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Matt Lucas: ‘Losing my hair at the age of six shaped my life’8 Oct 4:00am

Matt Lucas: ‘Losing my hair at the age of six shaped my life’

The Guardian
One memorable moment defined his early childhood – being knocked down by a car. Could that explain what happened next? Matt Lucas tells all, in an exclusive extract from his new memoir One of my earliest memories is of being three-and-a-half years old at nursery, watching the other little boys and girls skip out of the classroom and noting how the folds in the backs of their legs were unblemished. My own legs, like my arms and neck, were already riddled with scratches. I had been told repeatedly not to scratch – but if I didn’t scratch then there was nothing to do but wheeze. And, oh, how I wheezed. Dr David said I had eczema and asthma and hayfever, and gave me some special cream and a blue and white Ventolin inhaler, which I was to use every morning and every night and in between, if necessary. From a young age I felt at odds with my body. This blotchy, dumpy vessel betrayed my boisterous, carefree spirit. I wanted to run, jump, climb – and I did, but within seconds I was bent double at the kerb, gasping for air. ‘You’ve got no hair,’ said younger kids, pointing. Others, who’d called me Matthew, now yelled, ‘Baldy!’ or ‘Skinhead!’ Being bald helped my career. Would I have had my big break as a baby in Shooting Stars with a full head of hair?
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