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Keith Lemon Biography – Life Before Fame, Family & Career

Keith Lemon Biography

Leigh Francis, best known by his stage name Keith Lemon, is a comedian, actor, television presenter, and writer. He started his career in 1995 and found success thanks to his work on projects such as Bo’ Selecta!, Loose Women, and Bo! In the USA, The Keith Lemon Sketch Show and Lemon La Vida Loca. He also earned fame through his television presenting career.

Well seeing as Leigh mostly uses his Keith Lemon character in his professional works, it is no surprise that people have shown interest in knowing more about the man behind it. So, in this biography, we will learn more about Francis’ life before fame, family, and more.

Where Did Keith Lemon AKA Leigh Francis Grow Up?

The multi-talented television personality was born Leigh Izaak Francis in Beeston, Leeds, West Riding of Yorkshire, England on April 30, 1973. He was raised in the council estate in Old Farnley, Leeds by his loving parents. Sadly, Keith Lemon’s father is no longer alive, as he passed away at the age of 47 from cancer. On the other hand, his mother, Pat Francis seems to be enjoying her life now.

Talking about his early life, Leigh attended Farnley Park High School in Leeds. After completing his schooling, Francis studied at Jacob Kramer College and earned a qualification in graphic design.

What Projects Has Leigh Francis Worked On?

As stated above, Leigh Francis received a qualification in graphic design from Jacob Kramer College. But rather than pursuing a career in the field, the Leeds native found himself finding fame in the entertainment business. He was reportedly discovered by Davina McCall, a television presenter while performing stand-up in a comedy club. Davina encouraged him to continue his comedy journey and also helped him secure his first TV role.

Leigh Francis made his debut playing Bobby Stark, a man who gives tips on how to win over women in the show, Dom and Kirk’s Nite O’Plenty. He then appeared in the television show, Popworld playing Barry Gibson. He also portrayed Barry in another series, Whatever I Want while also appearing as Keith Lemon, Avid Merrion, and other characters. He also did a series of shorts called Stars in Their Houses for Comedy Central early in his career.

Leigh’s breakthrough came when the British TV network Channel 4 offered him a £250K (approximately $294K) deal to produce a show based on his characters. This resulted in the birth of Bo’ Selecta! in 2002 and Francis played Avid Merrion, Bobby Stark, and Barry Gibson in the show. The show went on till 2006 but the last two seasons were titled A Bear’s Tail and Bo! in the USA.

After the end of No’ Selecta!, Leigh created a new show named Keith Lemon’s Very Brilliant World Tour, with one of his previous characters Keith Lemon as the main character. The show was a huge success and Francis subsequently created another series that featured Keith, Celebrity Juice. The show continued on for 23 series but was canceled by ITV in June 2022.

Along with the success of Celebrity Juice, Leigh Francis also used his Keith Lemon persona in many other projects. A few of the work that includes Leigh playing Keith are listed below:

  • Keith Lemon’s Lemonaid
  • Lemon La Vida Loca
  • The Keith Lemon Sketch Show
  • Ant & Dec’s Saturday Night Takeaway
  • The Keith and Paddy Picture Show
  • Through the Keyhole
  • Paul Sinha’s TV Showdown
  • The Real Dirty Dancing
  • This Morning
  • Lorraine
  • The Fantastical Factory of Curious Craft
  • Loose Women
  • Shopping with Keith Lemon

Furthermore, Leigh has appeared in many reality shows mostly as Keith Lemon. Many casual viewers might not even know that the comedian is only playing the character and Keith is not his real name. On the other hand, Francis has also played varied characters in many other shows and movies such as Twist, The Holden Girls: Many & Myrtle, Rocketman, and more.

Looking at all of the successful projects he has been involved in over the years, it is no surprise that Leigh Francis aka Keith Lemon’s net worth is estimated to be around $10 million. And with his continued appearance and work in other shows and movies, there is no doubt that he will earn even more fortune in the coming days.

Who Is Leigh Francis Married To?

Having spent much of his public life as his alter-ego Keith Lemon has helped Leigh Francis keep his personal life away from the spotlight. Even in interviews and other shows, he attends as Keith which has resulted in the family enjoying a private life. However, we do know that the Leeds native is a married man and a proud father of two.

Keith Lemon’s wife Jill Carter is reportedly his childhood sweetheart. The pair tied the knot in North Yorkshire on October 30, 2002 and currently resides in north London. Leigh and Jill are parents to two little ones, Dolly Francis and Matilda Francis. Well, we hope the family is enjoying their time together.