Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 30 July 2014

Broadcaster Dimbleby reveals tattoo

David Dimbleby during filming of the maritime series Britain And The Sea (BBC/PA)

Broadcaster David Dimbleby has revealed that he has got his first tattoo - at the age of 75.

The Question Time presenter told the Radio Times that he had a "modest" image of a scorpion tattooed on his right shoulder.

Referring to singer Cheryl Cole's tattoo on her bottom, he said that he "wasn't tempted to have any private parts decorated".

But Dimbleby told the magazine that he was delighted with the result.

"You are only old once. I have always wanted a tattoo. I thought I might as well have it done now. It's a dream come true for me," he said.

Dimbleby, who has been presenting the BBC's general election coverage since 1979, got the tattoo while making the maritime series Britain And The Sea, set for broadcast later this month.

The commentator and presenter was offered the chance to have his own piece of body art while looking at how tattoos were introduced to the UK as a result of Captain Cook's South Seas adventures.

He turned down the offer, thinking he was too old, and had a mark put on his body in black pencil instead.

But Dimbleby told the magazine: "When I saw it in a preview of the film I thought 'That's a bit feeble.' I thought it was wimpish having it just drawn on and I needed to man up."

Followed by cameramen, he visited the Vagabond tattoo studio in east London.

"It took about 30 minutes - an hour in all - and I thought of Winston Churchill having his done while mine was being done. It wasn't painful at all, it just zings a bit. It's modest," he said.

"It can't be seen unless I choose to show it to someone. I'm rather fond of it actually, this little scorpion sitting on my shoulder ready to attack my enemies."

Dimbleby said that he decided to have the scorpion because Scorpio is his star sign.

"It's beautifully done, actually. It's a work of art. They have these 3D tattoos now that are done using photographs, which are just astonishing, but I wasn't about to have one myself.

"And then there's Cheryl Cole's bottom," he said of the singer, whose derriere and lower back are now entirely covered with an image of roses.

"I wasn't tempted to have any private parts decorated, I have to tell you. I thought the shoulder was the most discreet place. I didn't want it on my arm because it would show every time I rolled up my sleeve."

Dimbleby said that he might be able to persuade his wife Belinda to get a tattoo, adding: "I think she's mildly amused. I believe she wanted a tattoo once, but has never got around to it."

Viewers will be able to watch Dimbleby get his tattoo during the first episode of the series at 9pm this Sunday on BBC1.

In other episodes, he will travel up to the west coast of Scotland and sail along the coast of East Anglia.

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