Jackie Bird lost her hair after it was set alight by a Christmas tree candle during a photo shoot for the BBC Hogmanay show.
The scene was not dissimilar to the ordeal that left Michael Jackson with a burnt scalp and significant hair loss, but 47-year-old Jackie was saved by a quick-thinking production team who put out the flames before any serious damage occurred.
"It was terrifying. We were standing in front of a huge Christmas tree that was decked out with candles. The photographers kept saying, 'Lean back a little and put your heads closer together'," Reporting Scotland newsreader, Jackie said.
"Suddenly, I realised that the programme producer, the cameraman and his assistant were all running towards me. I don't usually have that effect on men, so I thought it strange.
"I then realised there were flames shooting out the back of my head in a Michael Jackson kind of way. It was like a halo at the back of my head."
Hair loss is these days mostly a preventable and treatable dilemma, thanks to the availability of clinically proven medical hair loss treatments, but baldness caused by burns or scarring has little effective solutions. Lucky for Jackie the flames didn’t reach her scalp, as was the case with Michael Jackson, and her remaining hair could be styled to conceal the damage.
"The team patted me down and dragged me away from the candles but there was this terrible smell of burning," Jackie said. "I was terrified to look in the mirror. I went up to the make-up department and they chopped off the singed bits - a huge handful.
"It's quite funny in retrospect, but it could have been very serious if the flames had reached my scalp. The things I do for the Hogmanay show."
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