Mum has huge tattoo of David Attenborough

Sam Ordish's tattoo of David Attenborough
Picture: Simon Czapp/Solent News & Photo Agency
Sam Ordish's tattoo of David Attenborough Picture: Simon Czapp/Solent News & Photo Agency

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WILDLIFE fan Samantha Ordish has turned herself into a rare species - by getting a huge tattoo of naturalist Sir David Attenborough on her arm.

The Portsmouth mum has loved the 90-year-old wildlife expert and his famous animal documentaries since she was a young child.

The brightly coloured tattoo sleeve, which covers her entire right arm, shows David Attenborough’s face, a gorilla and two hummingbirds.

A golden headed lion tamarin, two red-eyed tree frogs, and a keel-billed toucan, surrounded by greenery and tropical plants, are also depicted in the incredible artwork - which cost £1500.

Samantha, 34, visited tattoo artist and fellow Attenborough fan Wesley Lambe, co-owner of The Ink Doctors Tattoo studio in Southsea, Hants, five times over the course of a year to have the sleeve done.

Each sitting lasted about five hours - with Samantha going under the needle for a total of 24 hours.

Samantha, who works as a tattoo artist herself at Dolls and Skulls Tattoo Studio in Portsmouth, said: “The last few years have been hard for me - I have lost both my dad and my nan.

“They brought me up watching David Attenborough and I wanted to have something that would remind me of them, but I didn’t want their portraits as that would make me cry.

“I have been obsessed with David Attenborough ever since I was a kid - he was a bit like a TV dad.

“I think I started watching him aged four. It was with my family whenever he was on TV.”

She added: “I was always really fond of his rainforest episodes especially - they were my favourite.

“I still watch as much David Attenborough as I possibly can - I’m a very big Attenborough and animal fan.

“I still have all his books I was given as a kid.”

Samantha, who lost her father three years ago and her grandmother last year, planned the artwork for months, and had the impressive sleeve done over the course of a year, starting last February.

She said: “My earliest memory of watching David Attenborough was when he was really, really young filming with gorillas.

“A monkey I have at the bottom of my arm was one of his favourite animals.

“I found all the animals and the images, and then Wesley put his own spin on it.

“He is also a huge Attenborough fan - he has gone to meet him before at a book signing.

“So there were two huge David Attenborough fans in the room when I was having the tattoo done.”

She added: “I was looking on the internet for images and looking through books for months beforehand - I didn’t just want to put anything on my arm!”

Wesley Lambe, 34, said: “I’ve been a big David Attenborough fan since I was a kid, my aunty used to buy me all the box sets and I still watch as much as I can now.

“So when Sam came to me with this idea I thought ‘that’s awesome, that’s right up my street.’

“Last year I took the day off work to meet him at a book signing. I was a bit star-struck.”

Wesley, from Havant, Hants, who has been a tattoo artist for about eight years, added: “I am really happy with the finished tattoo.

“It was a tricky one to blend all the bits together. I could only do one part at a time.

“Most people who see it love it - even people who wouldn’t have it themselves.”

Samantha said her 18-year-old son thinks the tattoo ‘is a bit weird’ but she is extremely proud of the artwork, which is ‘something unique.”

She added: “I haven’t met David Attenborough yet - but I do plan on meeting him to see what he thinks and to see how weird he thinks I am.

“I am so proud of the tattoo - I was just overwhelmed when I saw it completed, it’s just so great and so colourful.”