They have hardly been seen in public since the middle ages. They have never agreed to requests for interviews; so it came as quite a surprise when the four horsemen of the apocalypse invited the world's media to a press conference at The Golden Sands Hotel on the Isle of Wight.
After introducing his colleagues, War, Pestilence, and Famine, Death began by pointing out to the gathered invitees that the things that inspired terror in the medieval world are not necessarily the same things that people fear today.
"If history teaches us anything", continued Death, "it's that attempting to invade Russia in the middle of winter is a really, really bad i... um , sorry, what I meant to say was that history shows the need to constantly adapt to remain relevant. After all most people in the western world go through life never seeing a dead body so death can seem a bit of an abstract concept. Therefore I have decided to relaunch myself as the personification of 'the sniffles' - oh, and possibly bad headaches."
At this point Pestilence took the microphone to add that most people in the west nowadays don't really encounter famine, war, and pestilence all that much in their everyday lives, and that new ways of appealing to the younger generation are needed. "To this end Famine and War are going to relaunch themselves to personify the horrors that are Bad Hair Days, and Jedward, while I am going to represent, er you know when the driver behind you wants to go faster than you but doesn't actually want to overtake? - Well, whatever the name for that is."
Here, Death was seen to roll his eyes and mutter under his breath, "That would be The Horseman Of When The Driver Behind You Wants To Go Faster Than You But Doesn't Actually Want To Overtake, wouldn't it?"
Death then went on to tell the invited press about FHOTA's new apprenticeship scheme for young people considering a career in apocalyptic horsemanship. "The thing is", said Death, "is that the modern world contains terrors that we could barely have imagined when the four of us started out - there's the music of Phil Collins for a start - and we need new blood in the organisation to take on some of these new responsibilities."
Meeting Death for nibbles in the hotel bar afterwards, I asked why he had chosen the Isle of Wight as a venue. "To be honest", said Death, "the other three haven't had a holiday in over two thousand years - oh, and this is where I do most of my work nowadays."