Keith Lemon: ‘Funniest person in Leeds? It’s me mam’

PIC: Bruce Rollinson
PIC: Bruce Rollinson
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Keith Lemon: On holly’s drinking, rubbish guests and growing up in leeds. By Grant Woodward.

WHAT MADE KEITH LEMON THE MAN HE IS TODAY?

“They say that behind every great man is a great woman, which was me mam I suppose.

“She’s a joyful woman and a lot of my daftness and silliness comes from her. She taught me how to be whimsical and happy.

“She’s filming with me at the moment actually for a new sketch show I’m doing. She’s so bad she’s quite good – like that film Snakes On A Plane.”

WHAT WAS YOUR CHILDHOOD LIKE?

“I had a really nice, happy upbringing. I’m still friends with me schoolmates and stuff.

“Everything’s going great but I make sure I surround myself with very grounded people.

“I’ve been sucked up by the telly but I’m still me at the end of the day.

“It’s important to like whatever job you do. But it always helps if you’re doing it with two fit birds.”

WHY ARE YOU SO MEAN TO FEARNE COTTON?

“I used to think she was like a miserable teenager, but now she’s a full-grown mature woman with a baby I respect her more.

“In the past year or so she’s blossomed and got better looking. She used to look like a battered hot dog.

“She reckons it’s because she doesn’t have any sugar in her diet.”

WHAT WAS THE BEST THING ABOUT GROWING UP IN LEEDS?

“Probably school. I really enjoyed it. Maybe my teachers should have taught me rather than letting me have fun.

“I didn’t skive off once. I loved it because we just messed about constantly.

“I enjoyed my life in Leeds but it’s a bit special in London.

“The first time I went there I bumped into Patsy Kensit. I used to have her poster on me wall and now I know her. It’s mad.”

WHO’S BEEN YOUR WORST GUEST ON CELEBRITY JUICE?

“Katie Price. And I’ve said this to her face.

“She’s been on twice and each time she was rubbish.

“She builds up a wall around herself because she thinks we’re making fun of her.

“But it’s not like that at all. We’re just trying to get famous people to say and do things that they haven’t said or done before.

“Like getting Phillip Schofield to swear.”

HOW MUCH DO YOU HAVE TO DRINK BEFORE EACH SHOW?

“I have three bottles of beer and they just fill you up constantly during the breaks.

“Fearne doesn’t drink but Holly gets as drunk as a tramp.

“When we did the Hallowe’en special the other week I didn’t get home till 2.30 in the morning. And I only live 15 minutes away.”

ARE ANY OF THE CELEBRITY HOMES ON THROUGH THE KEYHOLE A BIT RUBBISH?

“Not really because they do a recce beforehand and if they’re really skanky then they send the cleaners round.

“You want the houses to be quite aspirational, you don’t want to see someone’s stinkhole on a Saturday night.

“Sam Bailey from The X Factor has got quite a small house. But I like the fact she’s keeping it real.

“Although she is having an extension done.”

WHAT ARE YOUR PLANS FOR CHRISTMAS?

“I’ll be back in Leeds to see me mam and me brother and got out with all me mates.”

NOW YOU’VE LEFT, WHO’S THE FUNNIEST PERSON IN LEEDS?

“Probably me mam, although a lot of me mates are dead funny.

“They’ll say stuff in the boozer then suddenly stop.

“They’ll look at me and go, ‘You’re going to say that on telly now aren’t you?

“And I’ll go, ‘Yeah, I am.’”

KEITH’S NEW BOOKS

Keith’s creator Leigh Francis worked as a graphic artist at the YEP before entering the world of comedy.

He has now put his skills to good use with two new books.

Little Keith Lemon: Memoirs Of Me Childhood is a prequel to the bestselling Being Keith and features Leigh’s illustrations.

Meanwhile he’s also drawn the characters in his new children’s book Beaver and Elephant.

Both are out now, published by Orion Books.

Ambulance on BBC One.

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