This story has legs

Veteran BBC broadcaster David Dimbleby recently got his first tattoo. The tattoo depicts a six-legged scorpion (scorpions actually have eight legs), but the 75-year-old Dimbleby said that he didn’t spot the mistake. It is unlikely that he would have, since it is inked on the back of his shoulder. In any case, he says that he has no plans to correct it.

The story reminded me of an episode of Knowing Me Knowing You with Alan Partridge from almost 20 years ago. In this episode, the fictional chat show host (Partridge, played by Steve Coogan) talks to publicist Laurence Noels about his work in public relations. Noels is portrayed by Patrick Marber and is probably based on PR “gurus” such as Max Clifford.

For some reason, the following section is missing from the version that appears on YouTube. For a moment, I thought I had gone completely mad and imagined the whole thing, so I was relieved to find it on the DVD:

Laurence: …but there is a positive side to what I do. I often help various celebrities. If I might give you an example… Let’s take the Dimbleby brothers. Supposing Jonathan and David came to me and they said: “Laurence, we need help. People think of us as a little bit too serious, a little bit dull”.

Alan: Yeah, I know what you mean.

Laurence: Well, I would rectify that image problem by ensuring that the Dimbleby Brothers were seen letting their hair down at a fashionable night spot such as Stringfellow’s, or perhaps sharing an ice cream at Alton Towers.

The six-legged scorpion tattoo would seem to be straight from the Laurence Noels playbook.

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