Soapstar looks unrecognisable as he shaves off his famous curls – but can YOU guess who it is?  


A soapstar looked unrecognisable as he shaved off his famous curls to undergo a hair transplant on Thursday. 

The actor could be seen as he sat in a hair dressing chair in Istanbul, Turkey, his newly bald head on full display with surgical marker penned on his scalp. 

Since appearing in his most recognisable role, this actor previously made a name for himself on the West End and has also toured with his own band – but can you guess who it is?

Guess who? A soapstar looked unrecognisable as he shaved off his famous curls to undergo a hair transplant on Thursday

That’s right! It’s Casualty’s Lee Mead. The actor, 41, is best known for his role as Ben ‘Lofty’ Chiltern in the medical drama and its spin-off series Holby City. 

Since starring in the series’, Lee played Billy Flynn in Chicago, with the stage show embarking on a national UK tour. 

In the photos shared to his Instagram, Lee wore a barbers gown and smiled sheepishly while his long locks were shaved off. 

The clinic, Hair of Istanbul offers the ‘micro surgery’ to anyone ‘between the ages of 18 and 60 who have experienced hair loss for any cause.’

On screen: That's right! It's Casualty's Lee Mead, best known for his role as Ben 'Lofty' Chiltern in the medical drama

On screen: That’s right! It’s Casualty’s Lee Mead, best known for his role as Ben ‘Lofty’ Chiltern in the medical drama

Gone! In the photos shared to his Instagram, Lee wore a barbers gown and smiled sheepishly while his long locks were shaved off

Before: He usually sports a full head of curly brunette hair (pictured in June 2022)

Gone! In the photos shared to his Instagram, Lee wore a barbers gown and smiled sheepishly while his long locks were shaved off (He is pictured in June 2022, right)

Prices for the procedure at the clinic are unknown, however their website states its varies on the amount of hair follicles grafted.

The NHS states that hair transplants in the UK can cost anywhere between £1,000 and £30,000.

It comes after Lee told how he didn’t earn a penny in 2020 after his job opportunities were thwarted by the coronavirus pandemic.

New look: Since starring in the series', Lee played Billy Flynn in Chicago, with the stage show embarking on a national UK tour

New look: Since starring in the series’, Lee played Billy Flynn in Chicago, with the stage show embarking on a national UK tour

Treatment: The clinic, Hair of Istanbul offers the 'micro surgery' to anyone 'between the ages of 18 and 60 who have experienced hair loss for any cause' (Lee pictured in 2018)

Treatment: The clinic, Hair of Istanbul offers the ‘micro surgery’ to anyone ‘between the ages of 18 and 60 who have experienced hair loss for any cause’ (Lee pictured in 2018)

The actor revealed he had theatre and cruise ship work slated the year, however it was all cancelled due to the global crisis which struck in March.

The West End star admitted to the Sun that he regretted leaving Holby three months before Covid-19 hit, because it would given him a steady income.

He told the publication at the time: ‘It’s been a tough year financially, as everything was pulled, including a tour, cruises and corporate work, so I’ve literally had no financial income all year and I’ve pretty much lived off savings. 

Soap: It comes after The West End star admitted to the Sun that he regretted leaving Holby three months before Covid-19 hit, because it would given him a steady income

Soap: It comes after The West End star admitted to the Sun that he regretted leaving Holby three months before Covid-19 hit, because it would given him a steady income

Disaster: Lee told how he didn't earn a penny in 2020 after his job opportunities were thwarted by the coronavirus pandemic (on stage at Lee Mead Caberet Jazz Brunch in December 2020)

Disaster: Lee told how he didn’t earn a penny in 2020 after his job opportunities were thwarted by the coronavirus pandemic (on stage at Lee Mead Caberet Jazz Brunch in December 2020)

He added: ‘It’s been very stressful, I’m not going to lie, but my family and my partner Izzy have been an amazing support.

‘They’ve picked me up and helped me through it. I don’t want to sound ungrateful, because we’re healthy and safe and I’ve managed to keep my home.’

The entertainer admitted he has pals in ‘less fortunate’ positions and have lost their home and now are living with relatives to support them.

The star, who was discovered on BBC talent show Any Dream Will Do, saw the positives of the situation and admitted it has meant he could spend plenty of time with partner Izzy, daughter Betsy and his stepson Alfie. 

Ex: He was previously married to Denise van Outen from 2009 until their split in 2015, they share one daughter Betsy who was born in 2010 (pictured together in 2013)

Ex: He was previously married to Denise van Outen from 2009 until their split in 2015, they share one daughter Betsy who was born in 2010 (pictured together in 2013)

New beau: The actor went on to date his new girlfriend Izzy

New beau: The actor went on to date his new girlfriend Izzy

Lee has spent the past five years of his career playing Ben Chiltern in Casualty and then latterly Holby City. He admitted he thought he had done all he could with the character  

He said: ‘I had some amazing storylines and did some great stuff, so it felt natural to move on, but I slightly regretted it, because the plan was to go into this year doing a tour, and lots of work and concerts and sing live again and then in March the lockdown hit, so I literally couldn’t do any of the shows.’

Despite his tricky year things appear to be on the up for Lee, who has just released a Christmas single – In My Arms for Christmas – and is taking part in a pantomime. 

Lee, who shares Betsy, 10, with his ex-wife Denise van Outen, spent Christmas Day this year with Izzy, Betsy and her son Alfie.

Love: In 2018, Lee revealed he had found love again, nearly five years on from his marriage split, with blonde beauty Issy, who looks strikingly similar to his former flame Denise

Love: The star, who was discovered on BBC talent show Any Dream Will Do, saw the positives of the situation and admitted it has meant he could spend plenty of time with partner Izzy (pictured), daughter Betsy and his stepson Alfie

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