It must rank among the most unusual tattoos in the world.

Apprentice tattooist Jack Newton has had Professor Stephen Hawking’s face imprinted on his right leg.

The image was inked on by his colleague and mentor Stewart Francis at the Angelic Hell studio in North Road, Brighton.

The text below the grinning image of Professor Hawking reads “He’s not the messiah, he’s a very naughty boy”.

The quote is taken from Monty Python’s cult film Life Of Brian and is a nod to Professor Hawking’s discoveries, which have given a scientific explanation for the beginning of the universe.

It has already caused a stir in the tattoo world, winning two trophies at conventions.

Jack, 23, said Professor Hawking, who suffers from a type of motor neurone disease, was one of his heroes. He has read the professor’s best-selling book A Brief History Of Time but said he did not understand it all.

He said: “I respect him in quite a few different ways.

“He has worked on some groundbreaking scientific research and is an amazing example of how illness does not necessarily stop a man.

“He’s an inspirational man.”

It took Stewart, also a big Professor Hawking fan, about seven hours to complete the design, which was done in a single session.

Jack’s tattooing career emerged from his passion for art.

He said: “I’ve always enjoyed drawing and my grandfather used to be in the Navy and had an anchor tattooed on his arm, which I used to find fascinating.

“As I grew up I realised that I could make a career by combining drawing and tattooing.

“It’s a really hard industry to get into. I moved to Brighton when I got the chance to work at the shop and learn from Stewart.”

Jack is soon to repay the favour and tattoo a peony flower design on to Stewart’s leg. It will be his first tattoo job.

Stewart said: “All tattoo apprenticeships are based on trust. You are showing them the ropes of one of the best jobs in the world.”

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