Mum-of-two will be first ever human body dissected on live TV in Channel 4 show

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    Channel 4 is set to make UK TV history by being the first channel to dissect a human body on-air.

    The network’s new programme My Dead Body will see mother-of-two Toni Crews, who died after a battle with a rare form of eye cancer, dissected by scientists.

    Toni tragically passed away at the age of 30, after having one eye removed during her cancer battle. She regularly posted updates and raised awareness for her illness by sharing snaps on Instagram – and later donated her body to science.

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    Toni, who died in 2020, can be heard narrating her story on the show using voice replication technology.

    Her diary entries and messages to family and friends will be shared on the programme.

    Professor Claire Smith will lead a series of workshops on the show while medical students watch on – but confessed she is “nervous” about the procedure.

    Speaking to The Mirror, she said: “We have been so privileged to explore the journey of cancer through the incredible donation made by Toni.

    “As part of this ­documentary, we were able to invite more than 1,000 students, including nurses, paramedics and ­neuroscientists, who wouldn't normally get to learn about this one in a million cancer.

    “Toni's gift of body donation doesn't end with this documentary either. Her body will be used to educate our medical students and doctors for years to come.”

    Toni regularly shared snaps of her sporting an eye patch, and also bravely removed it for a series of images raising awareness of adenocarcinoma.

    She confessed her decision to donate her body gave her “peace for the future”.

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    Though Toni will be the UK’s first broadcast autopsy, Channel 4 has in fact aired a public dissection before back in 2002 in its show Autopsy.

    The programme garnered a host of Ofcom reports at the time, and saw German Professor Gunther von Hagens’ autopsy after he died at the age of 77.

    At least 130 people complained to the broadcasting watchdog over the gory scenes – though plenty of others wanted the programme repeated.

    One fuming viewer wrote at the time: “How can you show a programme that demoralises a dead person and makes them appear like a piece of entertainment? You cannot call this education.”


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    • Channel 4
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