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|Portrayed by||Leigh Francis|
|Duration||Whatever I Want (2000)
Bo' Selecta! (2000–06)
Celebrity Juice (2008–present)
Through the Keyhole (2013—)
|Created by||Leigh Francis|
|Occupation||Businessman, television presenter|
Keith Ian Lemon is a fictional character portrayed by English comedian Leigh Francis. He appeared in Whatever I Want in 2000 and made several appearances in Francis' sketch comedy Bo' Selecta!. His comedy panel show Celebrity Juice and 2012 film Keith Lemon: The Film feature Holly Willoughby and Kelly Brook. He is known for his flamboyant personality and gaudy attire. Since 2013, he has hosted Keith Lemon's Through the Keyhole on ITV.
In a 2006 interview with The Guardian, Leigh Francis said that Keith Lemon is loosely based on his best friend (whose name is also Keith Lemon). Lemon is easily distinguished by his Yorkshire accent, bleached hair, ginger moustache and fake tan. According to Francis, Lemon's background is that of a failed businessman, who was most successful in 1993, when he won the prestigious Businessman of the Year award for his innovative creation, the "securi-pole". Francis has admitted that he hates the fake moustache that he has to wear whilst in character and removes it as soon as filming is finished".
Lemon was first portrayed in 2000 in the short-lived Whatever I Want, aired on London Weekend Television. The show also featured Francis' other two main characters, Avid Merrion, and a human version of The Bear. All three characters were in very early stages of development, and in comparison to Francis' appearances in Bo' Selecta! and beyond, Lemon's actions and behaviour remain similar, but are noticeably different to that of the final personalities of the characters. An episode of this programme is available to view on YouTube.
Lemon first appeared as a recurring character in the Channel 4 impersonations series Bo' Selecta!, which was created and performed by Francis. During the show's first series, aired in 2002, he made one appearance, which depicted himself in a trendy wine bar attempting to chat-up Tess Daly. Lemon later appeared in the third series of Bo' Selecta!, where he was introduced in a regular role as the agent of Avid Merrion, the main character, also played by Francis, after Avid gets himself his own television show. Lemon's face was not shown to camera during this series, but was instead obscured by various objects in the manner of Wilson from Home Improvement.
Lemon also appeared in the Bo' Selecta! spin-off A Bear's Tail, which focused entirely on the character of The Bear. In the series, he became the neighbour of the Hennerson family, who adopted The Bear after they ran him over. Lemon developed a friendship with Patsy Kensit, who played the character of Mrs. Hennerson, during the series. Lemon later appeared in the fourth and final series of Bo' Selecta!, which was set in the United States. In this series, he featured in a regular role when he became the American ambassador.
Following the conclusion of Bo' Selecta!, Lemon re-appeared in his own spin-off series on ITV2, entitled Keith Lemon's Very Brilliant World Tour. The programme depicted Lemon flying to six different countries around the world, in a shark-shaped flight plan, meeting various celebrity guests along the way. The series premiered on 11 March 2008 on ITV2, and pulled in very successful ratings.
In August 2008, it was announced that Lemon would return to ITV2 with his own comedy panel game show, Celebrity Juice. The format of the show involves two teams of celebrities, who battle it out to see which team know the most about the past week's news. The series began airing in September 2008, featuring regular team captains Holly Willoughby and Fearne Cotton, as well as regular panellist, Rufus Hound. The series popularised his quotes "Ooosh, Bang Tidy!" and "I'd smash your back doors in!", which first became known during his time on Bo' Selecta!, and also introduced his end-of-episode catchphrase, "If I don't see ya' through week, I'll see ya' through window".
The series also featured sketches involving his Bo' Selecta! guises, and also featured a round in which The Bear questioned a mystery celebrity regarding his or her life. The series was successful enough for a second season to be commissioned, however, all references to Bo' Selecta! were ordered to be removed, as they were in copyright breach of Channel 4, who originally aired the series.
In October 2008, Lemon made numerous appearances on the Big Brother companion shows Big Brother's Little Brother and Big Brother's Big Mouth, as a celebrity guest discussing the action in the house, and as the host of public phone-in competitions. In February 2009, Lemon appeared as a contestant alongside fellow comedian Paddy McGuinness on the first series of the charity competition Let's Dance for Comic Relief. Their performance of "(I've Had) The Time of My Life" from Dirty Dancing made them the runners-up of the series. Shortly after, the second series of Celebrity Juice premiered. The series featured a selection of big name guests, including Tito Jackson.
During March 2010, Lemon made several appearances on I'm a Celebrity...Get Me Out of Here! companion show I'm a Celebrity...Get Me Out of Here! NOW!, alongside host Caroline Flack. Shortly after his appearances, the third series of Celebrity Juice began broadcasting. The series featured two special episodes: the Girls Night Out special, and a BBC Radio 1 vs. This Morning special. In July 2010, Lemon began recording a fitness DVD with Australian fitness instructor Deanne Berry. Since being released, the DVD, entitled 'Keith Lemon's Fit', has sold over 50,000 copies.
In August 2010, Lemon worked as an agony uncle on This Morning, alongside Celebrity Juice colleague Holly Willoughby. In September 2010, the fourth series of Celebrity Juice began broadcasting. The series features several special episodes, including a TV stars special, an episode dedicated to McFly, an episode dedicated to N-Dubz, an episode dedicated to The X Factor, an episode dedicated to Coronation Street, and an episode dedicated to JLS. The fourth series also revealed further details about Lemon, including his belief that he is the son of Billy Ocean, and that all Irish people should be referred to as a "potato", a quote frequently referred to when discussing Jedward, Louis Walsh or any other Irish personalities. During the year, Keith Lemon's Very Brilliant World Tour was released on DVD.
In February 2011, Lemon became the executive producer of This Morning for a week of special episodes, taking over from the absent Karl Newton. During the month, he also appeared as a member of the judging panel on the third series of Let's Dance for Comic Relief. Both series five and six of Celebrity Juice were broadcast during the year. Special episodes during the year included an Up the Duff special, a Pop music special, an episode dedicated to the Royal Wedding, a Coronation Street vs. Emmerdale special, a Back to School special, a Girl on Girl special, an episode dedicated to Ant & Dec, and an I'm a Celebrity...Get Me Out of Here! special. The sixth series also introduced another of Lemon's infamous activities, "Motting".
In March 2011, Lemon became the co-host of ITV celebrity game show Sing If You Can, alongside singer Stacey Solomon, after original intended host Vernon Kay pulled out. The series ran for six episodes. In June 2011, Lemon filmed a pilot for a possible ITV prime time series, entitled The Bang Tidy Show. The description of the pilot was as follows: "While there's all the usual celebrity guests from hit series Celebrity Juice, there's also a talking Orangutan, a door that leads to anywhere, audience games and prizes, a supermarket in the future staffed by old celebrities, and you, the audience, can ask Keith anything you want! Each episode will also finish with Keith performing with his celebrity guests."
Although the pilot was not commissioned into a full series, the idea for the latter production Lemonaid stemmed from the pilot. In September 2011, Lemon made his first ever public appearance, when he switched on the Blackpool Illuminations in a special ceremony. On 21 November 2011, the first ever Celebrity Juice DVD was released, entitled Celebrity Juice: Too Hot for TV. During the year, Lemon also promoted Tacheback, a campaign to raise awareness of male cancer.
In Spring 2012, Lemon starred in an episode of Mad Mad World. The seventh series of Celebrity Juice began airing on 9 February 2012. The series has thus far contained five special episodes: the Hunks special, Girls on Top special, Coronation Street vs. EastEnders special, an Irish special, and a Pop Music special, which aired on 3 May 2012. Thus far, the seventh series has received some of ITV2's highest ratings ever. On 11 February, Lemon featured as one of the three members of the judging panel on the first episode of the fourth series of Let's Dance for Sport Relief.
On 14 February, Lemon co-presented the backstage coverage of the 2012 BRIT Awards with Irish television presenter Laura Whitmore. On 18 February, Lemon, Holly Willoughby and Fearne Cotton were guests on The Jonathan Ross Show, where they gave a candid interview about their time on Celebrity Juice, and also played a pair of studio games with Ross. On 19 March, Lemon fronted a special edition of Celebrity Juice for the Sport Relief telethon, which featured swimmer Mark Foster appearing in a special round.
On 7 April, Lemon's own six-part Jim'll Fix It style series for ITV, Keith Lemon's Lemonaid premiered. In the series, Lemon travels up and down the country to meet his fans, and solve people's problems using his own tongue-in-cheek manner. Every episode also includes a celebrity guest and a musical performance, as well as studio games in which the audience have the chance to win some prizes. In August 2012, Lemon released his own feature-length film, openly titled Keith Lemon: The Film. As well as featuring acting performances from Kelly Brook and Verne Troyer, the film also features cameo appearances from David Hasselhoff, Billy Ocean, Peter Andre, Gary Barlow, Tinchy Stryder, Jedward and Fearne Cotton.
In August, Lemon starred in his own show, called Lemon La Vida Loca, which centres around his relationship with his new girlfriend Rosie (Laura Aikman). It aired from 2 August to 23 August with four weekly episodes. In 2012, Lemon was nominated for the National Television Award for Most Popular Entertainment Presenter but lost out to Ant & Dec. In June 2012, Lemon confirmed he will host series 8 of Celebrity Juice which began on 30 August, the same day as which Leigh Francis announced on Keith Lemon's Twitter account that Lemon La Vida Loca would return for a Christmas episode.
- "'We're just mucking about'". The Guardian. 11 October 2006. Retrieved 12 September 2011.
- "Lemon Gets Fruity with Louie Spence". The Sun. 25 March 2010. Retrieved 30 September 2010.
- Unofficial Keith Lemon Fansite!. Keith Lemon. Retrieved on 2013-03-23.
- Bo' Selecta!. Channel 4. Retrieved on 2013-03-23.
- Keith Lemons Very Brilliant World Tour. Keithlemon.co.uk. Retrieved on 2013-03-23.
- Keith Lemon Video Clips. Keithlemon.co.uk. Retrieved on 2013-03-23.
- Keith Lemon replaces Kay on 'Sing If You Can' – TV News. Digital Spy (2011-03-30). Retrieved on 2013-03-23.
- Keith Lemon to film 'Bang Tidy Show' pilot – TV News. Digital Spy (2011-06-16). Retrieved on 2013-03-23.
- TacheBack merges Movember. Tacheback.com (2013-01-31). Retrieved on 2013-03-23.