Back in April, the BBC's Obituaries Editor Nick Serpell was tasked with checking if there was anything unusual about the number of well-known people dying, as many on social media had been claiming.
He counted the number of pre-prepared BBC obituaries that ran across radio, TV and online
The BBC doesn't do an obituary for every celebrity that dies and, as already noted, Serpell only counted pre-prepared obituaries, rather than obituaries written after the event, or news reports that mention someone has died.
Then there's also the question of who even counts as a celebrity in the first place. US television personality David Gest, for example, did not get a BBC obituary.
Across the whole year, there was a 30% increase in BBC pre-prepared obituaries used in 2016 compared with 2015.
"In 2012, we had a total of 16," says Serpell. "In 2013, it went to 24. In 2014, it rose again to 29. In 2015, it rose slightly again to 32." For 2016, as of 15 December, it stands at 42.
The weird and slightly worrying thing is that when I look at their list of obituaries for 2012-2016, I'd forgotten many of them. Some seemed to have very little media attention, despite the BBC presumably reading out an obituary (anyone remember the news of Robert Stigwood dying? Anyone know who Robert Stigwood is?)