Dead Pool 29th May 2022
Since Lester Piggott decided to inconveniently die a day too soon, the lead story of him being in hospital has been pulled. However, if like me, you thought he died twenty years ago, you might be a little surprised he was actually still with us!
Look Who You Could Have Had:
- Colin Cantwell, 90, American film concept artist (2001: A Space Odyssey, Star Wars, WarGames).
- Andy Fletcher, 60, English Hall of Fame keyboardist (Depeche Mode).
- Ray Liotta, 67, American actor (Goodfellas, Something Wild, Field of Dreams).
- Alan White, 72, English Hall of Fame drummer (Yes, Plastic Ono Band).
- Lester Piggott, 86, English jockey.
- Patricia Brake, 79, English actress (Porridge, Going Straight, Midsomer Murders).
- Bo Hopkins, 84, American actor (The Wild Bunch, American Graffiti, Dynasty), complications from a heart attack.
In Other News
Legendary Dead Pool favourite, Dick Van Dyke made a rare public appearance last week. Van Dyke, 96, was in high spirits as he stepped out in a “Spoonful of Sugar” sweatshirt in Malibu, California, on Wednesday. The age-defying actor was accompanied by his wife Arlene Silver, 50, as they headed to lunch after finishing up a fitness class at a nearby gym. The couple celebrated their 10th wedding anniversary back in February by going viral with a romantic Valentine’s Day video — but still looked like loved-up newlyweds as they shared a laugh while strolling along in the sun. In addition to the sweatshirt referencing his most famous film role, Van Dyke kept things casual for the lunch date, donning a pair of Adidas sweatpants he presumably wore for his workout. The “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang” star is famous for keeping fit and healthy in spite of his advancing age, telling the flying monkeys that he still hits the gym three times a week. “I’ve always been an exerciser and still am … I get in the pool and exercise. At my age, they say to keep moving. Put me on solid ground and I’ll start tapping,” he declared in an interview with the magazine back in 2019. Van Dyke revealed he does water aerobics, lifts weights and walks on a treadmill. He also credited his fit physique to “good genes.” Meanwhile, the smitten star said much-younger wife also keeps him on his toes. “I sometimes forget that we’re doing a great experiment here — 46 years’ difference. And we work at it to some extent,” he explained. “There’s got to be some understanding, find out what old habits don’t work anymore. It takes some adjusting and fitting in, but that’s part of the fun of it.”
Ainsley Harriott has said his sister Jacqueline is doing “fine and well” after she dramatically fell into a pond at the Chelsea Flower Show on Monday. The chef took to Twitter to say: “Just a big thank you to everyone who helped my sister when she had a fall at the Chelsea Flower Show this morning. She’s doing fine and all is well.” Ainsley and other stars rushed to save his sister Jacqueline from drowning as she fell into the pond. The 65-year-old was pictured lifting his sibling out of the water, alongside a group of celebrities, including DIY SOS host Nick Knowles. One guest who attended the show explained what had happened. They told the flying monkeys: “The garden was packed with lots of people and I think the woman must have fallen into the pond or tripped over and ended up in the water. “I think she nearly drowned. She was pulled out by Ainsley and some other celebrities before they laid her down on the floor. She was coughing up lots of water.” Pictures showed Ainsley grabbing onto Jacqueline and pulling her up after she slipped into the narrow water feature. She was handed over to paramedics after being pulled from the water. Onlookers were shocked as they watched the event unfold, with Ainsley and others rushing to save her, while Nick stood at the sidelines looking concerned with his new girlfriend Katie Dadzie.
Meghan Markle’s dad has been left unable to speak after suffering a ‘major stroke’ less than a week before he was due to travel to the UK for the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations. Thomas Markle Sr, 77, was hit by the health emergency in Mexico and had to be taken across the border to San Diego in an ambulance while using an oxygen mask. He was said to have lost his speech following the incident on Monday night which came after he already suffered a health scare last week, sources told the flying monkeys. His condition was so serious he could only communicate by scrawling down messages on a piece of paper, pals said. Meghan’s older half-brother Thomas Markle Jr, 55, was with him in Rosarito, the Mexican beach resort where he lives, on Monday when he was taken ill. His daughter Samanta Markle, 57, is understood to be flying in from Florida to be by his side. In a statement last night Samantha wished her father “godspeed” and said they were praying for his recovery. She said: “My father is recovering in hospital. We ask for privacy for the family, for his health and wellbeing. He just needs peace and rest. Godspeed. We are praying. He just needs some rest. It’s a travesty how much he’s been tortured and how much he’s had to go through thanks to my sister’s disregard the past few years. That is unforgivable.” The former Hollywood lighting director was planning to travel to the UK on Monday to be in London for next week’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations.
On This Day
- 1914 – The Ocean liner RMS Empress of Ireland sinks in the Gulf of Saint Lawrence with the loss of 1,012 lives.
- 1953 – Edmund Hillary and Sherpa Tenzing Norgay become the first people to reach the summit of Mount Everest.
- 1982 – Falklands War: the British Army defeats the Argentine Army at the Battle of Goose Green.
- 1985 – Heysel Stadium disaster: Thirty-nine association football fans die and hundreds are injured when a dilapidated retaining wall collapses.
- 1957 – James Whale, English director (b. 1889).
- 1979 – Mary Pickford, Canadian-American actress, producer, and screenwriter, co-founder of United Artists (b. 1892).
- 2010 – Dennis Hopper, American actor, director, and screenwriter (b. 1936).
- 2017 – Manuel Noriega, Panamanian general and politician, Military Leader of Panama (b. 1934).
The Dog Suicide Bridge
Overtoun Bridge is a category B-listed structure over the Overtoun Burn on the approaching road to Overtoun House, near Dumbarton in West Dunbartonshire, Scotland. It was completed in 1895, based on a design by the landscape architect H. E. Milner.
Since the 1950s, numerous reports of dogs either falling or jumping from the bridge have been reported. With the incidents often resulting in serious injury or death upon landing on the rocks some 50 ft (15 m) below, the bridge has unsurprisingly been nicknamed the “Dog Suicide Bridge”. Various explanations for these deaths have been proposed, ranging from natural accidents to paranormal activity.
During the 1950s, locals started referring to the bridge as the “Bridge of Death” or the “Dog Suicide Bridge”, as it was reported that dogs were leaping from the bridge into the ravine below. The story gained more prominence during the late 2000’s and early 2010’s. Since the original incidents were reported, at least 50 dogs have died from the fall, but over 600 have jumped but still survived!
In 2004, Kenneth Meikle was walking with his family and Golden Retriever, when the dog suddenly bolted and jumped off the bridge. It survived, but was traumatised by the experience. Going into 2005, at least five other dogs also jumped over the course of six months. In 2014, Alice Trevorrow, who was walking with her Springer Spaniel named Cassie, reported a strange experience on Overtoun Bridge. “I had parked up and as she is so obedient I didn’t put her lead on. Me and my son walked toward Cassie, who was staring at something above the bridge, she definitely saw something that made her jump. There is something sinister going on. It was so out of character for her.”
A number of theories have been proposed as to the behaviour of dogs on the bridge. In 2014, canine psychologist David Sands proposed that the surrounding foliage – giving the in-reality extremely steep drop off the side of the bridge the appearance of even ground – combined with the residual odour from male mink urine in the area could be culprit for luring dogs to jump off the bridge. This theory was protested by a local hunter and resident of 50 years, John Joyce, who stated that there were “no mink in the area.” However, in an investigation by the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, Officer David Sexton found that one end of the bridge reportedly favoured by dogs contained “nests of mice, squirrels, and minks.” Furthermore, in an experiment in which ten dogs were exposed to canisters filled with mouse, squirrel and mink scent, seven of the dogs “all went straight for the mink scent, many of them quite dramatically.”
The Scottish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals has investigated the bridge and surrounding area, but none of their findings proved conclusive.
In 2019, the owners of Overtoun House, Bob and Melissa Hill, said that in 17 years of residing at the House, they had witnessed a number of dogs become agitated, jump up, and fall from the bridge. Bob Hill, originally a pastor from Texas, stated that the scent of mink, pine martens, and other animals agitated the dogs, resulting in their jump onto the bridge wall: “The dogs catch the scent of mink, pine martens or some other mammal and then they will jump up on the wall of the bridge. And because it’s tapered, they will just topple over.” However, Hill also stated his belief that the grounds of the House held some sort of spiritual quality.
Local teacher Paul Owens argues that the bridge and nearby Overtoun House are haunted by supernatural activity. He claims that dogs and other animals are sensitive to such supernatural activity, so he proposes that dark spirits are responsible for luring dogs to their deaths.
In October 1994, paranoid schizophrenic Kevin Moy threw his two-week-old son Eoghan to his death from the bridge because he believed that his son was an incarnation of the Devil due to a birthmark. He chose the location due to its association with dark spirits going back to the druidic days. Following his act of murder, Moy then attempted to commit suicide several times by jumping off the bridge and slashing his wrists, but he was detained and placed in a mental health hospital.
So, who fancies a day trip?
Last Week’s Birthdays
Annette Bening (64), Ted Levine (65), Laverne Cox (50), Danny Elfman (69), Mel B (47), Kylie Minogue (54), Paul Bettany (51), Jack McBrayer (49), Louis Gossett Jr. (86), André 3000 (47), Helena Bonham Carter (56), Pam Grier (73), Bobcat Goldthwait (60), Lenny Kravitz (58), Philip Michael Thomas (73), Stevie Nicks (74), Mike Myers (59), Cillian Murphy (46), Ian McKellen (83), Octavia Spencer (52), Frank Oz (78), Daisy Edgar-Jones (24), Doug Jones (62), John C. Reilly (57), Alfred Molina (69), Jim Broadbent (73), James Cosmo (74), Priscilla Presley (77), Gary Burghoff (79), Tommy Chong (84), Bob Dylan (81), Eric Cantona (56), Richard Ayoade (45), Joan Collins (89), Melissa McBride (57), and Bob Mortimer (63).