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Neighbours’ Alan Fletcher Reveals Alopecia

May 23, 2022

Neighbours veteran Alan Fletcher has laid to rest a few fan concerns on social media.

Known for playing Karl Kennedy for close to three decades, the Aussie usually sports some facial fuzz to go with his grey hair, but now he’s completely bald on both accounts.

Speaking via the soap’s official Twitter channel, Fletcher explained the situation this week.

“A lot of fans have expressed a little concern about my health on the internet and there’s been some media inquiries as well, so I just wanted to put something to rest,” he said. “I’m absolutely fine, I’m fit and well working on Neighbours and having a great time.

“But, I can report to you I do have a disorder called alopecia areata.

“Now, if you watched the Oscars, you know that’s the thing that caused a bit of a discord between Will Smith and Chris Rock in referencing Will Smith’s wife.”

Jada Pinkett Smith’s own alopecia diagnosis became the subject of one of Oscars host Rock’s jokes, leading eventual Best Actor winner Smith to walk onstage and slap the comedian across the face.

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“Alopecia areata causes patchy hair loss. I started to lose hair in my beard and then on my scalp in patches, so eventually I shaved my beard off and then my hair became so patchy on my head, I had to get rid of most of that as well.

“UK audiences have seen Dr Karl without hair, Australian audiences are going to see it on June 2, so stay tuned for that,” Fletcher added before cheerily whipping his cap off.

“I know a lot of you are going to be pretty shocked, but I have no problem with it. In fact, it’s kind of fun!”

The Neighbours legend, who briefly portrayed a different character named Greg Cooper in the late ’80s, encouraged fellow alopecia sufferers to seek out professional support if they’re struggling too.

“Alopecia areata can be quite serious for people, particularly from an emotional point of view,” he said. “Sudden hair loss is really troubling for a lot of people, and particularly for young people who can be terribly bullied.

“There is support out there. There are alopecia areata associations in Australia and in the UK, so reach out for help if you need it.”

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