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Can plastic surgeon turn Lembit Opik into George Clooney lookalike?

By Colin O'Carroll

Former Liberal Democrat MP Lembit Opik has said he hopes plastic surgery will make him "look like George Clooney".

The Northern Ireland-born ex-politician damaged his face in a paragliding accident in 1998.

He's now going to undergo a six-hour operation to reconstruct what he calls his "wonky" face.

Despite his unusual looks, Mr Opik has had several high-profile romances with well-known women. He dated weather girl Sian Lloyd, and Gabriela Irimia, who is one half of singing duo The Cheeky Girls.

Mr Opik, who was born in Bangor, Co Down, to Estonian parents, said he was looking forward to a change.

"I've been looking at the bent-up version of my face for 17 years and soon I'm going to have to get used to seeing a new person.

"They haven't shown me what I'll look like. I'd like to think I'll look like George Clooney," he joked.

Doctors have warned Mr Opik he will be "unrecognisable" following the invasive operation, and they have even offered him counselling to help him come to terms with his new face.

Mr Opik said he is undergoing the operation because his teeth are disintegrating - which is preventing him from being able to eat.

He will stay in hospital for a week after the operation and will have to recuperate over several weeks.

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