ANTIQUE experts visited a tattoo parlour in Colchester as part of a popular TV series.

Flaming Gun Tattoo Studio featured in an episode of the BBC’s Antiques Road Trip - a show where antique experts head out on a trip across Britain in search of hidden treasures at bargain prices.

In the episode auctioneer Izzie Balmer discovers how the art of tattooing became popular.

Shots of Colchester Castle and the town hall set the scene in the episode as the experts rolled into Colchester.

Izzie heads to the Flaming Gun in Church Walk where she meets art historian Dr Matt Lodder, from Essex University.

Julie Clarke Edwards, who helps run the tattoo parlour, appears on camera while tattooing a client as the experts speak about the history of tattooing.

Julie said: “I helped Matt Lodder with a few open days at the university as they were after a female tattooist for the exhibition for Jessie Knight, a 1920s UK tattooist.

“When Matt was asked to be interviewed for Antiques Road Trip they wanted a tattoo studio background instead of the university.

“He thought of us as the studio was big enough for the filming they wanted.”

She said it was an amazing experience.

During the programme Dr Lodder said: “We have this global practise [of tattooing]. They can be religious, it can be marking coming of age, it can mark status.

“It seems to be this fundamental human instinct, all cultures on Earth have some kind of skin decoration.”

St James the Great Church on East Hill also features in the episode as Matt takes Izzie on a tour to discuss how the rise of Christianity influenced modern tattooing.

Tattoos were a mark of holy pilgrimage following crusades and early 17th century pilgrims had them.

Matt said: “Just like kids today who go on holiday to Magaluf, pilgrims who were going to Jerusalem or Bethlehem would come home with a tattoo.

“Partly to show off and partly as a mark of devotion.”

The episode, which aired on Monday, can still be seen via iPlayer.