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 […]

Edmund Capon

Born in London, died in London, but Australia-based for most of the period between, Edmund Capon spent 33 years as the director of the Art Gallery of New South Wales. His spell at the museum’s helm was typified by attempts to bring art back to the masses, taking the venue’s yearly admissions from 300,000 at […]

Dick Dale

Dick Dale told interviewers he wanted to “die onstage with an explosion of body parts.” He didn’t manage that, instead dying at his home from heart failure. But as the undisputed king of surf guitar, he’d done enough entertaining on stages to satisfy all punters – such was his propensity for loudness that Fender had […]

Harry Howell

With the Grim Reaper seemingly giving up celebrities for Lent, the early 2019 deluge of deceased has slowed down somewhat in mid-March. Still, there’s still a few names around who’ve earned their spots in the DDP alumni list. Like Harry Howell, a Hall of Fame ice hockey star. Unfortunate to play at the same time […]

Jack Lyon

And with that, there are no more survivors of the 1944 Stalag Luft III breakout bid – more commonly known as “The Great Escape”. Although Dick Churchill was the last survivor of those who actually escaped, Jack Lyon was the final figure involved in the planning and execution. Unfortunately Gerry got wind of the plan […]