TATTOOISTS in Worcester have said people getting inked for the first time later in life is nothing new, following the revelation that veteran broadcaster David Dimbleby had got his first tattoo – at 75 years old.

Mr Dimbleby, who has been presenting the BBC’s election coverage since 1979, revealed this week he had a “modest” image of a scorpion tattooed on his right shoulder while making maritime series Britain and the Sea.

But Peter Watts, of Rings and Needles, in Quay Street, Worcester, said an increasing number of older people had been getting tattoos for the very first time over the past 10 years.

“It’s much more socially acceptable these days,” he said.

“It’s not so much associated with the more unsavoury elements of society.

“Lots of them say they’ve always wanted to get a tattoo but had never done it.

“We might see an upswing now that Mr Dimbleby’s gone and done it, but I don’t think you really need a trend-setter at that age.”

Mr Watts said the parlour even had its own ‘painted pensioner’ in the form of a regular customer who only started getting tattoos done 15 years ago, at the age of 60.

“He’s still getting them done now,” he said. “It’s all traditional stuff – swallows and hearts and such like.”

Meanwhile Joe Turner, from Fourleaf Tattoo, said it wasn’t uncommon for older people to visit the New Street parlour.

“We don’t get a massive number of older people but we do have a few from time to time,” he said.

“They generally get smaller things like their son or daughter’s names or breast cancer ribbons.

“The oldest person I did was a woman in her 60s or 70s. It’s definitely getting more acceptable with older people. It used to be seen as a bit taboo but these days it’s more common to see people with tattoos than without.”

Sandie Bishop, from Worcester, said she had received a funny reaction after having her first tattoo as a birthday present.

“I had my first one for my 40th birthday,” she said. “It was a mid-life crisis according to my work colleague.”

Mr Dimbleby told Radio Times he had always wanted a tattoo and had chosen a scorpion as Scorpio is his star sign.

“It's a dream come true for me,” 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.”

But his story might have a sting in its tail – scorpions are members of the arachnid family and have eight legs.

Mr Dimbleby’s tattoo, however, has six.