As an avid avoider of Radio 4’s iconic farming-oriented soap, the following story tickled me greatly.
From the Christmas edition of the British Medical Journal. http://www.bmj.com/press-releases/2011/12/15/series-unfortunate-events-morbidity-and-mortality-borsetshire-village
Inhabitants of the fictional Borsetshire village are at higher risk of death by accident than the country as a whole according to Rob Stepney. Although if Ambridge residents avoid accidents, they can look forward to a long life. Stepney followed the lives of the Ambridgites for 20 years, during which there were 15 deaths,
According to the BMJ
Of the 15 deaths recorded in Ambridge over the 20 years, nine were of male characters and six of female characters. This equates to a mortality rate of 7.8 per 1,000 population per year for men compared with 8.5 per 1,000 in England and Wales mid-way through the study period. For women in Ambridge, the mortality rate was 5.2 deaths per 1,000 compared with 5.8 per 1,000 nationally.
The disturbingly high number of accidental deaths were the result of traffic accidents, someone was killed by a tractor turning over, some poor bugger fell off a roof and there was a self-inflicted gunshot wound. This takes the death rate from accident to 27% in Ambridge compared to 4% in the country as a whole. Conversely, the birth rate in Ambridge between 1991 and 2011 was lower than the country as a whole: 5.6 per 1,000 compared with 11.4 per 1,000 in England and Wales.
It has previously been found that characters in TV soaps Coronation Street and EastEnders have a higher risk of death than bomb disposal experts and racing drivers.