While the Strictly Come Dancing professionals are on our screens every week for each series, we never seem to see much of their tattoos, and you'd be surprised by how many of the pros have more than one inking. From the hidden piece of artwork covering Neil Jones' back to the obvious one on Graziano Di Prima's chest, we round up the cast's best tats…
One of the biggest tattoos is owned by Neil, whose entire back is covered with black and white wolf faces and the words "Which wolf wins? The one you feed". He explained on Instagram: "My first tattoo was in 2009 which became over time the piece on my back, it symbolises an old Indian story. An old Cherokee is teaching his grandson about life."
He also has another four tattoos, all of which have meanings. They include birds that represent each female in his family, a tattoo of his ex-partner Katya Jones on his left arm, a quote by Joseph Chilton Pearce about the value of creativity, and even one that nods to his dancing career! In 2012, he inked himself with the words "Qui Audet Adipiscitur" which is Latin for Who Dares Wins and revealed the meaning behind the tattoo: "I took many risks during my dancing career and I won."
Keeping things totally simple, former Strictly star AJ has 'AJ' tattooed on the inside of his forearm. It's a safe way to ensure it never dates, don't you think?
Kevin has a fairly unusual tattoo after making a bet with his 2017 Strictly dance partner, Susan Calman, that they'd get matching tattoos if they made it to the Blackpool stage of the competition. Despite Susan getting "I heart [symbol of a love heart] Grimsby" first, he was a little late to the party until This Morning's Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield encouraged him to follow through and get it done live on the show. Talking of the bet, he explained: “Susan Calman said live on air on Strictly – because we didn’t think we were going to make it as far as Blackpool at the time – she said, ‘If we make it to Blackpool, then I’m going to get a tattoo saying ‘I love Grimsby’ on my foot’." He continued: “I foolishly said, ‘Well, if you do that, I’ll get ‘I love Glasgow’ as a tattoo’. We made this pact". He quickly pointed out: “But Susan was so brilliant and everyone loved her that we made it to Blackpool!”
Apparently even incredibly talented dancers doubt their abilities sometimes! As well as having one tattoo that says "believe", Oti shared a picture of another inking on her wrist back in 2016, which reads "strength through perseverance". Dressed in gym gear, she captioned the image: "Hard workout today but every time it gets tough I always remember what time is it #strengththroughperserverance." We'd need the same motivational message to get us through her workouts!
There's no mistaking that Gorka is a huge fan of inkings! As well as a sleeve of designs on his left arm, he also previously covered a tattoo of his name at the top of his back with a huge tiger face. He wrote on Instagram: "ROUND TWO Never thought 6hr sat in a chair would of be that painful @gorskytattoos. THANKS BRO see you again soon for round lll."
After he and Gemma Atkinson welcomed their first child together, he posted this sweet picture of little Mia's hand resting on his which provided fans with a better view of his tats. The word "love" is printed across his hand and he has an infinity symbol on his finger, and we can't wait to see if he gets any others dedicated to Mia in the future!
Graziano Di Prima
There is nothing subtle about Graziano's tattoo! He has a huge bull on his left pec and it's regularly visible not just during the show but in the topless Instagram pictures he's partial to uploading.
Following her split from Strictly co-dancer, Kevin Clifton, Karen got a tattoo symbolising "peace and light". Posting images to Instagram, she explained to fans: "Unalome: The unalome symbol represents the path to enlightenment in the Buddhist culture.
"The spirals are meant to symbolize the twists & turns in life, & the straight lines are meant to represent the moment one reaches enlightenment, peace or inner harmony. And this, courtesy of @courtneylloydtattoos is my daily reminder of those struggles and the peace that often follows them."
Giovanni's most famous tattoo is definitely the phrase on his arm which reads ‘Nato Per Vincere’ meaning ‘Born To Win’, but he also has the date he won the Italian Championships on his wrist, a sun on his chest and an inking on his inner bicep.
Aljaz has more than one inking and when he and his dancer wife, Janette Manrara, celebrated their first wedding anniversary in July 2018, she hinted at the meaning of his arrow tattoo on his arm. She uploaded a photo of their entwined hands with the caption: "All arrows point to the same place... love. #WeddingAnniversary #TimeAway #ArrowTattoo #ArrowRing". Cute, right?