The X Factor judge Louis Walsh has admitted spending £30,000 on a hair transplant – after taunts from Simon Cowell over his hair loss.

According to the Mirror, Louis underwent the pricey procedure, which involved taking hair from the back of his head and implanting it in areas where it was thinning, at a Dublin clinic in August.

“Simon came up to me and said, ‘you know, you’re starting to lose your hair dear,'” Louis told the paper. “And I said, ‘I am not dear. And anyway, you’re going grey.'”

However Louis revealed that Simon was insistent – leading him to seek help for the problem.

“I could have just left it and got on with things but with TV today, everything is in high definition and people notice every little thing,” he explained.

“And if you’re getting on, and you’re on TV with a lot of young people, you have to look after yourself. So I thought ‘I don’t want a bald spot. I’m going to get this sorted.”

He described the transplant as “maintenance,” adding, “It’s not a wig or a syrup of figs or an Irish jig. It’s just me with my own hair feeling better. It’s like going to the doctor and getting something done to your heart before it goes.”

Louis added that he had gone public about the operation after seeing other celebrities – including former Dancing On Ice judge Jason Gardiner, actor James Nesbitt and footballer Wayne Rooney – admit to having had the procedure.

However he admitted that his fellow judges had known he had the transplant – and that he had tried to persuade Gary Barlow to follow suit.

“I keep telling Gary he needs it next,” he said. “I always clock him glancing at my hair on the show. I’m giving Gary the number so hopefully he can get that bald patch on the back of his head sorted out.”

Louis is the only one of the four judges who will be without an act in this weekend’s final, after losing all of his over 25s earlier in the series.