UK

Sky History defends contestant with ‘neo Nazi’ tattoos

Sky under fire as viewers accuse contestant on Lee Mack show The Chop of having ‘Nazi tattoos’ on his face – but he says the number 88 represents the year his father died

  • Carpenter Darren Lumsden is covered in face tattoos including the number 88
  • The father of two is appearing on a new Sky History show called The Chop 
  • Viewers commenting on the 88 tattoo have said it is often used by neo Nazis 
  • Sky History claim the 88 figure is in memory of his late father who died in 1988

Sky History has defended a contestant on their new show The Chop who has the neo Nazi tattoos on his face which viewers claim is racially offensive. 

The show, featuring comedian Lee Mack invites carpenters from all over Britain to test out their skills with the more skilled woodsmen avoiding The Chop. 

However, in a promotional video ahead of the first episode, viewers noticed one contestant, Darren Lumsden, is covered in a large number of tattoos, including a prominent ’88’ on his cheek, which is a well-known image among far right extremists.

The 88 tattoo in white nationalist or neo Nazi circles is often used as code to denote the eighth letter of the alphabet repeated twice as a shorthand way of saying ‘Heil Hitler’.  

Father of two Darren Lumsden from Bristol, pictured, is featuring on Sky History’s new show The Big Chop. However, the carpenter’s 88 tattoo on his right cheek is a figure often used by neo Nazis as a code for ‘Heil Hitler’ 

Sky History released a short video featuring an interview between Mr Lumsden and show's host Lee Mack where viewers noticed the tattoo

Sky History released a short video featuring an interview between Mr Lumsden and show’s host Lee Mack where viewers noticed the tattoo

Mr Lumsden also has the figures 23 and 16 on his temples. These figures are also often used by the far right as a coded reference to White Power

Mr Lumsden also has the figures 23 and 16 on his temples. These figures are also often used by the far right as a coded reference to White Power 

The father of two, from Bristol is one of the contestants on the show which will find Britain’s top woodworker.  

However, as soon as Sky History posted a video featuring an interview between Lee Mack and Mr Lumsden, people noticed the numeric tattoo and pointed out its historical significance. 

Lee Mack even commented on the amount of ink on Mr Lumsden’s face after he introduced himself as ‘The Woodman’. 

The comedian said: ‘If you were in my town, you wouldn’t be known as the woodman, you’d be known as the man with all the tattoo, surely they would take precedence.’ 

Sky History responded to the controversy to say there was an innocent explanation for the number. 

In defence of their contestant, Sky History tweeted: ‘Darren’s tattoos denote significant events in his life and have no political or ideological meaning whatsoever. Amongst the various numerical tattoos on his body, 1988 is the year of his father’s death. 

‘The production team carried out extensive background checks on all the woodworkers taking part in the show, that confirmed Darren has no affiliations or links to racist groups, views or comments.

 ‘Sky HISTORY is intolerant of racism and all forms of hatred and any use of symbols or numbers is entirely incidental and not meant to cause harm or offence. ‘

Sky History defended Mr Lumsden on Twitter claiming they have carried out extensive background checks and have found nothing to link him to any racist groups, views or comments

Sky History defended Mr Lumsden on Twitter claiming they have carried out extensive background checks and have found nothing to link him to any racist groups, views or comments

Many people on Twitter expressed concern about Mr Lumsden's facial tattoos, including the 88 figure

Many people on Twitter expressed concern about Mr Lumsden’s facial tattoos, including the 88 figure

Many people noticed the link between the figure 88 and white supremacist terminology though Sky History claim there is an innocent explanation

Many people noticed the link between the figure 88 and white supremacist terminology though Sky History claim there is an innocent explanation 

Speaking to The Bristol Post, Mr Lumsden 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.

‘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. They are just me.  I’ve already been stopped by people who have seen the adverts. No one went on the show to become famous.

‘But hopefully it will come across on the show that I’m a bit of a character.’ 

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