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 762.


    Making you depressed??!?!

    1st world problems ay! guy
    Getting your car resprayed also uses alot of the compounds you have mentioned, are you now going to start slating everyone that has their cars resprayed?

  • rate this

    Comment number 761. guy
    Yes, but then we could put Wales in it.

  • rate this

    Comment number 760.

    My mom is 80. She had her first (and only) tattoo at the age of 78. It is of a dolphin and is on her wrist. She had it to cover an unsightly liver spot, and she loves the tattoo.

  • rate this

    Comment number 759.

    Tattoo Ink uses heavy metals for colors including mercury (red); lead (yellow, green); aluminium (green, violet) copper (blue, green); iron (brown, red, black). Other compounds used as pigments include antimony, arsenic, and sulphur

    Its a known fact that if everyone on earth had a Tattoo done we would have to dig a crater the size of Wales in Africa

    A fine example for a BBC TV presenter

  • rate this

    Comment number 758.

    Went swimming the other day and it seemed just about every other persons was covered in Tatoos .... its actually begining to make me feel depressed ... you would not wear the same clothes all the time and you certainly would not want to live in the same room with the same wall paper all your life ........

  • rate this

    Comment number 757.

    I have the words to Queen's Bohemian Rhapsody tattooed to the inside of my eyelid. It's personal - only for me.

  • rate this

    Comment number 756.

    I think I will like it more when the last pair of legs has been added.

  • rate this

    Comment number 755.

    Good on you Mr Dimbleby, it's never too late. I thought I was a late starter as I got my first tattoo at 34 but I bow to you! (Coincidentally, mine is also a scorpion and in the same place!).

  • rate this

    Comment number 754.

    Being proudly tat-free, that's the sort of company I'd prefer to keep. You don't have to get ink to be a real man, quite the opposite

    I must have missed the part in the report that explained how David then claimed he was a 'real man'? Did Chryl Cole make that claim when she had hers as well? What a strange comment!

  • rate this

    Comment number 753.

    735.Niko "Tatooing goes further back in this country than most people realise. The ancient Greeks called the people who live in this island (our ancestors) Prettanoi. That meant 'the tatooed ones'. The word Pretanoi is the root of our words Britain and British today!
    Its only been going on a few thousand years.."

    True. The tattooed were hard drinking illiterate thugs then too.. ...

  • rate this

    Comment number 752.

    David Dimbleby was a fantastic Journalist he really was and up until 2 weeks ago in my mind the man was a ledged, that was until he allowed a poisonous Daily Mail Journo on the QT panel with out stopping him once and correcting all the lies coming from his mouth, sorry David Dimbleby you failed in your job, perhaps you should retire or have young co-host that's not part of the establishment.

  • rate this

    Comment number 751.


    Ok fair enough, i've done a bit of research on it and for it to be removed on the NHS now, you would need to meet some very strict guidlines for health reasons only.

    The tattoo removal business is starting to boom now (private) as the technology gets better, so the NHS will be an issue of the past

  • rate this

    Comment number 750.

    @109, I think you are too quick to say we are all too quick these days.

  • rate this

    Comment number 749.

    Sorry, not the right blog, but a classic

    "An extra who was filming on Sunday told the Mirror: "This was grotesquely disrespectful and offensive. I can't believe I wore an SS uniform on Remembrance Sunday"

    Did they not know what they were wearing? What happened to being responsible for your own actions?

  • rate this

    Comment number 748.

    @ 733 ahj 1966,

    Have seen a tattoo on a biker that said ,"Born To Ripe"

  • rate this

    Comment number 747.

    he said: "I wasn't tempted to have any private parts decorated, I have to tell you."


    No David. You don't have to tell us.

    But you have.

    Now we can't get the image of what you didn't have tattooed out of our heads.

  • rate this

    Comment number 746.

    32. bored23

    Where have you got the point that people get them removed on NHS?

    I was referring to the past - not sure if it's still the case (someone may know more). In 2006 Hansard reported 187,086 tattoos had been removed by the NHS in the previous 12 months.

  • rate this

    Comment number 745.

    He may have inadvertently created a new phrase for describing someone who is not quite the full shilling as in;

    'I think that guy's two legs short of a scorpion!'

  • rate this

    Comment number 744.

    Well done BBC, just what I wanted to know about the 'great man' after Jeremy Paxman.

    Now, lets have a debate on the Chairmans warts. Meaning I'm pretty sure the BBC can find other more serious topics to comment on.

  • rate this

    Comment number 743.

    My theory:-
    BBC directors know they are all for the chop, so to move themselves up the hierarchy and hence fatter pay offs, they push rubbish like this, then get the flick. Nice strategy for those getting the cash, tough on those of us forced to pay for it! The BBC has to get away from paying millions to people who frankly are not worth a fraction of that, eg retired footballers and irish comics!


Page 9 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.