Question Time's David Dimbleby gets first tattoo aged 75

The broadcaster's 'beautifully done' new inking is a 'dream come true'

He may appear as a stiff upper-lip BBC presenter, but David Dimbleby has revealed he recently had his first tattoo inked onto his shoulder at the age of 75.

The Question Time revealed he has had a "modest sized" scorpion tattoo inked onto his right shoulder, symbolic of his Scorpio star sign.

Dimbleby decided to get the permanent body marking after exploring tattoo artistry as part of his latest programme Britain and the Sea.

The commentator, who has been been presenting the BBC’s general election coverage since 1979, was offered an inking while investigating how tattoos were introduced to the UK as a result of Captain Cook’s South Seas adventures.

Originally thinking he was too old, Dimbleby declined, accepting a body marking in black pencil instead.

Second thoughts made him push ahead. “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,” he said.

Dimbleby visited the Vagabond tattoo studio in east London, followed by cameramen for the 30-minute procedure. “I thought of Winston Churchill having his done while mine was being done. It wasn’t painful at all, it just zings a bit,” he told the Radio Times. Dimbleby said: 'I'm rather fond of it actually, this little scorpion sitting on my shoulder ready to attack my enemies'

“I’m rather fond of it actually, this little scorpion sitting on my shoulder ready to attack my enemies. 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.”

Paul Hill and Rebecca Morris from Vagabond told The Independent they were surprised to hear that Dimbleby wanted a tattoo. "When the BBC first approached us in regards to a presenter wanting a tattoo, David was the last person we imagined!" they said.

"We thought it was brilliant - why not! He's not the oddest client we have ever tattooed, but probably the most unlikely. He was very easy going considering his profile and proved that tattooing is accessible to all walks of life."

The commentator revealed he “wasn’t tempted to have any private parts decorated”, in reference to pop star Cheryl Cole’s entirely-rose covered bottom.

“You are only old once,” he told the magazine. “I have always wanted a tattoo. I thought I might as well have it done now. It’s a dream come true for me.”

Dimbleby follows the trend for pensioner tattoos set by Lady Steel, who opted for a pink jaguar on her shoulder as a 70th birthday present to remind herself that “you’re never too old to do mad things”.

His wife Belinda may be next to succumb to the ink, with Dimbleby suggesting, “I believe she wanted a tattoo once, but has never got around to it.”

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

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

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs People

Geography Teacher

£85 - £140 per day: Randstad Education Cheshire: We require a teacher of Geogr...

HR Assistant / Human Resources Assistant

£Neg + Excellent Benefits: Guru Careers: An HR Assistant / Human Resources Ass...

Talent Community Coordinator

£Neg + Excellent Benefits: Guru Careers: A Talent Community Coordinator is nee...

Business Support - Banking - Halifax - £250 pd

£150 - £250 per day: Orgtel: HR Analyst - Banking - HR - Halifax - £150 - £250...

Day In a Page

Evan Davis: The BBC’s wolf in sheep’s clothing to take over at Newsnight

The BBC’s wolf in sheep’s clothing

What will Evan Davis be like on Newsnight?
Finding the names for America’s shame: What happens to the immigrants crossing the US-Mexico border without documents who never make it past the Arizona desert?

Finding the names for America’s shame

The immigrants crossing the US-Mexico border without documents who never make it past the Arizona desert
Inside a church for Born Again Christians: Speaking to God in a Manchester multiplex

Inside a church for Born Again Christians

As Britain's Anglican church struggles to establish its modern identity, one branch of Christianity is booming
Rihanna, Kim Kardashian and me: How Olivier Rousteing is revitalising the house of Balmain

Olivier Rousteing is revitalising the house of Balmain

Parisian couturier Pierre Balmain made his name dressing the mid-century jet set. Today, Olivier Rousteing – heir to the house Pierre built – is celebrating their 21st-century equivalents. The result? Nothing short of Balmania
Cancer, cardiac arrest, HIV and homelessness - and he's only 39

Incredible survival story of David Tovey

Tovey went from cooking for the Queen to rifling through bins for his supper. His is a startling story of endurance against the odds – and of a social safety net failing at every turn
Backhanders, bribery and abuses of power have soared in China as economy surges

Bribery and abuses of power soar in China

The bribery is fuelled by the surge in China's economy but the rules of corruption are subtle and unspoken, finds Evan Osnos, as he learns the dark arts from a master
Commonwealth Games 2014: Highland terriers stole the show at the opening ceremony

Highland terriers steal the show at opening ceremony

Gillian Orr explores why a dog loved by film stars and presidents is finally having its day
German art world rocked as artists use renowned fat sculpture to distil schnapps

Brewing the fat from artwork angers widow of sculptor

Part of Joseph Beuys' 1982 sculpture 'Fettecke' used to distil schnapps
BBC's The Secret History of Our Streets reveals a fascinating window into Britain's past

BBC takes viewers back down memory lane

The Secret History of Our Streets, which returns with three films looking at Scottish streets, is the inverse of Benefits Street - delivering warmth instead of cynicism
Joe, film review: Nicolas Cage delivers an astonishing performance in low budget drama

Nicolas Cage shines in low-budget drama Joe

Cage plays an ex-con in David Gordon Green's independent drama, which has been adapted from a novel by Larry Brown
How to make your own gourmet ice lollies, granitas, slushy cocktails and frozen yoghurt

Make your own ice lollies and frozen yoghurt

Think outside the cool box for this summer's tempting frozen treats
Ford Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time, with sales topping 4.1 million since 1976

Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time

Sales have topped 4.1 million since 1976. To celebrate this milestone, four Independent writers recall their Fiestas with pride
10 best reed diffusers

Heaven scent: 10 best reed diffusers

Keep your rooms smelling summery and fresh with one of these subtle but distinctive home fragrances that’ll last you months
Commonwealth Games 2014: Female boxers set to compete for first time

Female boxers set to compete at Commonwealth Games for first time

There’s no favourites and with no headguards anything could happen
Five things we’ve learned so far about Manchester United under Louis van Gaal

Five things we’ve learned so far about United under Van Gaal

It’s impossible to avoid the impression that the Dutch manager is playing to the gallery a little