Derby Dead Pool

The online competition to guess which famous people won't make it to the end of the current year. If they're elderly, ill, or just live a high-risk lifestyle, stick 'em in your team, and for each one whose death you correctly predict, you'll score points. DDP was dreamt up in Derby, England (hence the name...) by Big-Iain back in 1996, then was run from 2003 to 2007 by Siegfried Baboon and Rude Kid. From 2008 to 2009, it was run by Octopus of Odstock, but from 2010 onwards it's the turn of The Man in Black to run the DDP.

Latest Stiffs & Review of 2012: 2nd January 2013
[Picture of the top hits of 2012]

2012: Death Gangnam Style...

So 2012 comes to an end with another couple of hits, bringing the final total for the year to 187, a new record. Perhaps not surprising considering there were more competitors and celebs picked. So who were the last two? Mariam Amash was one of those people who cropped up claiming to be the oldest person in history but lacked the requisite evidence to confirm this. So as it stands, Amash died at the "unofficial" age of 124. Since the DDP takes as read that age of death for convenience sake, it means three points are awarded plus another three points unique bonus to Brown Bananas.
The final death of 2012 came on the 30th, Nobel prize-winning scientist Rita Levi-Montalcini, who
died aged 103. Levi-Montalcini overcame anti-semitism in Mussolini's Italy to share the Nobel Prize for Medicine in 1986. 8 teams score points, with two theme teams getting in their jokers at the final knockings, boosting their positions in the Theme Team League.
It wasn't enough though to topple Sing Your Last Song For Me from the top of the Theme Team League.
47 points was enough to take the take the title, with oldies theme team Old People Party Of 20 claiming the runners-up spot. But who won the big one?

The Living End does it again...

Yes, congratulations goes out to The Living End who claim a second consecutive title and a record third overall. 2012 was less of a cake walk for the defending champion, the winning lead was comfortable but was only in the last month of the competition that victory was secured. Second place was a surprise. .....Norfolk & Good's previous form was nothing to write home about, but an inspired late run almost snatched the title away from TLE. The ever-improving 'arry-Kiri makes the podium. The Living End will be the one to beat once again in 2013, but if this year's intake is anything to go by, it could be his toughest defence yet...

Hits of the year

With 187 hits, there was plenty to choose from. The most popular was Abdelbaset Al Megrahi, with 230 teams sharing the spoils. In what was the most dramtic day DDP-wise in May, Bee Gee Robin Gibb also joined the choir invisible and with a non too shabby 176 teams picking him, it was arguably the biggest scoring day in the whole history of the DDP. Back in February, Whitney Houston became the first "cover star" of the all-new DDP blog format, with her accidential death. Perhaps the most significant death outside the DDP compeition bubble (but still a hit nontheless) was that of Neil Armstrong, the first man on the moon.
The List of the Missed had a busy year and we can count ourselves unlucky in missing out on Davy Jones, Earl Scruggs, Donna Summer, Victor Spinetti, Alistair Burnet, Dave Sexton and Norman Scwarzkopf among others. Then there were the ones that completely got away, such as journalist James Whittaker, author Maeve Binchy, film director Tony Scott, naturalist Terry Nutkins and Dr Who's Mary Tamm and Caroline John. And I know from the submissions to this year's competiton, Tony Greig was a big miss too...

Into 2013...

Early indications suggest that there will be even more competitors in 2013 and it'll be fiercer with a fair sprinkling of teams eyeing the big prize. As to when the lists of teams will be up with the first score table (with already an early hit in 2013) is difficult at this stage to predict, but it should be much sooner than last year as I'm going to roll out the details of the new picks (DOB/Birthplace/Notes and so on) over an extended period rather than rush to get every detail up. So keep 'em peeled, as Shaw Taylor would say...

Latest Stiffs: 29th December 2012

Times runs out for Rees-Mogg

December's onrush of stiffs continues a-pace with the death of former newspaper editor William Rees-Mogg. Rees-Mogg was editor of the Times of London from 1967-1981, a period a immense change in British society when the post-WW2 consenus made way for Thatcherism. Rees-Mogg famously spoke up for Mick Jagger in 1967 in an editorial, when the latter was heading for the jug for drugs offences. Such libertarian views was seemingly out of character such for a prominent catholic as Rees-Mogg. He left the Times in 1981 after it's take over by Rupert Murdoch. Rees-Mogg was 84 and a hit for 2 teams, each garnering 6 points.

Thunderbird (g)one

Gerry Anderson, creator of the puppet series 'Thunderbirds' and 'Stingray' among others, has died. Anderson's innovation of 'Supermarionation' caught the public imagination in the 1960s, although his creations were famously mocked by Peter Cook and Dudley Moore at the time. Anderson never really topped the exploits of the Tracey brothers and co, despite other successes such as 'Captain Scarlet and the Mysterons' and 'Joe 90'. Frustrated with puppets, Anderson ventured into live action series such as 'UFO' and 'Space 1999', which starred Martin Landau. Hey, let's chuck in a mention of 'Terrahawks' as well, seeing as it's Christmas!
Anderson was 83 and had been suffering from Alzheimer's disease. Two teams pick up 6 points.

Grim delivers the final verdict on the 12th angry man

Popular US actor Jack Klugman has died aged 90. Klugman is best known for his role as the medical examinator-cum detective 'Quincy', which ran from 1976-1983. Before that he was in 'The Odd Couple' spin-off tv series alongside Tony Randall. Klugman was the last survivor of the cast from the classic Sidney Lumet drama '12 Angry Men', relased in 1957. The famously gravel-voiced star battled throat cancer for many years, losing his vocal chords in the 1990s. Klugman was a hit for 30 teams each getting 5 points.

Durning in his grave

Prolific character actor Charles Durning has died. Durning appeared in over 100 films, often playing disreputable characters. Durning himself served in the US Army during World War Two, most notably during the Normandy invasion of 1944. He was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor in 1982 and 1983. The Man In Black himself reccommends the 1993 allegorical film 'The Music of Chance' in which Durning, along with Joel Grey, play a couple of mysterious card-playing millionaires. Durning was 89 and a hit for 7 teams including Mr C. Only his 3rd hit for 2012 and that won't be enough for Mr C to retain the all-time record of hits when the lists are finally updated for early next year. 6 points for each team.

Hell hath no fury...

Murderess Jean Harris has died aged 89. Harris was jailed in 1981 for the murder of her lover Dr. Herman Tarnower, in a case which gripped America early in the Reagan era. Her 15-year jail sentence was commuted by the Mayor of New York, Mario Cuomo in 1993. This obit is enough for gun-heavy theme team Hit Me With Your Best Shot to gain 9 points for a unique hit.

Latest Stiffs: 19th December 2012

It's Hawaii and goodbye for Danny

Veteran US senator Daniel Inouye has died. Inouye had was the first Japanese-American to serve in the senate, representing Hawaii for nearly 50 years. Inouye was the president pro-tempore of the Senate, and thus third in line for the presidency. He was also a decorated war hero, fighting in Europe during World War Two.
Inouye was 88 and was a hit for Toetag4U and Wikipedia's Random Article. 6 points for each.

With two weeks to go, The Living End retain the lead of 14 points, patiently counting down the time for his third win, a record. And there's another record too. Inouye was the 180th hit of 2012. Just 3 now to reach the target of one hit every two days.

Dina like being oldest

Mere days after the World's oldest person, Besse Cooper had passed away, her successor Dina Manfredini followed suit aged 115. Manfedini was born in Italy but moved to the USA in 1920. She is succeeded by Japan's Jiroemon Kimura, the first man hold the title of World's Oldest since Emiliano Mercado del Toro in 2007. Manfredini was chosen by 3 teams, each getting 3 points.

Cassidy becomes a spirit in the sky

On 6th December Ed Cassidy, drummer and founder member of psychedelic band Spirit, died aged 89. Cassidy was already in his forties when he formed the band with his stepson Randy California, but Spirit became a well-regarded band on the West Coast scene with their jazz-influenced sound. After a little wait a suitable obit from the Times turned up. A unique hit then, for Garf Wants You To Die who get 9 points.

Latest Stiffs: 14th December 2012
[Picture of Kenneth Kendall]

And now the late news with Kenneth Kendall

Former BBC newsreader Kenneth Kendall has died. Kendall was the first newsreader to appear on camera in 1955 and his authorative, schoolmasterly tone was popular with viewers. After a period of freelancing in the 1960s, he returned to the Beeb in 1975 and was the main newscaster on the Nine O'Clock news until 1981. Kendall then joined the nascent Channel 4 for the game show 'Treasure Hunt', where he presented from the studio while the ample Anneka Rice gallivanted outside. He was 88. A trio of teams pick up the 6 points booty.
At the end of November it seemed that the record total of 177 from last year may not be reached. But the wave of hits this month means that a record is almost certain as we head towards Xmas...

Maurice Herzog's the limelight

French mountaineer, Maurice Herzog has died. Herzog once held the world record for the largest climb made without oxygen, when he scailed the peak of Mount Annapurna in 1950, making him a national hero. He later served in the French government. Herzog died aged 93. Theme team They’ll Die With Their Boots On, Mostly get their first hit of the year and with it 8 points.

Farwell to the sitar man

Indian musician Ravi Shankar has plucked his last string. Shankar's sitar playing came to the attention to George Harrison in the 1960s, inspiring the late Beatle to incoporate Indian music into the band's sound. Shankar played Woodstock in 1969 and he and Harrison were instrumental in setting up arguably the first benefit concert in 1971 for Bangladesh. His two daughters are also musicians, although Nora Jones is better known. Shankar was also nominated for the Best Original Musical Score Oscar in 1982 for "Gandhi".
Shankar was 92 and was a hit for 20 teams each geting 5 points bar theme team Deadstock and 20 Celebrities, Sitting On A Wall, If 1 Got Shot...who both double up.

It aint over until...

...two fat ladies sing! Opera stars Galina Vishnevskaya and Lisa Della Casa both exited stage left within 24 hours of each other. Vishnevskaya was one of Russia's most reputable sopranos and was married to cellist Mstislav Rostropovich. She was one of the many who left Russia during the Soviet era (in 1974) before returning to the mother country after the collapse of communism there in the early 1990s. She was 86 and a unique hit for Blacksox who get their 6th hit of the year and 9 points. Della Casa was a Swiss soprano, who was known for her beauty, performed at Covent Garden and worked with the likes of Geroge Solti et al. She retired in 1974. Della Casa was 91 and another unique hit, this time for Tomb It May Concern. 8 points head their way...

Woodland in buried

Inventor Norman Joseph Woodland has died. Woodland developed the barcode, used everywhere for purchasing items, with Bernard Silver in the 1940s. It wasn't until the mid-1970s that the barcode was used in shops. He was 91 A pair of teams (buy one, get one free?) each procure 5 points. I wish some of these celebs wouldn't keep *beep*ing off, I'm busy...

Latest Stiffs: 10th December 2012
[Picture of Parick Moore]

The Die at Night

The pre-Christmas blizzard of hits continues with the death of one of the most enduring people on British television, astronomer Sir Patrick Moore. Moore presented the monthly show 'The Sky at Night' for 55 years since 1957, an era which emcompassed the "Space Age" and beyond. He was an unmistakable presence with his monocle and rapid-fire delivery which covered all aspects of astronomical science. He was also a somewhat eccentric figure, with his xylophone playing and dodgy political beliefs. But one can't ignore that his enthusiasm inspired many during a time when so much seemed possible. Overall, it's been a bad year for science buffs, with the deaths of the pioneering Bernard Lovell and the iconic Neil Armstrong. Perhaps they thought the Mayans were onto something and have got out before it really gets messy!
Moore was 89 and was a big hit, with 76 teams all scoring 6 points and another notch on the Drop Forty post. Curiously no one had him as their joker. Who's laughing now...

Johnson-Houghton pulls up in the last furlong

Horse trainer Helen Johnson-Houghton has died. Johnson-Houghton became unofficially the first woman to train a Classic winner, when Gilles De Retz won the 2000 Guineas in 1956. The reason for being unofficial was that the Jockey Club did not recognise female horse trainers. Thankfully, times have changed and Johnson-Houghton was a pioneer for women's sport. Johnson-Houghton was 102 and was a unique hit for horse racing theme team Toast of the Turf who get 7 points but's all rather too late for the team to get in the placings....

Toni's obit is just what the doctor ordered...

A potentially decisive hit in the form of Dr Anthonia Onuoha, who died on November 22nd aged 53, has come to stretch The Living End's lead to 14 points. Onuoha was last year embroiled in an unsavory controversy with former Manchester City chief executive Garry Cook when he made a cruel reference to her illness in a email to her. Her son Nedum was a player for City at the time. The incident forced Cook's resignation. For a while it looked as if a legit obit wouldn't come. However, a brief mention in the Daily Mail was enough to win 12 points for the defending champion. It's shrewd picks such as this which are the making of champions. However ....Norfolk & Good's brave effort may not be over just yet...

Latest Stiffs: 6th December 2012

Oscar's concrete overcoat

Influential Brazilian architect Oscar Niemeyer has died. Niemeyer was one of the leading modernist architects of his day, favouring curved structures, such as in Brasilia, the city which he practically designed himself, as opposed to the more cubed approach of other modernist architects. He also had a hand in the design of the United Nations building in New York. He was not without his critics, his work often regarded as too cerebral, lacking the personal touch in the postmodern World. Nevertheless, Brasilia remains his great legacy. Niemeyer was 104 and a popular pick (55 teams), the 11th from the Drop Forty this year, which is pretty good going. Each team gets 4 points with 4 teams doubling up, including Theme Team League defending champion Gray Panthers. It's their 3rd in 2 days, but only enough to move up to joint 12th. The main contest hasn't changed too much but the Theme Team League has been shook up a bit. Sing Your Last Song For Me still leads but now by only 7 points from Old People Party Of 20.

Lady MacDeath

Philanthropist Dame Elisabeth Murdoch has passed away aged 103. Murdoch was the wife of Australian press baron Sir Keith Murdoch and was a well respected society person, who was a trustee for numerous charities and benevolent organisations. This is somewhat counter-balanced by the fact she gave birth to notorious tycoon Rupert Murdoch but at the end of the day, he's some mother's son, isn't he? Murdoch was a hit for 9 teams, each getting 4 points, with theme team Mummy & Deady doubling up.

Brubeck's gone, deaddy-o

Iconic jazz pianist and bandleader Dave Brubeck has died. The Dave Brubeck Quartet were one of the most popular jazz bands of the 1950s, whose 1959 album 'Time Out' became a best seller. The signature tune was 'Take Five', not actually written by Brubeck but the tune he is synonymous with, making one think of turtleneck jumpers and Gitanes...
Brubeck died one day short of his 92nd birthday, a rare lapse of timing that robs 9 teams of an early Xmas bonus. So just the 5 points to them. Nice!

Death almost saves the Besse till last

The World's oldest person, Besse Cooper, has died. Cooper had the title since the summer of 2011, a reasonably long time. Cooper's place is taken by Italian-American Dina Manfredini. Cooper was 116, putting her high among the list of the oldest ever DDP hits. 27 teams get 3 points (well, you did pick her) with oldies theme team Old People Party of 20 doubling up..

Latest Stiffs: 4th December 2012

Phil walks alone

Former Liverpool FC player and manager Phil Taylor has died. Taylor was until Saturday the oldest living ex-England international, winning three caps in 1947, the year he won the Football League Championship with the Reds. Taylor was also manager of Liverpool FC from 1956-59, trying and failing to get the club back into the First Division. Ironically he died on the 53rd anniversary of the appointment of his successor, one William Shankly... Taylor was 95, the age de riguer for hits this year. Four teams win 5 points each You should all be aware now that the nomination period for 2013 is open. 2012 however is still up for grabs as a contest. Realistically some 5 teams are within a death of taking the crown, although the leader and reigning champion The Living End has an anxious wait for a legitimate obit which will probably seal the deal...

The long and the short and the tall

When Yao Defen, the World's tallest woman died on 13th November aged 40, it looked as if the news was buried underneath all the hullabaloo surrounding the new Chinese regime. However, The currant bun come to the rescue with this obit. Defen died on the same day as Earl Ferrers and Kenneth Cragg and so 12 points are awarded to 13 teams and a whopping 24 to Plowing the Deep, who from this win the player of the month award...

List of the Lost - Latest Entrants

André Saint-Mleux, Daphne Oxenford

List of the Missed - Latest Entrants

Marvin Miller, Vincent Ostrom, Robert Bork, Norman Schwarzkopf

Player of the Month - November

Plowing The Deep - 24 points

Latest News

Nelson Mandela leaves hospital after his operation. However, former president George H. W. Bush, Sr is now in a critical condition as 2012 winds to a close. Another former leader, Margaret Thatcher is also recovering in hospital from surgery. It could be a close battle betweeen the three as to who will top the Drop Forty for 2013, should any of them see out the year. Congratulations must go out to Jiroemon Kimura who becomes the oldest man of all time. Let's hope all of these people have a happy new year. Because it saves me a bloody job!

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Further Information

Who's dead so far | Celebrity picks | Team selections | DDP main page | DDP Archive

[DDP 2012]