I’m constantly trolled for my full-body tattoos – it’s caused me endless problems but I don't care what anyone thinks | The Sun

STANDING at 6ft with skin awash with burning skulls, Satanic symbols and lizard scales, Keith Gordon cuts an intimidating picture.

The retired father-of-four from Hornchurch, Essex, has spent the last 12 years transforming himself from an ordinary civil servant into one of Britain’s most tattooed men.

Experts estimate he’s spent more than £20,000 inking his entire body – apart from a white patch where his underwear is because “nobody will see it”.

The 66-year-old’s unique look has landed him acting roles in a Jurassic Park flick, Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes Of Grindlewald and even the soap EastEnders.

But it’s not always fun for the self-professed “coolest looking guy in Essex”, he’s been branded “the devil” and admits: “I’m lucky to have never been attacked for how I look.”

Recently, Keith was booted out of a supermarket over his unique appearance while on holiday in Brighton, which he says is discrimination and has launched a formal complaint.


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He told The Sun: “I’ve never experienced anything like that before. I was waiting for my wife Lisa to finish at the counter when a guy in uniform come up behind me.

“I was minding my own business when he looked me up and down before saying, ‘You’ve got a lot of tattoos there mate’ loudly and aggressively.

“I replied, ‘Yeah, that’s right,’ and then he said ‘You’re not welcome here then are you! Are you!’ I was shocked and just left the store with my kids.

“I’ve never been discriminated against before. Normally, I’m treated pretty well. I talk very nicely, I’m polite, friendly and courteous.

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“I go to chains like Harvester, Toby Carvery, McDonald's and Costa and have never had any trouble there or anywhere else before.”

Keith claims the shop – which he doesn’t want to identify – has apologised but he’s struggled to find much sympathy elsewhere.

He said: “Online ordinary-looking people with grey hair, who are my age and older, hate how I look and feel the supermarket did the right thing to tell me to leave.

“They have called me a nutcase, said I don’t look human and that my family must be ashamed because I look awful.”

Body art journey

Keith’s no stranger to controversy having started his tattoo journey nearly four decades ago with a pirate skull and crossed cutlasses on his left forearm at 17 years old.

Initially, he hid the body art from his parents, who ran pubs in London, but eventually, they spotted it and “hated” how it looked.

Keith recalls: “My mum was very upset, I used to catch her crying on her own because of my tattoo, and my dad wouldn’t acknowledge it at all.”

Four years later, after feeling dissatisfied with how it looked, he started a lengthy and painful process to get them covered up with skin grafts.

Keith’s embarrassment over the amateur inkings led him to shun tattoos until he turned 52 when he became intrigued by the idea again.

It led to him completely reinventing his appearance with “trashy biker and low-brow cartoon” designs.

Now Keith’s “lost count” of his tattoos and believes he had so many due to his obsessive compulsive disorder – which left him with an uncontrollable urge to go back time and time again.

“When I walked out of the tattoo shop after getting one down it felt like I was walking on air,” he said.

“I felt like I was the bee's knees and became obsessed, I also loved the attention I got from having them whether it was good or bad.”

By 2009, he decided to start on his face and head, which took nearly three years to complete and didn’t go down well while working as a civil servant.

“No one said anything but I knew it looked outrageous and they hated them. They must have thought, ‘What the hell has done?’" he said.

“Most of my co-workers would ignore it or pretend I didn’t have tattoos, they wouldn’t ask me anything and rarely spoke to me.

“One lady I worked with really didn’t like them – especially a tarantula tattoo on my foot because she was scared of spiders.”

Keith’s long-suffering wife of 20 years Lisa, 50, has never approved either but still loves her husband regardless.

When asked her thoughts about his endless inkings – including a tattooed heart with her name in it – she simply shakes her head and walks out of the room.

Wife 'doesn't want to know me'

“Lisa doesn’t like my tattoos,” Keith admits. “She hates them but she accepts they are a part of who I am, even though I’ve been called a monster.

“But whenever I walk around topless in public Lisa doesn’t want to know me, she walks ahead or behind me, and my family disappears. They hate it but I enjoy it.”

They are not alone in their disapproval. Keith’s look understandably draws the eyes of strangers and sometimes he’s been yelled at for his unique look.

He said: “There are three different reactions – the first is being told, ‘Wow, that’s f***ing brilliant’, the second is being totally ignored and the third is really negative.

“It can range from people staring to being pointed at or laugh at, and then sometimes strangers say things to me too.

“One woman yelled ‘Satan! Satan!’ while holding her fingers up in the shape of a cross and another said, ‘You look like the devil.’

“It doesn’t bother me, I find it funny a lot of the time and am proud because I’ve done something most people would be too scared or not able to do.

“I don’t give a c**p what people think, even though I’m sure many would consider it the worst decision someone could make or risk ruining their life.”

Despite claiming to be immune to the scornful stares and snarky comments, it’s not always been so easy for the dad – who has three children of his own and a stepdaughter.

His kids were enrolled in a Roman Catholic school, which understandably ruffled feathers due to Keith having multiple devil tattoos and ‘Jesus’ and ‘Satan’ on his eyelids.

“At the school gates I used to keep to myself and the other parents would just ignore me or pretend I wasn’t there,” he said.

“I used to hate going to parents’ evenings, especially looking like this, it felt like walking the gauntlet.

“Pupils, parents, teachers, they all used to stare but no one would say anything, they couldn’t, my appearance would just be ignored.”

For many people considering getting tattooed, the thought of how much it could hurt serves as a deterrent – but Keith maintains it was a price worth paying to look how he does today.

He said: “With tattoos, the pain varies wildly. It can go from being fine to unbearable and burning. When I had parts of my lip done it felt like I had been put under a sewing machine.

“When I got a rat on my foot that really f***ing hurt, around the eyes was bad too and inside my ears was absolutely killer.”

Like many who have gone under the tattoo gun, it doesn’t always go to plan and Keith admits two of his inkings are misunderstood.

He added: “There’s one that says ‘Death Penalty’, which refers to an album by Witchfinder General, but they ran out of space and couldn’t put the band’s name on it so now it looks like I believe in capital punishment, which I don’t.

“Then another of my favourite bands are W.A.S.P. but the acronym in America means ‘White Anglo Saxon Protestant’ which isn’t what I wanted people to think.”

Surprisingly, even for a man who’s covered nearly his entire body in ink – including a controversial Charles Manson piece – he has one tattoo no-no.

He added: “I’d never get the whites of my eyes done because of the health risk, you could go blind!”

£20k on tattoos

Keith claims he doesn’t know how much he’s spent on tattoos over the years but admits throughout his journey he has gone under the needle every three weeks for nearly 12 years.

At one point, he was regularly charged £250 for full-day sessions but insisted prices varied wildly depending on what he had done.

Tattoo experts told us his inkings could have cost anywhere from £20,000 upwards – a high price to pay but Keith insists “it wasn’t hard” to find the money each month.

It must be a financial hit for this human doodle board, but Keith insists he’s proud of what he’s achieved and it’s afforded experiences many could only dream of.

He explains: “I’ve got some acting work because of my tattoos including on EastEnders, where I played a prisoner who bullied Danny Dyer, which was incredible.

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“I was paid a couple of grand to be in a Fantastic Beasts film and met Chris Pratt while filming a scene in an illegal market that sold dinosaurs for Jurassic World: Dominion.

“I don’t regret any of it, I’ve had more than a decade feeling euphoric thanks to my tattoos and achieved all of these amazing because of how I look.”

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