Actor James Nesbitt has said his hair transplants have given him more confidence and boosted his career.

The 52-year-old Lucky Man and Cold Feet star told British magazine Radio Times that he was "very happy to be open" about undergoing a number of treatments over the years.

"I just thought, 'Come on, somebody is going to say it before I say it'," the Antrim man recounted.

James Nesbitt with the Cold Feet gang

"It was something I struggled with. And that was probably the vanity in me. But also, career-wise, it had an impact; in terms of the range of leading roles I've had since then it's probably helped."

Gabriel Byrne and James Nesbitt at an Irish Arts Center Gala in New York in October 2002

When asked if men now feel the same pressure as women to look younger, Nesbitt replied: "There always used to be the sense that age adds character. You look at Samuel Beckett when he was older, Richard Harris, but I think with younger men it seems to be a big pressure."

As Harry Clayton in Lucky Man

In the same interview, Nesbitt also discussed the end of his marriage to his wife of 22 years, 
Sonia Forbes-Adam, and said he regretted the amount of time he had devoted to his job.

"I certainly regret things, but I'm also aware that I can't change them," he said. "You can try to learn from it. I regret any pain that was caused."

Sonia Forbes-Adam and James Nesbitt at a film premiere in London in December 2005

"I think separating has an impact because you look at why it happened and you see mistakes that were made," Nesbitt continued.

"I'm lucky enough to be able to look back at stuff and say, 'Oh well that was then, I've had a good lash at that, and this is now'."

The new series of Lucky Man begins on Sky 1 on February 24.