The Good Funeral Guide Blog

Bizarre Burials tonight Channel 5 @ 10pm

Thursday, 10 January 2013




I’ve been sitting on a nice email which arrived a few days ago from Back2Back, a TV production company:

I just wanted to let you know that our documentary is airing on Thursday 10th Jan, at 10pm on Channel 5.

Cripes, that’s tonight already, isn’t it? 

They add: 

Thank you so much for all your help and contribution towards the making of the programme.

By that, they mean lots of chats on the phone. The GFG acknowledges no responsibility for anything you don’t like and max responsibility for anything you do. I seem to remember they were unhappy with the sensational title, Bizarre Burials, and I seem to remember also that their intentions in making the documentary were good. 

Here’s the blurb

From themed funerals to death masks and ashes tattooed onto loved ones, discover the variety of strange and sensational ways to make your mark when you die.

Nottingham-based bespoke-coffin specialists Crazy Coffins will take on any request from skips to Rolls Royces, no matter how strange. One client, 78-year-old Malcolm, has commissioned a bright-orange aeroplane coffin as a homage to his favourite football club. He has also written his own crematorium committal song, called ‘Burn me, turn me, roast me tonight’. To his wife’s dismay, he even rehearses his own funeral.

Wendy had other plans when her mother died. After collecting her from the morgue, she took her on a four-day trip around her favourite spots before digging her grave – proof that all you need for a
funeral is a big heart and a shovel.

Death masks are not new, but they are unusual in this day and age. Nick Reynolds has made one for his mum, but he has also had commissions from the rich and famous, including Ken Russell and Malcolm McLaren. Former client Rachel finds her ex-boyfriend’s mask a powerful reminder of her loved one and tearfully reveals that she hides it in her closet.

Another hoping to cash in on the fad for fantastic funerals is self-confessed Delboy Darren Abey. His promotion campaign for his ‘Only Fools and Horses’ hearse stretches from the annual ‘Only Fools’ convention to Peckham, before he realises that life in the funeral trade is tougher than he thought.

Meanwhile, the death of Julie White’s husband has left such a huge hole in her life that she is taking the radical step of having his ashes tattooed as a portrait into her skin. It makes a huge difference that his indelible ‘cremains’ will be with her always.

As these and other peculiar partings reveal, death can be full of black humour as people find their 
own unique ways of meeting their end.

If ten to night is no good for you, you can catch it on Demand 5.




Hat-tip to Jonathan for the memory-prod. 


13 comments on “Bizarre Burials tonight Channel 5 @ 10pm

  1. Monday 14th January 2013 at 4:49 pm

    Yes, The part that featured your tattoos was, I thought, sensitively handled and came across very well.

  2. Jed

    Saturday 12th January 2013 at 11:39 pm

    Thanks Lisa, it was fascinating to see you and Mark meeting people at their point of need and so effectively ministering to them. It was also incredibly moving to see you walk the walk with Charlie’s Dad…. Keep going (with Aiden in your arms…)

  3. Friday 11th January 2013 at 7:36 pm

    I really enjoyed filming this and it was very emotional when filming and watching it. Charlie is still going strong and I hope the lord above hears our prayers. Lisa from gods of ink tattoo studio worcester

    • Kitty

      Sunday 13th January 2013 at 9:11 am

      Lisa: I agree with Jed. I was extremely moved by your part in this programme.

  4. Friday 11th January 2013 at 2:49 pm

    I thought Nick Reynolds was great.

  5. Friday 11th January 2013 at 11:24 am

    Rosie, I’m afraid for my money it didn’t. We were in discussion with the company for quite a while about this and while the programme certainly had good as well as bad features, we were both left feeling rather as if we had dodged a bullet. It could have been so much better! The way it was commented on by the woman doing the ‘links’ at the beginning and the end of the programme didn’t help either!

    • Jonathan

      Friday 11th January 2013 at 11:44 am

      I’m with you there, Jenny. In fact I’m tempted to call it death pornography Why waste an opportunity like a telly programme on bad comedy when you could have had a thought-provoking programme about how we deal with the permanent end of the life of someone we care about? Death isn’t funny enough to make nothing but a joke of it.

      And why didn’t someone say something to that silly aeroplane man about how unthinkingly cruel he was being to his wife? A lot could have been made of how he was the perfect illustration of why we shouldn’t overplan our own funeral.

  6. Thursday 10th January 2013 at 8:36 pm

    Ah, how you must miss it, Vicky. I know how much you loved it out there. (!)

  7. Thursday 10th January 2013 at 8:08 pm

    How good to hear from you, Vicky! Happy New Year, etc.

    (Readers should know that Vicky is the GFG’s India correspondent.)

    • Vicky Coupland-Morris

      Thursday 10th January 2013 at 8:30 pm

      Happy New Year to you and yours Charles. We’re back in Blighty now……permanently!

  8. Vicky Coupland-Morris

    Thursday 10th January 2013 at 7:59 pm

    Thank you Charles, I would haved missed this without your post!

  9. Thursday 10th January 2013 at 11:23 am

    Yes, the title is a tad ‘offputting’. Shame. I shall watch with interest!

    • Thursday 10th January 2013 at 11:48 am

      Hi Jenny and Everyone

      Initially when Back2back were communicating with the participants, they told them the title would be ‘My perfect funeral”.

      I know that, at least, one of them is very cross. For the participants sake lets hope it comes across better than it sounds.

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