WE CHAT TO KEITH LEMON
Celebrity Juice is back for its 25th series. Jo Carnegie catches up with host Keith Lemon to talk celebrity mates, crafting and his new movie career
eith Lemon and heat are speaking on a momentous occasion. It’s the first day of the latest lockdown rules easing, the sun is shining and there’s a general feeling of joy and optimism in the air. It seems fitting that we’re speaking to the Celebrity Juice host today, as joy and having a laugh in life are two things that feature heavily in his repertoire.
We’re speaking to La Lemon for the start of series 25. Twenty five! Thirteen years on, neither Celeb Juice nor the host are showing any signs of running out of energy or ideas. Emily Atack and new mum Laura Whitmore, who took up the team-captain reins last series, both return for this latest run, having taken over from long-running show stalwarts Holly Willoughby and Fearne Cotton.
Talking to Keith today, the conversation often swerving off like a pack of gleefully demented cats stuffed full of dopamine, it’s not hard to see why people have such fun working with him – or why he seems to have more celebrity mates than Oprah and Elton John put together. Even if it involves them making a sandwich in a man’s arse (chef Gino D’acampo) or “getting the shit kicked out of you by an elf”. Even Keith seems to be constantly surprised by what his celebrity guests will put themselves through. “I do love it when they go hell for leather just to win a point for the team. The commitment from people, you know?” he says.
Unlike most of us who have probably felt like we’ve been sat on our arses for the last year, Keith – aka 47-year-old comic Leigh Francis – has kept himself busy during lockdown with a number of creative endeavours, including making movie-themed crafts on his Youtube channel, and raising an incredible amount of money in memory of his friend Caroline Flack.
We’ll cover all this and more, but let’s start with all things Celebrity Juice…
So, the new series – excited? In my mind, I keep thinking I’ve only got four episodes left. We’ve already filmed six. That’s gone quick! It’s been filmed weirdly, because of COVID. I keep saying to the girls [Emily and Laura], “Wait until we’ve got an audience back, it’s going to blow your brains. You will cry with joy.” I think