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 since 2010 by The Man In Black...

Latest Stiffs: 7th March 2017 by The Man in Black

First of two updates this week, one to round up February and the other to cover the early hits in March. The Obituary Vault welcomes another entrant which keeps David Quantick's Showbiz Pals on Golden Slumbers trail, who incidentally win the Player of the Month prize...

The real father of the hearse!

Labour veteran Sir Gerald Kaufman has entered the division lobby for the last time. Kaufman was a trusted member of Harold Wilson's "kitchen cabinet" in the 1960s before becoming MP for Manchester Ardwick in 1970, with the seat later becoming Manchester Gorton after boundary changes. By the eighties, Kaufman was a key member of the Labour front bench as it was coming to terms with the Thatcher Revolution. He famously dubbed the left-wing General Election manifesto of 1983 as "the longest suicide note in history" and it's impact was apparent that by the time New Labour came to office in 1997, Kaufman was had returned the backbenches. The Father of the House died aged 86, a hit for 16 teams.
Sticking with politics, we have the death of David Waddington One of Thatcher's less distinguished ministers, Waddington was promoted to Home Secretary during the Iron Lady's last days in office. He served for 13 months during a turbelent period (when isn't it as Home Secretary?) which incuded the riots in London when the Poll Tax was introduced and at Strangeways Prison. When John Major took office late in 1990, Waddington was turfed to the House of Lords and then later became Governor of Bermuda. Nice work if you can get it! Waddington was 87 and a hit for two teams.
Derek Ibbotson was part of a strong line-up of British middle distance runners in the 1950s, which included Roger Bannister, Chris Brasher and Christopher Chataway. Ibbotson won bronze in the 5000m at the Melbourne Olympics in 1956 before smashing the mile record the following year in a time of 3m 57.2secs, only the third time the record was broken in under 4 minutes. Ibbotson was 84 and a unique hit for sports theme team The Final Whistle.

[Scorecard] (Kaufman) [Points] (16 teams) = 6pts
[Scorecard] (Waddington) [Points] (2 teams) = 6pts
[Scorecard] (Ibbotson) [Points] + [Unique] = 9pts

Latest Stiffs: 25th February 2017 by The Man in Black

media blackout for hewlett

Broadcaster Steve Hewlett has died. Hewlett presented BBC Radio 4's 'The Media Show' since it's inception in 2008. He had experience of that field when he was involved in current affairs programmes for the BBC, Channel 4 and Carlton Television. He edited 'Panorama' at the time of Princess Diana's infamous interview with Martin Bashir in 1995 and had a regular column with the Guardian newspaper. He died of cancer aged 58. Golden Slumbers was one of the 25 shrewd teams to pick him increasing their lead and are nudging towards the century mark in terms of points and we haven't reached Pancake Day yet!

[Scorecard] [Points] (25 teams)= 9pts [Joker](2 teams) = 18pts

the beat no longer goes on for clyde

R&B drummer Clyde Stubblefield has died. Stubblefield worked with "The Godfather of Soul", James Brown at a crucial time in late 1960s R&B, which marked the transition to funk music. Stubblefield's contribution to the track 'Funky Drummer' would become one of the most sampled pieces of music ever, used by a legion of hip hop acts thereafter. Stubblefield was 73 and a unique hit for theme team Song To The Siren.

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

frost on the ground

Warren Frost served in World War II before directing theatre with the occasional acting job here and there. In 1990 however, his career turned when his TV producer son Mark secured in a role in the innovative 'Twin Peaks' series Frost Jr co-created with David Lynch. Frost played Dr Will Haywood for the entire series and later secured a regular role in legal drama 'Matlock', starring the late Andy Griffith. Frost died aged 91 and was a unique hit for theme team Lynch Mob.
Kenneth Arrow was a familiar name on the cover of economics textbooks.In 1972 he became the youngest winner of the Nobel Prize for Economics and was known for his "impossibility theorem" regarding the preferences of voters for social/economic change (basically you can't please all the people all of the time from what I understand from it!). Arrow was 95 and was another unique hit for Nobel Laureates.
Halaevalu Mata'aho 'Ahome'e was a Queen Consort for Tonga from 1965 until her husband King Taufa'ahau Tupou IV's death in 2006, where she became the Queen Mother thereafter. She was 90 and a unique hit for debutant Topper667.
Seijun Suzuki was a Japanese film director who made a series of cult B-movies, mostly in the genre of yakuza (crime films), but his idiosyncratic style, most notably in 'Branded to Kill' (1967) saw him blacklisted in the Japanese film industry for 10 years before his reputation was rehabilitated. Suzuki was 93 and hit for four teams.

[Scorecard] (Frost) [Points] + [Unique] = 8pts
[Scorecard] (Arrow) [Points] + [Unique] = 8pts
[Scorecard] ('Ahome'e) [Points] + [Unique] = 8pts
[Scorecard] (Suzuki) [Points] (4 teams) = 5pts

the terror-ble two!

A couple of Islamic terror hits now, one cut and dried the other, less so...
Omar Abdel-Rahman was an Egyptian blind muslim leader (plenty of scope for metaphor there!) and terrorist who was convicted for his part in the 1993 World Trade Centre bombing - the clear antecedent to 9/11 - which killed 6 people. He died in a US prison of coronary disease aged 78, a unique joker hit for theme team Hit Me With Your Best Shot.
Rachid Kassim was a French-born terrorist for ISIS and was said to be the mastermind behind the Paris shootings in 2015. He was reportedly killed in an airstrike in ISIS-controlled Mosul in Iraq. The US confirmed his death and the release of his "posthumous" video suggests that ISIS have all but confirmed it. There is also conflicting reports over his age but I have it at 29, which means a large haul of points for P@F Deathlist.
Tony Davis was a founder member of the popular folk group The Spinners (not be confused with the R&B singing group of course) and de facto leader (although they always saw themselves as a collective). After over 40 albums, the Spinners split up in 1988 and Davis moved on to present Jazz programmmes on radio. Davis was 86 and a unique hit for ..It's Better To Burn Out Than To Fade Away.
Sir Kenneth Newman was the somewhat austere-looking Chief Constable of the Metropolitan Police from 1982-87, a busy time for the force with the fallout from the riots of 1981 (and there were more in 1985) and the continuing IRA terrorist threat (of which Newman had tackled in the 1970s as the Chief Constable of the RUC) to the mainland. Coincidentially, by the time I was writing his bio and preparing his pic he had already died aged 90, although this wasn't announced until this week. Newman was a unique hit for filth theme team IT'S A COP-OUT 2017. and was a hit for 9 teams.

[Scorecard] (Abdel-Rahman) [Points] + [Unique] + [Joker] = 20pts
[Scorecard] (Kassim) [Points] + [Unique] + [Unnatural] = 18pts
[Scorecard] (Davis) [Points] + [Unique] = 9pts
[Scorecard] (Newman) [Points] + [Unique] = 8pts

Latest Stiffs: 17th February 2017 by The Man in Black

Miffy's a stiffy!

Illustrator Dick Bruna has died. Dutchman Bruna created the popular children's rabbit character Miffy (Nijntje in Dutch) in 1955 after spotting a small rabbit when out with his young son. He wrote over 30 books and the minimalist look of the character became iconic among pre-schoolers, with over 80 million copies of the series sold. Bruna retired in 2014 and vowed never to sell the rights. Bruna was 89 and a unique hit for literary theme team Bibliogryphon's Bookworm Food.
Singer-songwriter Peter Skellern enjoyed a huge hit in 1972 with the wistful 'You're A Lady', backed by a choir and brass band. In the 1980s, Skellern formed the band Oasis (no, that that one) with Julian Lloyd-Webber. In later years Skellern turned his attention to religion and in 2016 was ordained as a priest and a deacon on the same day. He died aged 69 of brain cancer and is hit number 5 for the Drop 40 which is reaping a rich harvest of points, especially for Golden Slumbers, who already has 89 and 8 hits on the board and is the clear leader...
Peter Richardson was an English cricketer, who played 34 times for the national team between 1956 and 1963. His 104 against Australia at Old Trafford in 1956 was somewhat overshadowed by Jim Laker's 19 wickets. Richardson was 85 and a unique hit (or should that be knock?) for theme team A Good Captain's Innings...

[Scorecard] (Bruna) [Points] + [Unique] = 9pts
[Scorecard] (Skellern) [Points] + [Drop Forty] (43 teams) = 11pts [Joker](3 teams) = 22pts
[Scorecard] (Richardson) [Points] + [Unique] = 9pts

The Coward's way out

Actress Sara Coward has died. Coward portrayed the unlucky-in-love Caroline Sterling in popular radio series 'The Archers' from 1979-2016. She died of cancer aged 69, a hit for 26 teams, many of them leading contenders.
George Steele was a professional wrestler, known as "The Animal" due to his hirsute, ogre-like appearance. Born William James Myers, Steele was a university graduate and teacher before entering the world of wrestling in the 1960s. Steele acted in Tim Burton's cult film 'Ed Wood' as fellow wrestler Tor Johnson. Steele died aged 79 and is a unique hit for theme team Mr. America Memorial Deathsquad.
Adele Dunlap was America's oldest person since July 2016, although she was reluctant to divulge her real age. Dunlap was 114 and was surprisingly a unique hit for GOODBYLADIES. Such "oldies" used to be lapped up by teams in the past, but times have changed...
Now a piece of DDP history. Nicolai Gedda was a Swedish opera singer of some reknown and considered one of the fiest tenors in the World. He died back in January 8th aged 91, but then the Telegraph rustled up an obit, making him technically the 4th hit for 2017 and a unique hit for Death is International. That puts January 2017 ahead as the most prolific ever for hits, with 37. Indeed, in the last two-and-a-half months, we have had 82 hits!

[Scorecard] (Coward) [Points] (26 teams)= 8pts [Joker](3 teams) = 16pts
[Scorecard] (Steele) [Points] + [Unique] = 10pts
[Scorecard] (Dunlap) [Points] + [Unique] = 7pts
[Scorecard] (Gedda) [Points] + [Unique] = 8pts

Latest Stiffs: 9th February 2017 by The Man in Black

[Picture of Alan Simpson with Tony Hancock & Ray Galton]

Stone me, there's only Ray left!

steptoe and gone

Comedy writer Alan Simpson has died. With Ray Galton, Simpson created two of the most iconic British comedies of all time. Starting off as gag writers for radio, the duo created 'Hancock's Half Hour' for "The Lad 'imself" Tony Hancock in 1954, which showcased a raft of comedic talents including Sid James, Hattie Jacques and Kenneth Williams. The key innovation was a stripping away of the convention of zany, gag-infested humour in radio comedy in favour of something more naturalistic, thus the modern foundation of the British situation comedy was laid down. Despite a successful switch to television, the increasingly egocentric Hancock ditched the pair as his writers in 1961. Unbowed, they developed a new comedy about a father-and-son rag 'n bone business. 'Steptoe and Son', which for the time unusually for a comedy featured "proper" actors (Wilfred Brambell and Harry H. Corbett) in the lead roles, became an instant and unforgettable hit, running for 12 years between 1962 and 1974. In 1978 however, Simpson ended the partnership with Galton to concentrate on business interests.
Simpson was 87 and a unique hit for theme team Comedy Cremations.

[Scorecard] [Points] + [Unique] = 9pts

That's it for the It Girl...

Tara Palmer-Tomkinson featured on many a tabloid during the nineties and noughties with her decadent antics. Goddaughter to Prince Charles, the socialite T P-T was often where it was at and had several ghostwritten columns published in national newspapers. She was infamously incoherent in a TV interview in 1999, but proved popular with the public as judged by her runner-up spot in the 2002 editon of 'I'm A Celebrity... Get Me Out Of Here!'. She was found dead at her home aged 45. DDP regular Simon Weston's Personal Beauty Treatment Centre get a unique hit.
Footballer Steve Sumner spearheaded New Zeland's first appearance in the FIFA World Cup in 1982. He scored 6 goals in a qualifying match against Fiji before captaining the "All Whites" in the finals and scoring against Scotland in a 5-2 defeat. Sumner died of prostate cancer aged 61 and was hit for several of the contenders, including Golden Slumbers, who takes the lead and have 6 hits already...
"Professor" Irwin Corey was a stand-up comedian who in his act would billed as "The World's Foremost Authority" on anything he could think of to comic effect. He became a regular of American TV chatshows and gamehows, although he believed his career never truly took off due to his political affiliations. Corey was 102 and a hit for 9 teams, with CENTAURIANS bagging the joker bonus.
Alec McCowen was an award-winning stage actor best recognised for his film roles in 'Frenzy' (Alfred Hitchcock's last British film) and as Q in Sean Connery's unofficialish Bond feature 'Never Say Never Again' in 1983. McCowen was 91 and a hit for two teams.

[Scorecard] (Palmer-Tomkinson) [Points] + [Unique] = 13pts
[Scorecard] (Sumner) [Points] (29 teams)= 8pts [Joker](4 teams) = 16pts
[Scorecard] (Corey) [Points] (9 teams)= 4pts [Joker](1 team) = 8pts
[Scorecard] (McCowen) [Points] (2 teams) = 5pts

Joost is another boost for the DDP

Rugby international Joost van der Westhuizen has become the Drop 40's 4th hit. Van der Westhuizen was a key player in the Springbok's first World Cup win on home soil in 1995, making crucial tackles on New Zealand's star man Jonah Lomu (who is also sadly no longer with us). He captained the national side in their defence of the title in 1999 and eventually retired with the record number of caps and tries. In 2011, he was diagnosed with ALS and has been a favourite pick on the DDP ever since. He was 45 and a hit for 109 teams, the biggest hit so far, 11 teams cashing in on the joker.
Another unfortunate victim of ALS (or Motor Neurone Disease or Lou Gehrig's Disease) was Gordon Aikman. Aikman was a political campaginer, working for the Better Together team which ultimately won the Scottish Independence referendum in 2014. It was during that campaign that he was diagnosed with the debilitaing condition and not surprisingly became involved in raising awareness of it. Aikman died aged 31 and is a hit for three teams, with others perhaps cursing their luck. Not as much as he did, mind...
Sir Ken Morrison built up his grocery business in Yorkshire into one of the largest supermarket chains in the UK by the 1990s. He ran the company until 2008 when he stood down to become Life President. Morrison as 85 and a unique hit for Not the List of the Missed, which is handy because if it wasn't for the that team, he would indeed have ended up on that list!
Desmond Carrington was an actor who appeared on popular medical drama 'Emergency Ward 10' but is best known for his long-running BBC Radio 2 series 'The Music Goes Round' from 1981 until October last year. Carrington was 90 and hit for 9 teams.

[Scorecard] (Van der Westhuizen) [Points] + [Drop Forty] (109 teams) = 13pts [Joker](11 teams) = 26pts
[Scorecard] (Aikman) [Points] (3 teams) = 10pts
[Scorecard] (Morrison) [Points] + [Unique] = 9pts
[Scorecard] (Carrington) [Points] (9 teams) = 5pts

List of the Lost - Latest Entrants

John Hamilton Nicholls, Natalie Daniells, Alan Aspin, Steve Clark

List of the Missed - Latest Entrants

Al Jarreau, Ivan Koloff, Sir Cosmo Haskard, Joseph Wapner, Elizabeth Waldheim, Nicholas Mosley

Player of the Month - January

I Will Not Die, It's The World That Will End! - 52 points

Latest News

Showbiz ledge Bruce Forsyth has a spell in hospital. Is the Reaper about to play his cards right?
The Theme Team League is updated for February with wrestling team Francis of Arse-Easy 2017 still in the lead...

Further Information

Rules & Scoring

E-mail The Man In Black with any questions/comments about the DDP:


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 2017]