The world of rock and pop (not to mention garage, grunge, hip-hop, dub-step, skiffle, soul, r&b, folk, country & western, ballroom, easy-listening and bon tempi™) was in a state of profound shock today at the unexpected announcement that veteran singer and legendary party-animal Ziggy Osmington (born Nigel Threadbone) is to retire from public life in 2029. The announcement by his management team Threadbone Management Associates broke the internet (see "Threadbone Narrowband Dialup Chaos Brings Dorset Business To A Standstill", East Dorset Internet News) and came as a complete surprise to the whole industry says rock and pop historian Polly Grewe-Pea: "It has come as a complete surprise to the whole industry", she writes in her influential weekly column in The Tarrant Rawston Times "Personally, I've always kept a special place in my heart for a good Boner and Ziggy is the personification of what a great Boner is and should stand up for. Whilst it's a miracle he's kept it up all these years - I mean in his youth he really was massive - I am still profoundly shocked as will be all his fans and admirers. It could mean the end of the whole Boner thing... Then what's a girl supposed to do?".
No sooner was the announcement made than speculation began regarding the real cause of Ziggy's unexpected withdrawal (see "Ziggy Speculation Brings Threadbone Narrowband Dialup Chaos", West Dorset Internet News).*
Veteran Ziggy watcher Dave Osmington (who changed his name to that of the singer in 1972, having seen him by mistake at Butlins Minehead) believes illness or possibly tiredness is the root cause: "I saw him in Brighton last year during the Boners Reunion Tour and noticed he sometimes forgot the words: In "Doo doo di doo doo, doo doo doo doo, di doo doo dah" he missed the middle "doo" and added an extra "doo" at the end. It was worrying at the time and now I am very fearful. Could it have been the first sign?". Turnworth Weekly Shopper's medical expert Dr Art Terry is, however, cautious and urged fans not to jump to conclusions: "I would advise fans not to jump to conclusions", he said, "by 2029 Mr Osmington will be 94 and it's inevitable that he will want to reduce his touring commitments by then. And let's not forget his mother Mavis will be 112 and he may feel the need to spend more time with her in her declining years. Whilst its perfectly possible - and perhaps even likely - that he's suffering from some hideous and agonising life-limiting disease which will reduce him to a disgusting malodorous doubly-incontinent mindless pox-ridden suppurating vegetable best kept in a disposable bucket, there's a glimmer of a chance he isn't and we've got to cling to that".
Ziggy's mother, Mavis Threadbone (nee Bevis-Elvis-Davis) who lives in sheltered accommodation in Lydlinch, was unwilling to comment, having not had a good word to say for her son since 1985. "I haven't had a good word to say for him since 1985", she told a crowd of reporters outside her home, "so if you're not with the postcode lottery bugger off". Mavis will be 100 on 1 May.
* Writing on Twitter Twiggy Shrimpton who once shared "more than a sandwich" with Ziggy in the 1960s wrote "It's certainly not the first time he's withdrawn suddenly and unexpectedly #Ziggy Interruptus")
Ziggy Osmington is to retire from public life in 2029. Left: A recent publicity shot; Right: Ziggy at the Shillingstone Strawberry Fair in 2017 where, according to local police, he proved "far from a spent force".