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Sky Axes The Chop As Contestant's Tattoos 'Could Be Connected To Far-Right Ideology'

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Sky Axes The Chop As Contestant's Tattoos 'Could Be Connected To Far-Right Ideology'

Sky has axed The Chop after an independent investigation concluded that a contestant's tattoos 'could be connected to far-right ideologies'. You can see the contestant's tats here:

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The first episode was aired on Sky History earlier this month, but now the rest of the series has been given the chop.

An investigation into the show - hosted by Lee Mack, Rick Edwards and master craftsman William Hardie - was launched after the above video was shared on social media, with many people pointing out the suspect nature of some of contestant Darren Lumsden's many tattoos.

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The number 88, inked on the dad-of-two's cheek, is often used by white supremacists as numerical code for 'Heil Hitler' - as H is the eighth letter of the alphabet.

He also has the numbers 23 and 16 tattooed on the side of his head, which again is used as numerical code for 'white power', while the word 'homegrown' is tattooed on his upper lip.

Darren's tattoos raised a lot of eyebrows on social media. Credit: Sky History
Darren's tattoos raised a lot of eyebrows on social media. Credit: Sky History

Darren, from Portishead, Somerset, has 'strenuously denied' having far-right leanings, but The Chop has been thrown on the scrapheap regardless.

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In a statement, Sky History said: "A contestant's tattoos included symbols that could be connected to far-right ideologies and could cause offence; we sincerely apologise for that and we are sorry that our processes did not prompt further investigation at an earlier stage.

"The contestant continues to strenuously deny that he has, or ever had, far-right leanings. We are thoroughly reviewing our internal processes following the investigation. AETN UK and Sky History stand against racism and hate speech of all kinds."

Sky History previously defended the tattoos, claiming they represented significant events in Darren's life, with the '88' tattoo a nod to his dad's death in 1988.

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However, the Daily Mail reported it had made contact with his dad Trevor, who said: "I'm here aren't I? I'm alive and kicking so I'm not dead yet."

Speaking to Bristol Live prior to the controversy sparked by his tattoos, Darren said his inkings had never been negatively received.

He said: "About 10 years ago I saw someone with facial tattoos and started to work with my tattooist on my look.

"I have my daughter on the back of my head and my son on my cheek.

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"When some people first meet me they are a bit shocked, admittedly. But they soon warm to me after a few minutes.

"Some people ask for selfies with me. I've never had a negative reaction to my tattoos."

Well, there's a first time for everything, isn't there Darren?

Featured Image Credit: Sky History

Topics: TV and Film, UK Entertainment

Jake Massey
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