Derby Dead Pool

The online competition to guess which famous people won't make it to the end of the current year. If they're elderly, ill, or just live a high-risk lifestyle, stick 'em in your team, and for each one whose death you correctly predict, you'll score points. DDP was dreamt up in Derby, England (hence the name...) by Big Iain back in 1996, then was run from 2003 to 2007 by Siegfried Baboon and Rude Kid From 2008 to 2009, it was run by Octopus of Odstock , and from 2010 to 2017 by The Man In Black. From 2018, Spade Cooley will be host...

Latest Stiffs: 8th December 2017 by The Man in Black

[Picture of Christine Keeler]

It was a scandal that more teams didn't pick her...

the keeler instinct

As the clock ticks down on the 2017 DDP and my time as host, here's some more stiffs clocking off before Yuletide, with yet another twist in the race to be champion...
Two 60s icons from both sides of the channel have passed away. Model Christine Keeler had her 15 minutes of infamy in 1963 when news broke regarding her simultaneous affairs with a Soviet attaché and the Secretary of State for War, John Profumo, a scandal which rocked the then Conservative government to its foundations and along with the rise of the Beatles and the ending of the ban on 'Lady Chatterley's Lover' heralded the start of the "permissive society" in Britain at least. After briefly riding the wave of public notoriety, Keeler inevitably slipped into obscurity, her story brought to the screen with the film 'Scandal' in 1989 (if you can quite get your head around the idea of Ian McKellen sleeping with Joanne Whalley!) and the odd retrospective mention in the newspapers who did so well out of her predicament.
Keeler died of COPD aged 75. Soylent Dreams picks up unique points.
Meanwhile, France is in mourning after the passing away of arguably their biggest pop icon. Johnny Hallyday was relatively unknown in Britain and the USA, the main centres of excellence in the pop World (or at least that was what we thought anyway!) but in France he was enormous, selling out stadiums, selling millons of albums in Europe and remaining hugely popular in his homeland for decades after emerging as the Francophone answer to Elvis Presley in 1960. Indeed he arguably paved the way forward for French musicians to take the stateside pop forms of rock (and later rap) and make it their own. Hallyday was 74 and a hit for two teams. The 1960s really is starting to fade away, isn't it?

[Scorecard] (Keeler) [Points] + [Unique] = 10pts
[Scorecard] (Hallyday) [Points] (2 teams) = 7pts

the king is dead, long live the ddp king?

In my time as DDP host, either the number of quality hits have been the interesting feature of a particular year or the race for the title has been. 2017 has seen the two go hand in hand with a rivetting competition and a series of interesting and iconic hits. The title race has it's latest twist in the form of the passing away of the former Head of State of Romania, King Michael. Michael I was twice the King before making way for the Communist leader Gheorghe Gheorghiu-Dej in 1947. Michael remained in exile until the 1990s, after the overthrow of the Communist regime late in 1989. Michael was 96 and had been ill for some time, a fact noticed by enough to make him the 15th Drop Forty hit for 2017, furthering the record. Several notable contenders had him in their teams, includng Golden Slumbers who moves into the lead having prevously being tied for 1st with 4-time champion David Quantick's Showbiz Pals (New host Spade Cooley's team - keep up!). DQSP has slipped to 4th with the ever-consistant Thomas Jefferson Survives 3rd and Still Life now in 2nd, one hit away for beng the youngest ever winner of the DDP...
So after all that, let's turn our attention to the final hit for November. Jim Nabors became a houshold name with the role of the docile soldier Gormer Pyle in 'The Andy Griffith Show', a hugely popular US sitcom in the 1960s (yup, it's the 60s again!). Gormer Pyle later had his own spin-off series and Nabors himself went on to have a respectable career as a character actor and singer, performing before every Indianapolis 500 from 1972 to 2014. Nabors was 87 with seven (I'd imagine US-based) teams picking up the points...
December's first hit was Mundell Lowe. Lowe was a US jazz musician and composer who worked with the likes of Ella Fitzgerald and Quincy Jones but is better known for his background music in series such as 'Starsky and Hutch' and 'Hawaii Five-O' as well as for the cult action film 'Billy Jack'. Lowe was 95 and a unique hit for Ain't It Grand To Be Bloomin' Well Dead.

[Scorecard] (Michael of Romania) [Points] + [Drop Forty] (43 teams) = 8pts [Joker](2 teams) = 16pts
[Scorecard] (Nabors) [Points] (7 teams) = 6pts
[Scorecard] (Lowe) [Points] + [Unique] = 8pts

Life's no longer a Gass for William

William H. Gass was a philosopher, novelist and short story writer who often confounded literary critics with his postmodern, metafictional style of writing. His magnificent octopus was 'The Tunnel', written over a period of twenty years and published in 1995 to somewhat divided reviews, some seeing it as a masterpiece, others as bloated and confusing. Gass was 93 and a hit for 2 teams including Bucket of Blood, who move into 5th place, just off the pace from the leaders.
Sticking with culture ("intcha!"), we have the death of French writer, journalist and philosopher Jean d'Ormesson. D'Ormesson wrote over forty books and was director of the conservative newspaper in France Le Figaro from 1974-79.
D'Ormesson was 92 and a unique hit for Dead Space 5000.
US politician John B. Anderson caused a stir in 1980, when the Republican representing Illinois ran as an independent candidate for the US Presidency up against incumbant President Jimmy Carter and the official Republican candidate Ronald Reagan. Anderson was never going to win in a month of Sundays, but he still got a not humiliating 6.6% of the vote, which The Gipper of course won by a landslide. Anderson was 95 and was a unique hit for veteran team Inquilinekea/Simfish. The total number of hits now for 2017 stands at 240, one more than 2015, 7 less than 2014 but still some margin behind 2016's monster total of 275, which I think will remain as the record for some time to come...

[Scorecard] (Gass) [Points] (2 teams) = 5pts
[Scorecard] (d'Ormesson) [Points] + [Unique] = 8pts
[Scorecard] (Anderson) [Points] + [Unique] = 8pts

Latest Stiffs: 27th November 2017 by Spade Cooley

oh what happened to you?

[Rodney Bewes as Bob Ferris]
Big names keep falling in the DDP, and here's the latest bunch of likely lads  turning up at the pearly gates.

Rodney Bewes may have earned himself a modicum of fame as Arthur in the film version of Billy Liar and one of Basil Brush's "misters" in the late 60s, but it was as socially upwards Bob Ferris in The Likely Lads and the superior Whatever Happened to the Likely Lads? that he'll live forever as. Playing off against James Bolam's proudly working class slacker Terry Collier, the show defined a generation of class issues in the UK and is rightly regarded as one of the finest sitcoms ever. However, off-screen Bewes and Bolam were never the closest of friends, and an argument over revelations Bewes made in an interview meant the pair didn't speak for the last four decades of Bewes' life. While Bolam has gone on to be an ever-present on British TV screens, Bewes had to make do with supporting slots on Doctor Who and Heartbeat. He died 79 after a brief illness and was a hit for four teams.

David Cassidy was arguably the biggest pop star on the planet for a few months in the early 1970s, as his non-threatening good looks, a number of sunny radio-friendly singles and the fame offered to him by The Partridge Family enabled him to spark crowds and panics to rival Beatlemania wherever he went. However, Cassidy himself was never comfortable with stardom, and the death of a young fan in London during a stadium crush saw him retire from top-level touring. A decent into alcoholism and family troubles soon followed, and in recent decades he was usually in the news for crashing his car or slurring his words during a concert. Admitting he had Alzheimer's earlier this year, his health failed rapidly and he died at 67. Five teams score, with Angela of Death waking up screaming "I think I love you" thanks to a joker hit.

Della Reese may be more famous this side of the Atlantic as a punchline used by American rappers and sitcoms when they need the name of a fat black woman, but Stateside she was a major star in her own right. Starting as a gospel artist in the 1940s, she eventually progressed to jazz music and became a crossover star at the turn of the 60s. Moving on to television she had her own talk show, became the first black guest host of The Tonight Show and, in her latter years, starred in god-bothering drama show Touched By An Angel. She was 86 and a hit for six teams.

[Scorecard](Bewes) [Points](3 teams)= 7pts [Joker](1 team) = 14pts
[Scorecard](Cassidy) [Points](4 teams)= 8pts [Joker](1 team) = 16pts
[Scorecard](Reese) [Points](4 teams)= 6pts [Joker](2 teams) = 12pts

It's a family affair

Charles Manson's 46-year spell in prison has finally ended with his death at 83. An illiterate career criminal from the age of 14, Manson's early years were spent robbing, raping and prostituting his way to numerous spells behind bars. However, upon a release from jail in 1967 he made his way to San Francisco, the centre of the "Summer of Love". A friendship with Beach Boy Dennis Wilson allowed Manson to attract numerous hangers-on, who eventually become his cult-like followers The Family. An attempt at starting race war in America by killing numerous people, including actress Sharon Tate, soon followed, and Manson found himself behind bars again, this time for life. His memory will live on in a thousand terrible heavy metal and horrorcore rap songs. Eleven teams cash-in on his exit from the helter skelter.

AC/DC rhythm guitarist Malcolm Young has died after a long battle with dementia. He was 64. One of the three Scottish-born Young brothers who formed AC/DC in Australia, Young's brutal riffs and behind-the-scenes drive provided the spiritual backbone of the group, offset by the more showmanship like antics of his siblings and frontmen Bon Scott and Brian Johnson. 18 teams wave Malcolm off on the highway to hell, including one joker pick.

Patriotic stiff upper lip British spunk obit of the week comes in the form of Joy Lofthouse, the last surviving female Spitfire pilot from World War II. She was nicknamed "Attagirl" for her daredevil antics, mainly flying between factories and military airfields. She was 94 and a hit for one team.

Country musician Mel Tillis, who has died aged 85, wasn't going to let a little thing like a stutter get in the way of his career. He won the CMA's ‘Entertainer of the Year' gong in 1976 thanks to his embodiment of the Nashville sound, and even found time to write Kenny Rogers' ever-depressing ‘Ruby, Don't Take Your Love To Town'. Three teams knew it wouldn't be long until he's not around and cash in.

Dmitri Hvorostovsky, known as the ‘Elvis of Opera', has made it 13 years longer than Mr Presley and died of a brain tumour at 55. Famed for his good looks, silky baritone and albino white long locks, had battled the growth for two years and also had backing among some top DDP picks last year. However, only three teams meet Dmitri for his curtain call this time round,

[Scorecard](Manson) [Points](11 teams)= 6pts
[Scorecard](Young) [Points](17 teams)= 8pts [Joker](1 team) = 16pts
[Scorecard](Lofthouse) [Points](1 team)= 5pts [Unique]= 10pts
[Scorecard](Tillis) [Points](3 teams)= 6pts
[Scorecard](Hvorostovsky) [Points](3 teams)= 9pts

Latest Stiffs: 15th November 2017 by Spade Cooley

domino's bones

After a somewhat turgid October, the deaths are starting to pile up as the winter heating allowance proves insufficient for some of our aging celebs.

Fats Domino was arguably the last artist left standing when it came to the figures who helped mould rock ‘n' roll in its early days. Blurring the lines between Tin Pan Alley, jazz and blues, he went on to sell 65 million albums and gave us retro diner jukebox classics like "I'm Walkin'", "Ain't That A Shame" and, of course, "Blueberry Hill". He was one of the inaugural inductees of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, survived Hurricane Katrina and, seemingly uniquely among prestige rock and roll artists of the 1950s, didn't have a secret fetish for urine videos or hidden National Socialist political beliefs. During Elvis Presley's first Las Vegas Hilton performance he gestured to Fats Domino and told the crowd "That's the real king of rock and roll". Domino was 89 and a hit for 25 teams.

Richard F Gordon, who has died aged 88, was one of the 12 tragic individuals who have flown to the moon but never got to walk on it, having served as the Command Module Pilot for Apollo 12. Having to stay back while Alan Bean and Pete Conrad got to bounce around in the Ocean of Storms must have been frustrating, but not as frustrating as his reward for staying behind - getting to walk on the moon as commander of Apollo 18 - getting cancelled due to budget cuts. He was 88. Lidders Late Lamentables slip the surly bonds and grab themselves a unique pick.

[Scorecard](Domino) [Points](25 teams)= 6pts [Joker](1 team) = 12pts
[Scorecard](Gordon) [Points] + [Unique]= 9pts

Stand down, nigel barton

A trio of turn-of-the-80s TV icons next. Keith Barron may have developed into a "oh, what's his name" figure in recent years, but for two years in the early Thatcher era he was arguably the biggest star on British television, as Brits abroad sitcom Duty Free set ratings records. Barron made his TV breakthrough with Dennis Potter's first major small screen work "Stand Up, Nigel Barton!", a thinly veiled portrayal of Potter's own life as a miner's son at Oxford University. As a working actor, Barron appeared in all the usual British TV shows: The Avengers, Doctor Who, Doctors and Duty Free's spiritual successor, Benidorm. He was 83 and a unique hit for Fucked n' Dumped.

Robert Guillaume was the breakout star of one of the most revolutionary TV shows of the late 1970s, playing butler Benson on Soap, whose sarcasm-dripped barbs aimed at his rich white employers became so popular with the public that the character was spun out into its own Emmy-winning show, the eponymous Benson. Guillaume began his career on Broadway and received a Tony nomination for his take on Nathan Detroit in Guys and Dolls. On television, in addition to Benson, he played abolitionist figurehead Frederick Douglass in North and South and TV executive Isaac Jaffe in Sports Night. He also voiced the mandrill Rafiki in Disney's The Lion King. Confused? Two teams won't be after getting points for his death at 89.

John Hillerman achieved his greatest fame as the stuffy aristocratic estate manager Higgins, the foil to Tom Selleck's Hawaiian-shirted private investigator Magnum. He also starred as Ann's boss on the original One Day At A Time and as the chairman of the welcoming committee, Howard Johnson, in Blazing Saddles. Hillerman was 84 and a unique pick for The Sunday Supplement's Premature Review of 2017.

Onto football. Les Mutrie was a jobbing non-league striker for Blyth Spartans back in December 1980 when he scored against Hull City in three consecutive FA Cup games (the original tie and two replays). Catching the eye of the Tigers, he was transferred across for a then-record fee of £30,000 and was the club's shining light in a miserable spell at Boothferry Park, a regular goalscorer during a period they were relegated to the fourth tier and faced bankruptcy. Originally shaping up as a List of the Lost pick after his death at 65, Mutrie instead got his QO via a BBC liveblog of Hull's 3-2 defeat by Nottingham Forest. The Living End gets the hit, making him the first DDP competitor to score a unique in nine consecutive years.

Hans Schafer succeeded on a slightly larger scale than Mutrie: he was one of the last surviving players from the so-called "Miracle of Bern", where an unfancied West Germany side just nine years on from the end of World War II beat the all-conquering Hungarians 3-2 in the World Cup final. Schafer set up Helmut Rahn for the winning goal six minutes from the end of the match, and may have inadvertently sown the seeds for the Hungarian Revolution two years later. He played his entire club career for 1. FC Koln, making 394 appearances. He was 90. Two teams, including former champion Octopus of Odstock, get the points.

And for our American cousins, Baseball Hall of Famer and Boston Red Sox legend Bobby Doerr died at the age of 99. His jersey number, 1, was retired by the club in 1988. He was 99 and a hit for YOUREOUT who, confusingly, aren't a baseball theme team.

[Scorecard](Barron) [Points] + [Unique]= 9pts
[Scorecard](Guillame) [Points] (2 teams) = 6pts
[Scorecard](Hillerman) [Points] + [Unique]= 9pts
[Scorecard](Mutrie) [Points] + [Unique]= 11pts
[Scorecard](Schafer) [Points] (2 teams) = 5pts
[Scorecard](Doerr) [Points] + [Unique]= 8pts

three lords (and two trade unionists) a-leaping

It's been a testing time in Westminster recently what with them all being rapists with more than a fair share of political figures have seemingly given up the ghost and just died.

Geoffrey Alexander Rowley-Conwy, the 9th Baron Longford, was the oldest-surviving peer in the history of the House of Lords. He served during World War II and escaped a Japanese PoW camp before inheriting the Bodrhyddan estate in Rhuddlan in 1951. A hit for two teams, he was 105 at the time of his death on November 12 and the title of oldest living lord passed on to Baron Hutchinson of Lullington.

Baron Hutchinson of Lullington died on November 13 at the age of 102. A favourite of law students everywhere for his roles in trials defending Lady Chatterly's Lover, Howard Marks and Cambridge Spy Ring associate George Blake, his actions in the so-called "ABC Case" of 1978 saw the reformation of the Official Secrets Act. He was the inspiration for Rumpole of the Bailey and was also the husband of actress Peggy Ashcroft. He was a hit for one team and passes his title of oldest lord on to Derek Barber, Baron Barber of Tewkesbury, who should probably go for a check up.{Too late, he's dead! - TMIB)

On to left-wingers of a more proletarian bent. Derek Robinson was nicknamed, unsurprisingly, "Red Robbo" by the press due to his role as a trade union spokesman at the recently-nationalised British Leyland during the 1970s. Attacked from the right by Margaret Thatcher (who made special mention of him in her memoirs) and from the left by Trotskyite trade unionists who thought Robinson's "participation" ideology was just a front for the Communist Party of Britain - which he later became the chairman of - he was eventually fired from his role in 1979. His and Hearse get a unique captain hit for his death at 90.

Paul Watson was an Old Labourite through and through and eventually ascended to the post of leader of Sunderland City Council. He died after a year-long battle with cancer aged 63. Originally this death would have been passed over as he was listed in the database as the Canadian environmentalist Paul Watson, but after a steward's enquiry, politics theme team House Of Soon To Be With The Lord pick up the unique hit.

Finally, Peter Imbert was another lord, this was a former commissioner of the Metropolitan Police. His time in charge of the force was typified by an attempt to increase public confidence in the boys in blue, making major efforts to tackle racism, what he saw as a lacklustre approach to domestic violence and the infiltration of Freemasons at high levels in the police. He died aged 84 and was a unique hit for theme team IT'S A COPOUT 2017, who also scored with Imbert's predecessor Kenneth Newman earlier in the year.

[Scorecard](Rowley-Conwy) [Points] (2 teams) = 4pts
[Scorecard](Hutchinson) [Points] + [Unique]= 7pts
[Scorecard](Robinson) [Points] + [Unique][Joker] = 16pts
[Scorecard](Watson) [Points] + [Unique]= 11pts
[Scorecard](Imbert) [Points] + [Unique]= 9pts

List of the Lost - Latest Entrants

Derek Morgan, Luis Bacalov, Robert D Raiford

List of the Missed - Latest Entrants

Dudley Simpson, Tim Gudgin, Antonio Carluccio, Shyla Stylez, Mary Elizabeth "Liz" Smith, Ferdie Pacheco, Earle Hyman, Derek Barber, Anthony Harvey, Shashi Kapoor

Player of the Month - October

HackinNcackin' - 29 points

Latest News

Vladimir Putin announces his intention to stand for the Russian Presidency again. Well I never, who'd have thunk it!
The Theme Team League is updated for December.

Further Information

Rules & Scoring

E-mail Spade Cooley 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]