Channel 4 criticised for paying Holocaust denier £3,000 for lock of Hitler's hair

David Irving was paid for his involvement in new series Dead Famous DNA

Channel 4 has come under fire after paying Holocaust denier David Irving $5,000 (£3,031) for an alleged lock of Hitler's hair.

The 75-year-old British historian, who has described the Nazi dictator as a "great man", received the money ahead of Channel 4's new TV series Dead Famous DNA, due to start this week.

But Labour MP Ian Austin, whose Jewish father lost his family in the Treblinka death camp, has criticised the broadcaster for what he describes as a "tawdry" stunt.

"This sounds sick," he told the Daily Mirror. "It's appalling that Channel 4 would get involved with a Holocaust denier in some bizarre and tawdry show purporting to be entertainment. It's disgusting and raises questions about Channel 4's public broadcasting remit.”

Social media users have called Channel 4's decision "deeply misguided", "appalling" and "a disgrace".

In 2006, Irving was found guilty of 'Wiederbetätigung', meaning an act of (re)engagement in National Socialist activities or ideologies.

Hitler's hair was said to have been collected by sticky tape on the sole of a barber's shoe.

Channel 4 has defended its dealings with Irving, stating that "the potential importance of the scientific and historical insight justified the purchase of the sample".

"We wanted to obtain a sample of Hitler's DNA because scientific analysis of it could provide a key biological component to one of the most significant biographies in history," a spokesperson said.

"The programme makes clear David Irving's repugnant anti-Semitic views and his denial of the Holocaust, and Mark Evans' moral conundrum about dealing with him is explored."

Earlier today, David Irving insisted on Twitter that the lock of hair has been loaned to Channel 4, with payment made explicitly for an interview conducted in North Carolina..

But Channel 4 has refuted this claim, telling The Independent: "We categorically did not pay David Irving for the interview. We have a contract of sale signed by David Irving in relation to the purchase of the hair only."

Dead Famous DNA follows vet and Inside Nature's Giants presenter Mark Evans on his mission to find out more about history's most infamous figures through their last biological remains.

Evans attempts to obtain and analyse some high-profile DNA samples, with Marilyn Monroe, Napoleon and Charles Darwin also scientifically examined.

Dead Famous DNA begins at 9pm on Wednesday 26 March

Arts and Entertainment

game of thrones reviewWarning: spoilers

Arts and Entertainment
The original Star Wars trio of Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher and Mark Hamill

George Osborne confirms Star Wars 8 will film at Pinewood Studios in time for 4 May

film

Arts and Entertainment
Haunted looks: Matthew Macfadyen and Timothy Spall star in ‘The Enfield Haunting’

North London meets The Exorcist in eerie suburban drama

TV

Arts and Entertainment

Filming to begin on two new series due to be aired on Dave from next year

TV

Arts and Entertainment
Kit Harington plays MI5 agent Will Holloway in Spooks: The Greater Good

'You can't count on anyone making it out alive'film
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

ebooks
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

    Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

    Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
    Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

    Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

    Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
    China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

    China's influence on fashion

    At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
    Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

    The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

    Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
    Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

    Rainbow shades

    It's all bright on the night
    'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

    Bread from heaven

    Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
    Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

    How 'the Axe' helped Labour

    UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
    Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

    The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

    A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
    Welcome to the world of Megagames

    Welcome to the world of Megagames

    300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
    'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

    Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

    Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
    Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

    Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

    The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
    Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

    Vince Cable exclusive interview

    Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
    Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

    Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

    Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
    Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

    It's time for my close-up

    Meet the man who films great whites for a living
    Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

    Homeless people keep mobile phones

    A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before