London - A man who died from a terminal illness has been mummified like an Egyptian pharaoh for a Channel 4 show in the UK.
The broadcaster looks set to find itself at the centre of another taste row after agreeing to air the macabre documentary, Mummifying Alan.
Sources say the dead man, from the West Country, had a keen interest in preservation techniques used at the time of Tutankhamun.
He is not expected to be identified until next week when his family will explain why he agreed to be part of the show.
The programme will make television history when it airs on Monday, October 24, as a scientific embalming experiment is unprecedented.
A team of pioneering scientists were brought together to perform the little-known technique used by the ancient embalmers at one of the UK’s leading pathology laboratories.
It is understood the man’s body remained in excellent condition when it was examined months after the experiment.
Researchers concentrated on the techniques used on Tutankhamun, whose body was mummified during Egypt’s 18th Dynasty.
The Pharoah’s body was remarkably preserved more than 3,000 years later when his tomb was found in 1922.
Egyptian embalmers left few clues about their ingredients, but it is known embalming took 70 days, with 15 days spent cleansing and purifying the body, 40 days for drying and 15 days for wrapping, bandaging and art work.
The Egyptians were able to “mummify” bodies for longer than any other civilisation, and are believed to have used resins found only in Burma - more than 4,000 miles from Egypt.
In recent years, chemical analysis of a shrine from the 18th Dynasty by German scientists found that the body had been preserved with cedar wood extract.
Ancient Egyptians believed the preservation of the body after death was essential because it would be needed for the journey to the afterlife.
A Channel 4 spokesman said: “Using a secret and complex blend of ingredients and processes, embalmers managed to stop decomposition almost entirely.”
In 2010, Channel 4 stoked controversy after advertising for a terminally-ill volunteer to take part in the project. The advert read: “We are currently keen to talk to someone who, faced with the knowledge of their own terminal illness and all that it entails, would nonetheless consider undergoing the process of an ancient Egyptian embalming.”
It was said payment would not be made, but that costs would be covered. - Daily Mail