Strictly Come Dancing’s Neil Jones says he’s been tattooing himself during lockdown

Strictly Come Dancing’s Neil Jones says he’s been tattooing himself during lockdown

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We're used to seeing Strictly Come Dancing star Neil Jones strutting his stuff on the hit BBC One series.

But away from the dance floor, Neil, 39, has revealed he has a secret talent that has been keeping him busy in lockdown – tattooing.

Here, Neil – who will be back on out screens when Strictly returns this summer – exclusively tells OK! about his hidden hobby, his celebrity lookalike and working in McDonalds.

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Not a lot of people know this but I’m very good at…

Sketching. I love to draw and I’ve always designed my own tattoos, and then during lockdown I started learning how to tattoo. I’ve been practising on my own skin as I got myself the machine as a birthday present. I started with a smiley face and then I started an A4-size piece on my left leg but I haven’t finished that yet. I’ve said to a few of my friends if they’re happy to get a small tattoo then I’ll give it a go on them, and even Gorka [Márquez] was joking that I could tattoo him!

My favourite TV show is…

SAS: Who Dares Wins. I have an army background and I was born in an army camp so I absolutely love it. It’s a show I’d love to be a part of. My dad, both my granddads, my uncle and my cousin were all in the army and I’ve had family members who have gone through the type of training that’s on SAS.

The best thing my parents taught me is…

No matter what you do in life, make sure you’re the best at it. My mum always pushed us and did everything to make sure we had what we needed.

My nickname is…

Ginge, Ginger or Jonesy. They’re the main ones people call me, even if they don’t know me. That’s why my tour next year is called Gingerland and my podcast [with Michael Danilczuk and Craig Shaw] is called Tall, Blonde & Ginger.

The actor who would play me in a film is…

Will Smith. I love him. If it had to be someone who was more of a lookalike, then Mark Wahlberg.

The most expensive thing I’ve ever splashed out on is…

An £800 steak in Hong Kong. I went to this incredible steakhouse there and the tomahawk steak was £800. It was so good! I went back with some of my students years later and I bought them the steak as they had paid for me to teach them how to dance.

If I had half an hour left on Earth…

I’d let everyone who I love know that I love them. Then I’d go and do something I really want to do with no fear. I’ve been enjoying surfing recently, so something like that.

The last time I cried was…

During lockdown. The most recent one was the toughest. I think I cried with happiness when things started opening up again.

The worst job I’ve done is…

All of the ones that weren’t related to dance. I’ve worked at McDonald’s, been a gardener, worked in construction, in a pub and in a shop. They all end up becoming really boring because they’re not your passion. The hardest job I’ve ever done is working in construction. It was hard work getting up early every day, working and then going dancing afterwards.

Neil co-hosts the Tall, Blonde & Ginger podcast which has had a makeover and relaunches soon. Tall, Blonde & Ginger is available to listen on Acast, iTunes and Spotify.

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