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. Other hosts: Siegfried Baboon and Rude Kid (2003-7), Octopus of Odstock (2008-9), The Man in Black (2010-17), Spade Cooley (2018-19). Now the Committee of msc/Grim and Reptile (2020) oversee the biggest deadpool going...

Clive Swift

Few actors were as different as the character they’re most associated with than Clive Swift. To the public, he was Richard Bucket in Keeping Up Appearances, the epitome of henpecked, downtrodden middle-of-the-middle class. In real life, he was a Shakespearean actor who wrote letters of complaint to newspapers when they called his alma mater (Clifton College Prep) […]

Ron Joyce

The DDP’s long-time Canadian theme team, Rushing to Tim Horton’s for Maple Donuts, is named after the country’s iconic coffee shop chain. It’s fitting, therefore, that they get a unique hit (and their first of the year) with the man who helped bring the world Timbits. Tim Hortons was set up by hockey star Tim […]

George Fernandes

George Fernandes was, for 60 years, one of the most visible socialist politicians in India. A trade union representative, he came to international fame in the 1974 when he organised the All India Railway Strike, grounding the country to a halt. The strike led to Indira Gandhi calling a national state of emergency the following […]

Anna Mae Blessing

Many parents float the idea of “I brought you into this world, and I can take you out of it”. However, few actually put their threats into action. Enter Anna Mae Blessing who, in July 2018, reacted rather poorly to her son’s suggestion that she go into a retirement home. Rather than go gentle into […]

Michel Legrand

Michel Legrand was one of the most successful, critically acclaimed and prolific composers of the TV and film era. He won the 1968 “Best Original Song” Oscar for The Thomas Crown Affair‘s “The Windmills of Your Mind” (sung by Noel “Rex’s son” Harrison) and Best Original Score gongs for The Summer of ’42 and Yentl. He remained active right up until […]

Fatima Ali

And so falls the second much-picked chef on this year’s DDP. While Andrew Fairlie was a veteran with over 30 years experience in the culinary game, Fatima Ali was just at the start of her career. Ali, a New York-based chef specialising in modern Pakistani cuisine, first came to nationwide attention as a contestant on […]

Hugh McIlvanney

Hugh McIlvanney was, arguably, the greatest sports writer Britain has ever produced. He was certainly its most-loved among fellow journalists. This entry could easily be filled with the various anecdotes that have peppered his obituaries over the past 24 hours, but I can offer one I was told that hasn’t appeared elsewhere. A young sub […]

Diana Athill

A true literary celebrity, Diana Athill was one of the best-regarded editors in publishing history. She discovered, championed and nurtured some of the most famous writers of the past 50 years, including Margaret Atwood, VS Naipul and Jean Rhys. The first female publishing editor of note, she was handpicked by Andre Deutsch to be the […]

Bob Woodward

No, not the money-following journalist that took down Nixon. Bob Woodward, the UK version, was the founder of children’s cancer charity CLIC (Cancer and Leukaemia in Childhood). He set the charity up in 1976 when his 8-year-old son, Robert, was diagnosed with neuroblastoma. Robert died two years later but Bob continued the charity’s work: helping […]

Kaye Ballard

Born Catherine Gloria Balotta, Kaye Ballard began her career as a musical comedienne and a member of Spike Jones’s touring ensemble. In 1954 she became the first person to record a newly written song entitled “Fly Me to the Moon”, but didn’t think much of it and hid it away as a B-side. Americans perhaps […]