Every pensioner should have their own list of heroes to admire, inspire and provide challenging benchmarks for everyday life. Unfortunately, pensioners are almost certain to see many of their heroes die and sometimes such deaths can occur with depressing frequency.

Hero worship should be avoided whenever possible and any pensioner seriously considering building a shrine in a spare room, joining an on-line forum for a specific person or making cup-cakes in the form of their hero’s vital organs should consult a counsellor conversant with such obsessions.


Acceptable heroes for pensioners include Buster Keaton, Mervyn Peake, Don McCullin, Richard Feynman, Alan Turing and others. Completely unacceptable heroes include Paul Dacre, Pol Pot and anyone born after 1990.

If you’re unable to find a suitable hero, you can attempt to don the mantle yourself, and recommended courses of action include rescuing small animals with appealing whiskers, mediating between religious factions in the Middle East and sitting on a volcano to stop it erupting.