My experience with the world of body art is pretty limited. I’ve had my ears pierced, and there were probably a couple of occasions when I toyed with the idea of a getting a tattoo as a teenager, but I change my mind too frequently to ever settle on a design – and I never was very rebellious anyway.
Me and tattoos, we’re indifferent. Which is why I never thought I’d enjoy a series like Tattoo Fixers.
I assumed the E4 show – which sees terribly tattooed members of the public head to a pop-up tattoo parlour in East London for clever covers ups from artists Jay, Sketch and Alice – would be for serious, scary fans of serious, scary ink. But that’s where I was wrong.
Tattoo Fixers is far from the grimy, dirty and dingy shops you can spy around Britains’ cities and towns. It’s light, airy and trendy. There’s even time for tea on the sofa while each unfortunate explains their tattoo disaster.
Yes, it’s rude and sometimes crude (you’d be surprised how many idiots tattoo their genitals) but this series has got it all: human interest stories, jeopardy and a happy ending where more often than not a tear or two is shed (and not just from the pain of the needles around those sensitive areas).
It’s not just about drunken mistakes in Magaluf either (though you’ll soon realise those are some of the most entertaining) some people visit the Tattoo Fixers for brand new ink. Vicky Balch, one of the victims of last year’s Alton Towers rollercoaster crash, appeared in the first episode of series two to have a tattoo which represented strength inked on her leg.
And those who are after cover-ups have their own stories to tell. One woman had ‘Will you marry me?’ tattooed on her side only to find out pre-proposal that her girlfriend was cheating on her with her best friend. She is with someone new now and wanted to draw a line (or, to be more accurate, a dinosaur) under the whole relationship. Others are there to correct youthful misjudgments or to mark new phases in their life. Every tattoo has its own tale.
It helps that the cast – Jay, Sketch, Alice and un-tattooed receptionist Paisley – are so entertaining. And talented too. I might not want my skin permanently stamped, but I’ve been convinced these big, bold tats are art – and they are undeniably beautiful.
Tattoo Fixers continues on Tuesdays at 9:00pm on E4