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25th Sep 2023

Man whose body is ‘90% covered in ink’ claims he was hidden by boss because of tattoos


‘The reason why you won’t get a job is not that you look totally different, it’s because people won’t give you a job’

A heavily-tattooed man has told how he was moved around an office so managers wouldn’t see him.

Matthew Whelan, also known as King Of Ink Land, has over 90 per cent of his body covered in ink.

The body-modification aficionado, from Birmingham, says his choice to decorate his body has had a real impact on his professional life.

Whelan, also commonly referred to as ‘Britain’s most tattooed man, says he faced discrimination when he worked in a call centre.

The 43-year-old claims he was hidden from management during an “office reshuffle” because of his body art.

He told the Daily Star in 2022: “You bring ultimate restrictions upon yourself by looking different. That’s not just alternative people.

“Basically the reason why you won’t get a job is not that you look totally different, it’s because people won’t give you a job.”

King, who has more more than 300 tattoos, went on to say the reason for this “also depends on what the industry is and their dress code”.

The dress code, Whelan said, should be limited to clothing, not appearance.

“This appearance, this extreme alternative look can restrict people and has restricted me in the past, even when I’ve been in employment.”

Speaking about the incident at the call centre, Whelan said: “I got shuffled around from one office to another when I was working in a call centre. The managers were coming up so they decided to have a move around in the office.

“The person they got to move was me. I got shifted from one end of the office down to the bottom when the managers come up.”

Since then, Whelan told the Star, he’s carved out a role on TV, including on BBC’s Doctors.

Due to his look, Whelan has been somewhat typecast in prisoner roles, but that doesn’t bother him: “I’m not gonna pop up in Downton Abbey as an actor, am I?

“Unless having an alternative scene or someone’s tripping out or something I suppose.”

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