Social media pays tribute as four celebrities die on the same day

‘Quite the line-up for heaven’s waiting room’: Social media users pay tribute as Shane MacGowan, Alistair Darling, Henry Kissinger and Brookside actor Dean Sullivan all pass away on the same day

Social media has paid tribute to four celebrities and well known figures who have died in the space of just 24 hours.

After the announcements that Shane MacGowan, Alistair Darling, Henry Kissinger and Dean Sullivan have all passed away over the last day, many have been left stunned and heartbroken.

Their loved ones have released tributes to the departed, who left their mark on areas including politics, international relations, music and television.

Internet users have also posted their condolences on social media for the quartet, with fans of Mr MacGowan and Mr Sullivan posting their fond memories of the artists, and politicians from across the divide praising Mr Darling.

Some have remarked on the morbid coincidence of all four passing away in such short succession, with one person wryly saying it would make for ‘an interesting line-up in Heaven’s reception room’.

Irish rocker Shane MacGowan, pictured here at a concert in Berlin in 2010, died at the age of 65

Former Labour heavyweight Alistair Darling, pictured here during his time as Chancellor of the Exchequer, died at the age of 70

US diplomat and former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, pictured here in Hamburg in 2014, passed away at the age 100

Dean Sullivan, known to millions for playing Jimmy Corkhill on soap Brookside, passed away at the age of 68

One person remarked it was a ‘busy day for obituary writers’ after the deaths of four big names in quick succession.

Upon hearing the news one person wrote on X (formerly known as Twitter): ‘Bloody hell. Henry Kissinger, Shane MacGowan, Dean Sullivan and Alistair Darling all died today. That would make for an interesting waiting room.’

Others shared their shock, with one writing: ‘Wowsers. I pop out to the shops and Henry Kissinger, Shane MacGowan and Alistair Darling all die.’ 

Another person suggested that despite all their differences in life, ‘I think they’ll get on rather well’.

Someone else added that whatever the faults of the departed, they ‘made their own mark and all exceeded the expectations of their background’.

One social media user said: ‘It’s not like me to be sensible, but whatever peoples’ opinions of these people are, death is the great equaliser. God rest them. RIP.’

Others remembered the men individually, with Mr MacGowan receiving vociferous tributes from fans and friends.

His bandmate, Spider Stacy, was among the famous faces leading tributes to the star, as fans and world Irish leaders shared their devastation at the death of the ‘a true legend’ and ‘genius’.

He posted a black and white photo of the singer performing on stage to X, formerly Twitter, writing: ‘O Captain! My Captain! Our fearful trip is done.’

Social media users remarked that the group would make for an ‘interesting waiting room’ in Heaven

And MacGowan’s sister Siobhan shared lyrics from the Pogues’ track, The Broad Majestic Shannon, writing: ‘So I walked as day was dawning; as small birds sang and leaves were falling, where we once watched the row boats landing on the Broad Majestic Shannon,’

Irish President Michael D Higgins hailed the musician as one of ‘music’s greatest lyricists’, adding: ‘Like so many across the world, it was with the greatest sadness that I learned this morning of the death of Shane MacGowan.

‘Shane will be remembered as one of music’s greatest lyricists.

‘So many of his songs would be perfectly crafted poems, if that would not have deprived us of the opportunity to hear him sing them.

READ MORE: The extraordinary legacy of Henry Kissinger who fled the Nazis and became America’s most influential Secretary of State

‘The genius of Shane’s contribution includes the fact that his songs capture within them, as Shane would put it, the measure of our dreams – of so many worlds, and particularly those of love, of the emigrant experience and of facing the challenges of that experience with authenticity and courage, and of living and seeing the sides of life that so many turn away from.

‘His words have connected Irish people all over the globe to their culture and history, encompassing so many human emotions in the most poetic of ways.’

There were similar tributes to Mr Sullivan, with Claire Sweeney, who played his on-screen daughter Lindsey Corkhill in Brookside, shareing a tribute to him on Instagram.

‘I will miss you Dean, Love you. It was wonderful to be reunited together as a family this year for the Soap Awards. RIP Dean Sullivan,’ she wrote alongside a photo of them from June 2023 at the British Soap Awards.

Meanwhile Lord Darling was remembered as a ‘rarity in politics’ by former Labour Prime Minister Tony Blair, who said ‘I never met anyone who didn’t like him’.

‘He was highly capable though modest, understated but never to be underestimated, always kind and dignified even under the intense pressure politics can generate,’ he added.

‘He was the safest of safe hands. I knew he could be given any position in the Cabinet and be depended upon. I liked him and respected him immensely as a colleague and as a friend.

‘I remember him with huge affection. He has been taken from us far too soon.’

Henry Kissinger, former Secretary of State and National Security Advisor to Richard Nixon, has died aged 100

Kissinger, pictured at the White House in 2019 with his second wife Nancy, was a giant of  U.S. politics for several decades and played a key role in the Vietnam War and the Cold War

Kissinger, pictured in the White House’s East Room with President Richard Nixon in 1973. The pair faced accusations of operating in secrecy and ignoring protocol in a way that was anti-democratic

US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger (L) and US president Richard Nixon (C) listen to Secretary General of NATO Joseph Luns (R) on June 26, 1974 during the 1974 Brussels summit

Mr Kissinger was the first to pass away, with his death announced shortly after midnight on Thursday in the UK.

The controversial US diplomat, who held massive sway over the foreign policy o the Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford presidencies, died at the age of 100 at his home in Connecticut, his consulting firm said.

He was awarded the Novel Peace Prize in 1973 for his work on the Paris Peace Accords, although two award committee members resigned in protest and Le Duc Tho of North Vietnam, who was awarded the prize with him, turned it down. 

READ MORE: Dean Sullivan’s onscreen daughter Claire Sweeney and wife Sue Jenkins lead tributes to Brookside star after his death aged 68

In his career he oversaw the normalisation of relations between the US and China, and helped expand ties between Israel and its Arab neighbours. 

However, he was not without controversy, with many decrying him for overseeing a secret bombing campaign in Cambodia that killed more than 100,000 civilians, as well as his support for Argentina’s military junta and Pakistan during the Bangladesh Liberation War.

Less than 12 hours after Mr Kissinger’s death was announced, Dean Sullivan, who played Jimmy Corkhill on British soap Brookside, was revealed to have passed away at the age of 68.

The beloved actor, known to millions for his portrayal of the drug dealer in the Channel 4 programme, died five years after he was diagnosed with prostate cancer.

His last public appearance was in September this year, when he was pictured attending a play in Liverpool in support of Sue Jenkins, who played Jimmy’s wife Jackie in the soap.

Mr Sullivan was scheduled to appear in a Southport production of Jack And The Beanstalk from December 7, but pulled out on November 17 due to ‘unforeseen circumstances.’

The Atkinson Theatre, where he was expected to tread the boards for a three week run, confirmed his departure in a tweet shortly after his withdrawal.

They wrote: ‘There has been a change to the line-up for this year’s Jack and the Beanstalk pantomime.

‘Dean Sullivan will no longer be performing in the role of Fleshcreep, as previously advertised and the role will now be played by Mark Paterson.’

The death of the beloved actor, known to millions as drug dealer Jimmy Corkhill in Channel 4 soap opera Brookside, was confirmed on Thursday in a statement from his family 

The actor is pictured with his Brookside co-stars Claire Sweeney, Sue Jenkins, and George Christopher

He was at the centre of many of the soap’s most memorable storylines (pictured with Paul Usher in 1997)

Dean shared what looks to be the last public photo of himself, taken in September as he supported Sue in a play in Liverpool 

In 2019, Sullivan opened up about his ‘shell shock’ cancer diagnosis, admitting he never thought he had an issue with his prostate as he wasn’t displaying many of the typical symptoms (pictured in 2016)

Looking back on his battle with the disease in August, Mr Sullivan told how he put himself ‘in the hands of fate’ during his ill health and tried to continue living his life.

READ MORE: Fairytale of New York singer Shane MacGowan dies aged 65 after eight-year health battle

He told the Liverpool Echo: ‘The way I dealt with it was that I just sort of put myself in the hands of fate. If this was my time, then this was my time so I was quite philosophical about it really.

‘I know that people would worry themselves into an early grave as it were but I’m not that sort of person, I try to keep positive about things and I just got on with my life.’

Shortly after Mr Sullivan’s death was announced, the heartbroken family of Shane MacGowan, the iconic frontman of The Pogues, revealed he had died at the age of 65 after an eight-year health battle.

The Irish rocker who was behind the iconic Christmas song Fairytale of New York, died ‘peacefully’ at 3am today with his wife Victoria Mary Clarke and family by his side.

The singer was battling viral encephalitis – a life-threatening condition that leads to brain swelling – and had been in and out of Dublin’s St Vincent’s Hospital for months. He was discharged last week ahead of his upcoming birthday on Christmas Day. 

The Pogues’ frontman Shane MacGowan has died aged 65 

It came days after MacGowan returned home after being released from hospital amid a battle with a brain condition, with his wife Victoria sharing a photo of him in his hospital bed 

His wife Victoria Mary Clarke had posted regular updates about her husband’s wellbeing on social media 

Shane pictured with his wife Victoria inside a taxi 

Hellraiser Shane, whose 1987 hit Fairytale of New York became a Christmas classic selling millions of copies worldwide, was famous for his hard-partying lifestyle slurred speech, missing teeth and on-stage meltdowns during his 1980s heyday.

In recent years, the Irish icon was confined to a wheelchair and was aided by his wife and carer at home, having been plagued by by ill-health linked to his years of alcohol and substance abuse.

READ MORE: Tributes pour in from across the political divide for ‘towering figure’ Alistair Darling who calmly steered Britain through chaos of the global credit crunch 

And moments later it was announced that Alistair Darling, the ex-Labour Chancellor who helped steer Britain through the global credit crunch, had passed away aged 70 following a battle with cancer.

Tributes poured in from across the political divide for the ‘towering figure’ who took ‘calm’ action in steering Britain through the chaos of the 2008 financial crisis.

He was also hailed for his efforts in keeping the UK together following his key role in the ‘No’ campaign during the 2014 Scottish independence referendum.

Former prime ministers – including Sir Tony Blair, Gordon Brown, David Cameron, Theresa May and Boris Johnson – spoke of how Lord Darling was almost unique in British politics in being so highly regarded on all sides.

He died after a short spell in an Edinburgh hospital being treated for cancer, with his family mourning a ‘much-loved husband’ and ‘beloved father’.

Ex-Labour Chancellor Alistair Darling, pictured in October last year, has died aged 70 after a short spell in an Edinburgh hospital being treated for cancer

Lord Darling pictured having breakfast with his wife Maggie and private secretary Ann Coffey in Downing Street in 2009

He and Gordon Brown did not always have the easiest relationship as Chancellor and PM, with Lord Darling once revealing how Mr Brown’s No10 team had unleased the ‘forces of hell’ on him

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