The most recent spate of celebrity deaths – including Prince, Ronnie Corbett and Victoria Wood – has left many in the entertainment industry suspecting that a sinister plot lies behind the holocaust o the past few months. “It started at Christmas, with Lemmy from Motorhead, since then not a week has gone by without some household name or other turning up their toes,” Tommy Jinks, former Showbiz editor of Vague magazine recently told The Sleaze. “I ask you, what are the odds of that, eh? It surely can’t be coincidence – something has to be going on!” The journalist rejects the conventional theories which have so far been advanced to explain the recent high mortality rate amongst celebrities, which have included decadent lifestyles finally catching up with some stars and generational explanations which point to the explosion in the number of celebrities since World War Two. “Sure, there are more celebrities than ever before so, statistically, there are bound to be more deaths, but not on this scale, surely,” he muses. “I mean, I know that there’s a whole generation of old time celebrities now lurching into their dotage, but with the kind of health care they can afford, there’s no way they’d be popping their clogs at this rate. As for the unhealthy lifestyle business, well, we all know that the likes of Lemmy, Bowie and Prince popped pills, drank oceans of booze and snorted every substance known to man, but how does that explain Ronnie Corbett, or Paul Daniels? Nobody is going to convince me that they were secret coke heads!”

Jinks instead suspects that the answer to the mystery of the celebrity deaths has already been answered – and ridiculed by his colleagues in the entertainment industry. “Maybe crazy man Randy Quaid right – are there professional ‘star whackers’ out there?” he asks. “Could it be that there is a high-level Hollywood conspiracy to kill celebrities for profit?” Several years ago, Jinks points out, professional Hollywood hayseed Randy Quaid and his wife fled to Canada, claiming that they feared for their lives, after an earlier spate of celebrity deaths, which they ascribed to the so called ‘star whackers’. “According to the Quaids, there was a secret cabal of Hollywood financiers and producers assassinating stars so as to collect the insurance payouts from the films and TV series said stars were contracted to appear in, and which would then have to be abandoned,” explains Jinks. “Obviously, the deaths were all made to look like accidents, often bizarre ones, like David Carradine’s apparent death during an auto erotic sex session in his hotel wardrobe, overdoses, like Heath Ledger, or even suicides. It was far more lucrative and financially secure than actually making a TV series or movie which might bomb and lose money. crazy man Randy Quaid right – are there professional ‘star whackers’ out there? They were probably raking in millions!” The journalist speculates that the recent celebrity holocaust could be the result of the ‘star whackers’ cabal’s investments performing badly, or the financial failure of blockbuster movies they had backed, forcing them to ‘cash in’ some of their celebrity ‘premiums’.

However, Jinks’ claims have been challenged by other entertainment industry observers. “That whole ‘star whackers’ business has no credibility whatsoever,” Reg Whipe, showbiz editor of Which Conspiracy?, the UK’s top consumer guide to conspiracy theories told The Sleaze. “Let’s not forget that Randy Quaid was actually on the run from the police in US, over an unpaid hotel bill in San Jose, when he turned up in Canada, spouting all that crazy talk. Clearly, he was trying to deflect attention from his own crime spree by claiming he was actually the victim of a conspiracy.” Whipe has his own theory to explain the recent wave of celebrity deaths: a cull. “What if it isn’t about money at all?” he asks. “Perhaps this year’s wave of celebrity deaths is actually the result of some kind of secret moral fundamentalist group trying to purge popular culture of ‘unsuitable role models’? I mean, just look at some of the casualties: Lemmy from Motorhead, David Bowie and now Prince. All of them have courted controversy over the years, frequently outraging the moralists. I’m sure that many concerned parents out there were dismayed to find their sons’ putting up posters of cross-dressing Bowie over the years, or hard drinking, hard smoking and hard swearing Lemmy, for that matter.”

Not surprisingly, Whipe’s theory has been met with scepticism in some quarters, with critics questioning whether many of the recently deceased celebrities could ever have been considered poor role models. “OK, I know what you are thinking – how could Victoria Wood ever have been seen as an unsuitable role model? Obviously, she incurred the secret group’s wrath by encouraging women to be emancipated and independent, telling them that they were the equal of men,” he contends. “Don’t forget, we’re dealing with seriously warped minds here – there’s no doubt in my mind that they offed Alan Rickman because he starred in the Harry Potter movies which popularise magic and the dark arts. And Paul Daniels was done in for actually practising magic!”

Whipe also believes that the secret fundamentalists sometimes deliberately assassinate celebrities who don’t fit the usual profile, so as to throw everyone off of the scent. “Besides, there’s bound to be some collateral damage in a large scale operation like this celebrity cull. Look, what other credible explanations are there for these deaths,” he demands. “A single serial killer of celebrities, perhaps? One who can travel the world and sometimes be in two places at once? Utter nonsense! It has to be a conspiracy of some sort – if not sinister moral campaigners, then a government conspiracy to cover up some kind of drug-related experiments it carried out on celebrities back in the day.” Whipe is sure of one thing: that the killings aren’t over yet. “ Believe me, this conspiracy isn’t over yet .” he opines. “There are just so many celebrities out these whose behaviour enrages the moral nutters: Justin Bieber, Miley Cyrus, Elton John, to name but a few. So, brace yourselves for many more celebrity deaths over the next few months!”