By Caitlin Pike
Journalist and presenter Dominik Diamond, who made a last minute decision not to be crucified at a religious ceremony in the Philippines this Easter, has spoken out, saying that he was never definitely going to go through with the act for Five documentary, Crucify Me.
Following publicity surrounding his decision not to go through with the ritual, Diamond said: "These events are part of a film I’m making in which I rediscover my faith. This had me in a number of stages beginning in my home town of Glasgow and then moving to the holy city of Jerusalem for contemplation.
"I entered a Jesuit retreat in the Philippines before arriving in Pampanga to experience Karabrio [the ancient crucifixion ritual] first hand to whatever level I felt true to. At no point was it ever conveyed that I would definitely be crucified. At all times in this journey I have been guided by my God in ways I could never have predicted.
"Having experienced the humility of bearing my own cross through the streets, I felt my God wanted me only to pray at the foot of my cross."
Five backed Diamond’s decision. A spokeswoman said: "Dominik had never agreed to be crucified when he was in the Philippines. This was a spiritual journey for him and he was always going to make that decision once he was there. We are quite happy with the outcome."
The documentary, still due to air this autumn, follows Diamond as he makes a journey to rediscover his faith.
Before leaving for filming, Diamond claimed that, as part of the journey "to rediscover his spiritual identity", he would consider testing his faith by taking part in the ancient crucifixion ritual in the village of San Pedro Cutud in the Philippines.
In February, he said: "I’ve been making a living in the media now for 15 years, I’m in my mid-30s and I’ve got three kids. It’s about time I did something that didn’t involve cheap gags. So if you’re going to make the first serious programme you’ve ever done, you might as well aim high. So I thought I’d try to find God."
Once a committed Christian, Diamond claimed recent world events and personal incidents had left him questioning his religious beliefs.
Diamond started his journalistic career writing for Smash Hits! magazine in the early 1990s. He has since had shows on BBC Radio Five Live, presented Pick of the Week on Radio 4 and hosted the Channel 4 computer gameshow, Gamesmaster, with Sir Patrick Moore. He is a Daily Star columnist and will present the What The Papers Say Awards this year.