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 The Man in Black...

Latest Stiffs: 4th August 2015 by The Man in Black
[Picture of Cilla Black]

Surprise, surprise, it's Cilla 'ere!

Cilla's Blind Date with Death

One of the biggest stars in British showbiz, Cilla Black has said ta-ra. Born Priscilla White in Liverpool, Cilla became a singing star in the 1960s with help from the Beatles' manager Brian Epstein, scoring massive hits with 'Anyone Who Had a Heart', 'Alfie' and 'Step Inside Love', the latter written by her good friend Sir Paul McCartney. She made an easy transition to television, presenting her own show, 'Cilla' from 1968-1976 on the BBC. After a period raising family, Black returned to the small screen with 'Surprise, Surprise' in 1984, which mixed music and comedy with sentimental family reunions. The following year she had her biggest ever TV hit, the dating show 'Blind Date', which at its peak had over 17 million viewers on a Saturday night and which hinted at the coming rise of 'Reality TV', featuring scores of wannabe celebs and their attendant talents and foibles. Cilla's winsome, professional Scouse charm wasn't to everybody's taste, but nonetheless Britain has lost a very popular and iconic star. She died of a stroke in Spain aged 72. Three teams get a lorra lorra kudos (and some points) for making the right choice and three seems fitting in a odd way...
Update: The coroner concluded that Black died of accidential death so 3 points unnatural bonus has been awarded!

[Scorecard] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] + [Unnatural] (3 teams) = 10pts

For Sir Peter and the rest, DDP gives you the full SP

One of the great voices of TV Sport, Sir Peter O'Sullevan has passed away. Kerry-born O'Sullevan was a mainstay of the BBC's horse racing coverage for 50 years, calling in the winners of every Grand National from 1948-1997, which included the iconic wins of Red Rum and Aldaniti as well as thousands of other races including all the classics. O'Sullevan also owned and bred horses but it's as an iconic commentator that he'll be forever known, with his rich voice and unflappable manner, unruffled even when his final Grand National was delayed to the Monday, due to an IRA bomb alert. How times change! O'Sullevan was 97 and a decent each-way bet for 25 teams.

[Scorecard] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] (25 teams) = 5pts [Joker](3 teams) = 10pts

Munro bombs out

New Zealander Les Munro was the last-surviving pilot of one of the most famous and successful bombing raids of the Second World War. Operation Chastise took place in May 1943, destroying two Dams in the industrial Ruhr area of Germany, using the bouncing bombs developed by engineer Barnes Wallis. Munro was a pilot in one of 19 bomber planes which earned the collective title "The Dam Busters", later made famous in the film of the same name in 1955. Munro was 96 and a hit for 5 teams. Altogether now: Duh Duuh der der der der da duuh der (it doesn't come out as well in type, does it?).
Robert Conquest was an English-born historian and poet who specialised in Communism. Being an ex-communist himself, he was in a good position to write about the horrors of the Soviet Union under Stalin, particuarly with 'The Great Terror', published in 1968 during the time of the 'Prague Spring', relaying the mass killings in the name of "Uncle Joe" just as Brezhnev was tightening his grip behind the Iron Curtain. He was awarded the American Presidential Medal of Honor in 2005. He was 98 and a hit for 2 teams.
More Cold War-era musings with the demise of Richard Schweiker. Schweiker was the vice-presidential running mate of Ronald Reagan's failed tilt for the Republican nomination in 1976. Seen as a liberal sop to Ronnie's more robust right-wing pitch, he later served in the Gipper's cabinet as Health and Human Services supremo from 1981-83. The former Pennsylvania senator was 89 and a unique hit for the Reagan-themed "Oh Ronnie, Where Art Thou..."

[Scorecard] (Munro) [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] (5 teams) = 5pts
[Scorecard] (Conquest) [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] (2 teams) = 5pts
[Scorecard] (Schweiker) [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] + [Unique] = 9pts

Latest Stiffs: 25th July 2015 by The Man in Black

Bikel buckles

After another short break (us stiff hunters need one now and then!) it's back to the action...
Theodore Bikel was a familiar face on US TV and film in such hit musicals as 'Fiddler on the Roof' and 'My Fair Lady' and TV classics 'Ironside' and 'Columbo'. Born in Austria, Bikel moved to the States via Palestine and was also a talented folk singer of tradditional songs. Bikel was 91 and was a hit for 4 teams.
Alex Rocco was a familiar face- oh hang on, I've said this, right? He was the bloke who got shot in the eye in 'The Godfather', yeah? This lead to a successful career on screen and TV, mostly playing gangsters and suchlike although more recently he appeared in the US/UK mashup 'Episodes' playing Matt Le Blanc's dad. He died aged 79. It was his part in 'The Simpsons' as the creator of the violent cartoon duo Itchy and Scratchy which earned his place in the theme team Can't Sleep, Clown Will Eat Them who get a unique hit for the privilege.
Nova Pilbeam is one of those picks which has cropped up in the DDP in recent years, that of the film star-turned obscurity. Pilbeam appeared as a juvenile actor in two Hitchcock films, 'The Man Who Knew Too Much' and 'Young and Innocent' and the future looked bright. But when she was overlooked for the female lead in later Hitch films, her career stalled and she had effectively retired from acting by the 1950s. Pilbeam was 95 and was a hit for 2 teams.

[Scorecard] (Bikel) [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] (4 teams) = 5pts
[Scorecard] (Rocco) [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] + [Unique] = 10pts
[Scorecard] (Pilbeam) [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] (2 teams) = 5pts

Bianchi is the Crown Jules pick of the DDP

Always a tough call to pun what was tragedy, but such is death and deadpooling. Jules Bianchi was a promising young Formula 1 driver who last year crashed his Marussia into a race recovery vehicle in a freak accident at the Japanese Grand Prix at Suzuka last October. He entered a coma and never came back, becoming the first casualty in Formula 1 since the great Ayron Senna in 1994. He was just 25. 22 teams benefit which all boost their chances in the DDP, but wont be enough to topple Lewis Hamilton, points-wise at least!
Alcides Ghiggia ensured lasting fame in Uruguayan football by scoring the winning goal in the final match of the 1950 World Cup against rivals Brazil at the famous Maracan„ stadium in front of 199,000 Brazilians
(WC nerd fact: this was not the final in the tradditional sense, rather a final pool match in which the Brazilians only needed to draw, they lost 2-1). He died on the 65th anniversary of that extraordinary match aged 88. Two teams score.
Wan Li was an influential member of the Chinese Communist Party whose agricultural reforms in the 1970s paved the way for China's economic emergence. He was 98. DDP regular Inquilinekea/Simfish get a 2nd unique hit of the year and that reminds me to update the Stats & Facts page one of these days...

[Scorecard] (Bianchi} [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] (22 teams) = 12pts [Joker](5 teams) = 24pts
[Scorecard] (Ghiggia) [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] (2 teams) = 6pts
[Scorecard] (Li) [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] + [Unique] = 8pts

The B Ark Captain goes down with his ship

Another theme emerging this year is that of Telefantasy warhorses. Following Patrick Macnee and Brian Clemens is another Avengers alumini. Aubrey Morris was a highly rated character actor, often playing shysters and shifty authority figures such as Alex DeLarge's somewhat touchy-feely parole officer Mr Deltoid in Stanley Kubrick's 'A Clockwork Orange' (yeers) and the ill-fated captain of the Golgafrinchan "B" Ark in 'The Hitch-hiker's Guide to the Galaxy', the role was incidentially played by David Jason in the radio version, there's another nerd fact to warm the cockles! Like Macnee, Morris re-located to the US and landed parts right up to this year. Morris died aged 89 and is a unique hit for another DDP veteran, Brown Bananas.
Another veteran British actor who hopped across the pond was Olaf Pooley. Pooley was one of the select actors to have appeared in both the 'Star Trek' and 'Doctor Who' franchises, appearing in the former as the Cleric in 'Star Trek: Voyager' and rather more substantially in the latter as the quintessential mad scientist Stahlman in the 1970 classic 'Inferno' which was effectively two roles as part of the story was set in a parallel universe. It's a great story and the Man In Black personally recommends it! Pooley later became an artist. He was 101 and a hit for six teams.
Next up, an oversight on my part. Diana Dill, better known as Diana Douglas was an actress and the first wife of the legendary Kirk, which explains the mix-up as it was under her married name that all the obits reported and it was under her birth name she was put on the list! Ah well, you can't win them all. Dill/Douglas was 92 and a hit for two patient teams.
And now the boring last one. Yoichiro Nambu won the 2008 Nobel Prize for Physics for his theory that there is no such thing as "nothing" in the universe, paving the way for the Higgs Boson and the idea that the universe is shaped by a barely recognised force of some kind. One to ponder on no doubt. Nambu was 94 and was a hit for 2 teams. Join us next time for another increasingly self indulgent episode of The Derby Dead Pool...

[Scorecard] (Morris) [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] + [Unique] = 9pts
[Scorecard] (Pooley) [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] (6 teams) = 4pts
[Scorecard] (Dill) [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] (2 teams) = 5pts
[Scorecard] (Nambu) [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] (2 teams) = 5pts
Latest Stiffs: 11th July 2015 by The Man in Black
[Picture of Omar Sharif]

Sharif heads off to the endless desert...

Doctor Zhivagone

Suave Egyptian actor Omar Sharif has passed away. Sharif gained worldwide fame with his role as Sherif Ali in David Lean's 1962 epic 'Lawrence of Arabia', making a memorable entrance in the shimmering distance, one of the most famous long shots in film history. He secured his superstardom in another Lean epic, 'Dr Zhivago', which according to Alan in 'Rising Damp' was about a man's disillusion with the Russian Revolution, not a medical doctor, Rigsby! He looked and acted the part of international jet-setter too, once losing a reputed 3/4 million pounds at the roulette table and was a fine raconteur and an unlikely fan of Hull City (not the sort of things you get from the likes of Ryan Gosling these days, unfortunately). Sharif died of a heart attack aged 83. Three teams spin lucky...

[Scorecard] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] (3 teams) = 6pts

Val Doomican

Grannies favourite Val Doonican has rocked off his chair at 88. The Irish crooner had a long-running TV show and Christmas Eve was not Christmas Eve without his gentle tones and self-depreciating wit. He enjoyed a succesful singing career (even knocking he Beatles' Sgt Pepper Album off the top in 1967) helped by a loyal fanbase. 4 teams score with Trojan Hearse getting a little something early in his Xmas stocking...

[Scorecard] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] (4 teams) = 6pts [Joker](1 team) = 12pts

Winton's dead, would Jew believe it!

Sir Nicholas Winton was a stockbroker who secretly arranged the escape from Nazi persecution of 669 Czech Jewish children on the eve of the Second World War in 1939. Winton fought past bureaucracy to rescue the children who would have almost certainly perished in the Holocaust, yet the man himself kept quiet about this for nearly fifty years. Once this was brought into the public domain, Winton was showered with praise and honours for his remarkable feat and rightly so. Winton was 106
with 23 teams showing their appreciation for his efforts.
Sakari Momoi secured the title of World's Oldest Man after the death of Alexander Imich last August. He held gamely the title for 11 months before passing away aged 112. Three teams score, with Gray Panthers firming up their Theme Team League ambitions with a sixth hit.
Now a hit from June. Joan Kirner was inspired to get into frontline politics in Australia following the controversial exit of Gough Whitlam in 1975. She was a leading figure in the Australian Labor Party , particularly in the promotion of women and was the first premier of Victoria, in 1990. She died aged 76 and was a hit for two teams.

[Scorecard] (Winton) [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] (23 teams) = 4pts [Joker](2 teams) = 8pts
[Scorecard] (Momoi) [Points] [Points] [Points] (3 teams) = 3pts
[Scorecard] (Kirner) [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] (2 teams) = 7pts

List of the Lost - Latest Entrants

Miriam Schapiro, Helen F. Holt, Evelyn Middleton, GŁnter Fronius

List of the Missed - Latest Entrants

Vicente Aranda, Edward Burnham, Julie Brett, Rev. Owen Chadwick, James Carnegie, 3rd Duke of Fife, Bobbi Kristina Brown, A. P. J. Abdul Kalam, Lynn Anderson, "Rowdy" Roddy Piper, Sammy Cox, Coleen Gray

Player of the Month - June

Last Gasp Saloon and Wall Street Massacre - 15 points

Latest News

Ex-President Jimmy Carter has surgery on his liver. Meanwhile, has Portsmouth-born "so called" ISIS member Asad Uzzaman been killed in battle? We'll keep you posted on the official news/speculation to that effect...
The Theme Team League is updated for July.

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, The Grey Horde, Thomas Jefferson Survives, Bibliogryphon, David Quantick's Showbiz Pals, Dickie's Gone the Way of the Dinosaurs & The End Of The World As We Know It

[DDP 2015]