Monthly Archives: December 2016

Avaragado’s 2017 predictions

I very nearly didn’t bother this year. All my usual flim-flammery aside, like many I’m genuinely pessimistic about the future, and I’m sure I don’t need to explain why. Oddly, and happily, when I decided to conjure up some predictions from somewhere and got on with it, I found my mood lifting a notch or two.

Dunkirk spirit. Keep buggering on. Listen very carefully, I shall say zis only once. You’ve gotta laugh, haven’t you? World’s gone mad.

Here we are, then: predictions for 2017. I’m trying to be optimistic.


  1. Civilisation does not end in a nuclear fireball or similar Trump-triggered catastrophe.
  2. 2017 is not the warmest year globally on record, causing morons to assert that climate change isn’t happening, etc.
  3. Mike Pence becomes Acting President after invoking Section 4 of the 25th Amendment to the US Constitution with the help of his chums in Congress. (Pedants: under this clause, Trump would remain president but have no powers.)
  4. Trump resigns as president. (Pedants: see above as to why this is not the same prediction as that.)
  5. Self-inflated gaffe balloon Boris Johnson loses his job as foreign secretary.
  6. Marine Le Pen wins the French presidency and oh god will this never end.


  1. Olympics! Los Angeles is awarded the 2024 summer games.
  2. Formula One! Lewis Hamilton wins the World Drivers’ Championship.
  3. Cricket! India win the ICC Champions Trophy.
  4. Ladygolf! Europe win the Solheim Cup.
  5. Soggy oars! Cambridge win the women’s university boat race.
  6. Sandy balls! Portugal win the men’s FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup. Yes it’s a real thing.

Science and technology

  1. Samsung drops the 3.5mm headphone jack from at least some of its phones.
  2. The Nobel prize for physics is awarded for the confirmation of the existence of gravitational waves.
  3. A self-driving Uber kills someone. (Pedants: when the software is in charge, whether or not there is a person “supervising” in the driver’s seat.)
  4. Google buys Slack.
  5. Apple’s next major release of the iPad (probably called iPad Pro 2) includes both 3D Touch and a haptic engine that tries to make typing on a screen feel more like typing on a keyboard.
  6. A major ISP is hacked and the internet browsing habits of its users are published online.


  1. Oscar for Best Actor: Denzel Washington, Fences.
  2. Oscar for Best Actress: Natalie Portman, Jackie.
  3. Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay: Eric Heisserer, Arrival.
  4. Oscar for Best Picture: Fences.
  5. Channel 4 announces that the Great British Bake Off will be hosted by Jo Brand.
  6. In the second Fantastic Beasts film, the role of Dumbledore will be played by Hugh Laurie.

Celebrity somethingwatch

This year I’m predicting different things for different people.

  1. living: Betty White, still going strong at the end of 2017.
  2. out of the closet: Cristiano Ronaldo, probably via accidental Instagram.
  3. hired: Brooklyn Beckham, as a magazine photographer or similar.
  4. fired: Jack Dorsey, as CEO of Twitter and/or Stripe.
  5. retired: John Humphrys, as presenter of BBC Radio 4’s Today programme.
  6. expired: Henry Kissinger, please and thank you.

Guest submissions

Attendees of the ceremonial lunch that heralds these predictions were invited to suggest their own. By this stage, some drink had been taken.

  1. Andy H – Celebrity deathwatch: David Attenborough.
  2. Andy C –  the UK does not invoke Article 50.
  3. Andy C – Jeremy Corbyn is prime minister.
  4. Andy C – Celebrity deathwatch: Harry Styles.
  5. Andrew M – Scotland votes to leave the UK.
  6. Andrew M – Celebrity deathwatch: Princess Anne.
  7. Chris W – Some chunk of wall of some kind is built between Mexico and the US.
  8. Chris W – Celebrity deathwatch: Nicholas Lyndhurst.

Join us this time next year, as we fend off mutant humans and chimps on horseback from the shattered remains of the internet, to learn how pessimistic we should’ve been instead.


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Avaragado’s 2016 predictions – results


That was a year.

Six hours from 2017 in glorious GMT, and we’re all still refreshing our browsers to see which of the dwindling band of celebs are extraordinarily keen to avoid the Hootenanny. As the fireworks tick west, it’s time to review my predictions for 2016.

The well-lubricated Chris Walsh adjudicated, as ever, and his comments are in square brackets.


  1. In the thrilling Euro referendum that I hope to god happens in 2016 so we don’t have to suffer another whole year of it, the tedious British public votes 53% to 47% (±1%) to remain in the EU. [51.9% to 48.1% to LEAVE – 0pt]
  2. Bacon-worrier David Cameron resigns as prime minister. [1pt]
  3. Hillary Clinton wins the US presidential election. [Optimism – I remember that! 0pt]
  4. 2016 is the warmest year globally on record. [“2016 will very likely be the hottest year on record and a new high for the third year in a row, according to the UN” – 1pt]
  5. The Bank of England leaves interest rates at 0.5% all year. [Down to 0.25% – 0pt]
  6. The price of oil doesn’t go above $50 a barrel all year. [The current price of WTI crude oil as of December 19, 2016 is $51.72 per barrel. – 0pt]


  1. In the Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Team GB win 20±2 gold medals in total. [27 – 0pt]
  2. In the Euro 2016 football championships, England finish in the top 4. [Didn’t make it to quarter finals – 0pt]
  3. Oxford win the men’s University Boat Race. [Cambridge! – 0pt]
  4. HRH Prince Ali Al Hussein is elected the next president of FIFA. [Gianni Infantino – 0pt]
  5. Wales win the Rugby Union Six Nations. [England – 0pt]
  6. Europe retain the Ryder Cup. [USA – 0pt]

Science and technology

  1. The iPhone 7 (pedants: or whatever Apple calls the next major iPhone revision) has no 3.5mm headphone jack. [True! – 1pt]
  2. Apple releases a Mac with an A-branded (ARM, not Intel) processor. [Not yet – 0pt]
  3. Google buys Signal. [Don’t think so… – 0pt]
  4. A major security breach at the NHS leaks hundreds of thousands of patient details. [“An NHS trust has been fined £180,000 after a sexual health facility in central London accidentally leaked the personal details of 780 HIV clinic attendees by email.” … out by several factors of 10 – 0pt]
  5. Physicists confirm the first evidence for gravitational waves. [1pt]
  6. An out-of-control drone causes a major incident (eg a collision with an aircraft). [“Drone hits British Airways plane as it prepares to land at Heathrow” – 18th April 2016. Not sure that counts as a major incident, but the point is yours – 1pt]


  1. To save money, the BBC decides to close BBC Four. [Still there – 0pt]
  2. Peter Capaldi announces he is to leave Doctor Who. [Still there – 0pt]
  3. Oscar for Best Picture: The Revenant. [1pt]
  4. Oscar for Best Director: Ridley Scott, The Martian. [Alejandro González Iñárritu, Revenant – 0pt]
  5. Oscar for Best Actor: Eddie Redmayne, The Danish Girl. [Leonardo Di Caprio, Revenant – 0pt]
  6. Oscar for Best Actress: Brie Larson, Room. [1pt]

You’re celebrity fired

  1. Piers Morgan leaves Good Morning Britain. [Still there – 0pt]
  2. Marissa Meyer leaves Yahoo. [Still there – 0pt]
  3. Louis van Gaal leaves Manchester United. [1pt]
  4. Chris Evans (not that one) leaves the role of Editor of the Daily Telegraph. [Still there – 0pt]
  5. Philip Hammond leaves the role of Foreign Secretary. [Now Chancellor … 1pt]
  6. Sir Lord Alan Sugar leaves The Apprentice. [Still there – 0pt]

[2016 … a turbulent year for sure, and now confirmed as utterly unpredictable. What a year to abandon the “Celebrity Deathwatch” round though!  9 out of a possible 30, which gives a meagre (if nicely round) 30%.]

Coming soon: oh god, what next?

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