Emily Dugan meets the man whose DNA should confirm the identity of a body found in Leicester
It took one saliva swab to turn Michael Ibsen from an unknown carpenter into the man at the centre of the century’s biggest British archaeological discovery. Tomorrow he and the world will be told if his DNA confirms that the body of Richard III has indeed been found under a municipal car park in Leicester.
Sources close to the University of Leicester say they are expecting it to be confirmed that the body is the 15th-century monarch’s, news that will be not altogether welcome to 55-year-old Mr Ibsen, who is unimpressed by his new-found celebrity.
For a man whose family tree goes back to one of history’s most notoriously bloodthirsty kings, Mr Ibsen seems about as far from the tyrannical Plantagenet as it is possible to be.
“I definitely wouldn’t make a good king,” he says softly, perched on a workbench in his poky woodwork studio in north London. “I’m not a good decision-maker and I don’t think I’d want to be in the public eye. It must be a difficult life.”