Leading article: If the toupée fits...

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The Independent Online

According to the comedian Steve Martin, "a celebrity is any well-known TV or movie star who looks like he spends more than two hours working on his hair". In that case Gordon Ramsay's celebrity status has been confirmed by reports that the profane chef has undergone a 12-hour hair transplant operation at a Los Angeles clinic.

In fairness, moulting cooks probably have good professional reasons to take remedial action. The complaint "waiter, waiter, there's a hair in this soup" is unlikely to be defused by the response "well, of course, sir, it's rabbit stew".

Mr Ramsay is not alone in turning to follicular surgery. John Cleese, Duncan Bannatyne and James Nesbitt have all opted for hair transplants in recent years. So have the former cricketers Shane Warne and Graham Gooch. Hair replacement is turning into a new celebrity rite of passage, along with Twitter gaffes.

Each to their own, of course. But we cannot help wondering: what's wrong with a good old-fashioned toupée. If a hairpiece was good enough for the likes of Humphrey Bogart, George Burns, Charlton Heston, Frank Sinatra, Gene Kelly, Fred Astaire, John Wayne, Paul Daniels and Julius Caesar, surely it's good enough for their celebrity successors.