Any art fan in the UK over the age of around 25 will most likely have fond memories of popular TV presenter Tony Hart.
His television career spanned from the 50s to the early noughties, retiring in 2001. Sadly, 8 years later he died, in January of 2009, at the age of 83.
However if the Internet – specifically the Twittersphere – is to be believed, the veteran artist has passed away a number of times, including in February 2015 and January 2016, as confused social media users give their condolences to the artist a number of years after his death.
So popular have the rumours been that the Guardian newspaper, who have been receiving lots of traffic to their 2009 article about his death, have added (in bold lettering) at the top of the page that their article was indeed published in 2009, and not a recent article, in a bid to ease the confusion.
The BBC initially attribute the confusion to Dan Huntly, father of two from Kent, who stumbled across an article detailing Tony Hart’s demise and wrongly assumed it was a recently published article. He went on to tweet his condolences on and it all started from there back in 2015. However the condolences started pouring in again in January 2016 and we don’t know how that started, but it wasn’t helped by celebrities including Piers Morgran being fooled and tweeting about it.
Usually celebrity death hoaxes spread before the celebrity in question has passed on. This odd little incident seems to have gotten it the wrong way around.