Matt Lucas, of Great British Bake Off, has revealed the stress of an incident at the age of four caused his hair to fall out.
Matt Lucas has been a firm favourite on this series of Great British Bake Off with Noel Fielding, despite sparking complaints with his sexual innuendos.
Matt, 46, – who replaced Sandi Toksvig on GBBO – has been bald since the age of six after developing alopecia.
The comedian opens up about it in his memoir Little Me: My Life from A-Z, saying he was “knocked down by a car” on a family holiday when he was four years old.
Two years later, Matt woke up “to find several hairs on [his] pillow”.
“The next day the same thing happened,” he wrote in his book. “Only this time there were a lot more.
“By the end of that summer all my hair had fallen out.”
Matt was later diagnosed with alopecia areata – an “autoimmune” condition that causes hair to fall out in “clumps”.
While some might find the experience of losing their hair traumatic, Matt said it has “shaped” his life.
He explained, “My childhood was tough, yes. No one wants to feel eternally self-conscious, constantly stared at, teased, mocked and bullied. But also it’s important to get things into perspective.
“Being bald has helped me in my career. Would I have had my big break as a baby in Shooting Stars if I had had a full head of hair? My baldness has made me distinctive, yet also allowed me to transform myself. Stick a wig on and I’m someone else. Swap the wig and I’m now another person. Perfect.”
It wasn’t until adulthood that Matt’s ‘alopecia’ diagnosis was questioned by another doctor, who suggested it could be an overactive immune system that caused his hair to fall out.
“He said that my hair loss was most likely the consequence of my having an overactive immune system, one that was constantly fighting, even when it had nothing specific to beat.”
Whatever the cause, Matt has turned his hair loss into something positive and carved a career out of being bald. “This was survival, turning a disadvantage into something I could own.”