WHEN Family Fortunes contestant Alex Burgess-Lawson claimed she’d get a tattoo of host Gino D’Acampo if she won the jackpot, everyone thought she was joking.
Alex, who is from South Shields, visited a local tattoo studio and asked for the body art on her upper arm to celebrate her victory alongside her family.
And while the tattoo artist was a little surprised at her request, he happily went ahead – inking a large picture of Gino alongside the show’s famous catchphrase “our survey says…”
Speaking exclusively to Fabulous about the experience, Accounts Assistant Alex tells us: “When I said that if we won the £30,000 I’d get Gino tattooed on my arm, I wasn’t thinking at all that we would actually win!
“But I am a woman of my word so I had to go through with it.”
She continues: “The tattoo artist was laughing the whole time – he kept saying, ‘I can’t believe I’m doing this’ and he got the other lads in the studio to come over and said, ‘Have you seen this?!’”
Lifelong fan of the series Alex then shared the evidence to Twitter and her post quickly went viral.
While many people lapped up the story – with Gino himself even revealing that he was flattered – others were less than complimentary.
But having her say, Alex says she doesn’t regret her decision to get Gino – her mum’s favourite chef – on her arm.
She says: “I completely understand that people will say what they want about it. I’m not naïve in that sense.
“And people have their own opinion, but at the end of the day, it’s my body and I chose and wanted to go through with it so it doesn’t matter if people are nasty about it.”
She adds: “There were so many negative people and it’s quite easy to get bogged down by that but there were so many other lovely comments as well that it really offsets the negativity.
“People were so happy for us and now have a laugh about the tattoo.”
And Alex maintains the only other opinions that matter to her are her family’s and her now husband Adam.
She continues: “He, at the time, thought I was joking. But then he looked at me and thought, ‘Of course she is going to!’
“But, then again, when we met I had four superheroes tattooed so he’s kind of used to seeing other men on my body,” Alex laughs.
It’s my body and I chose and wanted to go through with it so it doesn’t matter if people are nasty about it
But despite her jokes, Alex says that there’s a hidden deeper meaning behind the inking that makes her happy every time she looks at it.
She reveals: “At the beginning of 2020, I lost my grandma and I was so close to her.
“Then in September the Family Fortunes thing came along and it was such a fun, family moment. It changed a horrendous year into one that we could have good memories about. That for me is what the tattoo’s about.
“It’s also a huge reminder of what we’ve been able to do.
“Adam and I were looking to save for our own house, as we were living with my parents at the time. It meant it was a huge deposit for us and we actually managed to get a house that we didn’t think we’d be able to afford.
“Without sounding cheesy, it was life-changing for us. It means that we’ve got a home that we probably would have looked at in a few years time and one we’re not going to have to move from – and that’s all thanks to Family Fortunes.”
It changed a horrendous year into one that we could have good memories about
Alex continues: “Not many people can say they’ve been on TV – especially during a global pandemic – and won money to buy a house.
“It’s so ridiculous but I’ve got the tattoo and it does remind me how incredible it was.
“So other people might find it stupid, but, for me, it is important and a personal thing.”
So the golden question remains – does Alex now dream of being on any more quiz shows? And, if so, will she get another host’s face tattooed on her other arm?
“I was actually on The Chase a few years ago and if I’d won that maybe it would have been a different story,” Alex laughs.
“At the moment we love the 1% Club. My husband Adam is so good at it. Every week he gets it right and I tell him to apply, but he says, ‘No, we’ve had our time.’
“But I’d definitely go on telly again – I’ve done two shows so I should at least make it a hat-trick,” she concludes with a wink.
Fabulous will pay for your exclusive stories. Just email: firstname.lastname@example.org and pop EXCLUSIVE in the subject line