Bob Monkhouse was once best known for hosting Celebrity Squares and Family Fortunes on British television. Then in 2003 he died at the age of 75 and all went quiet. Until now, when it would appear that Bob is back from beyond the grave and posting jokes to Twitter.
It isn't the first time that the comedian has made an unlikely come back since succumbing to prostate cancer in December 2003. A couple of years ago Bob posthumously appeared in a film talking about his death as part of an awareness campaign by the Prostate Cancer Research Foundation, courtesy of some rather impressive virtual actor technology which was put to good use.
This time things are a little less complex on the technology front, with the charity simply starting a Twitter account in the name of bob_monkhouse http://www.twitter.com/bob_monkhouse which is posting some of his classic one-liner jokes.
The idea being that in-between Tweets such as "My wife was yawning so much she went to the doctor. He was baffled, then he realised it was her iron tablets. She had metal fatigue" and "Lucky for me, my wife wasn’t fussy. She once dated a man so ugly, when they went walking in the woods, he found truffles" there's a serious message coming across. The charity is once again using Dead Bob to spread the word regarding the killer disease. So there are also Tweets from Bob which say "By the way prostate research - www.thepcrf.org urgently needs funds. Making a donation won’t kill you, prostate cancer on the other hand..." for example.
It's early days, but there does seem to be some pulling power left even though Monkhouse has been dead for six years now. As I write his Twitter feed has fast approaching 2000 followers.
The Prostate Cancer Research Foundation does, I should point out, have full permission from the comedian's widow to use his name, and his jokes, in this way.
Anyway, far from celebrities killing Twitter or scientists trying to prove or disprove psychic ability using the medium (pun intended) it does seem that a dead celebrity could help keep alive in 140 characters or less. Which is kind of cool, don't you think?