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 is host...

Latest Stiffs: 8th October 2018 by Spade Cooley

[Picture of Geoffrey Hayes]

Since you've been gone...

rainbow dashed

Up above the streets and houses, the soul of Geoffrey Hayes is flying high. Originally an actor of mild repute (most notably in “Z-Cars”), Hayes was an integral part of British childhoods for decades thanks to his role as host of “Rainbow”. Alongside Bungle the oddly sexless bear, Zippy the oddly sexless alien puppet thing and George the clearly gay hippo, Hayes helped kiddies learn to paint, sing and play with their twangers. After the show ended he found work hard to come by, and ended up working as a shelf stacker in Tesco for a while. He was saved by the ironic clapped-out celebrity circuit and became a regular sight at student nightclubs and pantomimes throughout the early 2000s. He’s now been zipped up for good, along with a little bit of childhood innocence, aged 76. Two teams pluck away.

Spanish opera diva Montserrat Caballe first came to international attention in 1965, when she replaced Marilyn Horne in a production of “Lucrezia Borgia” at Carnegie Hall. Her performance went down so well she received a 25-minute standing ovation on her first night. She later cemented her place in history with “Barcelona”, a duet with Freddie Mercury that became the theme song for the 1992 Olympics. In later life she was banned from ever visiting Azerbaijan after she voiced support for the disputed territory of Nagorno-Karabakh’s independence. She’ll never get a chance to lift that restriction on entering Baku now though, as the fat lady has stopped singing aged 85. Seven teams dodge Spanish tax authorities.

Geoffrey Hayes, Bob Jane and someone who worked with Freddie. Get it? Never mind... Jane was an Australian motorsports icon who won the Armstrong 500 (later known as the Bathurst 1000) four times. He also founded the tyre retail store Bob Jane T-Marts, which is now run by his son Rod Jane. That would have made for an even better “Rainbow” pun... He had been fighting prostate cancer for 21 years, which has now finally taken his life aged 88. DDP veterans Mr & Mrs Drummerboy get the unique hit.

If this was a headline death I could have used the pun “Do Muoi Bad Things” for all you mid-00s indie kids... Muoi served as the leader of Vietnam between 1991 and 1997, with his reign being a steady continuation of the economic reforms started out by his predecessor Nguyen Van Linh. He stepped down from the role in 1997, partly due to his advanced aged, yet managed to stay on this earth for another 21 years - being the oldest living former world leader at the time of his passing. He was 101 and a hit for three teams.

a railway cutting

Ray Galton was told he had just weeks to live in 1949, when he met Alan Simpson in a Surrey tuberculosis ward. Over the next 70 years the pair would become arguably the greatest sitcom writing duo in British TV history, thanks to their work on two of the all-time greats: “Hancock’s Half Hour” and “Steptoe and Son”. The pair got their break after writing a letter to recent DDP graduate Dennis Norden, working with the likes of Derek Roy before they got their big break as the creators of the persona ( misanthrope with delusions of grandeur) Tony Hancock would use for the rest of his entertainment career. After Simpson’s retirement, Galton went on to work with Johnny Speight and... the results weren’t great. Luckily for Ray dementia robbed him of the ability to remember “Spooner’s Patch” in his latter years, and he’s now reunited with Simpson aged 88. Two teams remember Magna Carta.

If John Cunliffe had got his way, children’s TV would have been based around the tales of Pat the Farmer for the past 35 years. However, the BBC rejected his original pitch and he instead came up with a show about a postman with the same name, inspired by his day job of running a mobile library in Colne. Postman Pat went on to become one of the biggest names in global children’s TV, getting translated into 50 different languages. It didn’t do much for Cunliffe: he’d signed away the broadcasting, merchandising and most of the publishing rights for a pittance, and was dismayed at how Pat was portrayed by other writers unfamiliar with the realities of northern rural communities. To get back at the BBC he created a new show: “Rosie and Jim”, starring himself and two creepy-as-fuck ragdolls who came to life on a narrowboat. That show was sold to ITV and Cunliffe retained full intellectual copyright. He’s now died aged 85 and was a unique hit for BBC Heaven, who accordingly became team of the month for September.

In 2017 we bid adieu to the French Elvis in Johnny Hallyday, this year it’s an aur revoir to the French Sinatra. Born to Armenian parents who’d fled that unpleasantness with the Turks, Shahnourh Aznavourian adopted “Charles Aznavour” as a stage name and began his career in earnest with the end of World War II. That period saw a swing away from Americanized musical styles and a return to traditional French chanson, which Aznavour was well-placed to capitalize on. He sold over 120 million records and worked up until the final weeks of his life. Indeed, he died at 94 just two days after a TV interview in which he showed no signs of illness or fatigue. Thirteen teams have a trace of pleasure or regret.

Taking the reins from John Ammonds, Ernest Maxin served as the producer of “The Morecambe and Wise Show” from 1975 until Eric and Ern made the switch to ITV two years later. His run included the Angela Rippon legs display, the one where they piss about with the oranges to the tune of “The Stripper” and the Christmas special where Des O’Connor turned up to squash the beef. “Bring Me Sunshine” is now playing on Maxin’s life at the age of 95, and he was a unique hit for Breathless in Seattle.

as the rush goes

As a result of the claimants’ advanced ages and generally unhealthy lifestyles, the title of “greatest living bluesman” is one that regularly changes hands. However, until a few days ago Otis Rush had the right to call himself that. Breaking through in the 1950s as a contemporary of Buddy Guy, Rush’s career was strangled by record label problems - Cobra went bust, while both Chess and Duke prioritised other artists. It wasn’t until the 1990s that he really got his due, with open-window racist Eric Clapton being a particular fan. His guitar playing career was curtailed by a stroke in 2003 and he has now died aged 84. Two teams get the points.

Whether you’re jacking it to shibari porn, maligning an under par third season of “The Good Place” or just reading your good old friend the Derby Dead Pool during office hours, Charles K. Kao is the man to thank. His pioneering work in fiber optics not only won him the 2009 Nobel Prize for Physics, but nicknamed “The Godfather of Broadband”. Diagnosed with Alzheimer’s in 2004, he spent the latter period of his life offering himself up for study in an attempt to one day create a cure for the disease. However, it won’t be cured in his lifetime: he’s died aged 84 and is a unique hit for The Conqueror Worm.

Leon Lederman earned his place in history, and pissed off everyone else in the world of physics, by coining the term “God particle”. It referred to, and I’m quoting here, “the particle that composes the energy field that imbues every other particle with mass”. The God particle was proven to exist thanks to the large hadron collider at CERN, but Lederman’s religious nomenclature was a source of consternation to his fellow physicists. Lederman had been battling dementia in recent years, and had to sell his Nobel Physics prize to raise money for healthcare. lol @ Americans. He died aged 96 and was a unique hit for theme outfit Nobel Laureates.

A contemporary and friend of Dame Vera Lynn, Helen Clare was the #2 “Forces’ Sweetheart”: one of the homely girls who reminded British troops of what they were fighting for. Originally an opera singer – and a favourite of Dame Nellie Melba – Clare switched to the club scene when her family returned to the UK in the aftermath of the Wall Street Crash. Clare’s career in variety came to a premature end when she suffered a heart attack in the mid 1960s, and had fallen into an obscurity she was only rescued from in recent years when she was rediscovered and appeared on a number of BBC shows talking about the secrets of long life. She died aged 101 and was a unique hit for Pedro's Catacomb Dwellers.

List of the Lost - Latest Entrants

Margit Sandemo, Bunny Carr

List of the Missed - Latest Entrants

Karl Mildenberger, John Wicks, Alex Spanos

Player(s) of the Month - September

BBC Heaven - 22 points

Latest News

Dilip Kumar is in hospital, out of hospital, in hospital, out of hospital, in hospital... is that where the dance ends? ... John McCririck makes national headlines for turning up on "Big Brother" looking about as healthy as the show's viewing figures...

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 2018]

Current Year

Who's dead so far?
List of the Lost
List of the Missed
A to Z list of teams
A to Z list of celebrities
Drop Forty
Theme Team League
The Obituary Vault
Last Year
Golden Slumbers
(168 points, 16 hits)


A brief history of dead pools
DDP stats & facts

Previous winners

David Quantick's Showbiz Pals (4)
David Quantick's Showbiz Pals (3)
David Quantick's Showbiz Pals (2)
David Quantick's Showbiz Pals
The Living End (3)
The Living End (2)
Octopus of Odstock
 Tonight, Matthew, I'm Going To Be Badly-Torn Boy
The Living End
Meet Your Maker (2)
Meet Your Maker
Fallen Sparrow
Otis, You Want A Treat?
Whittaker's Choice
MT Graves
Drunkasaskunk (2)
Nick J (2)
Nick J