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A Very Brassic Christmas: a look at Joe Gilgun’s tattoos

Joe Gilgun plays Vinnie O’Neil in the hit show Brassic

Joe Gilgun in Brassic
Emmy Griffiths
TV & Film Editor
21 December 2023
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Brassic is back for a Christmas special, A Very Brassic Christmas, and sees This is England star Joe Gilgun return as Vinnie O’Neil for the hit Sky comedy. The character boasts of having plenty of tattoos - but are they real, and what is the meaning behind some of them? We’ve done some digging, and here’s what we discovered…. 

Are Vinnie's tattoos real in Brassic? 

In short, yes! The actor who plays Vinnie, Misfits and Preacher star Joe Gilgun, boasts of over 33 tattoos, including on his neck, forehead and hands. Speaking about his love of ink, he told The Guardian: "I don’t have a nice car. I have two bikes, I like trainers, I like tattoos, I quite like gold teeth… I might get some of them made… I had a bit of a breakthrough. 

WATCH: Get a sneek peek of A Very Brassic Christmas

"[My therapist] was saying, ‘Why don’t you have a girlfriend? Why don’t you have a house? You’ve got all this money. Do something with it.’ […] Once I’ve got a girl that I know I can love and she loves me, that’s when I’ll do it. 

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"I’ll get a house and I’ll learn to drive and I’ll become a normal human being, get a golden retriever and a [expletive] dishwasher and all that. I’ll give it everything I have. I’ve never really had that love, being in love like that."

Nobody does Christmas like the Brassic gang!© Sky UK / Ben Blackall
Nobody does Christmas like the Brassic gang!

One of his many tattoos is the word 'ATHAIR' on his neck, which is the Celtic word for 'father'. Another is 'Lol', which is written on his hand in tribute to his on-screen partner Vicky McClure from the This is England series. 

He also has the numbers '23456’ on his chest, which are reportedly call numbers of his Misfits co-stars, Iwan Rheon, Nathan Stewart-Jarrett, Lauren Socha, Matthew McNulty and Antonia Thomas on his chest. 

Joe plays Vinnie in the hit show © Sky UK / Ben Blackall
Joe plays Vinnie in the hit show

Back in April 2022, Joe got a large neck tattoo. The tattoo artist, Kameeleon Tattoo, shared a series of photos of the tattoo, writing: "Thank you Joe! Always a pleasure mate!!" However, fans have been unable to disagree on what is says, with one fan suggesting it reads 'Hellbent,' while another one think it says 'little life'. What do you make of it? 

Joseph Gilgun in shoot for Preacher© Variety
Joseph Gilgun in shoot for Preacher

Other tattoos include a magpie on his chest, the Latin phrase 'ab imo pectore' which means 'from the bottom of my heart,' a knotted scarf, Roman numerals ''LXXXIV', flowers, the phrase 'sweet granny Linda,' three leaf clovers, the phrase 'YOU’RE ALL IN IT, SO BE PROUD,' a portrait of a woman in the shape of a card of clubs, 'Mum and Dad', the phrase 'I ain’t gonna work on Maggie’s farm no more,' the mysterious numbers and letters 'W113HN' which code be a Kensington postcode, a candle and many more. 

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