More celebrities have died this year than ever before and experts think they know why.
Prince and Victoria Wood this week joined singer David Bowie, actor Alan Rickman , presenter Terry Wogan, comedian Ronnie Corbett and magician Paul Daniels as they passed away.
Others who have passed away include This Morning’s Denise Robertson, Coronation Street creator Tony Warren, music producer David Gest , Father Ted actor Frank Kelly, American singer Merle Haggard and former drug smuggler Howard Marks … and we are only in April.
The BBC has already lengthened its ‘obitiuaries’ show for the end of the year from half-an-hour to one hour after the number of deaths it covered jumped from five in the first four months of 2012 to 24 this year.
BBC obituaries editor Nick Serpell said the number of significant deaths this year has been “phenomenal” but he blames television and the baby boom generation after the Second World War .
“People who started becoming famous in the 1960s are now entering their 70s and are starting to die.
“There are also more famous people than there used to be. In my father or grandfather’s generation, the only famous people really were from cinema – there was no television.”
He also points out many of those now dying belonged to the so-called baby-boom generation, born between 1946 and 1964, that saw a huge growth in population.
In the UK, people aged 65 or older make up almost 18% of the population – a 47% increase on forty years ago. Put simply, the baby boomers, now aged between 70 and 52, are dying.