Derby Dead Pool 2006: Inane analysis

Putting the 'anal' into analysis...




 - most popular

 - by profession

 - by birthplace

 - by age

Random observations


There are 239 teams this year, almost double last year's total, and more than 5 times as many as we had in 2004. Between them, they have picked a total of 964 celebs, up 39% on last year and 144% on the year before.

As far as we can make out, these teams come from 12 different countries, namely England (including the Isle of Man), Scotland, Wales, Ireland (not sure whether Northern or Republic of), France, Germany, the Netherlands, USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Iraq - the latter due to the fact that one of our competitors is serving in the army there.  Please let us know if we've missed any!

Once again this year, the average number of distinct celebs per team has dropped significantly, to 4.03, compared to 5.58 in 2005; prior to that, it hovered around the 9-10 mark. This is surely because, with so many entrants, it's getting hard to think of people who are likely to drop dead but whom no-one else has come up with. That said, 435 of this year's celebs, or 45%, are unique picks, and no fewer than 170 teams have managed to include at least one of them.

There's been some real inventiveness with team names this year, from good old painful puns (AbraCadaver, Coffin Fit, Tomb It May Concern) to sick jokes (Died In A Nasty Accident, Sandals in the Bin), theatrical references (Indeed, That's Out Of The Air and Dead, Dead And Never Called Me Mother), and the downright surreal (Kali Comes To Dinner, John's A Legendary Doughnut, Ilikeekilly).

Themed teams are more in evidence in 2006 than ever before: John Stalkest, who only chooses celebs whom he has seen or met in person, has been joined by Bunch of Old Bags (all women), Murld Leaders (all current or former leaders of countries or churches), Sporting Life...Courting Death (all sportspeople) and The Letter S Means Death! (all surnames beginning with S).  Perhaps not the soundest strategy for actually winning the competition, but it certainly adds some amusement value.



This year's top 25 most popular picks are as follows:


this year


last year



of teams


of jokers

1st 2nd= Ronnie Biggs 123 23
2nd 2nd= Margaret Thatcher 112 13
3rd 5th Gerald Ford 94 5
4th 4th Kirk Douglas 70 3
5th 10th Augusto Pinochet 66 3
6th= 8th= Michael Foot 60 2
6th= 25th Muhammad Ali 60 6
8th 37th= Brooke Astor 54 3
9th= 194th= Harold Pinter 53 10
9th= 6th= Elizabeth Taylor 53 1
11th= 15th= Rev Billy Graham 46 1
11th= 11th Zsa Zsa Gabor 46 1
11th= 19th= Patrick Moore 46 1
14th= 42nd= Henry Allingham 45 7
14th= 33rd= Saddam Hussein 45 2
14th= 19th= Lady Bird Johnson 45 1
17th= 33rd= Charlton Heston 43 1
17th= 117th= Gary Glitter 43 6
19th 18th Sir Norman Wisdom 39 1
20th 42nd= Joseph Barbera 37 0
21st 311th= Ariel Sharon 36 2
22nd (n/a)

Lou Rawls

34 17
23rd 27th= Jane Tomlinson 30 6
24th 62nd= Pete Doherty 29 2
25th 53rd= Stephen Hawking 28 1

With the death of 2005's top pick, Pope John Paul II, the Train Robber and the Milk Snatcher, who were joint 2nd behind him, claim 1st and 2nd places respectively.No-one was brave enough to play their joker on Maggie last year, but this time round, no fewer than 13 teams have been...unlucky for her? Completing the top 4, Kirk Douglas remains in 4th, while the increasingly frail Gerald Ford leapfrogs him into 3rd.

The biggest climbers, however, are further down ths list:

Also worthy of a mention is soul singer Lou Rawls, who has never featured in DDP before, but this year finds himself in 22nd place with 34 picks, half of them jokers, after revealing late in 2005 that he has been unlucky enough to contract 2 separate forms of cancer, namely brain and lung.

The breakdown of celebs by profession (once again, we use the term loosely) reveals that TV and radio are still at the forefront of DDPers' minds, but this year, the music business sneaks ahead of the movies to provide the second-highest number of potential stiffs. Military and ex-military personnel also gain in popularity, with 24 of them being selected compared to just 10 in 2005, most of the newcomers in this category being World War I veterans.The order and percentage share of all the other "professions" has remained remarkably consistent year on year.



of celebs


Television/radio 177 18.4%
Music 142 14.7%
Films 140 14.5%
Politics 129 13.4%
Sport 95 9.9%
Literature 35 3.6%
Science/academia 29 3.0%
Celeb family/partner 27 2.8%
Military 24 2.5%
Theatre/stage 23 2.4%
Business 21 2.2%
Royalty/nobility 19 2.0%
Religion 18 1.9%
Crime 17 1.8%
Art 10 1.0%
Exploration/travel 10 1.0%
Media 8 0.8%
Terrorism 6 0.6%
Law 5 0.5%
Fashion 4 0.4%
Philanthropy 4 0.4%
Other 21 2.2%

Once again this year, the DDP competitors have shown their knowledge of world affairs by picking celebrities who come from (or at least were born in) no fewer than 90 different countries, which means they have almost half the world covered. However, when we analyse these, we find that the US and England dominate the list, accounting for 63% of them.

(NB The modern names/boundaries of countries have been used where these have since changed.)


Country Number of celebs Percentage
USA 331 35.1%
England 269 27.9%
Australia 24 2.5%
Scotland 22 2.3%
Germany 20 2.1%
Canada, Italy, Wales 14 each 1.5%
France 12 1.2%
Iraq, Republic of Ireland 11 each 1.1%
Japan, Russia 10 each 1.0%
India 9 0.9%
Northern Ireland 8 0.8%
Egypt 7 0.7%
South Africa 6 0.6%
Austria, Colombia, Greece, New Zealand 4 each 0.4%
Afghanistan, Argentina, Brazil, Hungary, Iran, Palestine, Poland, Sweden, Ukraine, West Indies 3 each 0.3%
Burma, China, Czech Republic, Denmark, Indonesia, Mexico, Norway, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Switzerland, The Netherlands, Zimbabwe 2 each 0.2%
46 other countries 1 each 0.1%
Unknown 54 5.6%

The breakdown by age (as at 1st January 2006) looks as follows. There are far more centenarians this year than last (33 compared to 15), and at the other end of the age spectrum, damn, we forgot to introduce the "no under-18s" rule that we meant to bring in for 2006. Oh well, next year...


Age bracket


of celebs


Under 10 0 0.0% 6 points
10-19 2 0.2%
20-29 14 1.5%
30-39 30 3.1%
40-49 51 5.3%
50-59 72 7.5% 5 points
60-69 141 14.6%
70-79 207 21.5%
80-89 237 24.6% 4 points
90-99 103 10.7%
100+ 33 3.4%
Uncertain 74 7.7%  

The average age of the 890 celebs whose exact dates of birth are known is (as at 1/1/2006) 73 years, 11 months and 5 days, which is almost 16 months up on last year.The most popular birthday is 6th July, shared by 10 people.The most common year of birth is 1922: a total of 29 of the chosen celebs were born in that year, so will have 84 candles on their cake this time round, if they survive long enough to blow them out.Thus Pierre Cardin and William Schallert have the most 'typical' date of birth: 6th July 1922.

Random observations


Inequality of the sexes
Despite women outnumbering men in the world's population as a whole, and especially among elderly people, only 190 of the 964 chosen celebs (19.7%) are female, although this is up slightly from 18.6% last year.

Follow the leader

Partly thanks to the efforts of the aforementioned Murld Leaders team, the present or former Kings/Queens/Presidents/Prime Ministers/tinpot dictators of a record number of countries have been selected this year, including some less obvious ones such as Algeria, Chad, Chechnya, Kosovo, Guinea and Tonga.

Sporting chancers
Although only marginally more sportspeople have been chosen than in 2005, the balance of them has shifted noticeably in favour of less energetic "sports". From the world of snooker, we have Alex Higgins, Paul Hunter, Ronnie O'Sullivan, Ray Reardon and John Spencer, and they are joined by darts players Andy Fordham, Bobby George, Phil Taylor and Jocky Wilson.  There's also been a resurgence in interest in chess grandmasters: David Bronstein, Bobby Fischer, Garry Kasparov and Vasily Smyslov are all tipped to be checkmated by the Grim Reaper this year.

Riding on their coat tails

Once again this year, there's a fair amount of interest in people who are only really known as a spouse, partner or other relative of a famous person, rather than in their own right.  Into this category fall, among others, 4 former US First Ladies (Betty Ford, Rosalynn Carter, Nancy Reagan and Barbara Bush), Princess Caroline of Monaco's hubby Prince Ernst August, Sebastian Coe's dad Peter, the Pope's brother Georg, Al Capone's son Albert jnr, and a couple of murderers' accomplices: Fred West's widow Rose and Ian Huntley's ex-girlfriend Maxine Carr.

The long and the short of it

This year's celebs range in height from 7'7" Manute Bol down to 2'8" Verne Troyer, the latter even having to look up to Kenny Baker, Gary Coleman and Meinhardt Raabe.  When it comes to length of names, 5 letters are enough for Don Ho, but Cardinal Adolfo Antonio Suarez Rivera, with 33 letters, must get rather sick of introducing himself to people.

Wishful thinking

Some of the DDP2006 choices seem to have been motivated by competitors' hopes that the person in question will die, rather than any good reason why they might.  It's hard to see why irritating but apparently young and healthy celebs like Kerry Katona, Nicole Richie, Timmy Mallett or Paul Scholes have been picked unless the DDPers responsible are hoping their team acts as some kind of voodoo doll...

And finally...

You could make a full (if somewhat odd) meal out of some of our chosen celebrities' surnames: Marc Almond, Orson Bean, Don Chipp, Willis Lamb, Meat Loaf, Anne Rice, Darryl Strawberry, and, if you're from Korea, Snoop Dogg.

<< Back to the main page