■ The comedian, aka Leigh Francis, 46, reveals why he’s chatting orgasms, handmade shoes and depression with celebrities
What inspired your new show, Shopping With Keith Lemon?
I was in a meeting with ITV2 and I said there should be a celebrity shopping chat show. You get a really good chat with someone when they shop and it’s quite a personal thing. And their ears pricked up. Then I said, ‘I’m sure some of my telly mates will come shopping with me if we do a teaser.’ And they said, ‘We’re doing it! No teaser.’ I ran back to the office and said, ‘I think we’ve got a new show.’
What’s so revealing about shopping with someone?
How much people pay for things is revealing. We went shopping with Matt Goss and he pays £6,000 for handmade shoes. I couldn’t put them on my feet! There’s no chat-show front so we end up chatting all sorts. I never want to offend anyone and I always want to leave as friends with their phone number. Matt Goss texted, saying, ‘What a wonderful day, come and stay when you’re in Vegas’. Emily Atack fakes her orgasms! She didn’t need to tell me that on a TV show but she did! That’s what I mean about shopping!
You don’t think it’s just you?
It might be me as well because I ask questions that maybe Piers Morgan couldn’t. Some of them are fun trips and some personal journeys, especially with Fearne [Cotton], because we have a lot of hidden lust for each other. When she left Celebrity Juice there was sadness so it was nice to ask her about the real reason she left. Then she started talking about depression and stuff, which was very interesting. I think people are going to find this show different to stuff I’ve done because it’s quite serious. It’s the most grown-up thing I’ve done.
How do you handle the serious stuff on the show?
I go quiet in case I say the wrong thing — I don’t want to be inappropriate. I’ll wait until they’ve said all the serious stuff and be inappropriate then. But when people are talking about the death of a family member, I can’t be too jovial.
Any awkwardness shopping with Mel B after Bo’ Selecta!?
I’d not seen her for a long time so it was nice to see her. She seems like old-school Mel B again to me in her happiness, like she used to be back in the day. When she was going through her turbulent times with her marriage, she definitely wasn’t the Mel B I knew. Then she came on Juice the following week and we got p***ed at the wrap party!
Should Graham Norton or Jonathan Ross be worried you’ll be the new interview king?
My technique is really different to theirs. I’m basically Louis Theroux after five pints of lager! Matt Goss was lovely about me and said I’m kind and more sensitive than the facade I portray on TV. Holly Willoughby knows me differently from sitting down and chatting rather than throwing dildos at her. This 60 Seconds is the most serious interview I’ve ever done as well!
Sorry, I must be bringing out the serious side of you!
No, it’s OK, I’m wearing a Batman costume while I’m talking to you!
If we went shopping and I asked if my bum looked big in something, what would you say?
I’d say, ‘Get a bigger size so it hangs off you a little bit.’ I’m a shopaholic. I go to the toilet and I’ve spent £200 by the time I come back, buying stuff I don’t need. It makes you feel good, though, doesn’t it?
Has being in Rocketman made you even more famous?
I’m only in it for a second. I only say, ‘They’re very stylish shoes, they’re designed by myself.’ I didn’t think it would happen when I was asked but a few weeks later I was on set with Jamie Bell and Taron Egerton! I did a longer scene where I’m telling them how they’ll never get a chance to make a first impression on America. Then Dexter [Fletcher] texted and said, ‘I’ve got bad news, your scene is just a line now.’ I laughed and said, ‘Can I have a line in every film you do from now on?’ He said, ‘Yeah, as long as it’s the same line!’
Who makes you laugh the most?
My mum. She’s a lunatic. I think she pretends to be an idiot so she has no responsibilities. I do that as well. She’s Kris Jenner in the Gypsy Kardashians in the sketch show. It’s nice to bring your mum to work, although she can’t remember any lines.
What do you when not working?
Think of new ideas. I’ve started skateboarding and BMXing again too. So you might see Mick Hucknall on a skateboard flying around, although it’s not Mick, it’s me. Not how he looks now, though, like he looked in the ’80s.
You said Mick and Craig David don’t have a sense of humour.
I bumped in to Craig at Fearne’s wedding and we had a hug and I said, ‘You’ll have to come on Celebrity Juice,’ and he said, ‘When I have some new tunes dropping.’ I went ‘Dropping? Oh, you mean coming out?’ Everything is dropping. I have a new show dropping! Out now! Yeah boi!
Shopping With Keith Lemon is on Thursdays at 10pm on ITV2