of weight. It’s also the reason why he’s sleeping so much, it all took a lot out of him. The whole experience was the main driver behind signing up for the show. He’d been really ill and just wanted to enjoy life again and thought ‘what the hell’.” The friend said that Louis been suffering the condition in lock-down and received incredible care in Dublin but it left him feeling very isolated. They added: “It’s little wonder he has decided to immerse himself in the Celebrity Big Brother house. It’s almost as a reaction to what has happened. It was quite the ordeal, not least as the cancer is so rare that it took a while to get diagnosed.” It is not known what treatment Louis received, although sufferers often have chemotherapy and immunotherapy. Around 350 people in the UK are diagnosed with Waldenstrom Macroglobulinaemia each year.

On This Day

  • 1891 – SS Utopia collides with HMS Anson in the Bay of Gibraltar and sinks, killing 562 of the 880 passengers on board.
  • 1963 – Mount Agung erupts on Bali killing more than 1,100 people. 
  • 1968 – As a result of nerve gas testing by the U.S. Army Chemical Corps in Skull Valley, Utah, over 6,000 sheep are found dead.  
  • 1985 – Serial killer Richard Ramirez, aka the “Night Stalker“, commits the first two murders in his Los Angeles murder spree.  
  • 2000 – Five hundred and thirty members of the Ugandan cult Movement for the Restoration of the Ten Commandments of God die in a fire, considered to be a mass murder or suicide orchestrated by leaders of the cult. Elsewhere another 248 members are later found dead.  

Deaths

  • 1947 – Mike, American  chicken, lived 18 months following decapitation (h. 1945). 
  • 2011 – Michael Gough, English actor (b. 1916).
  • 2023 – Lance Reddick, American actor (b. 1962).

Died Laughing 

The mystery of the man who was reported to have died laughing watching the comedy show The Goodies in the 1970’s may have been solved by doctors.  

The episode Kung Fu Kapers is infamous after fifty-year-old Alex Mitchell could not stop laughing for a continuous 25-minute period – almost the entire length of the show – and it was assumed that he suffered a fatal heart attack as a result of the strain placed on his heart.

Mr Mitchell’s death after laughing for half an hour watching The Goodies made headlines around the world in 1975. Later his wife, Nessie, wrote to the show’s stars Tim Brooke-Taylor, Graeme Garden and Bill Oddie to thank them for making his final 30 minutes so enjoyable.

More recently, his granddaughter Lisa Corke, 23, suffered a near fatal cardiac arrest at home on the Isle of Sheppey. She has now been diagnosed with Long QT Syndrome which doctors think could have also caused her grandfathers death.

Mr Mitchell’s son Alex, who was 17 at the time, said: “They just thought it was a heart attack. After what happened to Lisa I spoke to my sister, who was with my dad at the time, and my mum… and they said it was as though my dad fainted and started breathing funny. Listening to how Mick [Lisa’s husband] described what happened to Lisa it was almost identical symptoms. That’s when the doctors put two and two together and came up with the idea that actually they think it’s hereditary.”

Consultant cardiologist Dr Pier Lambiase said: “You may find other members of the family that have unexplained deaths and it was put down to a heart attack at the time, but it was actually due to this condition. I would say given the fact that his granddaughter, I believe, had Long QT Syndrome and the circumstances of the death it would be good circumstantial evidence. To be absolutely certain you would have to see if there was an abnormality in the gene that causes Long QT Syndrome found in the granddaughter that is also evident in other members of the family, particularly the individual who passed away.”

Mrs Corke was put into a medically induced coma after she suffered the cardiac arrest in May.

She said: “The doctors know what it is, they know that it is genetic so hopefully they’ll be to find if the children have it, if my brother has it and if my father as well. And hopefully protect future generations in our family.”

A person with Long QT Syndrome suddenly faints or passes out during exercise, or when experiencing intense emotions, such as fear. Symptoms typically begin in young children, but may occur in newborns and can appear as late as middle age.

Last Week’s Birthdays

Kurt Russell (73), Morfydd Clark (35), Rob Lowe (60), Gary Sinise (69), John Boyega (32), Patrick Duffy (75), Alan Tudyk (53), Alexandra Daddario (38), Aisling Bea (40), Jerome Flynn (61), Erik Estrada (75), Jimmy Nail (70), Pollyanna McIntosh (45), David Cronenberg (81), Eva Longoria (49), Will.i.am (49), Ansel Elgort (30), Jamie Bell (38), Michael Caine (91), Billy Crystal (76), Betsy Brandt (51), Quincy Jones (91), William H. Macy (74), Aaron Eckhart (56), Titus Welliver (62), Jaimie Alexander (40), Lesley Manville (68), Liza Minnelli (78), Jodie Comer (31), Thora Birch (42), Alex Kingston (61), John Barrowman (57), and Johnny Knoxville (53).

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