Irish Senator David Norris shaved his beard – and his head – for the first time in 40 years on Tuesday to raise money for the Irish Cancer Society.

Mr Norris took part in the stunt as part of Today FM’s Shave or Dye campaign to raise funds for the charity.

On seeing his new clean shaven appearance for the first time in the mirror, the politician and LGBT rights campaigner proclaimed: “Oh my God, I look like Michael Noonan!”

The 69-year-old revealed in June that he had been diagnosed with cancer and said last month that he may need a liver transplant because of an “inoperable” tumour on his liver.

Mr Norris, a leading James Joyce scholar, was the first openly gay candidate for the presidency of Ireland.

He abandoned his campaign in August 2011 following revelations that he had written to an Israeli court pleading for clemency for his former partner Ezra Yizhak.

Mr Norris then re-entered the race and came fifth (of seven candidates) in the election receiving 109,469 (6.2%) of first preference votes.