Derby Dead Pool 2005: Inane analysis

Putting the 'anal' into analysis...





 - most popular

 - by profession

 - by birthplace

 - by age

Random observations


There are 124 teams this year, who between them have picked a total of 692 celebs; these figures are up 188% and 75% respectively on last year.  We assume that many of the newbies came via the forums, but we also had around 40 'drive-by' joiners who emailed us after arriving from elsewhere.  However you found us, welcome!


As far as we can make out, we have teams from 12 different countries this year, namely England (including the Isle of Man), Scotland, Wales, Ireland (not sure whether Northern or Republic of), France, Germany, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Czech Republic, USA, Canada and Australia.  Please let us know if we've missed any!


It's no surprise that the average number of distinct celebs per team has dropped significantly, to 5.58, compared to 9.21 in 2004 and 10.25 in 2003.  This is partly because, with so many entrants, it's getting hard to think of celebs that no-one else has come up with, and partly because a sizeable proportion of players have adopted a conservative strategy of homing in on those who are most likely to die, rather than going for risky wildcards.

That said, 382 of this year's celebs, or 55%, are unique picks.  Hopefully this will result in the sort of hard-fought competition 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.  It went down to the wire in 2004, with the decisive death coming on December 30th, and we wouldn't mind seeing that happen again.  Unless, of course, it's one of our teams that gets pipped at the post!

Incidentally, the one new rule we've introduced for 2005 states that if there's a dead heat at the end of the year between two or more teams on points, number of hits and youngest average of hits, then the winner will be declared to be the team with the most amusing name in our opinion.  We feel that Condoleezza's Harbingers of Notapotato, Deadknobs And Doomed Picks, Diet Of Worms, I Smell Dead People and The Buddy Holly Flying Experience are all strong contenders on this front. If there was a prize for plain weirdness, We Don't Want Any Bouncebackability would walk it.


This year's most popular picks are as follows:


this year


last year



of teams


of jokers

1st 2nd Pope John Paul II 86 8
2nd= 8th Ronnie Biggs 53 10
2nd= 3rd Margaret Thatcher 53 0
4th 9th= Kirk Douglas 49 1
5th 29th= Gerald Ford 45 3
6th= 4th Sir John Mills 36 1
6th= 18th= Elizabeth Taylor 36 3
8th= 5th= Edward Heath 33 0
8th= 9th= Michael Foot 33 0
10th 29th= Augusto Pinochet 32 4
11th 7th Zsa Zsa Gabor 29 2
12th= 29th= Max Schmeling 27 1
12th= 5th= George Best 27 0
12th= 54th= Rev Ian Paisley 27 1
15th= 24th= James Callaghan 22 0
15th= 14th= Rev Billy Graham 22 1
15th= 143rd= Richard Pryor 22 2
18th 18th= Sir Norman Wisdom 21 1


So the ailing Pope claims the top spot thanks to the death of last year's favourite Ronald Reagan, and next, but lagging way behind him, it's a tie for second place between the Train Robber and the Milk Snatcher.  Surprisingly, though, Maggie fails to get a single joker nomination.  Some other thoughts that spring to mind:


The breakdown of celebs by profession (once again, we use the term loosely) reveals that the screen, both big and small, is still dominant.  Musicians, politicians, and (mainly ex-)sports stars are the other main categories of potential stiffs, and after them, there's a big drop-off.  It's perhaps surprising that there are so few terrorists on the list, given all the media hype about terror last year - or maybe DDPers are just weary and cynical of it.



of celebs


Television/radio 139 20.1%
Films 109 15.8%
Music 98 14.2%
Politics 85 12.3%
Sport 65 9.4%
Literature 29 4.2%
Celeb family/partner 21 3.0%
Theatre/stage 20 2.9%
Business 17 2.5%
Religion 14 2.0%
Science/academia 14 2.0%
Royalty/nobility 12 1.7%
Military 10 1.4%
Crime 9 1.3%
Media 8 1.2%
Terrorism 7 1.0%
Art 5 0.7%
Exploration/travel 5 0.7%
Philanthropy 5 0.7%
Fashion 4 0.6%
Other 16 2.3%



The DDP competitors are clearly a knowledgeable and cosmopolitan bunch, having picked celebrities who come from (or at least were born in) no fewer than 79 different countries.  However, when we analyse these, we find the US and England dominate the list, accounting for over 62% of them (NB The modern names/boundaries of countries have been used where these have since changed):


Country Number of celebs Percentage
USA 249 36.0%
England 184 26.6%
Scotland 19 2.7%
Australia 15 2.2%
Canada 12 1.7%
Germany 11 1.6%
Italy 10 1.4%
India, Republic of Ireland 8 each 1.2%
France, Japan, Wales 7 each 1.0%
Egypt, Iraq, Northern Ireland 6 each 0.9%
South Africa 5 0.7%
Austria, New Zealand 4 each 0.6%
Czech Republic, Netherlands, Poland, Russia, Sweden 3 each 0.4%
Afghanistan, Colombia, Greece, Iran, Palestine, Philippines, Saudi Arabia, Switzerland, Ukraine, Zimbabwe 2 each 0.3%
45 other countries 1 each 0.1%
Unknown 44 6.4%



 The breakdown by age (as at 1st January 2005) looks as follows.  The spread of ages is wider this year than it was last time, if only because 2 competitors were sick enough this time round to pick a certain 9-year-old with heart problems...even we think this is a bit beyond the pale, and may have to introduce a 'minimum age' rule next year!


Age bracket


of celebs


Under 10 1 0.1% 6 points
10-19 1 0.1%
20-29 10 1.4%
30-39 25 3.6%
40-49 40 5.8%
50-59 55 7.9% 5 points
60-69 116 16.8%
70-79 151 21.8%
80-89 174 25.1% 4 points
90-99 66 9.5%
100+ 15 2.2%
Uncertain 37 5.3%  


Random observations


Inequality of the sexes

Despite women outnumbering men in the world's population as a whole, only 129 of the 692 chosen celebs (18.6%) are female, down from 22% last year.


Relatively speaking

We haven't got quite as many inter-related celebs as last year, but a few worth mentioning are The Queen & Prince Philip (of course...), Ozzy & Sharon Osbourne, Sir John & Lady Mary Mills, sisters Olivia de Havilland and Joan Fontaine, brother and sister Warren Beatty and Shirley MacLaine, cousins Clive Dunn and Gretchen Franklin, and you may also have heard of the husband-wife-son combo of George H. W., Barbara and George W. Bush.  Plus ex-couple Nelson and Winnie Mandela, and 2 former wives of Ronald Reagan in the form of Nancy Reagan and Jane Wyman.


To infinity and beyond

Explorers, both real and fictitious, have enjoyed something of a popularity surge this year: astronauts Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and John Glenn are joined by supersonic pilot Chuck Yeager and mountaineer Sir Edmund Hillary, as well as James Doohan, Leonard Nimoy and William Shatner from "Star Trek".


Moving targets

Being the leader of a politically unstable country is clearly a hazardous occupation, and DDPers haven't been slow to latch onto this fact.  Interim Iraqi Prime Minister Iyad Allawi, Chechen President Alu Alkhanov, Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf, King Sihanouk of Cambodia and new Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko have all been nominated this year.  Even being overthrown and going into exile hasn't saved former Paraguayan dictator Alfredo Stroessner from being picked.


And finally...

We'd have laughed at these names when we were 8 years old, and quite frankly we're still laughing now: Oral Roberts, Bum Phillips, Spanky Spangler.  And let us not forget that for all his macho posturing, Ice-T's real name is Tracy Marrow.  Bwahahahahaaaaa....



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