back to article Reports of one's death have been greatly exaggerated: French radio station splurges obituary bank over interwebs

It's one of the industry's worst-kept secrets that media orgs write obituaries for prominent figures ahead of time, and premature publication can seem like a fate worse than death for a humiliated newsroom. Oh, it happens. A lot actually. The latest victim is Radio France Internationale (RFI), which spaffed a bunch of pre- …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Wouldnt mind, though

    If all of them scroungers ACTUALLY kick the buckets and save us further embarassments.

    Lizzy & her beau (both hunched) makes such a pathetic figure in public these days. And her half greek progenies dont shine any brighter either.

    1. Greybearded old scrote Silver badge
      Thumb Down

      Re: Wouldnt mind, though

      I've never been a royalist, but it's not cool to wish for anybody's death. Not even $insert_name_here.

      1. Greybearded old scrote Silver badge

        Re: Wouldnt mind, though

        OK, one exception.

        If they are currently and actively attempting to kill you then you are allowed to kill them right back. If the threat is credible.

      2. Outski

        Re: Wouldnt mind, though

        I doubt anyone shed any tears over sutcliffe at the weekend

    2. This post has been deleted by its author

      1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        Re: Wouldnt mind, though

        Charles are you posting as AC again ?

    3. W.S.Gosset

      Re: Wouldnt mind, though


      The Royal Family is the only entity in the UK who/which pays more than 90% "tax". That is, they pay 100% of their income to the government, and receive a stipend in return (most of which goes on building&grounds maintenance).

      That's over £500m a year in net _profit_ for the UK taxpayers.

      Probably more now; that's as of about 5yrs ago, and the %ge "tax" keeps going up.

      Plus then there's the profits from tourism. In the 90s I saw that calculated as £4bn/yr attributable specifically to the royals. Again, it'd be more today.

      Put it this way: if they did a Harry and resigned en masse, even at 50% tax they'd quintuple their money. And never have to open another bloody shopping centre in their lives.

      1. NerryTutkins

        Re: Wouldnt mind, though

        4 billion per year? You got that from Nicholas Witchell or Penny Junor or some other professional butt kisser.

        People don't come to the UK to see the royal family. They come to see the buildings, the places and the history. The history does not depend on whether you have a royal family or not.

        Just look at Paris. France topped their royals couple of hundred years ago, and they still get more tourists than the UK. And I am pretty sure they aren't there in the slim hope of seeing President Macron gurning from a palace balcony or shooting past in a motorcade.

        1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

          Re: Wouldnt mind, though

          Take it in turns to have a monarch for the day.

          Then tourists who came to see London on Michael Palin day will have to come back on Judy Dench day - its like Pokemon, you have to collect them all

          1. Precordial thump Silver badge

            Re: Wouldnt mind, though

            As well as for the 68M subjects in the British Isles, Her Madge is also Head of State for 38M Canadian citizens, 25M Aussies, 5M Kiwis and numerous other nationalities. So for every day that you put a Michael or Judi on the throne, you could put one of us there, to balance the books for two and a half centuries of colonial imperialism.

            Taika Waititi day alone would make it worthwhile.

            (Icon for Korg)

        2. W.S.Gosset

          Re: Wouldnt mind, though

          Nah, it was some official report from some government department or QANGO, rattling through the where&why&£££ of UK tourism. I didn't read the actual report, just the newspaper version of it, which means I read it in The Times or the FT. I just noticed that number in the middle of the table ; not long in the UK as an Aussie so the wild mismatch between simple data/facts and what a lot of Brits around me were saying was still quite the novelty and the number stuck in my head.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Wouldnt mind, though

        Sycophants galore on here !

        Sounds worse than that other butt sucking newsreader, Alistair Burnet (or whatever).

        How about opening up 100 odd rooms of Buckingham palace for our frontline NHS staff and nurses from nearby hospitals to stay in, for the duration of tackling covid in London?

  2. Potemkine! Silver badge

    Better later than sooner for the aforementioned people

    At least, it should be a real news some day.

    For the mistake, blame the intern. Or the cleaning lady / man. Or the one who just resigned / was fired. It works well generally. At last resort, use this link

    1. UCAP Silver badge

      Re: Better later than sooner for the aforementioned people

      Clicked the link and just got this one: "Operators killed when huge stack of backup tapes fell over". Seems appropriate somehow.

      1. Antonius_Prime

        Re: Better later than sooner for the aforementioned people

        "Recursivity. If it happens again, call back."

        Cow-workers wondering why I'm darkly chuckling to myself...

        1. Dr_N

          Re: Better later than sooner for the aforementioned people

          >Cow-workers wondering why I'm darkly chuckling to myself...

          Are you on a farm?

          1. Xalran

            Re: Better later than sooner for the aforementioned people

            you probably need more BOFH education.

            last time I saw a $COW-ORKER was last thursday when I brought back a company car in the office... actually it was a $COW-ORKER and a former $COW-ORKER ( he's a honey producer now, so I suspect he was delivering some honey to $COW-ORKEER )

            my cause of the problem is : We're out of slots on the server

            Appropriate since I've started working with equipment that handled timeslots.

      2. lglethal Silver badge

        Re: Better later than sooner for the aforementioned people

        Unexpected condensation in the cloud.

        I'm going to have to remember that one!

    2. Blackjack Silver badge

      Re: Better later than sooner for the aforementioned people

      "Evil dogs hypnotised the night shift to eat the ether on the cables and that's why all the wire is missing."

      "But what about the premature obituaries?"

      "That was caused by the date being accidentally reset to April fools day on the server due to Apple fuck up with their last Os upgrade."

  3. Allan George Dyer

    French Technology

    What RFI is not saying is that their chief engineer is from Gallifrey, and un problème technique involved the temps et dimension relative dans l'espace.

    1. A K Stiles

      Re: French Technology

      A TEDRDLE ? Sounds tricky!

    2. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

      Re: French Technology

      Are you sure it wasn't just a normal engineer, driving a Renault Espace?

      1. Strahd Ivarius Silver badge

        Re: French Technology

        No it was a Renault Avantime

        (not to be confused with the Avent time)

  4. Little Mouse

    Time to change?

    Who knows, maybe it could serve as a wake-up call to a few people, as it did with Alfred Nobel.

    1. KittenHuffer Silver badge

      Re: Time to change?

      Dynamite comment! Came on to post very much the same myself.

      Imagine a world without the Nobel awards, or even the Ig Nobel awards!

      Enough dynamite in a big enough pile! --------------------->

    2. Strahd Ivarius Silver badge

      Re: Time to change?

      did RFI publish his obituary too?

  5. Howard Sway Silver badge

    Content Mismanagement System

    Used to develop bespoke CMS stuff myself for a rather boring couple of years.

    Eventually learned the value of "needs double independent signoff before publishing" functionality, after similar but less publicly embarassing unwanted info splurges onto public websites. Though this is a migration issue, and getting the draft / published indicator wrong is a major boo boo that testing definitely should have trapped.

    1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

      Re: Content Mismanagement System

      Testing? What is this testing of which you speak?

  6. disgruntled yank

    Definitely a cooler word

    There was some fiction of Cyril Connolly's--a short story that perhaps formed part of a novel--in which a noted author collapses and dies when presented with his own obituary, which an incautious guest has brought along to a country house weekend. As far as I know, this has never actually happened. The famous do sometimes sit for interviews with their obituarists.

    1. Francis Boyle Silver badge

      Re: Definitely a cooler word

      It's pretty well established that it happened to Marcus Garvey though he was clearly close to death at the time and there may have been some malicious intent involved.

  7. AMBxx Silver badge

    Which is worse?

    Having your obituary published early, or finding that your not important enough to have had one written?

    1. Wellyboot Silver badge

      Re: Which is worse?

      You wouldn't be in any position to know if nobody bothered to write one.

  8. Richard Tobin

    What's the problem?

    For printed news it makes sense to publish a description of someone's life when they die. But on the web, why not just have them there all the time? I suppose it would lead to more libel suits, though.

    1. Strahd Ivarius Silver badge

      Re: What's the problem?

      well, there is already Wikipedia, no?

  9. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge

    Heir to the Throne

    A running gag in Private Eye is where Prince Charles mistakenly thinks that his Mother has passed away, usually by mishearing or hearing an incomplete announcement.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Heir to the Throne

      He must be in a rush to the throne, lest he fears his own obituary (lurking somewhere in the database) might crop up "inadvertently".

      The French are all republicans by about 240 years now, anyway.

      1. Mike 16

        Re: Heir to the Throne

        "About 240 years" ?

        Maybe after 1870 (150 years), but IIRC there were a few monarchs between The Terror and the end of the 2nd Empire..

        1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

          Re: Heir to the Throne

          Arguably there were a few in the 5th republic

          1. Xalran

            Re: Heir to the Throne

            We are still at the 4th...

            and yes between 1793 and 1870 we had a few monarch and emperors.

            1. Strahd Ivarius Silver badge

              Re: Heir to the Throne

              I think that you missed the last 60 years somehow...

  10. Anonymous Coward


    Attending your own funeral or reading your own obituary is an old literary trope. What better way to find out what people think of you.

    No harm, no foul.

  11. DS999 Silver badge

    Wouldn't it be a red flag to them

    That so many widely known people all died on the same day? I could easily believe any of them dying, but not all of them dying at once.

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: Wouldn't it be a red flag to them

      So the CMS should have a death rate limit setting ?

      1. Little Mouse

        Re: Wouldn't it be a red flag to them

        And if it did, where would you set the bar?

        If I was in charge, I'd probably have upped the trigger threshold to the max back in 2016 whilst celebrities were dropping like flies, and then forgotten to turn it down again afterwards.


  12. Paul Cooper

    Mark Twain made the classic rejoinder to a similar mix-up "Reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated"!

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