Serial killer Harold Shipman has hung himself to death, securing the prestigious "First famous death of the year" award which is usually reserved for old and decrepit solo artists.
Previous winners of the award include Maurice Gibb who died Jan. 11, 2003, Julia Phillips (producer) who died of cancer on Jan 1, 2002 and William Hewlett (started an early "garage" company Hewlett and Packard) who died from old age on Jan 12, 2001.
Bitterly pipped to the post, many celebrities including Tony Curtis and Bruce Forsyth have spoken of their disappointment at missing this years award and their doubt at whether they'll be able to last another year.
Speaking from his home in Berkshire, entertainer, Forsyth, 75, stated that he had been stepping up unhealthy activities to prompt a heart attack in the early stages of the year: "Well, I've been on a diet of pancakes and bacon washed down with vodka and 6 paracetamol and have been feeling wheezy and faint, I had hoped for death on the 2nd or 3rd of January, but unfortunately, the old ticker wouldn't give up the ghost!"
The National Union of Undertakers who traditionally award the accolade post mortem have explained the irony of their latest winner.
"Of course Shipman is a fitting winner as it was one of his victims who won the award in 1976, although not famous when they died, the award had been given to Dame Agatha Christie, who died January 12th 1976, and was withdraw to be awarded to Shipmans victim."
Shipmans award has caused outrage amongst many who feel it is "unfitting" to award 'Dr Death' with an award for dying, many feel that it is perhaps his final need for notoriety at a time when Huntley is getting all the press.