Derby Dead Pool 2004: Inane analysis
- most popular
- by profession
- by age
- by birthplace
There are 43 teams this year, who between them have picked a total of 395 celebs. We're encouraged to note that:
(a) This is a significant increase on last year's competition, in which 24 players chose 246 coffin-dodgers.
(c) Just over half of these 43 teams are new to the DDP, so our appeal for more people to join us in order to make it worth our while continuing to run this show clearly didn't fall on deaf ears.
Although there weren’t many participants in '03, they managed a wider spread of nominations, with an average of 10.25 unique picks per team, compared to 9.21 this year. This suggests that the 2004 players have adopted a more conservative strategy of homing in on the celebs who are most likely to die, rather than going for risky wildcards.
Even so, 64% of this year's celebs are unique picks. This may result in the situation we saw last year, with a lot of jockeying for position, and a death often meaning that a particular team jumps several places on the scoreboard. In 2003, this didn’t make too much of a difference, due to Otis’s dominant and sustained lead, but who knows what might happen this year?
This year's most popular picks are as follows:
|2nd||2nd=||Pope John Paul II||28||5|
|4th||10th=||Sir John Mills||15||0|
|7th||4th||Zsa Zsa Gabor||12||0|
There are no real surprises here. The first two places remain unchanged, and a number of perennial favourites make their way up the board as they get another year older. A few comments spring to mind though:
Maggie Thatcher's jump of 7 places into 3rd is presumably due to Denis's death last year and her increasingly obvious frailty.
Ditto her old adversary Michael Foot, who was also widowed recently, and is, if anything, looking even more feeble than the former Iron Lady.
Zsa Zsa Gabor is heading in the opposite direction, slipping down 3 places as DDPers get bored of waiting for her to cark it; after all, she's been in a coma since November 2002.
Kirk Douglas has been making a living for years from going on chat shows and banging on about how close to death he is; we suspect his pants may have been on fire in the past, but now he's pushing 90, you never know.
Notable by his absence from this list is Saddam Hussein; only 8 players believe he will be tried, found guilty and executed before the end of the year, but 3 of them believe it strongly enough to nominate him as their joker.
The ancient Princess Alice has secured the coveted nomination as "Royal most likely to die in 2004", beating off foreign competition from, among others, King Harald of Norway, King Fahd of Saudi Arabia, and Prince Bernhard & Princess Juliana of the Netherlands. Hurrah for Blighty!
The breakdown of celebs by profession (we use the term loosely) reveals that the screen, both big and small, is dominant. Politicians, musicians, and, perhaps surprisingly, sports stars are the other main categories of potential stiffs, while lawyers, as ever, languish at the bottom of the popularity league.
The breakdown by age (as at 1st January 2004) looks as follows. The spread of ages (from 19-year-old Delta Goodrem to 114-year-olds Charlotte Benkner and Joan Riudavets Moll) isn't quite as wide this year as it was last time, if only because the 3 oldest people in the world all died in 2003, and no-one was sick enough this time round to pick a certain 7-year-old leukaemia sufferer...
...and, totally unsurprisingly, when we analyse the 48 different countries in which the chosen celebs were born (taking the modern names of the countries where these have since changed), we find the US & England way ahead at the top of the list:
|Egypt, India, Italy, Republic of Ireland, Russia||3 each||0.8%|
|Czech Republic, Hungary, Iraq, New Zealand, Poland, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Sudan, Sweden, Wales||2 each||0.5%|
|25 other countries||1 each||0.3%|
Inequality of the sexes
Despite women outnumbering men in the world's population as a whole, only 87 of the 395 chosen celebs (22%) are female.
Even more married couples feature in the list than last year. Ronald & Nancy Reagan (with Ronnie's ex-wife Jane Wyman lurking in the background like a gooseberry), the Queen & Prince Philip, and Princess Juliana & Prince Bernhard of the Netherlands all featured in DDP2003. This year we also get Ozzy & Sharon Osbourne, Sir John & Lady Mary Mills, and the Duke & Duchess of Devonshire. Tony Curtis & Janet Leigh get an honourable mention for being ex-husband and wife.
Margaret Thatcher and Delores Hope are surviving halves of last year’s couples who make it back onto the list.
We've also got brothers, with George W and Jeb Bush appearing alongside their father, proving that blood is indeed thicker than water. Another father/son combination appears in the form of Kirk and Michael Douglas, and then there's Tony Booth and his son-in-law Tony Blair, not to mention Clive Dunn and his cousin Gretchen Franklin.
Who ate all the pies?
Well, Bernard Manning and Luciano Pavarotti did, for a start. Other celebs whose appetites for food, booze and/or drugs aren't exactly conducive to longevity include George Best, Alex Higgins, Patricia Quinn, Shane MacGowan (hang on, there's an Irish theme emerging here...), Buster Bloodvessel, Larry Hagman, Brian Clough, Courtney Love, Lex Luger etc etc...
Leaders not into temptation…
As mentioned above, politics once again provides a plentiful source of would-be cadavers this year. With the exceptions of Major, Carter and Clinton, all the living present and former Prime Ministers of the UK and Presidents of the US are represented - Bliar, Thatcher, Callaghan, Bush jnr, Bush snr and Ford. John & Bill perhaps don’t appear because they’re still relatively young, but if that's the case, then the inclusion of Teflon Tony and Dubya may be an indication that, even in this day and age, we still think that assassination is a real possibility for those holding high office. Certainly that appears to be the rationale behind the selection of foreign heads of state Chandrika Kumaratunga, Pervez Musharraf and Robert Mugabe.
Our lack of confidence in the Prison Service’s ability to stop inmates from topping themselves, or indeed each other, is demonstrated by the inclusion of Ian Brady, Jane Andrews, Ian Huntley and Maxine Carr. We shouldn’t be too smug, however, as Harold "Dr Death” Shipman wasn't chosen by anyone, but knotted his sheets together and gave himself a suspended sentence in January. Pity - it would've been the first time we'd awarded the bonus point for suicide...
Former lags who have (thusfar) lived to tell the tale include Frankie Fraser, Nelson Mandela, Nick Leeson and Denis Hills.
Meanwhile, Michael Jackson and Michael Barrymore haven’t (yet) been convicted of anything, but they're both on suicide watch as far as some DDPers are concerned.
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