Paolo Vespucci (1931-2001) was born in Verona, Italy, between the wars. As Europe burned around him, he singlemindedly pursued his dream of becoming a royal hairdresser. After the fall of Mussolini, he moved to Hackney and opened a humble salon, "Paul's", offering quality cuts to housewives and spinsters alike.
Following a chance encounter with Lord Scotland at a Croydon bookmakers, Vespucci became Princess Margaret's hairdresser in 1961 and cut her hair for all her public appearances. His garlanded career ended tragically when he slipped on some mousse and fell on his scissors. He was 70 years old.
Percy Percy (1906 - 1947) was a small time debt collector from Las Vegas, USA. He made his name by opening a series of Vinegar Boutiques, these establishment would offer holiday makers and travelling businessmen alike a "vinegar experience they would never forget".
This statement was later found to be true, every single patron of the Vinegar Boutique was forced to wash and drink the substance until Percy himself was fully satisfied.
Upon the patrons eventual escape he would throw bottles of vinegar at them, yelling 'Why not try some more!"
As a young man, Estevez (1717 - 1758) would rise before dawn to replace his neighbour's hens eggs with those of turtles. Casual cruelties (urinating upstream on washday) slowly evolved into more organised rituals (collecting his own weekly urine and that of his dog Caspar).
Eventually cast out from the village, Estevez spent his final years urinating further upstream.
The 1987 series of 'New Faces' was notorious for several reasons, but perhaps the best remembered is the appearance of Balthazar West (1949-1993). West was raised in the Lake District by strict Methodists, harbouring a lifelong desire to take to the stage. Following the death of his elderly mother in 1986, he successfully auditioned for the popular talent show. What followed made the front pages of the following day's newspapers, and saw questions asked in parliament in an era where matters of entertainment were still thought below the attention of the House.
Having secured his slot with a milquetoast puppet act, on the live broadcast West took to the stage without his puppets and invited members of the audience to "hurt me badly", claiming that he could "take the pain". To the horror of judges Barry Took, Marti Caine and Tony Hatch, the stoic West was set about with handbags, fists, feet and stage furniture, all the while refusing to fall to the ground. The ten-minute onslaught was ended by the entertainer Roger de Courcey, who entered showbusiness folklore by begging on-air for "a little human decency".
Fired by the public interest, Balthazar West subsequently took his pain-based act on a nationwide tour, but ultimately failed to break into the mainstream. He spent his last years in poverty, and finally died of his many wounds following a particularly brutal engagement in Richmond-upon-Thames.
Bob Braden (1804-1904) was a proficient hole digger. In the early 1820's he dug a series of holes from which he would leap out of, surprising passes by and clinging to them until they fell to the ground.
After a successful attack he would run exactly 14 miles and begin again.
He lived exactly one hundred years