Inside Keith Lemon star Leigh Francis’ life – from rarely-seen wife to eccentric home

Leigh Francis is best known for his alter-ego Keith Lemon, the foul-mouthed TV presenter who has made millions of viewers laugh.

And devoted Keith Lemon fans are over the moon that the star is back for a fourth series of his hit show Shopping with Keith Lemon.

He’ll be taking to the streets with an array of celebrity guests who’ll be joining him as they enjoy a “good old gossip” and chat about the shopping habits of famous people.

Guests on previous series have included former Love Island star Olivia Attwood, pop star Olly Murs and drag queen The Vivienne, who he revealed faced "abuse" while filming the series.

But who is he, away from his most famous persona?

Leigh, now 50, was born in Leeds in 1973 and grew up in a working-class family.

He started his career in comedy as a stand-up, and then went on to create and star in the sketch show Bo' Selecta!, which ran from 2002 to 2009.

In 2008, Francis launched his most successful character to date, Keith Lemon, who first appeared in the show Keith Lemon's Very Brilliant World Tour.

The Keith Lemon character quickly became a hit with viewers, and Francis went on to present the ITV shows Celebrity Juice and Through the Keyhole using the alter ego.

Francis has been married to Jill Carter since 2002, a beauty therapist who largely stays away from the spotlight.

In 2009, they welcomed a daughter named Matilda together.

Two years later, they added to their family when they had a second daughter called Dolly.

The family of three live in a huge £1m mansion in London’s exclusive Primrose Hill.

During the coronavirus lockdowns, Leigh filmed Celebrity Juice from his home, which gave fans a glimpse at the very eccentric decor.

The house features a leopard print carpet going up the stairs, a cow skin rug, the iconic Bear from Bo Selecta and a wacky skateboard collection displayed on a wall.

The room he used for filming also featured a bar complete with wooden bar stools, in an attempt to emulate the actual Celebrity Juice studio.

He also proudly displays his 2016 BAFTA, which he won for Best Entertainment Performance, among other trinkets.

Leigh, who recently enjoyed a rare night out with his wife in tow, is also about to kick off a brand new project as he embarks on his first ever live tour in 2024, which will see him perform stand up around the country.

The tour kicks off on 1 March 2024 in Stoke-On-Trent and will travel to cities including Swansea, Bath and Bournemouth.

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