Broadcaster David Dimbleby gets first tattoo aged 75

David Dimbleby at tattoo studio, and tattoo David Dimbleby said the experience was "not painful at all"

Related Stories

Veteran TV broadcaster David Dimbleby has revealed he has got his first tattoo - a scorpion on his shoulder.

In a Radio Times interview, the 75-year-old Question Time host said: "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 added.

Dimbleby got the tattoo while making the maritime series, Britain and the Sea, to be shown on BBC One on Sunday.

During filming, Dimbleby was given the chance to have a tattoo of his own while looking into how body art was introduced to the UK as a result of Captain Cook's South Sea adventures.

He turned down the offer and had a black pencil mark put on his body, but changed his mind when he saw a preview of the film.

"I thought it was wimpish having it just drawn on and I needed to man up," he said.

Churchill's tattoo
David Dimbleby The tattoo was done during the filming of Britain and the Sea

Dimbleby, who has been the BBC's main presenter of election coverage since 1979, was then accompanied to an east London tattoo studio by a cameraman.

"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."

The tattoo, on his right shoulder, was discreet, modest and represented his star sign, Scorpio, he said.

Of singer Cheryl Cole, who has roses tattooed all over her bottom, he said: "I wasn't tempted to have any private parts decorated, I have to tell you."

His wife, Belinda, was, he added, "mildly amused" by it but might be persuaded to have one of her own.

Britain and the Sea, made in partnership with the National Maritime Museum, starts on Sunday 17 November at 21:00 GMT on BBC One.


More on This Story

Related Stories


This entry is now closed for comments

Jump to comments pagination
  • rate this

    Comment number 722.

    At least he'll rarely see it! He will need two mirrors DOH! Shows how much he thought that one through, wouldn't mind smelling Cheryl's roses though. Never found the need to have one done, but some are very artistic.

  • rate this

    Comment number 721.

    Tattoos are clearly subversive, but they should be decriminalised. What starts with a small corporeal ink mosaic soon progresses to piercings... and then of course, heroin.

    We need to provide help for people like Mr Dumbledore, perhaps a half-way house where he can be given free felt tip pens to doodle on the palm of his hand.

    These people need our help, prison is not the answer!

  • rate this

    Comment number 720.

    713 jgm2 - Agreed it's a total non-story and don't think I'm the staunchest advocate of the licence fee, I'm not. My point is, since the 'article' has been published, that a lot of people do have an opinion one way or another on the subject.
    710 err, no. Tattooing was alive and well in the South Pacific long before the Second World War.

  • rate this

    Comment number 719.

    so a 75 year old satisfies his craving to be a pirate! What the hell is going on at the BBC? Has its' level of basic journalism stooped so low that this is the tripe on offer, seems so. Time the licence fee was reduced to £50 urgently, that would focus those who seem more interested in their own selfish fat cat payoffs!

  • rate this

    Comment number 718.

    "The Nazi's pioneered tattooing in WW2.."
    Rubbish, tattooing has been practiced for centuries around the world, especially in Asia. In the west they were mainly maritime from the 16th centruy until the 1970s when they started to enter the main stream.

    Also reputable tattoo artists are registered and there is an age limit of 18 without parental consent.

  • rate this

    Comment number 717.


    You have literally been on here all day! Every time ive popped back on to have a read there you are spouting abuse!

    You obviously care enough to continue posting!

  • rate this

    Comment number 716.

    I think he's quite old enough to make up his own mind!

  • rate this

    Comment number 715.

    Seems to me he got his first tattoo at the age of 0.
    Exactly the same one as his brother David's.

    - It read - ' I am borne of the British Establishment - am guaranteed work with the BBC and will uphold the tradition, values and Monarchical principles which underlie it.'

  • rate this

    Comment number 714.

    There is no problem with this at all,it does look classy, and age should not come into it. The mystery to me however, is why he wants to make it public, do not see why this should be the case, would think the majority of the public are not really interested

  • rate this

    Comment number 713.

    708 codz

    '700 comments proves people do care.'

    What it proves is the paucity of subjects we're allowed to comment upon by the BBC. Dimbleby's tat is also big news on Radio 2. It really is almost as if the BBC thinks reporting their reporting on their own little world classes as 'news' and justifies £145 a year.

    Does the BBC/Dimbleby have a new series/autobiography out or something?

  • rate this

    Comment number 712.

    A mildly amusing but ultimately pointless story.
    The fact that it has generated 700+ comments is a sad indictment of HYS.

  • rate this

    Comment number 711.

    This is awful - am seeing Dimbleby in a new light

  • rate this

    Comment number 710.

    The Nazi's pioneered tattooing in WW2 - and not for artistic purposes. It is stupid and unnecessary and almost always regretted at some point in life. It shows an amazing immaturity and lack of self respect. It should be regulated with Tattoo Artists being registered and restrictions based on age and position of the tattoo. No tattoo's should be allowed on your face.

  • rate this

    Comment number 709.

    It is one of life's small pleasures to spot a tramp stamp.

  • rate this

    Comment number 708.

    626 John M... disagree with you on all 3 of your ill-informed opinions. I had an in-depth discussion about tattoos at work (yes I work) the other day with someone who is as yet, not tattooed. Lots of people like to look at them, just like lots of tattoos are far better artistically than half the rubbish people gaze at in museums and 'art galleries'. 700 comments proves people do care.

  • rate this

    Comment number 707.

    Tattoos are not my thing but I would never judge somebody for getting one of their own.

    People need to get off their high horse!

    If David wanted a tattoo, happy days. At least he had the courage to go through with it.

    Each to their own I say!

  • rate this

    Comment number 706.

    Must be a Photo-shopped picture...

    ... because there is no way that any self-respecting journalist would stoop to cheap publicity stunts to push a TV series that they want to get short-listed for a BAFTA because its just dawned on them that they've got nothing to show for their tidy 50-year BBC Contract beyond once getting caught eating a sandwich during an election night special

    ... hang on

  • rate this

    Comment number 705.

    @19 Frank Bough

    I bet you've got a tattoo from those heady 80s days.

  • Comment number 704.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • rate this

    Comment number 703.

    "If he wants a tattoo, he can have a tattoo, it's no-one else's business. Pity he didn't check his "star-sign" though. He is actually a Virgo."

    No he's not, Scorpio starts on the 24th of October, his birthday is the 28th of October, hence he's correctly identified his star sign.


Page 11 of 47


More UK stories



BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.