Dead Pool 17th May 2020

Not much in the news this week and no points scored. I think we need a more deadly virus! 

Look Who You Could Have Had:

In Other News

The Bachelor’s Sophie Tieman has revealed she is being tested for viral meningitis. The 27-year-old shared a shocking image of herself lying in a hospital bed wearing a gown and face mask, with a nasogastric tube inserted into her nose on Tuesday. Sophie explained in a post to her Instagram Stories she had been unwell for a week but was initially diagnosed with ‘influenza’. Following several days of treatment, her condition failed to improve and Sophie felt like her ‘head was going to explode’. She had also been suffering from other symptoms including lethargy and neck aches. The reality star was admitted to hospital on Tuesday to undergo tests including pathology, a chest x-ray and an MRI scan. Sophie also revealed she would be undergoing a spinal tap, which she was ‘dreading’. Meningitis is a serious illness which causes inflammation of the brain and spinal cord membranes. It is usually caused by a viral infection but can also be bacterial or fungal. Sophie rose to fame on the 2018 season of The Bachelor where she dated Nick ‘The Honey Badger’ Cummins. She made it to the final rose ceremony along with co-star Brittany Hockley.  

As you saw above, an emotional Gardeners World paid tribute to Monty Don’s dog Nigel, who sadly died earlier this week. A poignant package of clips aired during the show saw the beautiful golden retriever scampering through daffodils and ‘helping’ his human by dropping filthy tennis balls in his freshly planted pots. Taken from previous episodes, each clip proved how strong Monty and Nigel’s bond was, as the cheeky pooch’s tail wagged like mad whenever he looked at his master. Sobbing viewers were treated to the sight of Nigel prancing through the flowers, tearing through Monty’s garden, and patiently waiting for his beloved ball to be thrown by dropping it right where Monty needed to be to talk to the camera. One old clip showed Monty standing by a wheelbarrow piled high with soil. “Now this is crushed bark with a little addition of tennis ball,” Monty explains as he holds up a dirty old ball that has somehow fallen in. “Now tennis ball, of course, is a magical horticultural ingredient… according to Nigel.” Another clip saw the gardening expert reach all the way up to his shoulder inside an enormous plant pot, just to fish out Nigel’s ball. Do you want to see what’s in there? Look. Why did you put it in? He’s going to put it back in now,” he chuckled as Nigel predictably nudged the ball straight back inside. Nigel was well known to fans thanks to his appearances on the BBC Two gardening programme, where he was often seen with Monty’s other dog Nellie. 

The Newly Infected

  • Justin Long: The actor revealed he believed he and his brother, Christian, contracted the virus. He said he symptoms included “achingness, some nausea, headaches and then the tightness in the chest.” 
  • Tony Shalhoub: revealed that he and his wife Brooke Adams have recovered from coronavirus.

On This Day

  • 1536 – Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn‘s marriage is annulled.  
  • 1900 – The children’s novel The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, by L. Frank Baum, is first published in the United States. The first copy is given to the author’s sister.  
  • 1902 – Greek archaeologist Valerios Stais discovers the Antikythera mechanism, an ancient mechanical analog computer.  
  • 1990 – The General Assembly of the World Health Organisation eliminates homosexuality from the list of psychiatric diseases.  
  • 1995 – Shawn Nelson steals an M60 tank from the California Army National Guard Armory in San Diego and proceeds to go on a rampage.


  • 1886 – John Deere, American blacksmith, founded the Deere & Company (b. 1804)   
  • 1922 – Dorothy Levitt, English racing driver and journalist (b. 1882)
  • 2005 – Frank Gorshin, American actor (b. 1934) 
  • 2012 – Donna Summer, American singer-songwriter (b. 1948)

The Last British Executions

James Smith was the sixth-to-last criminal to be executed in a British prison. He was hanged for the murder of Mrs. Sarah Isabella Cross in her sweetshop at the corner of Hulme Hall Lane and Iron Street, Miles Platting, Manchester.

Smith, born in Edinburgh in 1936, had entered the shop on Friday 4th May 1962 and battered 58-year-old Mrs Cross to death in order to rob her of around £6 from the till. A total of 5 glass screw-top orangeade and cherryade bottles were used to club the victim, each of which shattered to pieces as a result. Smith left coins scattered on the shop floor as he made his escape through the rear exit. The victim’s body was subsequently found lying behind the counter.

Forensic experts discovered Smith’s fingerprint on a door frame which had been painted two days earlier by Mrs Cross’s husband, a factory worker, and was still slightly tacky. Smith’s fingerprints were already on file because of a previous conviction. As a result, Smith was quickly arrested at his home on Corfe Street, Beswick by Detective Chief Superintendent Eric Cunningham and Detective Inspector Tommy Butcher. The broken glass bottles from the murder scene were sent to the North West Forensic Science Laboratory at Preston, where they were carefully reassembled using a tube of glue. Smith’s house was searched and microscopic particles of glass (recovered using a modified vacuum cleaner) were found on Smith’s clothing and also down the sides of a settee. The tiny fragments of glass recovered from Smith’s home fitted perfectly into the reassembled bottles from the murder scene.

The 26-year-old father of two, who worked as a £15-per-week rubber moulder at Failsworth, went on trial for Mrs Cross’s murder on 15th October 1962. The hearing lasted three days and it took the jury just 20 minutes to find him guilty. This verdict automatically resulted in him being sentenced to  death on 17th October 1962, because under the terms of the Homicide Act 1957 killing in the course or furtherance of theft or robbery was a capital offence.

Smith was subsequently hanged on the gallows at Strangeways prison, on the morning of Wednesday, 28th November 1962. The executioners were Harry Allen and his assistant. A few hours later, on the same day that he was executed, Smith’s body was buried in an unmarked grave in Manchester prison cemetery. This practice was standard procedure because bodies of executed prisoners were regarded as property of the British government, and therefore remained in the custody of the prison where they had been executed. Because the prison cemetery was located inside the prison walls, there was no access for the general public. Smith’s body remained in the prison cemetery until many years later when (in 1991 and again in 1993) the remains of all the executed prisoners were exhumed, cremated and the ashes interred in plots C2710 and C2711 at Blackley Cemetery, Manchester.

Last Week’s Birthdays

Erin Richards (33), Paul Whitehouse (61), Megan Fox (33), Pierce Brosnan (66), David Boreanaz (50), Danny Trejo (75), Stephen Mangan (51), Janet Jackson (53), Cate Blanchett (50), Tim Roth (58), Francesca Annis (74), George Lucas (75), Danny Huston (57), Martine McCutcheon (43), Greg Davies (51), Siân Phillips (86), Robert Pattinson (33), Samantha Morton (42), Harvey Keitel (80), Dennis Rodman (58), Iwan Rheon (34), Mark Heap (62), Zoë Wanamaker (70), Stephen Colbert (55), Stevie Wonder (69), Malin Akerman (41), Rami Malek (38), Emilio Estevez (57), Gabriel Byrne (69), Jason Biggs (41), Catherine Tate (51), Ving Rhames (60), Stephen Baldwin (53), Jeffrey Donovan (52), Tim Blake Nelson (56), Pam Ferris (72), and Holly Valance (37). 

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