Dead Pool 6th March 2022

I was worried there’d be no news to share at the beginning of this week, with Putin taking up all the  newspapers columns. Well, how wrong could I be! 

Look Who You Could Have Had:

In Other News

Taron Egerton worried the audience of his new play after collapsing on stage midway through the performance. The Rocketman star, 32, was performing a new production of Mike Bartlett’s 2009 play Cock alongside Jonathan Bailey when he passed out. According to crowd members at London’s Ambassadors Theatre, one of Egerton’s co-stars stopped the opening night performance and a safety curtain went down, leaving the audience sat around waiting for an update on his health. On Twitter, an audience member said that a doctor from the crowd rushed to the stage to help him. After a 40-minute break, in which the production team “assessed the situation”, the play’s director, Marianne Elliott, came on stage to reassure revellers that Egerton was “absolutely fine”. However, Elliott said that his understudy, Joel Harper-Jackson, would continue in his place for the remaining 15 minutes. Audience member Sue Nelson wrote on Twitter that the news that Egerton was alright received “huge applause”. A statement from the play’s production read: “During this evening’s first preview of Mike Bartlett’s play Cock at the Ambassadors Theatre, Taron Egerton fainted towards the end of the performance. A doctor who was in the audience attended to Taron immediately after the incident, and whilst he felt fine, it was decided that Taron’s understudy, Joel Harper-Jackson would continue in the role to complete the performance.” Cock, which also stars Phil Daniels, follows a gay couple who are rocked when one falls in love with a woman (Jade Anouka). The play marks Egerton’s West End debut and, in between updating people on Egerton’s health, audience members praised his “sensational” performance as well as the production.  

Roxy Horner, who is dating the actor and comedian Jack Whitehall, was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes in May 2021 after she suffered from low energy levels, “appalling” memory, and continual sickness. The 30-year-old model revealed that she was rushed to the hospital after a friend called an ambulance. Taking to Instagram on Sunday, Roxy revealed she was forced to seek treatment and admittedly has been having a “really rough time” being a diabetic. The model expressed her gratitude at being in the UK after learning there was a shortage of medication for the condition in Ukraine amid the current military crisis. In view of her 193,000 followers, Roxy began: “After my last post on diabetes I’ve had a few messages on how I’m managing and the truth is I’m trying my best but it is still hard. I’ve been having a really rough time managing my glucose levels the past few weeks, they are yo-yo-ing for absolutely no reason, I throw up when I go too high and I’ve had a few too many hypos for my liking lately.” She continued: “My friend had to call an ambulance for me the other day, I was starting to lose consciousness, my entire body was shaking, my levels got pretty low and wouldn’t come back up even after drinking four apple juices. It’s so weird to me because I’m still figuring this out and a month ago I really thought I started to nail it but it’s always going to be a rollercoaster and I know soon I’ll feel much better, maybe even tomorrow, I’ll be fine. My problems feel so minuscule on the scale of what’s going on in the world and I count myself lucky that I’m safe in my own country.” In an earlier post, Roxy shared her dismay as she detailed the lack of vital medications available for people in Ukraine after Russia invaded the country last week. She admitted she couldn’t “fathom the fear” any sufferers must feel knowing medication is in short supply. 

The Supreme Court has reinstated the death sentence for Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. In a 6-3 ruling on Friday, the court found that a federal appeals court was wrong to vacate the death sentence based on issues of jury selection and evidence. The vote was divided along lines of ideology, with outgoing Justice Stephen Breyer, Justice Elena Kagan, and, in part, Justice Sonia Sotomayor, dissenting with the ruling. Three people were killed and 260 were injured, many seriously, in the 2013 bombing. Seventeen of those who were injured lost limbs. A police officer was killed during the ensuing manhunt. “Dzhokhar Tsarnaev committed heinous crimes. The Sixth Amendment nonetheless guaranteed him a fair trial before an impartial jury. He received one,” conservative Justice Clarence Thomas wrote for the majority. The court was looking at a ruling by a panel of three judges in the US Court of Appeals for the first Circuit. The panel agreed with Tsarnaev’s attorneys back in July that potential jurors were not properly questioned for bias in the heavily publicised 2015 trial. The panel overturned Tsarnaev’s death sentence, saying that some evidence had also been improperly withheld. The evidence could have shown that Tsarnaev’s older brother, Tamerlan, was more responsible for the attack. Tamerlan Tsarnaev died in a confrontation with law enforcement as police closed in on the brothers in the days following the bombing in April 2013. The panel of judges upheld Tsarnaev’s conviction on 27 charges; his guilt was never questioned. The issue at hand was whether he was to face the death penalty or life in prison. The three people who died in the bombing were Chinese graduate student Lingzi Lu, restaurant manager Krystle Campbell, and 8-year-old Martin Richard. The case created an issue for the Department of Justice. The agency had asked the Supreme Court to reverse the federal appeals court’s decision despite President Joe Biden, who opposes the death penalty, having stopped federal executions.

On This Day

  • 1836 –Battle of the Alamo: After a thirteen-day siege by an army of 3,000 Mexican troops, the 187 Texas volunteers, including frontiersman Davy Crockett and colonel Jim Bowie are killed and the fort is captured.
  • 1869 – Dmitri Mendeleev presents the first periodic table to the Russian Chemical Society.
  • 1899 – Bayer registers “Aspirin” as a trademark.
  • 1984 – In the United Kingdom, a walkout at Cortonwood Colliery in Brampton Bierlow signals the start of a strike that lasted almost a year and involved the majority of the country’s miners.
  • 1987 – The British ferry MS Herald of Free Enterprise capsizes in about 90 seconds, killing 193.


  • 1951 – Ivor Novello, Welsh singer-songwriter and actor (b. 1893).
  • 1961 – George Formby, English singer-songwriter and actor (b. 1904).
  • 1982 – Ayn Rand, Russian-American philosopher, author, and playwright (b. 1905).
  • 2016 – Nancy Reagan, American actress, 42nd First Lady of the United States (b. 1921).

Is Putin Right in the Head?  

If, like me, you think that Vlad ‘The Invader’ Putin is not quite right, here are the flying monkeys guesses as to what might be wrong with him. 

It’s thought the Russian leader’s decision to invade Ukraine might have been sparked by not only his unhinged mental state, but also by a worrying physical health condition. Putin, 69, was described as “ashen and bloated” in pictures released by the Kremlin. The Russian president, normally cutting a rugged and manly figure, looked pale and unfit as his forces pounded Ukraine’s cities. 

Putin is always tight-lipped about his health – but there has been much speculation over the years. Researchers even claimed they identified signs in Putin’s gait which could point to Parkinson’s disease. 

The Kremlin has not commented on the 2022 speculation that Putin is ill. But here are a few clues puffy-faced Putin could be seriously ill. 

Putin has appeared notably more bloated around the face and neck in recent weeks – suggesting he might be undergoing treatment with steroids for a health condition. Side effects of steroids include increased risk of infection – which it is claimed could explain his paranoia about catching Covid. Steroids can also spark “mood and behavioural changes”. According to Macmillan Cancer Support, a high dose of steroids can cause confusion or even changes in thinking. “This can include having strange or frightening thoughts,” the charity says. 

Fiona Hill, the British former senior White House expert on Russia, told the flying monkeys: “Putin’s not looking so great, he’s been rather puffy-faced. We know that he has complained about having back issues. Even if it’s not something worse than that, it could be that he’s taking high doses of steroids, or there may be something else. There seems to be an urgency for this that may be also driven by personal factors. He may have a sense that time is marching on – it’s 22 years in power, after all, and the likelihood after that kind of time of a Russian leader leaving voluntarily or through elections is pretty slim. Most leaders leave either like Belarusian president Alexander Lukashenko thought that he might leave, as the result of massive protests, or they die in office.” 

Former foreign secretary and medical doctor Lord Owen said changes in Putin’s face made it appear he had been taking steroids, which can make you more vulnerable to Covid. Lord Owen told our monkey: “Look at his face, see how that has changed – he now has an oval face. People who said, oh, it’s plastic surgery or Botox, I don’t believe that at all. He’s on either anabolic steroids as a bodybuilder – and he’s very proud of his muscles and strips to the waist and everything like that – or he’s on corticosteroids. If you’re on these drugs, this gives you this face. It reduces your immunity and makes you more vulnerable to Covid.” He added: “This man has been in complete isolation, quite extraordinary, won’t see anybody, stays miles away, tremendous pressures. Which indicates he’s on a steroid and probably, maybe, a combination of both. And we ought to fess up to it, that carries with it, particularly anabolic steroids, bodybuilders, aggressiveness that comes through. I think his personality has changed, but don’t believe he’s mad. He’s a very clever and able, and somebody who you don’t want as an enemy, and he’s ruthless.” 

Political scientist Valery Solovei has previously claimed Putin has cancer as well as symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease. He claimed the Kremlin boss had emergency surgery in February 2020. Speaking that year, Prof Solovei said of Putin’s twin health traumas: “One is of psycho-neurological nature, the other is a cancer problem. If anyone is interested in the exact diagnosis, I’m not a doctor, and I have no ethical right to reveal these problems. The second diagnosis is a lot, lot more dangerous than the first named diagnosis as Parkinson’s does not threaten physical state, but just limits public appearances. But there is a fatal diagnosis. Based on this information people will be able to make a conclusion about his life horizon, which wouldn’t even require specialist medical education.” 

Prof Solovei – the former head of the Public Relations Department at Moscow State Institute of International Relations – claims Putin underwent surgery in February that year. Another Russian source went on to claim it was an abdominal cancer operation. It was even claimed the Russian leader was planning to announce his Kremlin exit early in 2021. But at the time, Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov branded it “absolute nonsense” as he insisted everything was “fine” with the president.   

People who are taking immune-suppressing medication, such as cancer patients or those with chronic conditions, are known to be at a higher risk of contracting a severe case of Covid. And there has been a flurry of speculation over whether this is behind Putin’s decision to sit metres away from foreign leaders and even his own colleagues. In a case of extreme social distancing, Emmanuel Macron was forced to sit at the other end of a 13ft table during a meeting with the Russian president. Putin’s own foreign minister Sergei Lavrov was also seated at the other end of an absurdly long table.

Many of Putin’s visitors, including both staff and politicians, have reportedly been forced to quarantine in hotels for two weeks before meeting him. It was also reported visitors to the Kremlin had to walk through an elaborate disinfectant-spraying tunnel.

His extreme measures have sparked rumours that the leader is terrified of catching Covid because he’s vulnerable to a severe infection.  

Republican senator Marco Rubio – who has access to classified intelligence – raised eyebrows last week when he tweeted that “something is off” with Putin. The senior politician is on the Senate Intelligence Committee and is not allowed to talk about the information he views. But in what appears to be a hint, Rubio said Putin was facing a “different and significant” problem. “I wish I could share more, but for now I can say it’s pretty obvious to many that something is off with Putin,” he wrote. “He has always been a killer, but his problem now is different & significant. It would be a mistake to assume this Putin would react the same way he would have five years ago.” He later added that Putin “appears to have some neuro/physiological health issues” – but did not expand further. Pressure is piling on the US to release any intelligence that might reveal if Putin is indeed ill – with one former White House national security official telling the monkeys the US should “make it personal”. 

Putin has been slowly but surely carrying out his grand plans to restore Soviet glory. In 2008, he invaded Georgia – and six years later, he annexed Crimea. And under changes to the Russian law made in early 2021, he can now remain president until 2036. This would give gangster Putin plenty of time for incremental land grabs using what some have dubbed “salami tactics” by taking Ukraine “slice by slice” over a long period time.Therefore, many have been left puzzled as to why he would take such a huge gamble on taking over the whole of Ukraine in one go – unless he was unwell and had limited time. It increases the suspicion that perhaps his physical health means he is running out of time. What do you all think? 

Last Week’s Birthdays

Shaquille O’Neal (50), Ellen Muth (41), Tom Arnold (63), Alan Davies (56), Eva Mendes (48), Jolene Blalock (47), Matt Lucas (48), Paul Blackthorne (53), Fred Williamson (84), Penn Jillette (67), Catherine O’Hara (68), Patsy Kensit (54), Dominique Pinon (67), Jessica Biel (40), Julie Bowen (52), Miranda Richardson (64), Charlie Brooker (51), Bryce Dallas Howard (41), Daniel Craig (54), Rebel Wilson (42), Nathalie Emmanuel (33), Gates McFadden (73), Jon Bon Jovi (60), Alexander Armstrong (52), Chris Martin (45), Javier Bardem (53), Jensen Ackles (44), Ron Howard (68), Ma Dong-seok (51), Lupita Nyong’o (39), Zack Snyder (56), Dirk Benedict (77), Justin Bieber (28), Harry Belafonte (95), Roger Daltrey (78), John Turturro (65), Rae Dawn Chong (61), and Stephanie Beacham (75).

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