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  1. ITV Report

22,000 watch footballer's hair transplant live online

Michael Gray as grafts are taken from the back of his head. Photo: Farjo Medical Centre

Tens of thousands of people from across the globe have tuned in to watch ex-Blackburn Rovers footballer Michael Gray take part in the UK's first live broadcast of a hair transplant.

Some 22,000 people watched the seven-hour operation, thought to be the first of its kind to be streamed live in the UK.

Gray, 37, who played for premiership teams including Sunderland, Blackburn Rovers and Sheffield Wednesday during his career, took part in a real-time question and answer session as well as Tweeting through his surgery.

Hair loss and hair transplant expert Dr Bessam Farjo, who performed the operation, also answered questions as he carried out the lengthy procedure.

It started at 10am on Monday and was hosted by Herald and Times journalist Brian Beacom - author of Diary of a Hair Transplant: A Journalist's Search for David Cassidy Hair.

Viewers watched as Dr Farjo took hairs from the back of Gray's head, re-implanting around 5,000 hairs at the front where his hairline had been receding.

Both surgeon and patient fielded hundreds of questions from men considering the procedure, with topics ranging from its cost to the sensation of having the hairs implanted.

Gray noticed his hair was receding when he was about 32 and said he decided to have the operation after seeing other celebrities undergo the procedure.

"I'm really happy with the way things have gone today and to have been part of this landmark project," he said.

"I never expected 22,000 would be watching me have a hair transplant, but hopefully it's given anyone else who is considering the surgery some insight into how it all works."