Daniel Hanson

Nottingham isn’t just underachieving football teams and gun crime. It was also, until Daniel Hanson died, home to Britain’s best dressing gowns. A lecturer at Nottingham Trent University until a chance encounter with the Harrod’s menswear buyer on a train, Hanson turned a small endeavour into a globally recognised brand. His dressing gowns were favourites […]

Bill Heine

In 1986, on the 41st anniversary of the Nagasaki bombing, Bill Heine installed a 25ft fibreglass shark through the roof of his suburban home in Headington, Oxfordshire. It was intended, somehow, as a protest against the American bombing of Libya (US planes took off from the local Heyford airbase) and began a six-year battle with […]

Shane Rimmer

One of British television’s all-time great “Rent-A-Yanks”, Shane Rimmer was actually born in Toronto, Canada. But you wouldn’t know it from his 40-odd year career on UK screens. He played the murderous deranged GI Joe Donelli on Coronation Street and as US government officials in both A Very British Coup and Ant and Dec’s Alien […]

Agnes Varda

Potatoes are currently being laid outside Rue Daguerre, the former home of hugely influential director Agnes Varda. Varda referred to herself as “Dame Patate”, dressed up as a potato for one of her movies and also created the art installation “Patatutopia”, which featured footage of 1,500lbs of Idaho potatoes in transit. But she was more […]

Valery Bykovsky

To this date, Valery Bykovsky still holds the record for the longest solo space orbit, spending five days aboard Vostok 5 back in 1963. He was the 11th man in space and his journey aboard Vostok 5 coincided with Valentina Tereshkova’s ground- (orbit?) breaking journey. At one point, their vessels were visible to each other […]

Billy Clayton

Death comes to synthpop, with the passing of young Billy Clayton. Born in Norwich, our Billy eschewed working in one of the city’s many mustard factories to pursue a career as an alt-pop starlet. Self-taught, he released two EPs, worked with the likes of Charlie XCX and had a well-received set at Latitude. All the […]

Carl Piddington

Back in 2012, a fair stack of DDP teams scored with soap opera legend Bill Tarmey. Tarmey’s son, Carl Piddington, had gone on record as saying that his own lengthy battle with a brain tumour was one of the main reason Bill’s health declined so rapidly in his final years. And now Piddington himself has […]

Ranking Roger

We can’t get used to losing him… Two-tone is widely seen as the first multiracial cultural movement in UK history, and it’s fair to say The Beat were its finest exponents. Born Roger Charlery in Birmingham, the son of Windrush migrants, Ranking Roger was just 15 when he left a small punk band called The […]

Michael Gielen

Germans urgently leaving the country for Argentina was a staple of the late 1940s, but Michael Gielen’s family – including his Jewish mother – were ahead of the curve, moving to Buenos Aires in 1938. It was there he learned the piano and, upon returning to what was now Austria with his family in the […]

Manohar Parrikar

Manohar Parrikar was a key ally of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, with the pair sharing a similar Hindu nationalistic worldview. He was named India’s defence minister in 2014, where he spent most of his time antagonising Pakistan: comparing a trip to the country with “visiting hell”, suggesting that there was no good reason India […]