Dead Pool 29th August 2021
As pointed out in our Telegram group, it’s not a good week if you appeared on Gogglebox! They’ve been dropping like flies recently! Anyhow, we have points to dispense. Well done to Fiona, for correctly listing Charlie Watts, a nice 70 points awarded which pushes her towards the top end of the league table.
Look Who You Could Have Had:
- Brian Travers, 62, British saxophonist and songwriter (UB40), brain cancer.
- Mary Cook, 92, British reality television personality (Gogglebox).
- Andy Michael, 61, British reality television personality (Gogglebox).
- Terry Driver, 56, Canadian convicted murderer.
- Michael Nader, 76, American actor (Dynasty, All My Children, Lucky Chances), cancer.
- Charlie Watts, 80, English drummer (The Rolling Stones).
- Gunilla Bergström, 79, Swedish children’s book writer and illustrator (Alfie Atkins).
- Marcus Birks, 40, English Eurodance musician (Cappella), COVID-19.
In Other News
Igor Vovkovinskiy, the tallest man in the United States, has died in Minnesota. He was 38. His family said he died of heart disease on Friday at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester. His mother, Svetlana Vovkovinska, an ICU nurse at Mayo, initially posted about his death on Facebook. The Ukrainian-born Vovkovinskiy came to the Mayo Clinic in 1989 as a child seeking treatment. A tumour pressing against his pituitary gland caused it to secrete abnormal levels of growth hormone. He grew to become the tallest man in the U.S. at 7 feet, 8.33 inches and ended up staying in Rochester. His older brother, Oleh Ladan us that Vovkovinskiy was a celebrity when he arrived from Ukraine because of his size and the flickering Cold War of the late 1980s. But Ladan said Vovkovinskiy “would have rather lived a normal life than be known.” Vovkovinskiy appeared on “The Dr. Oz Show” and was called out by President Barack Obama during a campaign rally in 2009, when the president noticed him near the stage wearing a T-shirt that read, “World’s Biggest Obama Supporter.” In 2013, he carried the Ukrainian contestant onto the stage to perform in the Eurovision Song Contest.
Scottish comedian Sir Billy Connolly has given fans an update on his Parkinson’s battle, saying it’s “getting worse”. The comedian was speaking during a session at the Edinburgh TV Festival, which was honouring the 78-year-old with a lifetime achievement award for his contribution to the industry, when he made the confronting comments. Billy, who was diagnosed with the disease in 2013 and retired from standup comedy last year as a result, said filming for television is getting a lot harder. Speaking remotely from his Florida home, Billy said he was approaching the condition in the same way he always approached filming. “I hardly prepare,” he said. “I turn up unprepared and everything’s a new challenge.” Billy continued: “The challenges lately have been medical. They’re getting worse. You’ll notice I’ve been holding my left hand — it’s starting to jump around. I have to weigh it up and see how bad it gets.” Billy’s new comments come about eight months after he opened up about his condition and decision to retire. The comedian appeared in a touching ITV documentary titled Billy Connolly: It’s Been a Pleasure which paid tribute to his 50-year long career in the spotlight. But, perhaps one of the most touching moments of the evening was when the Scottish comedian emotionally admitted that Parkinson’s will eventually lead to his “end”, and that he’s accepted this. “It’s got me, it will get me and it will end me, but that’s okay with me,” Connolly said.
Italy’s former prime minister Silvio Berlusconi has been admitted to San Raffaele Hospital in Milan, according to our sources. A flying monkey quoted a member from Mr Berlusconi’s Forza Italia party who told it that the former PM went into hospital on Thursday evening for “a thorough clinical check-up”. The monkey gave no further details as to Mr Berlusconi’s condition. The 84-year-old billionaire businessman has been in and out of hospital since contracting coronavirus last September. He was treated for more than a week at San Raffaele after developing double pneumonia, an experience he described as the “worst of his life”. He was last hospitalised in May, when he spent five days at San Raffaele Hospital. Mr Berlusconi has faced a number of serious health issues in recent years. In 2016 he underwent major heart surgery to replace an aortic valve in 2016. He also has overcome prostate cancer and a series of other ailments. He has had a pacemaker for years. He has previously described his bout with coronavirus as “insidious,” calling it the most dangerous challenge he had ever faced.
And finally, the UK’s oldest man has said that his secret to a long life is having fish and chips for dinner every Friday. John Tinniswood, 109, celebrated his birthday earlier this month and shared some of his tips for living a full life. “Never exceed what you can normally do,” he told us. ‘Otherwise you’re going to injure yourself either physically or mentally. So stay within your limits of what you can do.’ When asked if he had any further words of wisdom for a long life, he replied that would be “impudent” and that we should “let each do as they want”. When asked about the future, he replied: “The future holds what it does – you can’t do very much about it.” To mark his birthday, Mr Tinniswood received a telegram from the Queen – the ninth one he has received since turning 100. Upon receiving the card, he teased that he could “get a couple of hundred quid for this” and asked “she hasn’t put her phone number, has she?” Mr Tinniswood was previously married, having tied the knot with his wife, Blodwen, in 1942. They had one daughter together, Susan, in 1943 and were married for 44 years before Blodwen died in 1986. The UK’s oldest man on record, Henry Allingham, died at the age of 113 in 2009. The oldest woman in the UK on record was Charlotte Hughes, who passed away in 1993 at the age of 115.
On This Day
- 708 – Copper coins are minted in Japan for the first time.
- 1949 – The Soviet Union tests its first atomic bomb, known as First Lightning or Joe 1, at Semipalatinsk, Kazakhstan.
- 1997 – Netflix is launched as an internet DVD rental service.
- 2005 – Hurricane Katrina devastates much of the U.S. Gulf Coast from Louisiana to the Florida Panhandle, killing up to 1,836 people and causing $125 billion in damage.
- 1930 – William Archibald Spooner, English priest and author (b. 1844).
- 1982 – Ingrid Bergman, Swedish actress (b. 1915).
- 1987 – Lee Marvin, American actor (b. 1924).
- 2016 – Gene Wilder, American stage and screen comic actor, screenwriter, film director, and author (b. 1933).
Not all Canadians are nice!
On 13th October 1995, 16-year-olds Misty Cockerill and Tanya Smith were walking to a party when Driver broke through a hedge nearby with a baseball bat and ordered the girls to go through the bush. After stumbling into a clearing, Driver told both girls to remove their clothes. While Smith complied, Cockerill attempted to fight back, grabbing the bat and hitting Driver across the back as he prepared to rape Smith. Driver eventually overpowered Cockerill and beat her into unconsciousness. Cockerill regained consciousness in a parking lot and walked to the hospital, where she was immediately rushed into surgery for severe skull fractures and survived. Later that morning, Smith’s badly beaten body was found in a river where she drowned, in addition to unsurvivable traumatic injuries.
After the attack, Driver engaged in a course of bizarre behaviour that eventually led to his capture. He made a series of telephone calls to police and emergency services in which he refused to give his name, but clearly identified himself as the killer, and threatened more crimes. Driver, whose father had been a police officer, had an obsession with scanners, and used one to monitor police responses to his telephone calls. He attended the funeral of Tanya Smith, and then later stole her tombstone, wrote a threatening message to Cockerill on it, and then put it on the hood of a car belonging to a radio station. He also threw a wrench with a note to police through a stranger’s front window. The note mentioned three other similar assaults for which he sought credit. He had left a thumbprint on some tape around the package, and he had left DNA on the body. Police arranged for the broadcast of recordings of the telephone calls, and Driver’s brother recognised his voice. His mother concurred in the identification. Police determined that Driver’s thumbprint matched the one on the tape, and he was arrested in 1996.
After his arrest, Driver denied that he had beaten the two girls. He claimed he had happened upon them after the crime, raped the unconscious Tanya, and thrown her body in the river. He claimed he had driven Misty to the hospital. At trial, he did not raise an insanity defence, but claimed he had Tourette’s syndrome, obsessive compulsive disorder and attention deficit disorder, and urged these impairments be considered to explain his actions. He used this argument to explain that the confessions he gave were false and the product of his disorders. Because of the emotional response that was inevitable in a trial, Driver elected to be tried in front of a judge instead of a jury. The judge was unpersuaded by Driver’s arguments and he was convicted in 1997 of the first-degree murder of Tanya Smith and the attempted murder of Misty Cockerill, declared a dangerous offender, and received a mandatory life sentence from Judge Wally Oppal. He appealed, but, in 2001, lost.
In a later trial, Driver was convicted of two of the assaults he mentioned in the letter that he threw through the window.
In 2006, Driver was transferred from protective custody at Kent Institution to the Pacific Institution/Regional Treatment Centre in Abbotsford for treatment. Corrections Canada came under criticism for this move.
Driver died in prison last week on 23rd August 2021.
Last Week’s Birthdays
Carla Gugino (50), Emily Hampshire (40), Rebecca De Mornay (62), Elliott Gould (83), Lenny Henry (63), Jack Black (52), Brian Thompson (62), Billy Boyd (53), David Soul (78), Shania Twain (56), Aaron Paul (42), Peter Stormare (68), Peter Mensah (62), Barbara Bach (74), Reece Shearsmith (52), Melissa McCarthy (51), Chris Pine (41), Macaulay Culkin (41), Alexander Skarsgård (45), Joanne Whalley (60), Blake Lively (34), Tim Burton (63), Tom Skerritt (88), Gene Simmons (72), Billy Ray Cyrus (60), Claudia Schiffer (51), Jared Harris (60), Rupert Grint (33), Steve Guttenberg (63), Stephen Fry (64), Ray Park (47), and Charley Boorman (55).