Niki Lauda

It’s a story so remarkable it has to take centre-stage in every piece written about Niki Lauda’s death, and the DDP is no different. During the 1976 German Grand Prix, 29-year-old Lauda was looking to gain an advantage on his rival for that year’s Drivers’ Championship (and his rival in life) James Hunt. Instead, he […]

Herman Wouk

The trinity of departing bed-blockers, alongside Day and Pei, is completed by the non-rhyming Herman Wouk. Born into a working class Jewish family in the Bronx, Wouk spend the pre-war era working as a joke-writer for US radio comics. While serving in the Pacific theater, he begin writing his first novel: Aurora Dawn, which was […]

Nan Winton

Born Nancy Wigginton, Nan Winton was working as a continuity announcer when, in June 1960, she became the first woman to read the news on the BBC (ITV had a female newsreader, Barbara Mandell, from its launch date). However, audiences at the time thought a woman reading the news on state television was “too frivolous” […]

Tommy Donbavand

In 2017, the children’s author Tommy Donbavand published Tommy v Cancer: One Man’s Battle Against the Big C, detailing his fight against inoperable stage 4 throat cancer. Last month, he published Tommy v Cancer Round 2: One Man’s Battle Against the Big C (Again) after being diagnosed with inoperable stage 4 lung cancer, following a fight against sepsis […]

Bob Hawke

In late December 2018, the former Australian prime minister Bob Hawke gave an interview with The Courier-Mail newspaper saying that he wouldn’t be alive for the 2019 general elections. And in a rare case of a politician sticking to promises made during campaign season, he has now died a mere two days before Australia went […]

IM Pei

And it looks like nine DDP teams won’t need pants for the victory dance after I.M. “Weasel” Pei has finally died aged 102. Pei followed in the footsteps of other long-living, bed-blocking architects like Oscar Niemeyer, who carked it at 104. Born in Guangzhou, China, Pei decided to study in the United States after becoming […]

Tim Conway

The Drop 40 is back in business baby, and beloved American entertainment figures from the Johnson administration are gonna pay! Fast on the heels of Doris Day laying down for some final pillow talk, comedian and actor Tim Conway has been court-martialed from McHale’s Navy. Conway was a radio DJ who was discovered Rose Marie […]

Doris Day

When we were just a little dead pool, we asked Doris Day, when will she die? Will it be 2004? Will it be 2005? Will she ever be the second Drop 40 hit of the year at an embarrassingly late date? Yep, the wide-eyed girl-next-door, Hollywood legend and friend of closeted gay actors everywhere, Doris […]

Brian Walden

Brian Walden’s first love was chess, but was discouraged (read: physically beaten) out of pursuing it as a career by his working class, Irish Catholic mother. So he turned to his second love, politics, while studying at Oxford. He was a vocal supporter of then Labour leader Hugh Gaitskell and even wrote some of the […]

Freddie Starr

Freddie Starr’s father was an alcoholic bare-knuckle boxer, who broke both his son’s legs on at least one occasion. As a result, the young star was put into care homes for a while, where he developed a taste for showbiz. He appeared as a child actor in films like Violent Playground with David Macallum before forming […]