Mystery of Ben Fogle’s Croyde tattoo artist solved

Tattoo artist Mike Stocks, of Electric & Steel in Barnstaple, confirmed he tattooed Ben Fogle in 2008. Tattoo artist Mike Stocks, of Electric & Steel in Barnstaple, confirmed he tattooed Ben Fogle in 2008.

Friday, May 30, 2014
5:22 PM

Mike Stocks, of Electric & Steel in Barnstaple, answered television star’s Twitter call as to who ‘tattooed him at a pub in Croyde’.

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Ben Fogle's tweet this afternoon (Thursday).Ben Fogle's tweet this afternoon (Thursday).

A MYSTERY tattoo artist who tattooed television celebrity Ben Fogle after a meal out at a pub in Croyde has been revealed following a tweet from the star.

Mike Stocks, of Electric & Steel on the Strand in Barnstaple, contacted the Gazette after it reported Ben tweeted yesterday saying: “Can anyone tell me the name of the tattooist who gave me a tattoo in the Thatch pub in Croyde, Devon on my birthday?”

Mr Stocks, who is better known as Mr Pickle, appeared on Britain’s Got Talent in 2012 with his mechanical theatre music act, Mr Pickle and the Junkshop Quartet.

He confirmed he had tattooed a compass star, measuring no more than two inches, onto Mr Fogle after they had drunk ‘several bottles of wine’ back in 2008.

Ben Fogle.Ben Fogle.

Mr Stocks said he had been invited to the Thatch in Croyde when Ben was visiting the area, by the star’s close friend, former Olympic rower James Cracknell.

“They had a film crew with them as it was just before their trek to the South Pole,” said Mr Stocks, who lives in Croyde with his wife and two children.

“We had a meal and a few bottles of wine, and when Ben found out I was a tattoo artist he told me he had always wanted one done.

“We decided it wasn’t a bad idea and went back to the studio where I tattooed the design on him.

“It had meaning because the East-to-West stood for the Atlantic crossing they had just completed, and the North-to-South was for the upcoming trek.”

Mr Stocks also said some years later he appeared on the television show Would I Lie To You, as a guest in an episode Ben was starring in, referring to that night.

It is understood the tweet on Thursday was one of a series of comments by the star responding to an article by Daily Mail columnist Jan Moir.

In her article she appeared to question whether he was a ‘hero or disaster area’.

Mr Stocks said that Ben was a ‘very nice and very well spoken’ man and that the tweets on Thursday were ‘very tongue in cheek’.

“Of course he remembers who I am – but it was very nice to wake up to a few new Twitter followers the next day,” he added.

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