Top-five Premature Obituaries

The Chuckle Brothers have put us all at ease after a recent internet hoax claimed that Barry (above, upside down) had died of a heart attack. The rumour, which first appeared in 2008 on Facebook, resurfaced, 'to me to you-ing' it all the way to a fake Twitter account. Speaking on their website they said: “This is complete and utter rubbish.” So, as we breathe a sigh of relief, here are the five most memorable premature obituaries.

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Paul McCartney: The Beatle was rumoured to have died in 1966 and secretly replaced by the band with a look-alike and sound-alike. Obviously a false claim, though it would have explained The Frog Chorus.

Rudyard Kipling: The great author was wrongly reported dead by a magazine, prompting him to write in with the note: “I’ve just read that I am dead. Don’t forget to delete me from your list of subscribers.”

Jimmy Savile: In 1994 the Brasseye supremo and Four Lions director Chris Morris announced on BBC Radio 1 that Jim’ll Fix It had collapsed and died. This allegedly sparked legal threats from Savile, followed by a somewhat forced apology from Morris.

Alice Cooper: Melody Maker caused confusion in the Seventies when they printed a satirical review of the musician in the form of an obituary. The article upset a large number of fans who Cooper reassured in a statement: “I’m alive, and drunk as usual.”

Ian Dury: The Blockheads frontman was declared dead by none other than Bob Geldof during a stint on Xfm in 1998. The NME reacted to the cock-up by declaring Geldof: “The world’s worst DJ.” Jordan Waller