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Mummifying Alan wins television Bafta award

Dr Stephen Buckley applying a resin-based mixture to secure the wrappings of Alan Billis' mummified body, overseen by senior anatomical pathology technician Maxine Coe at Sheffield's Medico-Legal Centre. Photo copyright of the University of York Mummy Research Group/Dr J FletcherA documentary featuring the mummification of taxi driver Alan Billis, using research by University of York Archaeology Fellows Dr Stephen Buckley and Dr Joann Fletcher, has won a prestigious Bafta television award.

The Channel 4 documentary beat David Attenborough’s Frozen Planet, Professor Brian Cox’s Wonders of the Universe and British Masters in the Specialist Factual category at the British Academy Television Awards on Sunday, 27 May.

Research Fellow Dr Buckley and Honorary Research and Teaching Fellow Dr Fletcher will be taking part in a 'Meet the scientists' event on Friday, 29 June as part of the York Festival of Ideas, providing the audience with a chance to ask questions about their research.

Dr Buckley and Dr Fletcher spent nearly two decades uncovering the secrets of the mummification process used during the 18th dynasty ‘Golden Age’ of ancient Egypt. In Mummifying Alan: Egypt’s Last Secret they replicated this process on the body of Alan Billis, who volunteered after being diagnosed with terminal lung cancer. The programme also won a Royal Television Society Award in March.

Festival of Ideas logoThere will be an opportunity to 'Meet the Scientists' responsible for mummifying Alan, at a Q&A session on 29 June as part of York Festival of Ideas. The Festival runs from 14 to 30 June, and promises a host of stimulating and interactive experiences for people of all ages, with over 50 events aimed at both residents and visitors. For more information on the ‘Meet the scientists’ event, which will be held at the University’s Ron Cooke Hub, on Friday, 29 June at 7.30pm, visit yorkfestivalofideas.com/talks/2012/mummifying-alan/. Admission is by free ticket only available from yorkfestivalofideas.com/tickets.

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