Births today begin with Henry II of Champagne (or Henry I of Jerusalem) who popped out in 1166. Inventor of various things including: the lockstitch sewing machine, fore runner of the Winchester repeating rifle and street sweeping machinery – Walter Hunt could have done with another of his inventions, the safety pin in 1796. Coloured trouser wearing ex-cabinet minister of Britain, Michael Portillo, who now travels around with birthday boy George Bradshaw’s guide in hand and led the way in 1800. In a slightly different league, Alexi Sayle looky likey who ended up dangling from a service station, Benito Amilcare Andrea Mussolini dictated his entrance to the world in 1883. Golden boy at Metro Goldwyn Mayer, William Horatio Powell had the heavenly body (apparently) in 1892. Business tycoon responsible for the world’s cheapest car and Air India, Jehangir Ratanji Dadbhoy Tata took off in 1904. Probable tinnitus sufferer best known for guitar amplifiers bearing his name, James Charles ‘Jim’ Marshall turned it up to 11 in 1923. Actor Lloyd Wolfe Bochner thought it seemed like a good idea at the time to be born in 1924. Known for playing Paulie ‘Walnut’ Gualtieri in The Sopranos -Genaro Anthony ‘Tony’ Sirico, may have had the fairly odd parents in 1942. Another actor, this one Michael ‘Mike’ Starr had his initial baby’s day out in 1950. Member of the E Street band, thereby keeping up the tradition of wives joining their husband’s bands, Mrs B. Springsteen – Vivienne Patricia ‘Patti’ Scialfa found out you can’t go back after born in 1953. Controversial Bollywood actor Sanjay Balraj Dutt found no problem with his birth in 1959. Olympic, World, European and Commonwealth running title holder, Sally Jane Janet Gunnell was off the starting blocks in 1966. Ex-inhabitant of children’s television ‘the broom cupboard’, (where he should have stayed), Andi Eleazu Peters had a smooth entrance to the world in 1970. Singer with R&B group Boyz II Men (and lower chart botherers after their number one hit, which in my opinion was a number two), Wayná Jermaine Morris has been doin’ just fine since 1973. Hip-hop musician Joseph Edgar Foreman but better known by the stage name ‘Afroman’, was waiting to inhale in 1974. Formula One Grand Prix (yawn) driver – Fernando Alonso was born in delta time back in 1981.
Dead Norwegian of the day goes to King of Norway Olaf II Haroldsson or St Olaf found himself known as Rex Perpetuus Norvegiae from this day in 1030. Next up are two Popes sharing the same name but are unlikely to be down with the kids – first is Pope Urban II who had to confess this was his last day in 1099, whilst in 1644 Pope Urban VIII failed the infallibility test. Leading light in the abolition of slavery, William Wilberforce managed to abolish himself in 1833. Son of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Franz Xaver Wolfgang Mozart or Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart Jr, went the same way as his old man in 1844. One eared dauber of wheat fields (among other things) Vincent Willem van Gogh had his final shot at life (and lost) in 1890. King of Italy with the rather splendid moustache, Umberto I stopped strutting about the place in 1900. Singer Ellen Naomi Cohen, but known as either Cass Elliott or Mama Cass, found it’s not getting better in 1974. Olympic weightlifter and film actor who managed to pick up the odd job, Toshiyuki ‘Harold’ Sakata literally had his burial in 1982. James David Graham Niven found it was more a matter of death than life in 1983. Actor in depressing soap opera EastEnders, children’s entertainer and comedian, Michael ‘Mike’ Read had his final runaround in 2007. Punjabi singer Ishmeet Singh lost his voice in 2008. Finally, horse racing commentator Sir Peter O’Sullevan left the paddock in 2015.