We are fast approaching the end of 2016, a year of loss. Imagine my surprise when I found out that George Michael died peacefully at home on Christmas Day. There seems to have been an unprecedented amount of deaths in this year starting in January with the sad news that David Bowie had died of liver cancer. He was the inspiration to his generation.
Later in the month Alan Rickman died, the hugely admired talented actor. No sooner had this news come when Terry Wogan died, the nation mourned, after his broadcasting career lasting more than 50 years. Glen Frey the founder of the Eagles also died in January.
In February the Egyption Diplomat Boutros Boutros Ghali died at 93, then Harper Lee at the age of 89, known for writing To Kill a Mockingbird. Later that month Frank Kelly died, the drunken sweary priest from Father Ted. The founder of Earth Wind and Fire Maurice White died at the age of 74.
In March Ronald Reagan’s wife Nancy died at the age of 94. Later that month came the sad news that the much-loved Scottish comedian Ronnie Corbett died. The magician Paul Daniels also died in March. The veteran broadcaster Cliff Michelmore died. The next to go was George, Martin the producer behind the Beatles. The wonderful artist formerly known as Prince died in April, a loss to the music industry. The comedienne Victoria Wood died too at only 62. Also David Gest died and Howard Marks.
May brought the death of writer Carla Lane. In June Mohammed Ali, the greatest boxer of our time, died. The same month the MP Jo Cox was stabbed to death. Caroline Aherne died at the age of 52 in July, too young. In August we lost Gene Wilder, in September Arnold Palmer. In October Pete Burns died at 57. We also lost veteran actress Jean Alexander, Hilda Ogden in Coronation Street. In November it was Leonard Cohen who died. Fidel Castro died at 92. Other names who died this year were Sir Jimmy Young, The Man from Uncle Robert Vaughan and Faulty Towers actor Andrew Sachs. Greg Lake died in December, astronaut John Glenn, writer A A Gill, then on Christmas Eve Rick Parfitt of Status Quo died.
Many more died, so talented and missed. Let’s hope there will be far fewer in 2017!