You might find that tattoo you got when you were drunk rather amusing, but if it’s visible in any way then you can forget any hope you had of becoming a spy – at least a domestic one, anyway. The dreams of thousands of James Bond-wannabes have been crushed after MI5 announced to job applicants they will not hire anyone with visible tattoos. In a new job specification for ‘mobile surveillance officers’, the Security Service has warned that distinguishing tattoos on the hands, forearms, neck or face would make potential recruits ‘unsuitable’. Interestingly, Sean Connery had to cover a ‘Scotland Forever’ tattoo on his forearm to play Bond.
In fact, distinguishing features of any kind will make recruits unsuited to the role, including being over 6ft1in for men and over 5ft8in for women. This means Daniel Craig would be the only Bond actor eligible to work there – although he’d probably have to ditch the immaculate Tom Ford suits and make sure his shoulder tattoo was covered. ‘Any distinguishing features such as tattoos on your face, neck or forearms would make you more recognisable to someone who is under surveillance and would therefore make you unsuitable for this role,’ says the guideline, posted on MI5’s website. ‘Mobile surveillance officers follow subjects who’ve been identified by intelligence officers as potential threats to national security. It’s all about observing people and places, either on foot or by vehicle, and to do that it is vital that you blend in to your environment.’
Applicants must also have no more than six penalty points on their driving licence and be able to read a map and compass points.