By Arthur Martin
He claims his ‘superhuman’ genes have kept him healthy despite a lifetime of rock ’n’ roll excess.
And now it seems science may back up Ozzy Osbourne’s theory that he has a particularly hardy family tree.
Researchers studying his DNA have found that the singer is the descendant of a Neanderthal man.
He is also a distant relative of outlaw Jesse James, the last Russian tsar Nicholas II and King George I – and shares some genes with the ancient Romans.
Family album: Black Sabbath frontman Ozzy Osbourne, left, is the descendant of a Neanderthal man, according to researchers
The 61-year-old hellraiser, who has survived years of drug abuse and alcohol addiction, joked that news of his Neanderthal heritage would not come ‘as much of a surprise’ to his wife Sharon or to police departments around the world.
He famously bit the head off a bat while drunk on stage, broke his neck in a quad bike accident in 2003 and has admitted there’s ‘no plausible reason’ why he is still alive.
Scientists made the discovery by taking a sample of the singer’s blood at his home in Buckinghamshire and sending it to a lab in New Jersey in the U.S.. Using a state-of-the-art £12,000 test, they were able to unlock his genetic code, or genome.
The researchers discovered that the star shares some DNA with the ancient Romans who were killed in Pompeii when Mount Vesuvius erupted in 79 AD.
Close family: It’s unlikely how children Kelly and Jack, and wife Sharon will respond after research revealed Ozzy is descended from a Neanderthal man
Osbourne said: ‘That means I’m also probably related to some of the survivors, which makes a lot of sense.
‘If any of the Roman Osbournes drank nearly as much as I used to, they wouldn’t have even felt the lava. They could have just walked it off.’
The researchers also examined the gene the body uses to break down alcohol and discovered an ‘unusual variant’ which could have helped Osbourne survive during the years when he drank up to four bottles of Cognac a day.
‘Given the swimming pools of booze I’d guzzled over the years – not to mention all the [drugs] – there’s really no plausible medical reason why I should be alive,’ he told The Sunday Times.
But although the genetic results gave Osbourne some clues about his good health, scientists also told him that he had his long-suffering wife to thank for still being alive for doing her best to curb the worst of his excesses.