Tatouazophobic? Not me!

Body art: But do you find Sophie Ellis-Bextor's tattoo offensive?
Body art: But do you find Sophie Ellis-Bextor's tattoo offensive?

Tatouazophobia ... trust me, it really is a word. Briefly, it is the fear of, or being, tattoed.

Like any other form or art, there are beautiful tattoes and others that should be permanently under cover.

There are unfortunate tattoes and others that tell quite wondrous stories.

There are drunken mistakes and badges of honour, particularly among those who have served in the armed forces or represented their country in major sporting events.

On my recent holiday, and I promise this will be the last time I mention it, I was quite staggered to see just how many people sport body art of one form or another.

Nobody I spotted went close to Michael Schofield’s bewildering array on tattoes in the television series Prison Break.

But the ones on display ranged from the subtle to the truly explosive.

It is all a far cry from the first tattoes I ever really saw.

Most of these were sported by idiots just waiting around for the local magistrates to send them off for some more porridge (clearly I was reporting on their misdemeanours, not waiting alongside them!) and usually spoke of LOVE and HATE across knuckles and also included teardrops and even scissors, dashes and CUT HERE across necklines.

There was not a lot of art on display, but the message was quite clearly: “This is my skin, I own it and I will do what I want with it.”

Why, holiday apart, the sudden interest in tattoes?

On arriving at work on Monday I had a quick word with our Strictly Correspondent that went along the lines of “Natalie’s going to have her work cut out to beat Sophie”.

The SCD Correspondent agreed, but then said “such a shame about that tattoo, she would be beautiful without it”.

I must admit I have become largely immune to tattoes, and will continue safe in the knowledge that I will never have one.

How do I know? Quite simply while watching the semi-finals of Italia 90 a group of us decided that we would all have the Cross of St George and the years of England’s successes tattoed somewhere on our skin should England ever win the World Cup. It looks like being a long wait!