The father of a reality show contestant accused of having Nazi face tattoos has spoken out - after his son claimed the body art was inked to commemorate his death.
Sky History had already decided to axe its new woodworking series The Chop, hosted by comedian Lee Mack, as bosses investigate the meaning behind carpenter Darren Lumsden's tattoos, including the number “88” on his face.
The numbers are used by neo-Nazis as shorthand for Heil Hitler. After a trailer for the show provoked a backlash, Sky History insisted the numbers commemorated the death of Mr Lumsden’s father in 1988.
But in an interview on Wednesday, Trevor Lumsden insisted he was very much alive and living with a carer not far from his son in Bristol.
The 66-year-old told MailOnline: “I'm here aren't I?' I'm alive and kicking so I'm not dead yet."
“I haven't seen Darren for some years, I didn't know he had tattoos over his face or that he was going to be on TV.
“But if they are saying I'm dead I'd like them to know I'm not.”
In a series of now-deleted tweets on Tuesday, Sky History insisted there was an innocent explanation for the tattoo.
“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 channel said.
“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.”
However in a later statement the channel said: "While we further investigate the nature, and meaning, of Darren’s tattoos, we have removed the video featuring him from our social media pages, and will not be broadcasting any episodes of The Chop: Britain’s Top Woodworker until we have concluded that investigation. Sky HISTORY stands against racism and hate speech of all kinds."
In the now-deleted trailer, Lee Mack comments on the amount of ink on Mr Lumsden’s face after the carpenter introduces himself as “The Woodman”.
While we investigate the nature & meaning of Darren’s tattoos we have removed the video featuring him from our social media, & will not be broadcasting any eps of The Chop until we have concluded that investigation. Sky HISTORY stands against racism & hate speech of all kinds.
— Sky HISTORY (@HISTORYUK)
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 tattoos, surely they would take precedence.”
Apart from the 88 tattoo, Mr Lumsden’s scalp also apperead to be emblazoned with the number 14, which the Anti-Defamation League says is often used as shorthand for the 14 Words — “the most popular white supremacist slogan in the world”.
He is also accused of having a sig rune, which the Nazis used to symbolise victory, on the right side of his nose. Neo-Nazis use two of these runes to signify the SS. The symbols are often mistaken for lightning bolts.
The Chop, billed as the Great British Bake Off for wood, would have seen contestants construct a cabin in the woods, adding a new room on a different historical theme every week.
Over nine weeks, which have all been filmed, the contestants were tasked with creating items and artefacts to furnish the rooms.
It is unknown how many episodes Mr Lumsden features on as the contestants were whittled en route to the final, or whether the show will end up on the cutting room floor.