Mummifying Alan: Egypt’s Last Secret: Starring Alan Billis As Tutanalan, Mr Taxi-Dermy
THE TV show Mummifying Alan: Egypt’s Last Secret will show Alan Billis being mummified. Mr Billis has died from lung cancer. He was, a taxi-driver. It is thus correct to refer to him as the Taxi-dermist.
Scientists at Medico-Legal Centre in Sheffield have embalmed the 61-year-old .
Says his wife Janet:
“He just said, ‘I’ve just phoned someone up about being mummified.” I said, ‘You’ve what?’ I thought here we go again. It’s just the sort of thing you would expect him to do.”
On the show. Mr Billis says:
“People have been leaving their bodies to science for years, and if people don’t volunteer for anything nothing gets found out.”
And telly does not get to be made.
And so it was that after Mr Billis’s died, his internal organs – save for his heart and brain – were pulled out and placed in jars. His skin was smeered with varnish and soaked in a solution of salts – specifically, Natron, a salt found in dried-up river beds in Egypt. After one month, his body was dried and wrapped in linen. (Picture a tanned Iggy Pop having a skin wrap.)
“When I did eventually watch the film and saw his mummified face, you could see it was still him, still very much Alan. ‘I won’t be Tutankhamun, I’ll be Tutanalan,’ he used to say.”
Toot-toot, as taxi drivers are wont to go.