Keith Lemon

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Keith Lemon
First appearanceWhatever I Want (2000)
Created byLeigh Francis
Portrayed byLeigh Francis
Television presenter
Significant other(s)Rosie[citation needed]
NationalityBritish[citation needed]

Keith Ian Lemon is a fictional character portrayed by English comedian Leigh Francis.


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).[1] Lemon is easily distinguished by his Yorkshire accent, bleached hair, ginger moustache and fake tan.[2]

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".[3]



Lemon was first portrayed in 2000 in the short-lived Whatever I Want, aired on ITV. The show also featured Francis' other two main characters, Avid Merrion, a Transylvanian celebrity stalker and Barry Gibson, a human incarnation 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 to, but are noticeably different from, those 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.[4] 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.[5] 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 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.[6] 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 with 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, featuring a selection of big name guests, including Tito Jackson.


In 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! with host Caroline Flack. Shortly after, the third series of Celebrity Juice began broadcasting featuring two special episodes: the Girls Night Out special and a BBC Radio 1 vs. This Morning special. In July 2010, Lemon recorded 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 featuring 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. That 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. 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 hosted six episodes of ITV game show Sing If You Can with Stacey Solomon, after original intended host Vernon Kay pulled out.[7] 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."[8]

Although the pilot was not commissioned, the idea for the latter production Lemonaid was born. 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 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.[9]


In Spring 2012, Lemon starred in an episode of Mad Mad World. The seventh series of Celebrity Juice began on 9 February 2012, featuring five special episodes: the Hunks special, Girls on Top special, Coronation Street vs. EastEnders special, an Irish special and a Pop Music special. Thus far, the seventh series has received some of ITV2's highest ratings ever. On 11 February, Lemon featured as one of three members of the judging panel on tan episode of Let's Dance for Sport Relief.

On 14 February, Lemon co-presented the backstage coverage of the 2012 BRIT Awards with RTÉ 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 six-part Jim'll Fix It-style series for ITV, Keith Lemon's Lemonaid premiered. In the series, Lemon travelled up and down the country to meet his fans, and solve people's problems using his own tongue-in-cheek manner. Every episode also included 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. It features acting performances by Kelly Brook and Verne Troyer, as well as cameo appearances by David Hasselhoff, Billy Ocean, Peter Andre, Gary Barlow, Tinchy Stryder, Jedward and Fearne Cotton.

From 2012 until 2013, Lemon starred in two series of his own ITV2 show, called Lemon La Vida Loca, which centred on his relationship with his girlfriend Rosie (Laura Aikman). In 2012, Lemon was nominated for the National Television Award for "Most Popular Entertainment Presenter" but lost out to Ant & Dec.

Lemon made a guest appearance in the Christmas edition of Take Me Out in December 2012.

Since 2013[edit]

Since August 2013, Lemon has hosted a revived series of Through the Keyhole, broadcast on Saturday evenings on ITV.[10][11] As of 2017, five series of the show have aired.

In 2015 and 2016, Lemon starred in two series of his ITV2 sketch show The Keith Lemon Sketch Show.[12][13]

In December 2015, he appeared as a contestant in a Text Santa edition of 1000 Heartbeats. In May 2014, Lemon appeared in an advertisement for Hooper's Hooch. He currently appears in TV adverts for Carphone Warehouse.

In 2016, the character underwent a dramatic change in appearance, and now sports a hipster beard and a man bun. He no longer appears to dye his hair blond, and is fully ginger.

Lemon co-stars alongside Paddy McGuinness in the ITV comedy series The Keith & Paddy Picture Show.[14] The first series began on 6 May 2017 and the second series began on 4 April 2018.

In 2018, Lemon starred in his ITV2 series called Keith Lemon: Coming in America.[15]



  1. ^ "'We're just mucking about'". The Guardian. 11 October 2006. Retrieved 12 September 2011.
  2. ^ "Lemon Gets Fruity with Louie Spence". The Sun. 25 March 2010. Retrieved 30 September 2010.
  3. ^ Unofficial Keith Lemon Fansite!. Keith Lemon. Retrieved on 2013-03-23.
  4. ^ Bo' Selecta!. Channel 4. Retrieved on 2013-03-23.
  5. ^ Keith Lemons Very Brilliant World Tour. Retrieved on 2013-03-23.
  6. ^ Keith Lemon Video Clips. Retrieved on 2013-03-23.
  7. ^ Keith Lemon replaces Kay on 'Sing If You Can' – TV News. Digital Spy (2011-03-30). Retrieved on 2013-03-23.
  8. ^ Keith Lemon to film 'Bang Tidy Show' pilot – TV News. Digital Spy (2011-06-16). Retrieved on 2013-03-23.
  9. ^ TacheBack merges Movember. (2013-01-31). Retrieved on 2013-03-23.
  10. ^ "Keith Lemon to revive Through the Keyhole on ITV".
  11. ^ Guide, British Comedy (13 January 2013). "Keith Lemon to present Through The Keyhole revival".
  12. ^ [1]
  13. ^ Jefferies, Mark (21 August 2014). "New Keith Lemon Sketch Show will send up Harry Styles".
  14. ^ Guide, British Comedy (24 November 2016). "ITV orders The Keith And Paddy Picture Show".
  15. ^ "Keith Lemon plans to crack the US with new reality show". 3 October 2017.

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