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. 2016 marks the Twentieth Anniversary!

Latest Stiffs: 4th April 2016 by The Man in Black
[Picture of Ronnie Corbett]

Sorry to see you go, Ronnie...

And it's goodnight from him

One half of one of the most successful double acts in British comedy, Ronnie Corbett has died of motor neurone disease. Corbett first caught the eye in 1966 in David Frost's 'The Frost Report' with John Cleese and Ronnie Barker. In 1971 he teamed up with Ronnie B again for 'The Two Ronnies', one of the mainstays of British television entertainment. It's mix of wordplay-based sketches ("Four Candles"), filmed miniature series (such as 'The Phantom Rasberry Blower', written by the great Spike Milligan) and an even split with of the solo spotlight (Barker with his public information-style parodies, Corbett with his monologues) was a formula which did the business for nearly two decades before Barker's retirement in 1988. Corbett also starred in the 1980s sitcom 'Sorry!' as a 40-something man desperately trying to cut the apron strings. Little Ronnie was 85 and a hit for 6 teams.

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

Strickland struck off

Now. We have eight hits but ONE removal from the list of picks in DDP 2016. Back in January, Craig Strickland was found dead after going missing in Oklahoma. Initially it wasn't made clear when he has died. Although the offical autopsy mentioned no time of death, This picture of his widow makes it quite clear when she thought he had died and for that reason I have taken the near unprecedented step of removing his death from the list and the points with it... So, where does that leave the competiton? Still ploughing ahead with deaths it seems. With it still being April, we now have two teams over the 100 point mark and another change in the lead. Ronald Mulkearns was an Australian Roman Catholic archbishop who was accused of coverng up alleged child abuse by other bishops. He'll now have to face the judgement of God as he has died of colon cancer aged 86. Two teams picked him and inevitably, it's The Living End who profit most, moving to 11 hits, 106 points and regains the lead, making the prospect of a record points and hit score more and more likely in our anniversary year... But this is no cake walk for the 3 times champion. Other teams have also scored significant hits. Another Australian, Bob Ellis has also passed away. Ellis was a screenwriter and political journalist who wrote speeches for several Labor leaders. He was 73. Do I detect the Guardian's increased interest in affairs down under as an influence on picks this year? Several teams had him including the defending champion, who's still hanging in there in third place. Another harvest of points is the British wrestler Kris Travis. Travis was a promising young wrestler who was diagnosed with stomach cancer and died aged 32. All three podium finishers from 2015 picked him, with Thomas Jefferson Returns also passing the century mark. leaving him in second place.

[Scorecard] (Mulkearns) [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] (2 teams) = 6pts
[Scorecard] (Ellis) [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] (8 teams) = 7pts
[Scorecard] (Travis) [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] (22 teams) = 10pts [Joker](1 team) = 20pts

These lot have something to Crow about

Joe Medicine Crow was a Native American who fought in World War 2, was the first of his tribe to earn a masters degree and used his education to lecture on the history of his tribe, based in Montana until well into his nineties. Crow was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2009. Medicine Crow was 102 and a unique hit for Say Hello To The Angels. Denise Robertson was a regular on ITV's daytime staple 'This Morning' as the "Agony Aunt", who always managed to find some personal perspective on viewers problems, whatever they were. Robertson died of cancer aged 83 and was a unique hit for the superbly named Angela of Death. Hans-Dietrich Genscher could have taught Nick Clegg a thing or two about how to retain office as the junior partner in government. As chairman of West Germany's FDP, Genscher served as foreign minister and vice-chancellor despite switching allegiances in 1982 from the centre-left SPD to the centre-right CDU. He died aged 89 with a clutch of teams including a couple of German-based theme teams picking him. Patty Duke won a Best Supporting Actress Oscar in 1963 aged just 16 when she played the deaf and blind girl Helen Keller in 'The Miracle Worker'. She died aged 69 and is a unique hit for Heads In A Bag.

[Scorecard] (Medicine Crow) [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] + [Unique] = 7pts
[Scorecard] (Robertson) [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] + [Unique] = 11pts
[Scorecard] (Genscher) [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] (3 teams) = 7pts
[Scorecard] (Duke) [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] + [Unique] = 11pts
Latest Stiffs: 29th March 2016 by The Man in Black
[Picture of Johan Cruyff]

Johan's passing was a total shock

Cruyff turns in his grave

One of the greatest footballers of all time, Johan Cruyff has died after a battle with cancer. Cruyff was the iconic spearhead of Ajax and the Netherland's "Total Football" revolution that was so pervasive in 1970s football. The number 14 won three consecutive European Cups and led Oranje to runners-up in the 1974 World Cup. In 1973 he went to Barcelona but was actually more effective as their manager, winning Barca's first European Cup in 1992 and laying the groundwork for the "Tika-Taka" revolution that was so pervasive in 2000s football! The three-time European Footballer of the year died aged 68 with him probably arguing with the Grim Reaper until the final whistle. Several teams chose him amongst them Thomas Jefferson Survives, last year's podium finisher who moves into the lead with their 10th hit in less than three months...

[Scorecard] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] (26 teams) = 8pts [Joker](1 team) = 16pts

It's Garry Shandling's final show!

Comedian and actor Garry Shandling has died suddenly of a heart attack. Shandling was an innovative comic whose breakthrough sitcom 'It's Garry Shandlng's Show' in 1986 had the titular lead break the "4th wall" continuously, a path followed curiously enough by the BBC's recent big hit 'Mrs Brown's Boys'. But he's best known for starring in the influential HBO series 'The Larry Sanders Show', with Shandling playing the egotisical if somewhat insecure chatshow host, with the series set both behind the scenes and featuring the show-within-a-show that was the chatshow itself. It's pseudorealistic style anticipating the likes of 'The Office' and 'Curb Your Enthusiasm' et al. Right, enough with the postmodernism, Shandling was 66 and a unique hit for Spongebob's Pet Snail. Next we have some more hits including a nun, but first a break. No flipping...

[Scorecard] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] + [Unique] = 11pts

A Ford fiesta of points!

Controversial former Mayor of Toronto, Rob Ford has died. Ford was elected in 2010 as an independent, he was previously a businessman. It was his off-the-field antics which grabbed the headlines with various drunken antics, culminating with Ford admitting that had tried crack cocaine in 2013. The following year he was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer, from which he died aged 46, making him hit number 5 in the Drop Forty. Among the teams to pick him was The Living End who keep in touch in second place.

[Scorecard] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] (49 teams) = 10pts [Joker](6 teams) = 20pts

May the four hits be with you

Drewe Henley was an English actor best recognised as "Red Leader" of the Rebel alliance assault on the Death Star in 'Star Wars' in 1977. He was later diagnosed with bipolar depression and quit acting. He was married to both Jacqueline Pearce (Servalan in 'Blake's 7') and later Felicity Kendall, so he must have been a bit of a charmer then! Henley died on February 14th aged 75 but it's only through a Times Obit now that Star Wars theme team Wretched Hive Of Scum and Villainy grab the points. Sticking with acting we have Adrienne Corri who also featured in an iconic 1970s film of a very different kind. Corri balanced Shakespearean stage work with off the shelf horror films. But she's best known for her controversial role of Mrs Alexander in Stanley Kubrick's 'A Clockwork Orange', infamously gang-raped by Alex and his droogs to the tune of 'Singing in the Rain' in the 1972 dystopian classic. Corri was 85 (or 84 depending on where you read) and a unique hit for Don't Eat The Figs. Miriam Karlin might need to go for a check up... Earl Hamner Jr was a US television writer and producer. He contributed 8 episodes to Rod Serling's 'Twilight Zone' series including the final episode in 1964. But he had his greatest success with 'The Waltons', a warm-hearted family drama set during the Depression which ran from 1972-1981. Hamner Jr was 92 and a unique hit for Old People Smell Of Piss. And now for the nun. Mother Angelica was a Franciscan nun who saw the potential of spreading the word of God to a wider audience through the medium of television. In 1981 she formed the Eternal Word Television Network, a sort of MTV for Catholics. Appropriately enough, Mother Angelica died on Easter Sunday aged 92. Four teams picked her including David Quantick's Showbiz Pals, who keep their hand in but will have a fight on his hands to retain the title for a third time...

[Scorecard] (Henley) [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] + [Unique] = 10pts
[Scorecard] (Corri) [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] + [Unique] + [Unlucky Thirteen] = 11pts
[Scorecard] (Hamner Jr) [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] + [Unique] = 8pts
[Scorecard] (Angelica) [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] (4 teams) = 5pts
Latest Stiffs: 21st March 2016 by The Man in Black

Hines loses the thread(s)

Acclaimed writer Barry Hines has passed away after a long battle with Alzheimers Disease. Hines's novel 'A Kestral for a Knave', published in 1968, was later adapted for film (under the shortened title 'Kes') the following year and the film, directed by Ken Loach became a cult classic, with it's gritty depiction of northern England. Hines wrote several other novels as well as screenplays, the most notable being the horrifically bleak 'Threads' in 1984 which imagined the city of Sheffield during a nuclear attack and gave The Man in Black nightmares for years afterwards! Hines was 76 and was a unique hit for Ain’t It Grand To Be Bloomin’ Well Dead. Well, at least he avoided the apocalypse anyway...

[Scorecard] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] + [Unique] = 10pts

Daniels wiped out

Popular magician Paul Daniels has died from a brain tumour. Daniels made his name with his magic tricks and stage patter, eventually securing a prestigious spot on BBC1's Saturday night entertainment schedule for 15 years. Ably assisted by Debbie McGee (whom he married in 1988), Daniels also dipped into the game show format, with 'Every Second Counts' and 'Wipeout' and even had a go with childrens' TV, but the less said about 'Wizbit' the better! Daniels died aged 77 and leaves behind McGee and his famous toupee. Two teams conjure up the points.
Anker Jørgensen was a Danish social democrat politician who was Prime Minister in two spells, briefly from 1972-3 before a longer stint from 1975-1982. Jørgensen guided Denmark through it's intergration with the European Economic Community, as it was then known as. Jørgensen was 93 with two teams bringing home the bacon. This next hit is a case of change but no change in the leadership of the DDP. The Very Reverend Sandy McDonald was a Scottish church minister who eventually secured the position of Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, which held from 1997-98. But it is likely the fame of his son, actor David Tennant which put him in the frame to be picked for the DDP and such a punt has been rewarded with his death aged 78. Several big hitters picked him, with Pan Breed moving up to second place. Whilst powering up the pages, I have noticed that some sort of glitch is preventing the celebrities with the surname beginning with "F" populating the page for reasons as yet unknown. I shall try and see why this has happened, although his problem might yet present an opportunity in future updates...

[Scorecard] (Daniels) [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] (2 teams) = 7pts
[Scorecard] (Jørgensen) [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] (2 teams) = 5pts
[Scorecard] (McDonald) [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] (8 teams) = 7pts

Holiday cancelled for Michelmore

TV anchorman Cliff Michelmore has died. Michelmore was a familiar face on British TV for decades, presenting the weeknight news and current affairs programme 'Tonight' from 1957-65. In 1966 he replaced the late Richard Dimbleby as the host of the UK General Election coverage, retuning again for Edward Heath's shock victory in 1970. He was also the main presenter of the BBC's coverage of the historic moon landing in July 1969, a presentation so important the BBC decided in their wisdom to wipe out almost entirely. Michelmore was 96 and a hit for a dozen teams, with Brown Bananas claiming joker points.
Asa Briggs was a historian who specialised in the Victorian era. He was one of the key movers in the introduction of the Open University, and served as Chancellor from 1978-1994. Between 1961 and 1995 he published five volumes covering the histry of British Broadcasting, covering the period 1922-1974. Briggs was 94 and a hit for another pair of teams. Anita Brookner succeeded in two careers, first in art history and then in literature. Brookner became the first woman to be Professor of Fine Art at the Slade College in Cambridge in 1967. She turned her hand to writing novels in her 50s and in 1984 won the Booker Prize for 'Hotel du Lac', which was later made for television. Brookner was 87 with 2 literature-based theme teams cashing in...

[Scorecard] (Michelmore) [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] (12 teams) = 5pts [Joker](1 team) = 10pts
[Scorecard] (Briggs) [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] (2 teams) = 5pts
[Scorecard] (Brookner) [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] (2 teams) = 6pts
Latest Stiffs: 14th March 2016 by The Man in Black
[Picture of Peter Maxwell Davies][Picture of George Martin]

Two greats of British music play their final scores

Maxwell hearse

One of Britain's foremost composers Sir Peter Maxwell Davies has passed away. Salford-born Davies emerged in the 1960s as part of British classical music's avant-garde, the biggest ripple coming in 1969 with 'Eight Songs for a Mad King'. Davies nethertheless became part of the music establishment, eventually becoming the Master of the Queen's Music in 2004, despite being a republican. Knighted in 1987, Davies moved to the Orkneys in 1971 where he died after a long battle with leukaemia aged 81. 10 teams score with The Living End snatching the lead with their 8th hit and 80 points and still nine months left of the competition...

[Scorecard] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] (10 teams) = 6pts

Live and Let Die

Another big name in British music, of the pop/rock variety has also fallen. George Martin was a staff producer for Parlophone records when in 1962 he met a young band from the north of England who he didn't think were particuarly good musically but had promise and charisma. That band were the Beatles and so began one of the most successful and influential partnerships in the history of popular music. Many saw Martin as the "fifth" Beatle, but he saw himself as their interpreter, guiding the fab four on an unforgettable journey, producing most of their songs, which ranged from the naive pop of 'Love Me Do' to psychedelic monoliths such as 'Tomorrow Never Knows' and the Sgt Pepper album. In the 1970s, Martin set up his own studios, AIR and contuinued to work with Paul McCartney as well as other artists such as Shirley Bassy and Cilla Black as well as comedian Peter Sellers. Martin died aged 90 with eight teams grabbing the points, enough for every day of the week, according to the Beatles anyway...

[Scorecard] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] (8 teams) = 5pts

You only live once, Ken

Film production designer Ken Adam has died. Adam was designer for several James Bond films, including the first, Dr No, in 1962. In 1963, Adam was given the task of creating the Pentagon's "War Room" (a room that doesn't actually exist) for Stanley Kubrick's cold war satire 'Dr Stangelove'. It famously had a green-clothed round table, made to resemble a poker table despite the fact that the film was in black and white. Adam won Oscars for his designs for Kubrick's 'Barry Lyndon' and for 'The Madness of King George'. Adam was 95 and a hit for three teams, including Bond theme team Spectres-to-Be.

[Scorecard] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] (3 teams) = 5pts

Game over for Shapley

Lloyd Shapley was a mathematician, considered one of the developers of "game theory" when he was a member of the RAND Corporation, set up to aid the US military during the cold war. In 2012, Shapley was the co-winner of the Nobel Priaze for Economics. Shapley was 92 and is a unique hit for theme team Nobel Laureates. Ross Hannaford was guitarist for Australian band Daddy Cool, who were briefly the biggest band in Australia in the early 1970s, their debut album becoming hte first sell over 100,000 copies down under. The band split in 1972, although there were some reunions in the years after. Hannaford died of cancer aged 65 and is another unique hit for The "B" Team. Michael White was a Scottish theatre producer, bringing iconic shows such as 'Oh! Calcutta' and 'The Rocky Horror Show' to the West End. He moved into film, producing the cult classic 'Monty Python and the Holy Grail' and succeeded in TV with 'The Comic Strip Presents...' comedy film series for Channel 4. White was 80 and a unique hit for documentary theme team Maysles Brothers Memorial Death Squad.

[Scorecard] (Shapley) [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] + [Unique] = 8pts
[Scorecard] (Hannaford) [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] + [Unique] = 11pts
[Scorecard] (White) [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] + [Unique] = 9pts
Latest Stiffs: 7th March 2016 by The Man in Black
[Picture of Nancy Reagan]

Nancy bhoys up the DDP standings

Mrs Reagan heads for the shining city on a hill

Perhaps the biggest update yet in DDP 2016 as we get three Drop Forty hits and a big shake up in the leaderboard... First up we have Nancy Reagan, First Lady of the USA from 1981-1989. Born Anne Francis Robbins, she became an actress under the name Nancy Davis where she had a fairly mediocre career. Then in 1949 she met the recently-divorced actor Ronald Reagan, the two marrying in 1952. Ronnie was at the start of his political career and Nancy was the ever-present support in the Gipper's rise to the White House in 1980. Like many first ladys before and after, Reagan was closely scrutinised, particularly in her most famous scheme, the anti-drugs "Just Say No" campaign (which improbably involved the cast of the BBC children's programme 'Grange Hill', one of the more bizarre team-ups of the 1980s). There were also rumours of more astrological influences in the latter years of Ronald Reagan's term of office. Reagan died aged 94 and was a big hit, joint 14th in the Drop 40.

[Scorecard] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] (77 teams) = 5pts [Joker](3 teams) = 10pts

Feek out

Another addition to the Drop Forty roll of honour is country singer Joey Feek. Feek was a member of the husband-and-wife musical duo Joey + Rory, who emerged in the US cable network CMT's reality pop show 'Can You Duet' in 2008, where they came third. The duo released 7 albums, the last just a few weeks before Joey's death from cancer aged just 40. A very popular joker hit, 58 teams cashing in.

[Scorecard] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] (89 teams) = 10pts [Joker](58 teams) = 20pts

Martin Croweks it

The third of our Drop 40 trilogy is the most popular yet. Martin Crowe was one of New Zealand cricket's finest batsman. At one time he had his country's highest number of test match and one-day centuries and was judged the best player of the World Cup in 1992, when the Kiwis reached the semi-finals. Crowe served as captain from 1990-93 and finished his international career with a prety handy average of 45.36. Well he's certainly upped the DDP's average with his death aged 53. A huge 125 teams picked him and the upshot of this is that Heading Nowhere now leads the standings after a major shake up and the top order bunching up behind...

[Scorecard] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] (125 teams) = 9pts [Joker](28 teams) = 18pts

The cool hand of death for George

Sadly there was no February 29th hit and so we'll have to wait another four years. But the day before came the death of George Kennedy. The burly actor was an ever present in 1960s and 70s US cinema, comfortable in both villainous "heavy" roles as well as more sympathetic parts. In 1967, he co-starred with Paul Newman as "Dragnet" in 'Cool Hand Luke', a hardened convict who decides to back up Newman in his rebellion against the prison system. Kennedy won a Best Supporting Actor Oscar for his troubles. In later years, Kennedy played Lt Frank Drebin's long-suffering deputy in the 'Naked Gun' spoof police comedy films. Kennedy was 91 and was a hit for a dirty dozen teams. Nikolaus Harnoncourt was an Austrian musical conductor. Harnoncourt was known for his attention to fidelity, often employing period instrumentation. Harnoncourt was 86 and a unique hit for The "B" Team. Tony Warren was a struggling young actor who turned to writing. In 1960, he was commissioned to create a new TV series set in the north of England in an attempt to capture the emerging "kitchen sink" dramas of stage and film onto the small screen. Orginally titled 'Florizel Street', it was renamed 'Coronation Street' and a piece of British television history and pop culture was born. Warren was retained as a consultant of the show in it's long storied history until his death aged 79. Two teams pick the tab at the Rovers Return. And now from "Corrie" to 'EastEnders'. Louise Plowright played hairdresser Julie Cooper in the cockney soap but she had a more substantial career on the stage, mainly in musicals such as 'Wicked' and 'Mamma Mia!'. She died aged 59 of pancreatic cancer. Several of the so-called big hitters top up their totals including The Living End, who make history with their 100th hit in DDP history, so well done to the master!

[Scorecard] (Kennedy) [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] (12 teams) = 5pts
[Scorecard] (Harnoncourt) [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] + [Unique] = 9pts
[Scorecard] (Warren) [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] (2 teams) = 7pts
[Scorecard] (Plowright) [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] (7 teams) = 9pts

List of the Lost - Latest Entrants

John Brooks, Jean-Pierre Coffe

List of the Missed - Latest Entrants

Mishaal bin Abdulaziz, Johann Georg of Hohenzollern, Bud Collins, Guido Westerwelle, Glen Dawson, James Noble, Douglas Wilmer, Imre Kertész, Georges Cottier, Cesare Maldini

Player of the Month - February

Cancerous Hatred - 30 points

Latest News

Country outlaw Merle Haggard cancels more gigs due to ill health. The Theme Team League is updated for March.

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 2016]