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!

Anniversary Special: 7th January 2017 by Pan Breed & The Man in Black
[Greatest DDP'rs ever]
As a prelude to the 2017 competition, I've included this assessment of the DDP's greatest ever teams that was made by Pan Breed - who came a very creditable 5th in 2016 - originally posted on the DeathList website a few months ago. Last year was of course the 20th anniversary and indeed this week marks the 20th anniversary of us crowning the first winner (Nick J). There have been over 1700 teams and over 11,000 celebs (or would-be celebs and quite frankly some we've never heard of) that have "took part" as it were in the Derby Dead Pool. I have made a few edits and additional notes and stats but other than that, it's all Pan's work! So without further ado:

20. Impaled on the Antlers of Doom ('05-'11)

Years on DDP: 6
Best performance: =3rd (2009)
Total Points/Hits: 342/43
Hit rate (hits per year ave): 7.17

A contender for best team name of all time, Impaled is a former side which raked up 4 top ten places (2007, 2009, 2010, 2011), and was a miss on Swayze away from a title in 2009.

19. Hoppo ('96-'00)

Years on DDP: 5
Best performance: 2nd (1997)
Total Points/Hits: 78/15
Hit rate: 3.00

Co-organiser of the original DDPs, Hoppo had four top ten places last century.

18. One Foot in the Grave ('01-'09)

Years on DDP: 9
Best performance: 2nd (2003)
Total Points/Hits: 256/49
Hit rate: 5.44

A US team who predicted the Michael Foot pun a decade early, OFitG had three appearances in the top five before disappearing without trace a decade ago.

17. Otis, You Want a Treat? ('02-'04)

Years on DDP: 3
Best performance: Champion (2003)
Total Points/Hits: 87/15
Hit rate: 5.00

Winner in 2003, and nearly repeated in 2004 only to be pipped at the post by the latest of late shows.

16. Star Dust ('10-'16)

Years on DDP: 7
Best performance: 4th (2015)
Total Points/Hits: 439/48
Hit rate: 6.86

A modern team with two top five places in the last two years.

15. Tonight Matthew, I'm Going to be Badly Torn-Boy ('08-'16)

Years on DDP: 4
Best performance: Champion (2009)
Total Points/Hits: 350/41
Hit rate: 10.25

Two top ten finishes and a title. (TMIB's note: returned in 2016 after 6 years out and came a respectable 14th with 100 points. Who knows what he would have achieved had he competed more often...)

14. Nick J ('96-'97)

Years on DDP: 2
Best performance: Champion (1996, 1997)
Total Points/Hits: 73/14
Hit rate: 7.00

Winner of the first two DDPs. (TMIB's note: never competed again, retire at the top, I say!)

13. Mr C ('99-'16)

Years on DDP: 18
Best performance: 2nd (1999)
Total Points/Hits: 484/79
Hit rate: 4.39

18 years in the competition, 79 hits overall, six top ten places and a runners up spot in 1999. Mr C is one of the most consistent DDPers in history to never win the title.

12. Jesus Jones ('96-'14)

Years on DDP: 19
Best performance: 2nd (1996)
Total Points/Hits: 343/64
Hit rate: 3.37

The long running Father of the Hearse for many years, Jesus Jones had seven top ten places, and four podium places.

11. Master Mind/Hidden Persuader/New Year and Drinks All Night ('07-'16)

Years on DDP: 10
Best performance: 2nd (2009)
Total Points/Hits: 706/91
Hit rate: 9.10

Came closest in 2009, matching the champion with all five of his final picks, Eunice Kennedy turning out to be pivotal in their race a whole six hits back in August. Has had 3 other top ten places. Another name change has him on 99 points this year, a title winning run any other year but this, where it's good enough for 15th place in 2016.

10. Thomas Jefferson Survives ('13-'16)

Years on DDP: 4
Best performance: 3rd (2015)
Total Points/Hits: 394/46
Hit rate: 11.50

One of the very best of recent years, 2016 was their 3rd top five placing in 4 years of competing. Unlucky to debut in the era of DQSP, but there's a sense of a young Novak Djokovic about Tommy J - he'll win the title one day, and when he does, he might not let go.

9. JoeRam ('01-'16)

Years on DDP: 16
Best performance: Champion (2002)
Total Points/Hits: 507/83
Hit rate: 5.19

The 2002 champion was a top ten finisher on four occasions.

8. STAB in the DARK ('05-'16)

Years on DDP: 12
Best performance: 2nd (2006, 2007)
Total Points/Hits: 676/86
Hit rate: 7.17

Twice runner up (2006 and 2007), the second time only losing out to an obscure unique joker nabbing an Independent QO. 4th on the all time Hits list, 3rd on the points list, and organiser of the Hartlepool Deadlypool. Gone off the boil in recent years due to some whim/old age picks not coming off, but certainly one of the best DDPers of all time, and arguably the finest to never win the title. (TMIB's note: SitD's stats-based approach was ahead of it's time and arguably pre-figured the more "professional" approach from the leading teams in recent years...)

7. Big Iain ('96-'16)

Years on DDP: 13
Best performance: =3rd (2000)
Total Points/Hits: 170/37
Hit rate: 2.85

Founder of the DDP. The big man has seven top ten finishes, the equal most top ten finishes in DDP history. He came third in 2000. (TMIB's note: returned to the fold in 2016, is back again in 2017 and had given this current incarnation of the DDP the thumbs up, which is nice!)

6. They're Dead, Y'Know! ('06-'15)

Years on DDP: 10
Best performance: 5th (2006)
Total Points/Hits: 453/60
Hit rate: 6.00

TMIB did get two top ten finishes in 2006 and 2008. However, he is about to become the longest serving host of the DDP so far, and is essentially DDP's Tom Baker. Although - hopefully temporarily - retired, TDYK was no lean team, knocking up 60 hits in a decade. (TMIB's note: "I could have been a contender!" Seriously though, it's been a great honour being the host, better than if I ever won it...)

5. Meet Your Maker ('05-'10)

Years on DDP: 6
Best performance: Champion (2006, 2007)
Total Points/Hits: 392/54
Hit rate: 9.00

Won the DDP twice in 2006 and 2007, had four top ten finishes, then disappeared. (TMIB's note: DDP's only known Canadian winner)

4. Octopus of Odstock (04-'14)

Years on DDP: 11
Best performance: Champion (2010)
Total Points/Hits: 603/83
Hit rate: 7.55

Host, winner, leading tips pundit, OoO had five top ten finishes, three of them in the top five. He ran the DDP from 2008-2009, and helped to shape some of the modern rules (The Windsor Execution Rule, to give but one example...) Handing the reigns over to TMIB due to the birth of his daughter in early 2010, Odstock promptly won the title. He came very close to a second title in 2013 with some deft picks, but a few open goals missed led to one of the greatest come from behind wins in DDP history. More on that later. (TMIB's note: after a few years away, the great man in back, albeit re-activated as a theme team...)

3. Drunkasaskunk ('98-'16)

Years on DDP: 18
Best performance: Champion (1998, 1999) Total Points/Hits: 672/88
Hit rate: 4.89

My fellow Glaswegian won the DDP twice in 1998 and 1999, and came within a QO of a third in 2002. In 2014, he nearly won the coveted third, and was tricky for DQSP up till the end. His finish in 1999, with unique picks on Desmond Llewellyn dying in a car crash and Curtis Mayfield dying of long term health issues in his 50s, both in the last 12 days of the year, might be the best DDP title coup de grace in history.

2. David Quantick's Showbiz Pals ('10-'16)

Years on DDP: 7
Best performance: Champion (2013, 2014, 2015, 2016)
Total Points/Hits: 612/70
Hit rate: 10.00

It's hard to believe now, but at one point, Spade was nearly 50 points behind OoO in the 2013 DDP. He had the misfortune of his joker not dying. He even publicly conceded the race in March 2013. What he then did have was hits, and hits and hits, and ten hits in the first half of the year added to five hits in the last four months to break a long standing record. He had actually finished top ten in 2012, so a title run wasn't a huge surprise. He's Roger Federering the DDP since, however, being the first to win four straight titles. Deft-picks, unique knowledge (are we sure he didn't make up Andrew Millwall?), and the old "luck favours the brave" have made DQSP nearly unbeatable. Look at this year, where everyone has thrown their best bombs at Spade, and yet, who is still on top? It'll take an atom bomb to dislodge him, and even then he might finish December 31st 2017 on top with a shrug and a "just a flesh wound" snark. (TMIB's note: DQSP's original team name was Fuck A 40oz, You'll Be Dumping Out Whole Kegs Of Brew and he finished =217th in 2010. He changed the name to David Quantick's Showbiz Pals after the broadcaster/writer kicked up a storm about the DDP on social media. He hasn't looked back since!)

1. The Living End ('06-'16)

Years on DDP: 11
Best performance: Champion (2008, 2011, 2012)
Total Points/Hits: 956/111
Hit rate: 10.09

It's difficult to separate the top two these days, which is testament to DQSP, but The Living End just hangs onto his title as The Greatest. For now, anyway. His three titles were equalled last year, but DDT still has seven top ten finishes to his name and 111 hits to his name which is ridiculously ahead of anyone near. He leads the most points all time, and is winner of probably the only landslide victory in DDP history, the massacre of the innocent deadpoolers which was 2011. He is Sampras to Spade's Federer, and while Federer over took the old master, and beat him in their 2001 face to face, we've not quite reached that yet. (TMIB's note: Pan Breed originally wrote this a few months before the end of 2016 and in view of the result, I was tempted to make The Living End & DQSP joint #1. But looking at the stats and performance over the years - 3 wins, 1 runners-up, 3rd, =5th, =6th and the only team to regain the title, TLE is still the greatest!)

(TMIB's note: Honourable mentions to:, winners in 2004 and the reason why myself and a lot of us on here in the first place. Gray Panthers was the inaugural winner of the Theme Team League (The League Cup to the DDP's Premier League) and posted two top 5 finishes as well as easily the most hits in the competition's short history. Deceased Hose, Wormer, He's A Dead Man! Niedermier Dead! Marmalard Dead!, The Misers, Going Underground, Poochie Died On The Way Back To His Home Planet, Ethnic Cleansing and the much missed The Waiting List - all fine consistant performers...)

Latest Stiffs & Review of 2016: 3rd January 2017 by The Man in Black
[Picture of Chris Barker's Sgt Pepper tribute]

Those we lost, missed and scored in 2016...

2016: Deaxit!

Wow! What a year 2016 was, ladies and gentlemen. It was a rum year in this ol' world for many but for celebrity passings, 2016 will go down as one of the very best. It was such a year that there were mainstream chatterings about the level of celebrity deaths we had and whether this was an outlier or whether we're heading for a golden age for obit writers...

After all the drama of Christmas, it seems even the Grim Reaper decided that enough was enough for 2016 and there are no new hits to report, just a few misses ('Bambi' illustrator Tyrus Wong, 'M*A*S*H' actor William Christopher and former Tour de france winner Ferdinand Kubler). There was final entrant for the List of the Lost as theologian Huston Smith missed out on getting a UK obit...

DQSP's 4th time around

2016 was the year of the underdog shocking the establishment, as demonstrated by Donald Trump's election win, the Leave campaign's victory in the European referendum and Leicester City's remarkable Premier League title win. But there was no such shock in the DDP main race as David Quantick's Showbiz Pals won for a record 4th straight time. And it was his best performance yet in a year which in the 20th anniversary broke pretty much all known records. DQSP scored 17 hits (a new record), which would have been more if Michel Delpech snagged a UK obit. He finished with another all-time record of points in a year with 155. You would think then he would have strolled to victory but that was not the case. Heading Nowhere produced their best performance yet with 16 hits and 150 points to take the runners-up spot, with the legendary The Living End bagging another podium finish in third with 16 hits and 148 points. It was a competition high on quality and set a new benchmark for deadpooling. Put it this way, the previous points record of 112 would have put you outside of the top ten! In all, 14 teams went over 100 points, 9 teams more than the previous record in a year. In retrospect it was all done and dusted by September, when DQSP bagged their 17th hit. Such was the volume of hits piling in in the early stages of the competiton. For a while it looked as if the well had run dry in terms of overall hits as the contenders were running out of candidates, but the DDP showed it's quality overall with an astonishing 30 hits in the last month to set yet another record...
In the Theme Team League, the controversial Shameless, with it's team of cancer-affected candidates won comfortably despite having more "losties" than actual scoring hits.

Hits and misses...

Where do we start? As mentioned, there were records falling all over the place and not surprisingly the overall hit record for the DDP was smashed. The new record is now a whopping 275 and that despite over 100 misses (previous DDP picks not chosen in 2016) and over 50 picks for the List of the Lost (picks which didn't gain the requisite UK obituary). The slight tweak to obit rules had arguably a marginal effect.

Among the enormous hitlist was: Actors Gene Wilder, Frank Finlay, Peter Vaughan, Robert Vaughn, George Kennedy, Jean Alexander, Gareth Thomas, Liz Smith, Andrew Sachs, Burt Kwouk, Frank Kelly and of course the sad double of Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds as well as Fisher's 'Star Wars' co-star Kenny Baker. From the world of sport there was two absolute legends, Muhammad Ali and Johan Cruyff as well as golfer Arnold Palmer and long-term FIFA president João Havelange. From entertainment there was Terry Wogan and fellow DJs Ed "Stewpot" Stewart and Jimmy Young, Ronnie Corbett, Paul Daniels, 'Coronation Street' creator Tony Warren, Jimmy Perry ('Dad's Army'), Garry Shandling, Carla Lane ('Bread') and of course Zsa Zsa Gabor.

In politics there were several Tory ministers (Cecil Parkinson, Jim Prior, Patrick Jenkin) as well former First Lady Nancy Reagan, Thailand's King Bhumibol Adulyadej, former Israeli PM Shimon Peres, Cuban dictator Fidel Castro and UN General-Secretary Boutros Boutros-Ghali (so good, they named him twice!). If you want a bit of culture there was filmmakers Douglas Slocombe and Guy Hamilton ('James Bond') as well as writers Barry Hines, Harper Lee, Umberto Eco and Richard Adams. And from the world of music we had Beatles producer George Martin, Peter Maxwell-Davies, Ska pioneer Prince Buster, Glen Frey (The Eagles), Leonard Cohen, Rick Parfitt, Merle Haggard and on Christmas Day, George Michael...

So who did we miss? The List of the Missed was worthy of one of the earlier DDP performances. There was of course the death of the legendary David Bowie (whose death on January 10th arguably got the ball rolling in 2016 for celebrity passings) as well as his former drummer Dennis Davis. Bowie's passing was rivalled by another pop superstar in Prince as well as fellow musicians Pete Burns (Dead or Alive), Scotty Moore, Leon Russell and Suicide's Alan Vega. But there was also actor Alan Rickman, comedian Victoria Wood, acerbic columnist A. A. Gill, 'Carry On' scriptwriter Norman Hudis, sports commentators Jack Bannister and Bud Collins, playwright Arnold Wesker, serial killer Robert Black, news reporter Michael Nicholson and from football, Cesare Maldindi and the designer of the FIFA World Cup trophy, Silvio Gazzaniga.

I haven't even mentioned who we lost completely yet but they included two-thirds of Emerson, Lake and Plamer, Earth, Wind and Fire's Maurice White, film director Michael Cimino ('Heaven's Gate'), actor David 'The Big Lebowski' Huddleston ("oh prairie shit"), footballer Dalian Atkinson, Ethiopian Olympic legend Miruts Yifter ("The Shifter") and 4 Grand National Winners (yes I know animals don't count!).
No wonder the TV is full of adverts for funeral cover!

Into 2017...

So what do we have in store for 2017? For a start there is the new points bonus of the Drop 40 hits, replacing the largely redundant "Unlucky 13" bonus. There were a record 13 last year (another record!) but who knows at this stage who's is going to make the list and who will eventually drop (there were only 4 in 2015). 2017 will mean another record for me as I will host this venerable competition for the eighth time, surpassing the mark set by the DDP's original founder, Big-Iain (he's back again this year). However I am considerng my options on whether to continue at least solo. Oh and by the way, watch out for a few "cosmetic" changes to the webpages...

Latest Stiffs: 30th December 2016 by The Man in Black
[Picture of Debbie Reynolds and Carrie Fisher]

Well, at least they'll save on funeral costs...

Postcards from the Edge of 2017

Although last year produced a match-changing hit, this last Christmas week has been one of the most dramtatic in the history of the DDP in terms of the celebrity quotient, with two of Hollywood's aristocracy and one of Britain's biggest pop stars falling over the Yuletide period. But we must start with an extraordinary double, a tragic family affair across just 24 hours...
Carrie Fisher booked her place in Sci-fi and Hollywood history with her iconic role as Princess Leia in George Lucas' epochal smash hit film 'Star Wars' in 1977. She was the daughter of actress Debbie Reynolds and singer Eddie Fisher. Reynolds herself found fame at a young age, in Gene Kelly and Stanley Donen's classic musical 'Singin' in the Rain' in 1952. Fisher followed her mother into the business and caught the eye in Hal Ashby's 'Shampoo' in 1975 before landing the role of Leia. By then Reynold's own film career has faltered before moving into cabaret and dance schools. Meanwhile Carrie struggled with alcohol and drug addiction and to move from the shadow of Star Wars although she did have some other notable parts, especially as Jake Blues' homicidal jilted lover in 'The Blues Brothers' in 1980. Mother and daughter had a close if idiosyncratic relationship as reflected in Fisher's acclaimed semi-autobiographical novel 'Postcards from the Edge' later made into a film starring Meryl Streep and Shirley MacLaine. Fisher died aged 60 after suffering a heart attack. Sadly, just a day later Reynolds followed aged 84 after suffering a stroke. An astonishing turn of events in an astonishing year for celebrity passings.

[Scorecard] (Fisher) [Points] (2 teams) = 8pts
[Scorecard] (Reynolds) [Points] (2 teams) = 6pts

George Michael's Last Christmas

It says a lot about the past week and indeed the year that a death as big as this (and on Christmas Day!) gets third billing, but the Reaper doesn't care about such matters. George Michael first hit fame in 1982 with Andrew Ridgeley with their band Wham!. They enjoyed several number 1 singles in the UK, US as well as wider international success (they were the first pop band to play in communist China) with their breezy none-more-80s brand of pop. In 1986 Michael went solo and hit the ground running with the multi-platinum selling debut album 'Faith'. But Michael was very much his own man and would struggle with drugs, record companies and his own sexuality. Throughout he would still produce hit singles such as 'Jesus to a Child', 'FastLove' and 'Outside', the song which dealt with Michael's arrest in a public toilet, which prompted the singer to disclose his homosexuality. Michael died aged 53 of suspected heart failure. After missing out on iconic stars David Bowie and Prince earlier the year, this time the DDP could not be denied, with 13 teams getting a Christmas bonus.
In amongst the drama there was another hit. George S. Irving was a US stage actor who specialised in musicals. Curiously there is a Reynolds/Fisher connection as above appeared with Irving on Broadway in 1973. Irving also appeared in the TV shows 'Car 54, Where Are You?' and 'All in the Family' amongst others.
Irving was 94 and a hit for two teams.
2016 has ended as it begun - strongly. But this late bonanza hasn't effected the higher echelons of the DDP championship, with David Quantick's Showbiz Pals poised to claim an unprecedented quadruple of titles...

[Scorecard] (Michael) [Points] + [Party Pooper] (13 teams) = 14pts
[Scorecard] (Irving) [Points] (2 teams) = 5pts
Latest Stiffs: 28th December 2016 by The Man in Black
[Picture of Fiver, Liz Smith, Rick Parfitt]

No Christmas dinner for this lot...

Liz enters Heaven by Royle appointment

Didn't think I'd be using another 'Royle Family' pun in 2016 but veteran character actress Liz Smith has indeed joined Caroline Aherne on Death's enormous 2016 hitlist. Smith, born Betty Gleadle in 1921, came to acting relatively late in life, given her break in acclaimed director Mike Leigh's BBC play 'Bleak Moments' in 1971. She made a career of playing old crones, grannies and dotty ladies in several films and TV programmes and it was even later on that she found recognition as Jim Royle's nemesis mother-in-law "Nanna" Speakman in 'The Royle Family'. Smith was 95 and a hit for 21 teams, with Exit Stage Left getting a joker Xmas bonus.

[Scorecard] [Points] (21 teams) = 5pts [Joker](1 team) = 10pts

Down down, deeper and down for Rick

With his distinctive blonde mop and denim attire Rick Parfitt was a familiar face on 'Top of the Pops' from the 1960s onwards with his band Status Quo. The 12-bar rockers, co-lead by Francis Rossi enjoyed a multitude of hit singles in the UK despite (or perhaps even because of) their unfashionable image and sound but boy could they rock and Parfitt was no stranger to the rock 'n roll lifestyle either. He had a hand in many of their hits including 'Mystery Song' and 'Whatever You Want'. Quo famously opened Live aid in 1985. In 1997, Parfitt's lifestyle caught up and he had a quadruple heart bypass. Parfitt died in Spain aged 68, a hit for two teams who might celebrate with a marguerita or two...

[Scorecard] [Points] (2 teams) = 8pts

The Reaper pulls another rabbit out of the hat

Richard Adams was in his fifties when his debut novel, 'Watership Down' was published in 1972 to instant acclaim and success. The childrens novel concering a group of rabbits dealt with the trials of life and omnipresence of death, a relativley dark subject matter for a children's book and all the better for it. The novel was made into a equally successful and acclaimed animated film in 1978, starring the likes of John Hurt and Richard Briers. Although Adams wrote many books, none matched the cultural impact of his first.
Adams was 96 and a hit for 18 teams with two getting the joker.

[Scorecard] [Points] (18 teams) = 5pts [Joker](2 teams) = 10pts

Edwin holed below the Watergate

There was a 4th hit on Christmas Eve. Edwin Reinecke was Lieutenant governor of California under Gov. Ronald Reagan when he became embroiled in the Watergate scandal in 1974. He was convicted for perjury, scuppering his plans to succeed The Gipper as governor and sentenced to 18 months imprisonment before it was overturned on a technicality. Reinecke died aged 92 and was a unique hit for Dead And Dusted 2.
Michèle Morgan was a French actress who won the first Best Actress award at the Cannes film festival in 1946 for her role in 'La Symphonie Pastorale'. Morgan's style of acting fell out of favour with the arrival of the "Nouvelle Vague" in the 1960s. Morgan was 96 and a hit for 2 teams.
Just over a week after Jim Prior, another veteran of the Heath and Thatcher governments has passed through the division lobby of life. Patrick Jenkin served at the treasury before being parachuted into the energy office right in the middle of the "three day week" in 1974. Jenkin later served under Margaret Thatcher in several cabinet positions before retring from the Commons in 1987, later becoming a peer. Jenkin was 90 and a unique hit for theme team No More Expenses.
Léo Marjane was a popular French "chanson" singer in the years leading up to World War 2. However, after France's liberation in 1944, it emerged that she had performed for German officers and Vichy-controlled Radio Paris. Her career never recovered and she eventually dropped out of showbusiness and concentrated on horse breeding. Marjane died aged 104 and was a ht for 2 teams, another one for Dr Shipman's Waiting Room...
Ilse Aichinger was an Austrian author who wrote several books concerning the Holocaust. She died in November aged 95 and only now has The Guardian come up with the required obit with You Can't Die If You're Already Dead, Darling getting a unique hit.
And there's more to come as you might have heard...

[Scorecard] (Reinecke) [Points] + [Unique] = 8pts
[Scorecard] (Morgan) [Points] (2 teams) = 5pts
[Scorecard] (Jenkin) [Points] + [Unique] = 8pts
[Scorecard] (Marjane) [Points] (2 teams) = 4pts
[Scorecard] (Aichinger) [Points] + [Unique] = 8pts
Latest Stiffs: 20th December 2016 by The Man in Black
[Picture of Zsa Zsa Gabor]

Zsa Zsa jinxed!

9 weddings and a funeral

Actress, socialite and one of the Derby Dead Pool's most popular picks, Zsa Zsa Gabor has died. What Gabor lacked in actual acting talent, she more than made up for in self-publicity. Although she had her moments on screen (she appeared in Orson Welles' classic noir thriller 'Touch of Evil' as well as cult series 'Batman') it was her proto-click baiting antics down several aisles over the years (including a marriage to debonair actor George Sanders) and her multiple health problems which made her a gossip column and deadpool favourite.
Zsa Zsa was 99 and the biggest hit of the year with 177 teams patience finally rewarded. She was also a record 13th hit for the Drop 40 in a year which in celeb death terms just keeps giving.
Rabbi Lionel Blue was a constant presence on Radio 4's 'Thought for the Day'. Blue was also the first British Rabbi to come out as gay. Blue was 86 and a hit for 4 teams.
Henry Heimlich was an American physician who recommended a new technique for helping out choking victims by applying abdominal thrusts as opposed to blows to the back. The "Heimlich maneuver" became standard practice for such incidents thereafter, athough his colleague Edward Patrick claimed that he had a hand in it's development. Heimlich died aged 96 and no he didn't choke!. A hit for five teams...

[Scorecard] (Gabor) [Points] (177 teams) = 5pts [Joker](15 teams) = 10pts
[Scorecard] (Blue) [Points] (4 teams) = 6pts
[Scorecard] (Heimlich) [Points] (5 teams) = 5pts

Fox in the box

Welsh-born actor Bernard Fox spent most of his career in the USA, often playing your archetypal "siff upper lip" Brit, most notably as warlock Dr. Bombay in 'Bewitched' and as "Colonel" Crittendon in hit comedy 'Hogan's Heroes'. His cinema work included appearances in both 'A Night to Remember' and 'Titanic',
Fox was 89 and was unque hit for theme team Turn Off That Telly and Go to Bed!
Craig Sager was a US sports reporter for CNN. He covered a series of sports events including the Olympics and the football World Cup but not surprisingly it was the US sports he mainly covered and was notable for his rather garish jackets when interviewing on the sidelines. Sager was 65 and a hit for two teams and it could have been more had he hung on few more weeks...
Thomas Schelling was a US economist who won the Nobel Prize for Economics in 2005. His expertise lay in strategy and he was cited as the first person to use the phrase "collateral damage" as well as part inspiring Stanley Kubrick to develop the cold war satire 'Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb'. Schelling was 95 with two teams making a very strategic hit.

[Scorecard] (Fox) [Points] + [Unique] = 9pts
[Scorecard] (Sager) [Points] (2 teams) = 8pts
[Scorecard] (Schelling) [Points] (2 teams) = 5pts

To Grim, With Love

Guyana-born E. R. Braithwaite came to prominence in 1959 with his novel 'To Sir, With Love', which dealt with his time spent as a reforming teacher at an East London school. The book was later made into a 1967 film starring Sidney Poitier and the singer Lulu. He was 104 (a little older than previously thought) and was a hit for another couple of teams.
John Moffat was a Scottish RAF pilot who was responsible for the sinking of the German battleship Bismarck in May 1941. He later went into hotel management which in all fairness was safer but without the same buzz! "Jock" was 97 and was a unique hit for Amanita Virosa.
Just 4 days after a former Vice President of the Royal College of Nursing had died, we get a former President! Sheila Quinn headed the organisation from 1982-86. She died aged 96. This notice from The Times gives Lady’s in Waiting a curious double.

[Scorecard] (Braithwaite) [Points] (2 teams) = 4pts
[Scorecard] (Moffatt) [Points] + [Unique] = 8pts
[Scorecard] (Quinn) [Points] + [Unique] = 8pts
Latest Stiffs: 12th December 2016 by The Man in Black
[Picture of John Glenn]

John Glenn was made of the right stuff...

Qualifying orbit for Glenn

A distinct spike in hits has occurred since I raised the flag for 2017 entry...
John Glenn launched himself into US aerospace immortality in 1962 by becoming the first American to orbit the Earth. He was part of the legendary "Mercury Seven" group of test pilots and astronauts who laid the groundwork for the successful missions to the Moon. Glenn was a distinguished pilot during World War II before joining the NASA space program. In the 1970s, Glenn entered politics and represented the Senate seat of Ohio for 25 years for the Democrats. In 1998, Glenn returned to orbit to become the oldest man in space as part of the Space Shuttle Discovery mission. The great man was 95 and was a hit for 19 teams and a late crossing out for a few other teams as I write...

[Scorecard] [Points] (19 teams) = 5pts

Jim's prior commitment

James Prior was a Conservative cabinet minister for both Ted Heath and Margaret Thatcher in the 1970s and 80s. A reknowned member of the "Wets", Prior was in charge of employment from 1979-81, when unemployment sored past the 3 million mark in the wake of Thatcher's monetarist policies. He later took the Northern Ireland office before resigning from the cabinet in 1984. Prior was 89 and a hit for 5 teams with Unusual Suspects getting a joker bonus. Only Lord Carrington and Patrick Jenkin remain alive from Heath's government...
Sticking with politics, we have Ken Hechler. Hechler represented West Virginia for the Democrats from 1959-1977 before becoming Secretary of State for the state in 1985. He was 102, and a hit for 4 teams
One of the more contentious themes of deadpooling in recent years has been the increase in cancer-affected parents who are featured in the tabloids. This latest example has passed away at the age of only 28. However it isn't the usual suspect Shameless that bag the points. Instead it is Finding Chemo With Rocket Man who gets a unique hit.

[Scorecard] (Prior) [Points] (5 teams) = 6pts [Joker](1 team) = 12pts
[Scorecard] (Hechler) [Points] (4 teams) = 4pts
[Scorecard] (Mor$ley) [Points] + [Unique] = 15pts

Burger 'n fried

Adolf Burger was a Slovak Jew who was taken out of the Auschwitz concentration camp in 1942 and drafted into the Nazis' Operation Bernhard plan to destabilise the British economy by producing forged currency. The plan never reached fruition and Burger was liberated with the other Jewish forgers by the US army in May 1945. Burger later wrote a memoir covering this largely unknown episode of the war and it was adapted into an Oscar-winning Austrian film, 'Die Fälscher' in 2007. Burger was 99 and a hit for two teams.
Joseph Mascolo was a US actor who plied his trade usually playing villains in soap operas such as 'Days of Our Lives' and 'The Bold and the Beautiful'. Mascolo died from Alzheimer's aged 87. DDP regular Breathless In Seattle get a unique hit.
Hildegard Hamm-Brücher was a veteran German politician formerly of the Free Democrat Party. She served as a minister of state when the FDP were in coalition with the SPD in the 1970s and 80s. Later, Hamm-Brücher aimed for nomination for the Federal presidency, but missed out to CDU candidate Roman Herzog. Hamm-Brücher was 95 and a unique hit for German theme team Deutschland Verabschiedet Sich!
Now finally a rustled up entry from the List of the Lost. Chus Lampreave was a veteran Spanish actress who appeared in many of Pedro Almodóvar films including 'Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown' (1988). She died in April aged 86 but thanks to DDP champion David Quantick's Showbiz Pals, this mention of her passing within an interview with Almodóvar in August is enough for Obscura Camera to gain a unique hit. Perhaps this act of generosity on DQSP's part might persuade the deadpooling Gods to leave the way clear for an unprecedented 4th straight title, with just 19 days left. We'll see. One thing is for sure, the all-time record of hits in a year has been smashed and now stands at 254, with time left to extend the record further...

[Scorecard] (Burger) [Points] (2 teams) = 5pts
[Scorecard] (Mascolo) [Points] + [Unique] = 9pts
[Scorecard] (Hamm-Brücher) [Points] + [Unique] = 8pts
[Scorecard] (Lampreave) [Points] + [Unique] = 9pts
Latest Stiffs: 7th December 2016 by The Man in Black
[Picture of Ronnie Barker and Peter Vaughan]

"So, Fletcher, what's the Afterlife like, Long stretch?"

Vaughan's Game of Bones

Celebrated character actor Peter Vaughan has died. Vaughan had a long career playing character parts on film and TV but is best recognised for his role as the Mr Big of Slade prison, "Genial" Harry Grout in Clement & La Frenais' classic 1970s prison-set BBC sitcom 'Porridge', despite making only a handful of appearances. He also played the uptight prospective father-in-law to indolent socialist Wolfie in 'Citizen Smith', written by another sitcom maestro, John Sullivan. In later years, Vaughan was nominated for a BAFTA for the acclaimed 1996 drama 'Our Friends in the North' before finding a new audience well into his eighties as the blind Maester Aemon in HBO's hit series 'Game of Thrones'. Vaughan was 93 and a hit for 9 teams. As Grouty once said, "There'll be something in your Christmas stocking, Fletch..."

[Scorecard] [Points] (9 teams) = 5pts

Que ta-ra, ta-ra for Manuel

Another sitcom legend has also bitten the dust. Germany-born Andrew Sachs found fame in the 1970s as the well-meaning but incompetent Spanish waiter Manuel in another classic sitcom 'Fawlty Towers'. John Cleese of course was the star of the show but Sachs was, to use an American term, the "breakout" star, often making TV appearances in character as well as releasing several novelty singles. Sachs then settled down to a career of character parts and voice over work for a string of documentaries. We'll draw a discreet veil over the embarrassing antics of Messers Ross and Brand at Sach's expense. Sachs died from dementia aged 86. He was a hit for three teams including The Man in Black's own flailing stab at the Theme Team League title. I know nothing...

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

Green Hornet stung

Van Williams hit the big time in the 1960s as the radio & comic book hero 'The Green Hornet'. But he was to find himself overshadowed by his co-star Bruce Lee, who went on to greater fame. The pair would also appear in the cult series 'Batman'. Williams died aged 82 and was a unique hit for theme team Same Bat Time, Same Bat Channel.
Lady Moyra Browne was a leading British health administrator. She was Vice-President of the Royal College of Nursing from 1970-85 and later Superintendent-in-Chief of St. John Ambulance. She died aged 98.
This announcement from The Times meand a unique hit for theme team Lady’s in Waiting.
The Sammy Lee that has died is not the chunky former Liverpool FC midfielder but instead a Korean-American diver who won consecutive Olympic 10m platform diving titles in 1948 and 1952, becoming the first Asian-American to win gold. He was later a mentor to another US diving great, Greg Louganis. Lee was 96 and a unique hit hit for TOETAG4U.

[Scorecard] (Williams) [Points] + [Unique] = 9pts
[Scorecard] (Browne) [Points] + [Unique] = 8pts
[Scorecard] (Lee) [Points] + [Unique] = 8pts
List of the Lost - Latest Entrants

Luis Alberto Monge, S@r@h Sw1nd3ll5, St3v3n M0nk5, Cr@1g Ly0n5, Ch@nn@n P3trid3s, Brockway McMillan, Huston Smith, L0uise C00k

List of the Missed - Latest Entrants

Margaret Rhodes, Grant Tinker, Greg Lake, A. A. Gill, Michael Nicholson, Fu Suqing, Halfdan T. Mahler, Abdul Rashid Khan, Hebe Charlotte Kohlbrugge, Meg Mundy, Rose Warfman, John B. Mansbridge, Carl-Henrik Hermansson, Reginald Palmer, Ameli Duchess of Oldenburg, Arthur Harnden, Gisela May, Horst Solle, Michel Tournier, John Gwilliam, Gill Parrondo, Ferdinand Kübler, Tyrus Wong, William Christopher

Player of the Month - November

Worm Farmer - 18 points

Latest News

Queen Elizabeth II misses her annual Christmas mass at Sandringham due to a "heavy cold"...
The Theme Team League is updated for December with Shameless poised to win the title...

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

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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]