Dead London Cab Driver is Mummified for TV Show

It was his last wish

By Greg Wilson
|  Tuesday, Oct 18, 2011  |  Updated 2:31 PM CDT
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Dead London Cab Driver is Mummified for TV Show

You may have ridden in a London cab driven by a future mummy.

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A British taxi driver who died of cancer got his dying wish of being mummified granted by a reality TV show.

"Mummifying Alan: Egypt's Last Secret," a documentary which airs next Monday on British television, chronicles the painstaking procedure of preserving the body of Alan Billis, a 61-year-old taxi driver who died of cancer. The show uses the techniques that the ancient Egyptians used on Tutankhamun.

Billis was terminally ill when he volunteered to undergo the procedure.

Scientist Stephen Buckley, of York University, an expert on Egyptian preservation techniques, and archaeologist Jo Fletcher analyzed tissue samples from mummies and applied them to Billis' body.

"I've come up with fantastic new insights that tell us a very great deal," Buckley said. "What I was able to do was to look at things in quite a different way, and in doing so get information that perhaps people had missed. It's turned current understanding, including my own, completely on its head."

Billis had been diagnosed with terminal lung cancer when he read a newspaper article about the experiment. He called the project's leaders to volunteer.

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