In Memoriam: Daniel Gould

Daniel Gould died suddenly on 14 December 2018. He was 43 years old. It was completely unexpected. I understand from Daniel’s family that the autopsy showed the cause of death was a blood clot resulting from a brain tumour. Six years ago Daniel had skin cancer, which appeared at the time to have been treated successfully. It seems from the autopsy that the cancer had since spread slowly in his body, without him being aware of it.

What is there to say? It’s impossible to comprehend.

Sofabet will now cease to be active. The existing content will stay up as a legacy to Daniel.

Daniel and I started Sofabet in 2010, and we had a blast with it. For those who have enjoyed the site with us over the years, I offer a few personal reflections below.

Daniel and I became friends at university in the 1990s, bonding over a shared teenage interest in horse racing. We’d spend every Saturday at Sandown or Kempton, Newbury or Ascot or Cheltenham, often meeting up with Daniel’s father Martin. These were happy days. After graduating, we both worked for the Racing & Football Outlook newspaper.

In time we both drifted away from horse racing, and for a few years we slipped into more sporadic contact. Daniel went on to edit a gay news website, then became a history teacher. In late 2009, during an exchange of catching-up emails, we discovered that we’d independently become fascinated by… Jedward.

Specifically, we were amused by how the X Factor walked the tightrope of pretending to want rid of Jedward, while actually trying to keep them around for as long as possible. Daniel won money on Jedward surviving the singoff against Lucie Jones. We chatted about how the show worked, and pored over the voting statistics when they came out.

Daniel told me he was thinking about quitting his teaching job to devote himself full-time to betting on Eurovision. He’d spotted Alexander Rybak early that year, and built up a healthy bank.

Out of these discussions, Sofabet emerged.

We had a few aims for the site. Daniel wanted to build a profile for himself that would enable him to apply for press credentials to attend Eurovision rehearsals. This worked perfectly, and was just as valuable for betting purposes as he’d imagined it would be. We both liked the idea of having a plaything to learn more about blogging, social media and internet business models, which we felt we didn’t understand as well as we should.

Above all, we thought it might be fun.

It took us a year or two to find our rhythm, and also to realise that Sofabet itself was never going to generate an income; but that didn’t matter, because something else was happening. Sofabet was attracting a community of incredibly smart, amusing and perceptive people. The comments section buzzed with often erudite, entertaining discussions.

Over the years, during Eurovision seasons Sofabet has been entirely Daniel’s domain. I was one of his “outside-the-bubble” sounding boards, and I learned just enough to have some appreciation of the depth of Daniel’s knowledge, and marvel at the remarkable reliability of his gut reactions about which entries would play with voters and juries, in which parts of Europe.

I’ve enjoyed chipping in more with our X Factor coverage, which has reflected a behind-the-scenes conversation among Daniel, myself and Kenny (@thepixelfactor). Daniel always had the final say on what we published: here, too, both Kenny and I were fully aware that his instincts were right far more often than ours were.

Regular readers will be able to imagine how much fun and laughter we had in coming up with some of the stuff that made it into Sofabet posts. We were often somewhat tongue-in-cheek in floating theories that amused us even if they seemed highly speculative, while always taking the view that the balance in Daniel’s Betfair account was the ultimate arbiter of whether we maintained an overall grasp on reality.

Having learned in my horse racing days that I lack the temperament to wager more than token amounts, I was in constant awe of Daniel’s ability to hold his nerve and think clearly with five- or six-figure sums resting on which nation’s flag flew out of an envelope in a Eurovision semi-final graphic, or which name emerged from Dermot O’Leary’s mouth after a pregnant pause.

I often talked to Daniel about the psychology of gambling. He considered his lack of stubbornness to be a great asset – the ability to reverse course as soon as he realised he’d made a mistake. He did make mistakes, and sometimes incurred hefty losses. I was invariably amazed by his ability to bounce back from these reverses, without dwelling on regret or doubting his own capacity for judgement.

Daniel won much more than he lost. During the nine years of Sofabet, Daniel’s winnings on Eurovision and X Factor funded a lifestyle of travels between those two big events. Daniel was in Florida when he died.

Others spent far more time in person with Daniel than I did – we lived in different parts of the country – and were more familiar with other parts of his life; still, I considered Daniel to be one of my closest friends. We could talk to each other about anything. Daniel was kind and generous, courteous, self-aware, wickedly funny and with a keen sense of life’s absurdities. Very many people will miss him very much.

111 comments to In Memoriam: Daniel Gould

  • Paul O'Leary

    Fantastic tribute. Daniel’ death has affected me deeply. We never met, chatted occasionally on Twitter, but loved his insight and knowledge. Rest in peace Daniel – you’ll be missed.

  • EM

    So sorry to read this. He sounds a true one-off who lived a full life and left a little something behind. What more can we ask for.

    Thoughts with his family and friends. What a terrible time for it to happen.

  • Tom

    Deeply saddened to hear the news. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed reading your insight over the last few years. Thank you for everything you’ve done, and farewell, Daniel. You’ll be sorely missed. My thoughts and condolences are with his family and friends during this difficult time.

    • Miriam

      Oh my goodness, what dreadfully sad news. I just came back here after going down a nostalgic x-factor rabbit hole and I’m so shocked and really upset for all of Daniel’s friends and family. I enjoyed this site so much and loved reading his (and everyone’s) comments. I hope everyone is ok.

  • dicksbits

    A fitting and insightful tribute. I was very saddened to read this news on Twitter today. I wish his family and friends my condolences at a very hard and difficult time. It seems extremely unfair that this has happened. Thank you for writing this for us to read.

  • Andy

    I can honestly say I’ve broused this site more than any other for years, absolutely loved the gossip and banter, and of course the useful insight from the many posters and always done with politeness and respectfulness, I’m happy to say Daniel and myself were probably matching each other many times on Betfair and there would be no other who I would gladly lose my money to, Thanks to both Daniel and Andrew for all the work involved in keeping SOFABET operating and well done Andrew in putting this tribute out as I’m sure it will have been a difficult task.
    I will miss this site very much, RIP Daniel, A true gentleman.

  • Emre

    I can’t believe. So sorry to read this. Rest in Peace Daniel.

  • Beanie

    Deeply saddened to read this news this week.

    The creation of sofabet coincided with my own growing interest in reality TV betting and through the years Daniel’s insights were always my first port of call. His ability to remove emotion from his analysis was unparalleled.

    Beautiful tribute to someone who sounds like an all round top bloke – RIP Daniel and condolences to his friends and family.

  • Ben Cook

    Lovely tribute, Andrew. So sad to hear this news. I loved reading Daniel’s insights into X Factor and Eurovision, and I particularly liked that he was humble enough to listen to other people’s views, despite the fact the money he was making could have made him rather smug or arrogant! Rest in peace, Daniel.

  • Chris Bellis

    What can I say. I’ve loved this site for many years. The best forum on the internet. I’m deeply saddened by this news. Thank you Andrew for a respectful and fitting obituary. I will miss Daniel’s humorous and witty assessments. Eurovision will not be the same without him.

  • Burlington Bertie

    Like others who have commented, I’m so sorry to hear of Daniel’s death. As a hardcore Eurovision fan and once a year hardcore gambler, Sofabet has been my go to website every May for years. Daniel offered a knowledgeable yet never predictable angle on the contest which in turn sparked some high quality discussions. This year was the first in which I started leaving comments and I had a great time posting and reading posts in the weeks leading up to the Eurovision. I found that reading the comments on this website was as addictive as the gambling itself and had to wean myself off it after the contest – I felt I should return to speaking to actual people rather than online ones. Thanks Andrew for your tribute to Daniel, and know that we all appreciate the work that the two of you have put in since 2010. May Daniel rest in peace and may we, the Eurovision gamblers, remember him fondly every spring when the contest comes around.

  • Score

    What a fitting and heartfelt tribute. It’s such awful, sad news. I wasn’t a regular contributor to this site but I always enjoyed reading Daniel’s insights and thoughts. Reading this tribute it is clear he was a brilliant person and will be sorely missed. I am so sorry to hear about what has happened. RIP Daniel and thoughts with his friends and family at this difficult time.

  • 360

    How absolutely awful. Thank you for the entertainment this site has provided. I have been reading it since the Cher Lloyd series, though I didn’t start commenting until a few years ago. This is upsetting for me so I can’t imagine it for those of you who were personally closer. Look after yourselves and take the time to heal and make it through.

  • Woofie

    So sad to hear the news of Daniel’s passing. A fitting tribute.
    I am grateful for this site, sharing his insight and giving us an outlet. He will be missed. RIP.

  • I have little to say that hasn’t been said already. Once a year I’d head over to this site to read both Daniel’s thoughtful articles on the contest, and the equally thoughtful comment threads that would follow. There simply isn’t another site like this one. Daniel’s passing is both a human tragedy and a loss of a unique online resource. He gave so much and had so much more to give.

    I will be thinking of him and his friend and family while watching Festival i Kenges this week.

  • Aaron

    I’m very sorry indeed to read this. I don’t recall ever having commented here before, but I’ve long enjoyed Daniel’s pieces.

    As a fellow betting industry insider it was obvious that Daniel understood both our industry and the entertainment industry at a very intuitive level, which of course led to both great tips and great writing.


  • Jessica Hamby

    Thanks for this Andrew.

    I will miss both you and Daniel. I have loved reading and commenting on Sofabet since I first came across it.

    Daniel always came across to me as charming, courteous, intelligent, empathetic and insightful – as have you.

    I feel sad and I will miss you – not just Daniel but everyone on Sofabet – commentators and all. Despite never having met anyone in person I have still felt a sense of community with my fellow posters and readers. I will miss that.

    My condolences to you, to Daniel’s family, to all my fellow sofabettors. I’m glad Daniel had a full life, well lived and that he got to do so many things that he wanted to do. I hope I can be more like that. I hope that when my time comes I will be remembered with as much respect and affection as Daniel.

  • Caroline

    This is such terrible news, condolences to his friends and family. I loved reading his posts on here, I probably watched X Factor 3 years longer than I should have just because I loved reading his take on it. RIP Daniel.

  • Ben Gray

    I never did have the pleasure to meet Daniel in person, but even through the occasional Facebook PM during Eurovision season, he came across as nothing short of a true gent, bright and easy to talk to. His death came as a great surprise to me. It’s surreal.

    I have taken great value in his many articles here on Sofabet and all of the comments and other contributors here and his approach to online gambling in general, and have made a few good friends along the way too, which is why I do hope that we’ll be able to continue the discussion amongst ourselves for the upcoming contest in Tel Aviv. If not here, then perhaps a new open forum for us to do so could be set up in Daniel’s memory?

    While Sofabet will stand as a proud legacy to his life’s work after he left the teaching profession, no doubt there is so much more to Daniel than Sofabet, and I’m sending my deep and sincere condolonces to all those who knew and loved him.

  • Dan H

    A thoughtful and enlightening tribute to Daniel’s life. As others, I wasn’t fortunate enough to meet Daniel, but through this site and his posts on ESCNation I came to appreciate and respect the man and his insight greatly.
    Best wishes are with you, and all of his family and friends, it is such a sad situation, but the community he brought together will always remember him and be grateful. Hugs to all <3

  • Katie S

    A fitting and well put tribute Andrew. Creating Sofabet with Daniel was a huge gift -not just to your followers, but to him. Well done. You’ll miss him awfully – we all will. x

  • I wrote a small tribute to Daniel already, he was a huge influence for me when I started betting and I’ve followed Sofabet for many years. What were once theories are now common, accepted knowledge thanks to Daniel.

    I hope Daniel’s friends and family can take some small solace in the outpouring of unanimous support, respect and compliments from the many people whose lives he touched. RIP Daniel.

  • Ben

    So shocked and saddened to read this as I have know Daniel even before Sofabet was set up. Was, only speaking to him a few weeks ago to sort out our annual catch up! RIP Daniel I will miss our racing chats.

  • Hippo

    Really sad to see this today, I am just gearing up for the next esc season so naturally this was one of my first stops to see if one Daniel’s great threads had been posted yet.
    I never met Daniel, nor can I say we ever conversed more than the odd occasion on these pages but it’s clear from everything I’ve seen of him, and all these other comments here, that he was a really decent, good guy whose knowledge on this industry was second to none.

    My condolences to all those who were lucky to have known him better.

  • Froggitt

    Great tribute Andrew. Daniel was one of the best at this game, will be missed by everyone who followed him here or on Twitter.

    RIP and condolences to his family

  • Annabel Ross Jones

    I arrived back for Christmas this morning to find a card from Dan’s father and an so saddened , shocked really. Dan and I taught together for several years at North Bridge House and we both had Year 9 forms which kept us busy , tired and amused in equal measure.
    I will miss his travel tales and wicked sense of humour. My sincere condolences to his family.

  • Jim Duncan

    I’m very sad to learn of Daniel’s premature death. This is a lovely tribute to his Sofabet years. Deepest condolences to all those who personally knew him personally. RIP Daniel.

  • Montell

    Shocking news. I feel deeply sad for what happened. I’ve grown my interest in Eurovision and betting mostly because of this site. Daniel, we never met but in my heart you will not be forgotten. Rest in peace, friend.

  • James Martin

    I’ve said everything I have to say before but it’s still terribly sad news. I’m sorry to hear the site will become inactive and without a doubt the run-up to Tel Aviv will be a less bright one without Daniel and his incredible body of work.

    I’ll miss the banter and I’ll miss the unique insight.

    It’s so clichéd to say but he really will leave a huge hole in the Eurovision community.

  • James Martin

    It’s appropriate you note the 2009 X Factor singoff of two future Eurovision contestants, as that was the true “Jumping the shark” moment for me, when the dark arts were truly exposed. Then Richard started Betsfactor and from there during Little Mix’s year I got hooked into the betting thing. As luck would have it I’d always had an unhealthy love of Eurovision and this year managed to go to both the UK National Final (where I was lucky to meet Dan, who suggested I might be onto something by laying Asanda!) and all six shows in Lisbon for the first time. Since Copenhagen 2014 this site became my Bible, even when I completely wrote Netta off on the nose.

    I was also lucky enough to meet Eurovicious in Lisbon, who came straight up to me in Eurovillage after the Blue Carpet and said “Hi, are you James Martin off Sofabet?” Loved that mate! I hope his thoughts and musings find a new home.

  • Martin Green

    So sad to hear about Daniel’s untimely death. I have spent many summer days with him at Highgate ponds for 10 years, swimming, chatting and hanging out.Such great company. He will be missed by his many friends at the pond. A tragic loss for us all.

  • johnkef

    This is so sad! I have been reading and participating on this blog and threads for 6 years. Daniel’s mindset and philosophy regarding Eurovision betting were top quality.

    He has given us food for thought multiple tines and his reporting and insight from rehearsal were spot on. He was always calm and never exagetated on his posts. I had the impression that i was present at the rehearsals as well through his eyes and thoughts.

    I have spent hundreds of hours in this page reading and commenting and i have to say Eurovision season will never be the same again.

    He will be missed!

  • martin

    i am shocked by this news. i know it’s been a period of time, but i hope that andrew and any others who are closely affected by daniel’s passing are taking the time to grieve and look after themselves.

    daniel was an astonishingly talented man and sofabet has been an enormous safe space for me through a turbelent few years. although i was mostly here to read, enjoy and take part in the comments section over gambling, daniel’s insight and knowledge was immeasurable and has kept us all coming back to this magical site for years.

    this is a beautiful tribute andrew. to say daniel’s death is premature is an understatement, but there is comfort that he absolutely squeezed every drop out of his life, and it seems that he lived it exactly how he wanted to, which is remarkable.

  • Frank Müller

    It took me a few days to write something! I’m still in Shock and it’s difficult to accept that he is gone! It’s so sad! I don’t know him for very long but every time I came to London we met and we had constantly contact over WhatsApp and instragram! He felt like close friend to me and every time I had a problem he was more than supportive with his intellect! Sometime I felt stupid next to him! He was so well educated and had lots of private interedts! I only understood now how he financed his nice lifestyle! He is a great guy! He told me that he had a stroke a couple of months ago and was lucky but never that he had cancer! Before he went to Fort Lauderdale we met in London and he was so excited to go! I don’t know why but I had a bad feeling already at this time! On the day he died I had a last contact via WhatsApp and he seem distant to me! I feel very sad and every time I look on our pics it’s difficult to understand that I can never met smart daniel! My deepest condolences to his family and friends! Rest In Peace Daniel! I will never forget you … I was so happy to found a nice friend

  • alison cassells

    condolences to his family, andrew and everyone on here who had their lives enlightened by his insightful observations and knowledge. i will miss it although i did not post that often i read a whole lot, much like many.

  • Piresistable

    This is incredibly sad news, my condolences to Daniel’s family and friends. A very touching tribute Andrew.

  • Showlad

    1 of 2: With Thanks
    Hello to dear friends on here and especially of course to Daniel sending you a big love on your new journey and may you live it as you lived this one: with kindness, a sense of adventure and a calm, considered wisdom.
    Like many of you on here I began that sleepy, joyous return to the Eurovision ‘on season’ that is usually tinged with excitement and anticipation yesterday.
    I then read this ground shaking news and whilst it has rocked my world it as also given me deep gratitude for Daniel and what he gave – the expert analysis, the wit and warmth and also in turn for my own life I felt a renewed gratitude, perspective and appreciation going forward.
    My thoughts and thanks to his family, friends and Andrew. Hi family especially thanks for giving us all our dear friend.
    I had the pleasure of knowing Daniel online here with you great guys and some personal emails too. All the laughs, cool tips and gripping reads.
    BIG Thanks and a warm and heartfelt group hug

  • Showlad

    2 of 2: 2019 Wish

    I strongly echo Ben Gray’s sentiment and hope that we can carry forward what Daniel has built up in his honour.

    If it is not continued on here I take that decision with respect.

    I do feel compelled though that Daniel would have wanted the debates, wit and warmth to continue that he lovingly and studiously built up and even if it is not facilitated on this site I really hope we can efficiently pull together as a team (I am happy to help) to continue his legacy perhaps on a simple site ‘Sofabetters’ or something respectfully fitting with posts and blog.
    The great people on here, Eurovicious and all, have such talent and have learned so much from Daniel and I feel it would be great for our community on here and most of all such a fitting tribute and legacy to Daniel that what he has built up is continued ❤❤

  • Showlad

    2 of 2: 2019 Wish

    I strongly echo Ben Gray’s sentiment and hope that we can carry forward what Daniel has built up in his honour.

    If it is not continued on here I take that decision with respect.

    I really feel compelled though that Daniel would have wanted the debates, wit and warmth to continue that he lovingly and studiously built up and even if it is not facilitated on this site I really hope we can efficiently pull together as a team (I am happy to help) to continue his legacy perhaps on a simple site ‘Sofabetters’ or something respectfully fitting with posts and blog.
    The great people on here, Eurovicious and all, have such talent and have learned so much from Daniel and I feel it would be great for our community on here and most of all such a fitting tribute and legacy to Daniel that what he has built up is continued ❤❤

    • Chris Bellis

      I would second that Showlad. It would be a fitting tribute to Daniel if his extremely perceptive work were to form the basis of a new sofabet style site. His site was unique – none of the other betting sites come close in either wit or insight. Obviously I too respect the opinion of the main authores of the site and those who knew Daniel personally.

    • Jessica Hamby

      I would also enjoy some sort of continuation of Sofabet. It would be hard without Daniel though. It’s not just a question of time and effort, it’s his insight.

  • eurovicious

    I would recommend people use Rob’s site ( for Eurovision, Strictly and X Factor, and Tim’s site ( for X Factor and Big Brother. Both of those have a comment function, so it’d be possible to get a discussion thread going. Alternatively, I’ve set up a comment thread for Sofabet readers to discuss Eurovision 2019 here.

  • David

    Coming on this site as the Eurovision season starts brings an overwhelming sadness. The contest will never be quite the same. Thank you for everything. Rest in Peace Daniel.

  • James Martin

    Hi Eurovicious, thanks for this.

    Although I didn’t know Dan personally I’ve experienced personal loss before time and without warning. That in mind, I can imagine he wouldn’t be best pleased if we didn’t pick up the body of work he left behind and carry it on. It’s clichéd and cheesy as the show itself, but the best tribute we can all do is what Dan bought us together to do and make some money at the bookies in May.

  • Milton

    Still shocked and saddened by this news, especially as Eurovision 2019 starts to take shape.

    I agree that it would be great if this site could continue as a discussion forum, even if it there is no further editorial content, which is entirely understandable.

    Either way I am glad that you plan to leave the site live as an ongoing tribute Andrew. It seems unfair that the costs relating to hosting, domain name renewal etc should all fall on your shoulders. I’d be happy to make a contribution to this as I’m sure many others who have benefited from the site over the years would if you were to set up a facility enabling us to do so.

  • mark dowd

    This is a link to a one hour January EUROBLISS show, recorded on 16th, in which tributes are made, favourite Daniel songs are played and an attempt is made to capture what made him such a unique and joyous presence in the ESC community.

    • Chris Bellis

      Many thanks for that Mark. What a great tribute, in tune with the mood of everyone who’s been a regular contributor to his site. As the Eurovision season gets going, we’ll all realise even more how we miss him.

  • CRC

    So so sorry to hear of Daniel’s untimely passing. He was a bright, cheerful, witty, positive teacher who was loved by staff and pupils. Amazing character who simultaneously completed a Masters, taught history and managed the extra curricular which we found out about via a national press headline thereby becoming a hero!

  • Chrisr

    I saw the EYD songs today, and immediately thought of logging into sofabet to get stuck into this years season kicking off. I can’t believe it… so so sad that we’ve lost such a great guy. Suddenly I’m not looking forward to ESC anymore, it all seems so sad. My thoughts are with those closest to Daniel, hoping their pain becomes more manageable in time. May you rest in peace, you are missed by many. I hope this is not the end for our group. I wish you all the best x

  • Victor

    Hi, just to send my condolences to his family and friends. I logged on 2 days ago and this really hit me. Although I never met him I have followed this blog for a few years now and always took into account Daniel’s opinions. Such a shame someone so young and full of life is leaving us. Rest in peace Daniel. You will not be forgotten.

  • John

    Hi everyone, so sorry to hear of Daniel’s passing. I’m an infrequent poster but was a dedicated reader of his site. He had a rare insight, balanced approach and I particularly admired how tactful, humble and decent he always was. He seemed like a really awesome guy, and my sincere condolences to everyone who knew him personally and through the site.

  • Guildo Horn Forever

    Am shocked to read of Daniel’s death. I never met him, but from avidly reading his many posts and articles, and listening to his contributions in podcasts, he seemed a very articulate, deep thinking, savvy, upbeat and kind gentleman.

    It was very kind of him to post some of my bits and pieces on this site. I quickly learnt he had a terrific talent as an editor, too!

    Although I’d watched X Factor, Eurovision etc over the years, it was only through Daniel and the whole witty, perceptive and challenging Sofabet community that I gradually learnt to see what I was watching.

    My thanks to Daniel and to everyone else here for that.

    It all feels so sad and shocking.

    Condolences to his friends and family.

    RIP, Daniel.

  • Stephen Muckle

    This came as a huge shock when I found out about this. I always enjoyed reading his analysis whether it be Eurovision or X Factor. I’ve always enjoyed Eurovision but his analysis was probably one of the reasons I became such a dedicated fan in more recent years. RIP Daniel

  • Henry VIII

    Thank you very much for the tribute Andrew. Daniel was the gentleman of the betting game. I’ve been reading and commenting here for years and I regret never meeting him in person.

    I hope the other sites can take up the slack but I think there is still a gap for a budding new bet site owner as Sofabet was unique. I say “was” but thanks Andrew for keeping it’s to date history online. It has a huge reserve of information for those new to this game, and for all those interested in the dark arts behind the making of something like X Factor. There’s nothing like it and it is a great legacy to Daniel.

  • Angus

    This is terribly sad news.

    I had the pleasure of meeting Daniel twice. First, when he was kind enough to give me his time to be interviewed for my blog. I was a recent graduate without any background in journalism but Daniel didn’t hesitate. Then, a few months later, in his favourite Kentish Town coffee shop.

    On both occasions, he was warm, kind, smart and funny. I’m grateful for having met him, and send condolences to his family.

    If anyone would like to read the article, it’s published here:

  • RonH

    I have watched Eurovision ever since 1970. I kept hoping for another victory of my country ever since 1975. Today I closely watched Duncan Laurence gradualy reach first place at Betfair Exchange. This is my most favorite Dutch entry ever! And despite all, I suddenly felt sad and shed tears. In these moments I truly miss Daniels enchanting love for Eurovision, so eloquently expressed thru Sofabet. Rest in peace Daniel Gould.

  • Mark Dowd

    Ron… When I heard “Arcade” I thought straight away of Daniel.. I know he’d have totally loved it and it just rubs in the pain knowing he’s not here with us to comment and enjoy.
    Maybe he’s tuning in from another vantage point? We’re not to know.. But if he is, hope he knows we’re missing him.

  • When I started with my friend Dennis van Eersel a ‘more critical Dutch blog about Eurovision’ (, I came across Sofabet one day.

    Ever since then I’ve been following his extremely rational yet respectful arguments about every individual Eurovision entry. I invited him back in 2011 to do a guest editorial (you can read it here, perhaps with Google Translate:•-daniel-gould-uit-engeland/ ). In it he gave his comments about that year’s Dutch entry, The 3JS.

    Dennis and I kinda……liked it. But his editorial was an eye opener for me. And ‘me’ here is an occasional better, but mostly a passionate fan who always dreams about a potential 5th victory, no matter how statistically slim the chances are to win.

    3JS went on to become last in their semi-final. He was right, in every instance of this entry. For me, as a fan, Netherlands had to endure one more last grose result, in 2012. Yet slowly and steadily change arrived on the horizon, perhaps indirectly due to Daniel’s expertise on this matter?

    Dutch broadcaster AVROTROS decided in 2013 to quit the national final format ‘Nationaal Songfestival’ (the more dire equivalent of ‘Melodifestivalen’) and from that moment onwards entries were chosen internally by giving big famous Dutch artists a big podium.

    This year AVROTROS is more proactively engaged in advising current hopeful Duncan Laurence. Even Cornald Maas, the Dutch commentator, went on to say “We have…haveee to improve on the televote this year”.

    Treating Eurovision this seriously in my opinion stems from the betting expertise of people like Rob Furber, Panos Zanettos and….indeed…..Daniel Gould.

    The seriousness with which AVROTROS is treating Eurovision now, could have been developed because of introducing Daniel Gould to Dutch Eurovision fans. And here we are now: a 9th place in 2013, a 2nd place in 2014 some sweet 11th placed entries in 2016 and 2017. And, whatever the odds currently say, perhaps a nice TOP 10 spot again for The Netherlands.

    Thanks Daniel. May you rest in peace. You will be greatly missed.

    PS: I now realize how much I’ve learnt from this wonderful guy. Reading his 2011 guest editorial, and then my piece from last week ( )…..You’ll be greatly missed Daniel :-(.

  • Kieran

    Like many here, i didn’t contact Sofabet much, but appreciated Daniels advice etc, and he came across as a good person. As Mark Dowd mentioned: Maybe Daniel is tuning in from another vantage point…i have a feeling he is.

  • Dear Sofabet friends,

    Thank you so much for all the lovely words above – they mean a lot. I’ve spoken to members of Daniel’s family and some close friends from other orbits of his life who’ve said they’ve read through all the comments on this thread, sometimes multiple times, and it’s brought them comfort. Thank you.

    Milton, upthread you very kindly offered to chip in some money towards continuing to keep the site up. It is much appreciated, but Kenny (@thepixelfactor) and I are happy to sort that out between us. However, Daniel’s family have chosen a charity if any of you would like to chuck a few quid their way in his memory:

    Best wishes,

  • I know that there is no way that someone can replace Daniel’s insights and his amazing posts but took the initiative to create a blog where i post my personal thoughts for the contest and the songs. It was originally in Greek but now i have created an english version as well.

  • Jessica Hamby

    Anyone heard from Stoney? I’m surprised he’s not been around. It’s not for me to tell anyone how to grieve, of course but I can’t help wondering if anything’s happened to him.

    I’ll be popping into other people’s blogs from time to time as the contest approaches. I think Daniel would have enjoyed Australia’s entry this year. That song is Eurovision.

  • John Moss

    RIP Daniel. Heading to this site for Eurovision was always a pleasure and he’ll be missed.

  • JonX

    I am shocked and saddened to say the least. Never posted anything here but relished in reading Daniel’s insights. He struck me as very intelligent person and would always look forward to the comment sections as well as it brought together people with very interesting views. I wish nothing but courage to his loved ones. He is and will be truly missed.

  • CS

    Just came along as I do every year to get some great insight and discussion on BGT and Eurovision and saw the sad news. Can’t add any more than what has already been expressed better by others. My condolences. Thanks for a wonderful site.


    New post. I consider one of the best data guides for the semi finals. Tens of hours were spent on that post. Hope you like.

    I wish Daniel were with us to read that post…

  • Chris M

    Very sorry to read this. Daniel will be sorely missed. My condolences to his loved ones and friends. RIP.

  • mark dowd

    Daniel was a regular panelist on EUROBLISS around this time of the year (and was featured in a special commemorative February edition.) He gets a namecheck or two in April’s preview to ESC 2019 which can be heard, HERE:

  • David

    Sorry for posting this and Andrew can remove my post if he wishes, but I feel there is something a bit off about the continual posting of links to external blogs on here. One post to notify everyone of the blog is fine as those who wish to follow it can bookmark it. I see no reason for continued updates via the Sofabet comments section which is intended to be a place where people can pay their respects to Daniel. Thank you.

  • Sawyer

    These times I feel your absence even more. Your insight and wisdom will always be remembered..

  • Mark Dowd

    echo that thought. We all miss you buddy.
    Presence.. In absence.

  • Stevobaggio

    RIP mate, thanks for all the fantastic Eurovision insight over the years, condolences to family x

  • Dan

    I hadn’t looked at Sofabet since the end of X-Factor but popped along today for Eurovision tips. What terrible news – 43 is far too young. So, a belated farewell to Daniel; I never had the pleasure of meeting you but have enjoyed your writing and commenting on Sofabet over the past seven years. My condolences to his family and thank you to Andrew for the fitting obituary.

  • Richard Betsfactor

    I was very saddened to hear this news. I didn’t know Daniel well, but I met up with him occasionally for a milkshake and we did a X Factor podcast for a couple of months one year.

    For what little my thoughts are worth, Daniel was always hilarious, perceptive, hugely talented, a master of his craft. He was happy to share, candidly at times, the highs and lows of his career. He leaves a massive legacy of knowledge and insight. Condolences to his friends and family.

    Two things I’d highlight, in addition to all the generous words:

    – Daniel always strove to be kind to participants of these shows. Treating them with respect.

    – As Andrew highlighted in his excellent tribute. One of the most important things in this game is to be able to reverse ferret. Completely U Turn on your view. Whether that’s investing, gambling… pretty much anything in life! Writing a blog, talking publicly about your thoughts can easily weld you to a position. Especially, if you’ve already placed four, even five figure sums on it. Daniel could say “a minute ago I thought that, now I think this”. He had the humility, nous, intelligence and experience to pick a different winner.

    That’s why he was the best.

    Change, change your mind, take it all (take it all).


  • Arghp

    Came along today to read the usual about Eurovision.

    For someone I’d never met, it’s a like losing a friend.

    Best wishes to his family and friends. He was far too young.

  • Beerpig

    Really, really sorry to log in and hear this.
    Deepest sympathy to his family and many friends.
    Rest in peace Daniel

  • Donald

    Very very sad news, life can be so unexplainably cruel at times. That must have been the toughest piece you have written for Sofabet Andrew.

    I am very saddened to learn today of Daniel’s unexpected sudden passing on December 19th last.

    During the past two years due to work commitments, a declining X-Factor, and my own health issues, I have left “Sofa punting” alone except for Eurovision. So on return this morning for Eurovision what can I say except a few words to remember Daniel by.

    I had always had a bet on Eurovision to a decent degree of success, then in 2011 I fancied Azerbaijan with Running Scared, it was great value but was not 1000% convinced so decided to see if there was any chatter re them online. I put in a few searches that brought no result of any significance re the subject matter, I altered my searches a few times and found Sofabet on one of them.

    I read the posts and put it down that day and so began my lovely chapter and adventures in life with Sofabed.

    The place that got the”auld enemy” “Running Scared” of TV Reality music shows and Eurovision.

    There were some mighty punts, mighty punters and people, unrivaled knowledge and information shared and above all a real genuine will to educate and share. (Even the data coalition was before its time..)

    The efforts and contribution were outstanding and the results showed.

    Daniel and Sofabet will be sadly missed but always remembered by me.

    There is an old saying in gambling “if you don’t put it down you don’t get it back”

    Rest In Peace Daniel Gould, the man who could put it down and get it back. A legend. Thanks for the memories, great moments and the profits.

    I would like to offer my sincere condolences to Daniel’s family, Andrew on here and Daniels friends alongside the “Sofabet Family”, my thoughts and prayers are with you all throughout this loss and especially today on Eurovision Day.

  • Just a note to say thank you everyone for your continued lovely words and reminiscences of Daniel and the Sofabet era. It’s bringing a warm, nostalgic smile to my face and I know it will mean a lot to Daniel’s friends and family.

    I look forward to joining many of you, I’m sure, in raising a glass to his memory this evening. To Daniel!

  • People have different ways to mourn andpay their tribute. We were lucky to have Daniel and Sofabet in our lives. I wish he were here to read my posts. The one for the final is dedicated to his memory!

  • Jessica Hamby

    I’ll be thinking of the Sofabet family and of Daniel tonight.

    Would it be disrespectful to have one last thread for us to comment on the show? It would be great to do that again and raise a glass at song 7 or whatever it is but not just for Terry but for Daniel.

  • Tpfkar

    I came here today to express exactly that thought. Although I’ve always been into XFactor more than Eurovision, I haven’t really bothered following Eurovision at all this year.

    I just haven’t been able to get into it without the sofabet previews – with daniel at the heart of them.

    I’ve always thought that absence doesn’t make the heart grow fonder; it simply reveals how fond it always was.

    So Just one question for tonight: if we raise a glass for Sir Terry in song #9 when do we raise one for Daniel Gould? I think for me it has to be the pimp slot- he made it a ‘household’ expression and the ultimate sign of XF producer favour. The hours he’d put into analysing running orders were something else. So I’ll be toasting him during the final song tonight. Please feel free to join me, unless anyone can suggest a better song to choose. Best wishes to all

  • M8

    Spending the evening watching the festivities with family and friends, the way it should be I’ll be having one in your honour Daniel, in the pimp slot as suggested above. Hopefully you’ll be enjoying the night with all of us from the best view in the house!

  • DannyCraig

    Saddened by this news. TV specials just won’t be the same again x

  • Linda

    With Strictly starting last night I came back here and am so shocked and saddened to learn of Daniel’s passing. I learned so much about how to read TV shows and media’s manipulation of audiences from him and I loved reading this site weekly. Thank you for all the good times Daniel and Andrew.

  • James

    Like some others before me I have only just heard the sad news about Daniel. I’m a long term lurker on here, never posting, but enjoying immensely the analysis particularly around X Factor. I’ve just logged on to read the analysis of this year’s live shows for the first time in a year and read with huge sadness about Daniel no longer being with us. We never spoke but I feel I got to know him through reading his articles on here. I’m so so sorry about what happened. Daniel’s site kept many of us entertained and engaged. He and the forum for discussion he started will be much missed.

  • Bill

    I won’t go into the details, but I only met Daniel once, during a trip to London… intimately. When he met me at the bus stop (a yank, completely terrified of getting lost in the unknown streets), As we made small talk, I asked him what he did for a living. He told me he was a professional gambler. I asked him what he gambled on, and he stopped in his tracks and said, “You are the first person to ever ask me that. People always assume it’s either football or poker or horses. I gamble on reality television.” I just felt honored to have been curious enough to ask him something he’d never been asked before 🙂
    We spent the loveliest evening together, chatting much about the lessons he had learned while using his press pass to Eurovision and his insider knowledge of everything. He was about to embark on a vacation swimming around Eastern Europe, if I recall correctly. I was fascinated and completely enthralled by this clearly intelligent, adventurous, and loving man. We communicated a few times over the years (usually around Eurovision), and only today I read a Facebook posting remembering his death a year ago. Although shocked and saddened, I’m so grateful to have gotten to know Daniel, however briefly. He was a unique and loving soul. Thank you for providing this avenue for remembering him.

  • Phil Ellis

    Deeply saddened to learn of Daniels passing just yesterday.

    I knew Daniel as a friend for ten years and nursed and visited him in hospital in Hampstead when he had his skin cancer treatment those years ago.

    I have had my head down starting up a business.. and noticed no reply from his whatsapp at his Birthday time in August this year.. I thought that perhaps he was in the states – or the Bahamas which he loved so much perhaps with a close friend enjoying some privacy

    But so sadly I learn this was not the case

    Daniel is one of the brightest people I have ever met.

    He lived the “4 hour week” showed me the way
    and accessed community and technology to live on his own terms and love it,
    – using just his laptop and his nouse.

    We are talking about a truly modern man and a phenomenal entrepreneur- his beloved mum and dad must be so proud.

    His warmth quick humor resilience and self trust enabled him to step out of the rat race system and have his time as his own and in this way he lived a full and aware life and he lived more than folk who make it to twice his age.

    As is often the case in this day and age of tech , friends of someone ( and us all) may not necessarily connect – more so these days with communities formed not necessarily on physical location but more on common interest choice and fun.

    For friends of Daniel who wish to share and remember him who wish to remember and honor and grieve him more privately

    please feel welcome to email me

    particularly those friends who knew and loved Daniel from his adventures who may feel far away

    in the states the Ptown East coast Fort Lauderdale Bahamas times gave Daniel so much happiness – as of course did his daily swim in the Hampstead ponds in London –

    We lived close by each other – he would swim no matter the weather – even in the ice and snow

    – please reach out

    For those of you who share with him the friendship excitement sparkle and inclusion of the xfactor and eurovision betting – keep the feeling inside –
    Know that he treasured you all, and that while the two series were on ..- none of the rest of us got even a tiny a bit of him!

    He was glued to it alert and you all

    Testing himself on his assumptions, reading the book, turning a penny into a pound and sharing his magic and teaching you all like a sword matter where he was is the world .

    To Daniels beloved parents, family and friends , and his beloved eurovision family let us treasure the memories and connection we had with his and our physical beings

    and know with

    the inner constant infinite wisdom of eternal being,

    the world which is beyond the measured world of time

    ( the scientifically proven world of quantum physics which Daniel understood so well)

    that he,

    and us all,

    are, have been and will always be connected.

    that he and us all

    Are there there.

  • Phil


    Thanks for your lovely words in memory of Daniel

    I knew him quite well and visited him at the royal free when he was having his skin cancer treated

    He loved his Eurovision and xfactor
    He was a real character I’m sure you must miss him – I certainly will too
    I used to live up the road from his place on Prince Henry’s road
    Please feel welcome to reach out if you would like to connect and remember our friend email is
    This offer goes to other friends of His and family who might read this also
    Daniel and I never did the Facebook thing as we were always on whatsapp so I’m unable to share my condolences on that app

    Thanks again Andrew for bringing us together on his beloved sofabet
    And for your lovely memorial words about Daniel

  • Matt T

    With it now being over a year since Daniel’s tragic passing I want to say how much it has sucked not having his insight to guide us this past year. I decided i was gonna follow the selection season for Eurovision 2019 because of his insights, and I was looking forward to it and looking forward seeing his reactions to all the selections. There was a massive hole in the run up to Tel Aviv, and I wish we could’ve heard his take on many of the dramas that took place, eg. the Ukrainian drama with Maruv and the controversy of the Romanian selection, and many of the songs, it has been well documented here that he would’ve loved Arcade, and he would’ve had interesting views on the acts from Australia and Iceland. Finally, he could’ve prepared us for the UK’s latest flop (I was so sad for Michael).

    Its also sad we cannot hear his views on X Factor’s latest flop as well (he would’ve had very interesting views on that). And now another selection season has started without him and without his articles sussing out each new selection’s chances for Rotterdam.

    We miss you Daniel.

  • Phil

    I agree
    Thanks for posting Matt T

    It’s what this forum is for
    Sharing how we miss Daniel

    I knew Daniel well – he would be deeply touched

    I miss him too.
    Daniel – if you are reading this up there
    Know we all including you are still connected

  • Chris Bellis

    Nice to read the more recent memories from people who knew Daniel in person. I missed him last season. He was always so reasonable, and defused with such diplomacy one or two over-heated discussions between regular posters. Not everybody agreed with my criticisms of the UK entries over the years, and perhaps one or two people thought I was being unpatriotic. Daniel intervened a couple of times and acted as a skilled moderator. I still say laying the UK in Eurovision is the nearest thing to free money you will ever see, but that’s another story. Daniel could soothe troubled waters with ease. In another life he could have been a UN negotiator.
    Daniel is very much missed.

  • Joe Mevorah

    Daniel and I were good friends for most of the last 15 years. The last time we were in touch was a month before his death. I’ve not checked the sofa bet sight, and have had holiday greetings strangely go unanswered. I now understand why! Just today I received a random tweet from Daniel/sofabet, and am completely distraught, and unnerved by this news. Daniel was a brilliant man, with a wonderful and adventurous spirit. Moreover, his even keeled temperament has always been amongst the wonderful qualities I most admired in him. My sincerest condolences go out to his family.

  • Jessica Hamby

    Thinking of you all today.

  • Phillip Scholey

    Hope you are enjoying watching from up there, not the same without your tips and analysis tho

  • Keley Ann

    Eurovision week always brings me back here and I never stop missing the articles here (and Daniel himself of course). This site has never been bettered.

  • RMY

    Really enjoyed the Cautionary Tales podcast, well done Andrew (and Tim)

  • tpfkar

    A lovely surprise – a tribute article to Daniel as part of the BBC’s Eurovision coverage this week:

  • wkrs

    I hadn’t been here for years and just checked in because of Eurovision. So sad. RIP Daniel, you brought a lot of happiness.

  • DannyCraig

    As it’s Eurovision week, here to raise a glass to Daniel.

    I’m sure he’ll be cheering on the Croatians, Swiss and Italians this week from up above.

    Hope you have the best view of all the rehearsals up there.

  • SG

    Used to be a regular reader. Lapsed for man years. Only hearing this news today when i thought to myself “I wonder what sofabet is saying about the Eurovision this week”. 6 years late but it is very sad to hear.

    Rest in Peace Daniel.

Leave a Reply

You can use these HTML tags

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>