For those missing the births/deaths of Popes, wait no more, as Giovanni Vincenzo Antonio Ganganelli or Pope Clement XIV’s mum didn’t quite have the immaculate conception in 1705. Romantic poet John Keats could have been born two days earlier in 1795, but then again it may well have been today. I’m very glad I wasn’t the person who registered the birth of, (and take a deep breath), Luis Filipe Maria Fernando Pedro de Alcântara António Miguel Rafael Gabriel Gonzaga Xavier Francisco de Assis João Augusto Júlio Valfando, or to give his shorter title: King Luis I of Portugal and the Algarves back in 1838. Balloonist and parachutist born Joseph Johnson but known as Charles Leroux made a huge leap in 1856, though 239 jumps later he died. One of Disney’s Nine Old Men, Oliver Martin ‘Ollie’ Johnston Jr., thankfully didn’t draw out his birth in 1912. Steeplechase jockey turned crime writer, Richard Stanley ‘Dick’ Francis cleared his first hurdle in 1920. Also born that year, German photographer Helmut Newton wasn’t a negative child. Known for her role in dull soap opera Dallas, Barbara Bel Geddes came to be a little darling from 1922. Having mentioned disgraced, (though too late to do anything about it), DJ a mere two days ago when he died, here’s James Wilson Vincent ‘Jimmy’ Savile again given he tested his own sound system in 1926. Actor from Little House on the Prairie (among others) Eugene Maurice Orowitz, or as his co-stars knew him, Michael Landon was a real bonanza to his parents from 1936. Legendary comedy actor John Franklin Candy, was more in the class of ’50 than ’44. Drummer with rock band fronted by sunglass wearing deity, (or so he thinks) – Laurence Joseph ‘Larry’ Mullen Jrs’ parents had a beautiful day in 1961. Another muso, this one guitar player and song writer in miserablist Manc group The Smiths, John Martin Maher or Johnny Marr, wasn’t the boy with a thorn in his side in 1963. Member of VW badge nicking group, Adam Keefe Horovitz who now goes by the names ‘Ad-Rock’ or ‘King Ad-Rock’ has been fighting for the right to party from 1966. Also born that year, member of Malcolm McLaren’s band Bow Wow Wow Myant Myant Aye, but going by the name of Annabella Lwin, found her parents did wanna hold her.
Another rapper, Robert Matthew Van Winkle, (or Vanilla Ice), woke up in 1967. Ex-rugby union player, now bald headed team captain on boring game show ‘A Question of Sport’, Matthew James Sutherland ‘Matt’ Dawson was part of the uncontested scrum in 1972.
Whilst there don’t appear to be many deaths to report on today, we do begin with Indian spiritual figure Dayanand Saraswati found his inner peace from 1883. Illusionist and stunt performer Erik Weisz/Harry Houdini didn’t manage to escape peritonitis in 1926. Indian born athlete who bagged two silver gongs at the 1900 Olympics, Norman Pritchard fell at the last hurdle in 1929. Bollywood music composer Sachin Dev Burman reached the end of his score in 1975. Another Indian, this one with the streak of grey hair who was also the first female Prime Minister of the country, Indira Priyadarshini Gandhi found the bullet with her name on it in 1984. Actor who’s brother was mentioned a few days ago – River Jude Bottom/River Phoenix didn’t quite finish his life as he’d have probably wished at The Viper Room in 1993. South African President responsible for dismantling apartheid, Pieter Willem (PW) Botha was in the wilderness from 2006. Finally, voice of the speaking clock in the United Kingdom, Brian Cobby hung up in 2012.