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, and from 2010 to 2014, The Man in Black. From 2015, who knows? It could be a team effort...

Latest Stiffs: 5th November 2014 by The Man in Black

Reaper's on the shore

Jazz musician Acker Bilk has died. Bilk played the clarinette and was a familiar figure in his bowler hat, waistcoat and goatee beard (although that's what a common-or-garden hipster looks like these days, I digress) and scored a massive international hit in 1962 with 'Stranger on the Shore' with it's instantly recognisable melancholic melody. Along with Kenny Ball (another DDP graduate), Bilk was instrumental in the rise of the "Trad Jazz" movement in the 1960s. He died after a long illness aged 85.
Joel Barnett was a minister in the Labour government in the 1970s. As Chief Secetary to the Treasury he came up with the "Barnett formula" to decide how much the government spends on the different parts of the UK. It was only meant as a short term fix (what government policy isn't?) but has remained in place ever since and it reared it's head again during the Scottish independence debate. Barnett was 91 and a hit for 2 theme teams.
Talking of formulas, has David Quantick's Showbiz Pals come up with the perfect forumla to win the Derby Dead Pool? Yosra El-Essawy was an Egyptian-born British photographer who was mostly associated with the R&B star Beyonce Knowles. El-Essawy died aged 33 after fighting cancer. This obit from the Daily Express (when they are not talking about another ice age coming to Britain) was the only British obit, but only one is needed for DQSP to extend their lead to 17 points and become the first team to reach double figures in terms of hits for the year. Considering 3rd place is a whopping 34 points behind the leader, Drunkasaskunk is the only realistic challenger left with less than two months remaining...
Renée Asherson was an actress, who appeared as Princess Katherine in Larry Olivier's celebrated 'Henry V' but she was better known as the spouse (and later widow) of actor Robert Donat, who died way back in 1958. Asherson was 99 (older than what was first thought, but it doesn't matter) and a hit for three teams.

[Scorecard] (Bilk) [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] (4 teams) = 6pts [Joker] (1 teams) = 12pts
[Scorecard] (Barnett) [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] (2 teams) = 10pts
[Scorecard] (El-Essawy) [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] + [Unique] = 13pts
[Scorecard] (Asherson) [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] (3 teams) = 5pts [Joker] (1 teams) = 10pts
Latest Stiffs: 27th October 2014 by The Man in Black

Tales of brave obituaries

Musician Jack Bruce has died after a long battle with liver disease. Bruce was the lead singer and bass player for perhaps the original rock "supergroup" Cream, formed with guitarist Eric Clapton and drummer Ginger Baker in 1966. The group lasted only a couple of years but they had a huge impact on the development of rock music, with it's power trio set up. Revered in their time, Cream split up in late 1968. Bruce was 71 and a hit for two teams.

[Scorecard] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] (2 teams) = 7pts

Welcome back, Rotter

Actress Marcia Strassman has died aged 66 after a battle with breast cancer. Strassman appeared in the 1970s US tv series 'Welcome Back, Kotter', which featured future superstar John Travolta. Strassman later starred in the family/action/comedy/thing 'Honey, I Shrunk the Kids' (these were simple times, before tablets and shit, yeah?). Not a big star, but enough for the BBC website to steam in with an obit. A useful hit for several teams, inclusing the ever dangerous Misers, who moves into third place...

[Scorecard] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] (8 teams) = 8pts

Ziming is everything for Quantick & Co (plus more)

A rush of hits in the past week suggests that the overall record is likely to be broken. This one could be crucial. Chinese activist Chen Ziming was jailed by the Chinese communist authorities for his part in the Tiananmen Square uprising by students in 1989. The dissident spent 13 years in jail/house arrest and was released in 2002, remaining in China until his death at 62 from cancer. Wily defending champion David Quantick's Showbiz Pals retakes the lead again with this unique hit. He is currently waiting on another obit for a death which if it comes through, will likely seal the deal for a second consecutive win.
Gough Whitlam was Australian Prime Minister from 1972-75. He wasn't PM very long, but he made a huge impact, ending conscription, introducing free university education and even changing the Australian national anthem to "Advance Australia Fair", which is still used today. Whitlam was sacked in 1975 by the then Governor-General Sir John Kerr (effectively the Queen's representative), a move which caused much controversy. Whitlam was 98 and a hit for several teams, including some Aussie ones.
Journalist Ben Bradlee was the editor of The Washington Post between 1965-91. His most famous editorial decision was to allow two reporters, Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein to investigate the break-in at the Watergate buildings, the Democrat headquarters in 1972 which lead to the subsequent scandal and the resignation of President Richard M. Nixon two years later. Bradlee was 93 and a unique hit for debutant Fireball.
Oscar de la Renta was a much admired fashion designer. Born in the Dominican Republic, de la Renta made his name in the US, designing outfits for the likes of Jackie Kennedy and Hillary Clinton. He died after a long battle with cancer aged 82, the first hit for another DDP newbie, I Couldn't Eat Another Bite.
Ox Baker was a professional wrestler who also dabbled in the film business, appearing in the 1981 cult classic 'Escape from New York', with Kurt Russell. He died aged 80 and was a unique hit for wrestling theme team Kaufmann Dies And They Live Fuckin A.

[Scorecard] (Ziming) [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] + [Unique] = 11pts
[Scorecard](Whitlam) [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] (24 teams) = 5pts [Joker] (1 team) = 10pts
[Scorecard] (Bradlee) [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] + [Unique] = 8pts
[Scorecard] (de la Renta) [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] + [Unique] = 9pts
[Scorecard] (Baker) [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] + [Unique] = 9pts
Latest Stiffs: 20th October 2014 by The Man in Black
[Picture of Lynda Bellingham]

Lynda has DDP 2015 competitors in a stew

Bellingham's stock rises, then falls

Popular actress Lynda Bellingham has died of cancer. A regular on television since the mid-1970s, appearing in shows such as 'The Sweeney', 'Doctor Who' and 'All Creatures Great and Small', she was best known for playing the matriarch in the long-running series of adverts for Oxo cubes in the 1980s and 90s. Bellingham dabbled in TV presenting and was a regular on the afternoon chat show 'Loose Women'. She died aged 66 and was a hit for a modest number of teams which would not have been the case had she survived a few more months, but that's death for you. Bellingham brings up the double century and to continue the cricket allusion, the second hundred has been more Boycott than Bradman, but the record is still on schedule...

[Scorecard] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] (16 teams) = 8pts

Death comes all year round: Roundup

Only a couple more from this month as the slow trickle continues but plenty from the rest of the year including a very important obit find...
News came through on Saturday of the death of Xolile Mngeni, the only man convicted so far of the death of Anni Dewani, who was murdered in a supposed carjacking in 2010. With her husband, Shrien Dewani currently on trial for organizing the kill carried out by Mngeni, his death at 27 from a brain tumour has come at an awkward time. Not awkward for the two teams who picked him who include DDP veteran and former champion JoeRam.
John Spencer-Churchill was better known as the 11th Duke of Marlborough, who succeeded his father in 1972. He was related to both Winston Churchill and Diana, Princess of Wales. He died at Blenheim Palace aged 88 and will be succeeded by his troubled son Jamie Blandford. DDP debutant Dead And Deader get a 5th hit.
Robert Demeger was an actor who was much respected on the stage and on television. Late in 2013 he agreed to trial an experimental treatment for an aggressive form of brain cancer, which caught the eye of a few teams. Their instancts were rewarded as he died aged 63.
The next three are all belated obits which I'll deal with chronologically as the last doesn't have an exact date but is hugely important nonetheless... James R. Young was the former President of the Union Pacific Railroad in the USA and died way back in February aged 61. Seems though that there was an obit under our noses all along. A collective wiping of brows for four teams.
Another obit that was hidden in plain sight was for singer Jerry Vale who died back in May aged 83. Despite the Daily Mail weighing in with an obit in double-quick time, it was off The Man In Black's antenna for five months before The Unknown Man pointed it out. So thanks to him for that and the two teams that picked him will be grateful too, presumably...
The last obit find could be decisive as to where the DDP title for 2014 will be heading. Kathy Craven was that mainstay of deadpools, the terminally ill mother. So far, so obscure. However, it turns out that she was the sister of singer-songwriter Beverley Craven. This was to prove important, as in an article in the Daily Mail (yet again!) her sister mentions Kathy's passing this year from cancer aged 44. Well it counts and that means in one fall swoop, Druunkasaskunk has restored the leadership and with a handy 7 point margin as we head into the final months. With 2010 champ Octopus of Odstock a fair margin further back, it seems we have a two man stand off for the title between the current champion and the last DDP winner of the Twentieth Century...

[Scorecard] (Mngeni) [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] (2 teams) = 12pts
[Scorecard] (Spencer-Churchill) [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] + [Unique] = 9pts
[Scorecard] (Demeger) [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] (4 teams) = 8pts
[Scorecard] (Young) [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] (4 teams) = 8pts
[Scorecard] (Vale) [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] (2 teams) = 6pts
[Scorecard] (Craven) [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] + [Unique] = 13pts
Latest Stiffs: 7th October 2014 by The Man in Black

Fate Lenz a hand

October starts as gently as September ended. Siegfried Lenz was a left-of-centre German author who along with the likes of Gunter Grass wrote of the legacy of Nazism in post-war Germany. He was a leading supporter of Chancellor Willy Brandt's "Ostpolitik" engagement with Eastern Europe. He died aged 88. and was a unique hit for Zsa-Zsa-ah-ah-ah! Zsa-Zsa-Ooh-la-la!.
Paul Revere led his band Paul Revere and the Raiders for 50 years , gaining a reputation as one of Rock's more eccentric figures. The band's biggest hit came in 1971 with 'Indian Reservation'. Revere died aged 76 and was a hit for three teams, with defending champion David Quantick's Showbiz Pals the biggest winner, storming to the front with a 6 point lead with less than a quarter of the year still to go. Has he broke too early? We'll see...
Jean-Claude "Baby Doc" Duvalier was president of Haiti for 15 turbulent years in the 1970s and 80s. His nickmame comes from being the son and heir to his father, Francois "Papa Doc" Duvalier, who was a brutal dictator. His son was barely better and was eventually deposed in 1986 and banished, returning three years ago through ill health. He died of a heart attack aged 63 and was a hit for Not Sleeping Just Bloody Dead.
And now an obit from September China Zorrilla was a Uruguayan, RADA-trained actress, who became an icon in her home country. She died on September 17th aged 92, with this obit qualifying as a hit for two teams, Meurtos and The Bedsnoring '20s who are having a very decent campaign...

[Scorecard] (Lenz) [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] + [Unique] = 9pts
[Scorecard] (Revere) [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] (3 teams) = 7pts
[Scorecard] (Duvalier) [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] + [Unique] = 11pts
[Scorecard] (Zorrilla) [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] (2 teams) = 5pts

List of the Lost - Latest Entrants

Maggie Stables

List of the Missed - Latest Entrants

Graham Miles, Alvin Stardust, Joan Quigley, Geoffrey Holder

Player of the Month - September

Larry King Dead, Only On CNN - 16 points

Latest News

More golf on the agenda for President Barack Obama as the Republicans now control the US Senate after the mid-term elections. Looks like Richard Branson's Space travel dream has gone up in smoke after an accident. 40 years on from the "Rumble in the Jungle", the public are assured that Muhammad Ali is not in immediate danger of throwing in the towel...
Many thanks to those teams who have offered their services for next year's DDP. Seems The Man In Black may not be letting go just yet...
The Theme Team League is updated for October.

Message to all current competitors: There will be no more regular emails except in certain circumstances, such as rules and invitation to next year's competition.

Further Information
Derby Dead Pool is hosted by The Man In Black with contributions from Big-Iain, Rude Kid, Siegfried Baboon, Octopus of Odstock, WEP 2.0 - World's Eternity Prophet Reloaded and The Grey Horde

[DDP 2014]