Has TV gone too far this time?

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Posted by Vale


That’s the headline on a Mail online story about tonight’s Channel 4 documentary about mummification.

In it a Devon taxi driver – Alan Bills – is mummified following, as closely as possible, ancient Egyptian practices. Alan died in January after suffering from lung cancer and wanted to take part in the experiment in part at least because of his grandchildren. He said

“Perhaps this would give them an insight into what their granddad was like, I don’t know.

“They’ll most probably tell somebody at school that my granddad’s a pharaoh. That’s my legacy I suppose.”

There’s a good preview on the BBC website. The show isn’t simply prurient interest or sensationalism either. Scientists are hoping to study the mummification and the effect on the decomposition of the body as part of research into alternatives to formaldehyde.

The Mail’s, always keen to find fresh sticks to beat Channel 4 and the BBC with, states:

“The broadcaster looks set to find itself at the centre of another taste row after agreeing to air the macabre documentary”.

But will it? Is death or the treatment of dead bodies such a taboo subject for broadcasters these days? Or is it only violence that justifies publicity. The Mail – with its article and photographs of Gadhafi’s corpse seems to think so.
The documentary’s on at 9.00 tonight if you are interested.

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