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Britain's most tattooed man says he was 'hidden' from work managers over his extreme appearance

Emily Brown

| Last updated 

Britain's most tattooed man says he was 'hidden' from work managers over his extreme appearance

A man who describes himself as the 'Britain's Most Tattooed Man World Record Holder' has claimed he was 'hidden' from management due to his appearance.

It's not uncommon for people wanting a tattoo to be warned to think about where they get it, especially if the ink is their first.

Arguments like 'do you want it showing on your wedding day?' and 'what will it look like when you're all wrinkly' are just some of those other people, often parents, like to throw out into the conversation, and most of the time the recipient will go out and get their tattoo exactly where they wanted it in the first place.


The location of a tattoo shouldn't be an issue for anyone other than the person whose body it's on, but Britain's 'most tattooed man' claims he has been treated differently thanks to the artwork covering his body, which includes his eyes.

King Body Art, who was born Matthew Whelen, told LADbible he has undergone 'close to 1,600 hours of tattooing', as well as lots of tattoo removal sessions after realising from the age of nine that he wanted pictures on his body.

"This [has] become a lifestyle and my identity," he explained.

In an interview with the Daily Star, the 41-year-old spoke about issues he faced while working at a call centre and expressed belief that 'you bring ultimate restrictions upon yourself by looking different'.


"That's not just alternative people," he said. "Basically the reason why you won't get a job is not that you look totally different, it's because people won't give you a job. It also depends on what industry is and their dress code. I think a dress code should just be that – clothing."

No matter what he wears, King Body Art explained that 'extreme alternative' looks like his own can 'restrict people'.

"[It has restricted me in the past, even when I've been in employment," he continued.


The ink-covered man explained that while working in a call centre, he advised his managers that he would be getting his first visible ink on his throat. Despite some disbelief from co-workers, he proved them wrong when he walked in on a Monday with a freshly tattooed throat.

King Body Art claimed he got 'shuffled around from one office to another' while in the job, saying: "The managers were coming up so they decided to have a move around in the office. The person they got to move was me. I got shifted from one end of the office down to the bottom when the managers come up."

The 42-year-old has had a lot of work done since then, and says in 2013 he received a certificate for his extensive tattoos from with Ripley's Believe It or Not.

He now works as an actor and model, though he admitted he again faces restrictions due to his looks, saying: "I'm not gonna pop up in Downton Abbey as an actor, am I? Unless having an alternative scene or someone's tripping out or something I suppose."


King Body Art has previously landed a role in BBC's Doctors, in which he portrayed a prisoner.

Featured Image Credit: @king_body_art/Twitter

Topics: Viral

Emily Brown
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