Leigh Francis writes his memoirs | A look at the man behind the Keith Lemon character

Leigh Francis writes his memoirs

A look at the man behind the Keith Lemon character

Keith Lemon creator Leigh Francis has written his memoirs.

The book, simply called The Autobiography, will be published by HarperCollins on September 12.

He said: ‘I get asked a lot of questions when I’m not in character - are you married? How did you get into TV? Where are you from? Collar and cuffs?  [Whether his pubic hair matches that on his head]

‘Not many people know that much about who I am just as myself. But I feel very privileged to have the opportunities I’ve had. One of them writing this memoir at a time where I’m starting to be me as me and at an age where I can still remember what happened. I’m still very silly though.

‘As for the collar and cuffs question the answer is yes. Although I have a few white hairs in my beard now and I’m starting to look like Richard Attenborough.’

HarperCollins publishing director Ajda Vucicevic negotiated the deal with Francis’s agents Amanda Harris and Elise Middleton at YMU

She said: ‘I am thrilled that Leigh has chosen to publish the book with us. I read the book in one sitting and can honestly say that people are in for a real surprise and a treat. It’s funny, heart-breaking and sure to be a hit with fans and readers.

‘Leigh has given his all to finally come out of character and step into the spotlight as himself. The result is a spectacular book that’s sure to put a smile on your face.’

Francis started his TV career in Comedy Central – then known as Paramount Comedy – with a series of shorts called called Stars in Their Houses.

His major television breakthrough occurred when Channel 4 offered him a £250,000 deal to produce a series which became Bo' Selecta!, launched in 2002. The series featured Francis portraying a series of celebrities by wearing face masks to impersonate them – including controversial portrayal of black stars including Craig David – as well as portraying the main, non-celebrity character, Avid Merrion.

He has hosted 26 series of Celebrity Juice,  as well as Through The Keyhole (ITV), The Keith Lemon Sketch Show (ITV2), Lemon La Vida Loca (ITV2) and The Keith & Paddy Picture Show (ITV). He wrote and starred in his own film Keith Lemon: The Film, though it was hated by critics.

News of his book comes as he starts the first dates of his debut UK tour next week.

It is available from Amazon, priced £22 in hardback of £14.99 on Kindle, or bookshop.org, which supports local book stores, below.

» Leigh ​Francis tour dates.

• Chortle’s Comedy Book Festival takes place at the British Library on Sunday March 3 featuring Ed GambleLou SandersSara PascoeCariad Lloyd, Doon Mackichan, Robin Ince, Bob Cryer on his dad Barry and many more. Tickets

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Published: 21 Feb 2024

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