Page last updated at 12:02 GMT, Friday, 5 September 2008 13:02 UK

Doctor swaps ward for hair salon

Roger Tackley
The former consultant took evening classes at college

A hospital consultant has swapped his stethoscope and a six-figure salary to become a hairdresser.

Roger Tackley, a former consultant anaesthetist at Torbay Hospital, left the NHS after 19 years to open his own salon in Paignton.

The 56-year-old doctor said he had been looking forward to his change of career for a long time.

"When I was 10 I asked the girl next door if I could cut her hair - needless to say she said no," he joked.

Mr Tackley said that when he was younger being a male hairdresser was not "the done thing".

I don't miss sticking needles in people
Roger Tackley

"When I spoke to my parents about it, they didn't seem particularly keen," he told BBC News.

"Thirty years ago people had a very different view on the status, or importance, of hairdressing."

It has taken Mr Tackley nine years to make the transition from doctor to stylist.

What began as a hobby was followed by evening classes at college. After qualifying, he worked part-time before deciding to buy his own salon - RT Hair and Beauty.

Mr Tackley said although he had no regrets about his change of career, he did miss his NHS colleagues.

Roger Tackley
The hairdresser says he has absolutely no regrets

"They're a great bunch of people and there's a close camaraderie in the hospital," he said.

"But I don't miss sticking needles in people - that's not a pleasant experience.

"It's not about the money. It's the day to day fun you have and that's the most important thing."

Mr Tackley said his prescription for making people feel better was a simple one which did not involve drugs or exercise.

"They'd be better off getting their hair done, quite honestly."

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