Keith Lemon: What do I have that James Corden doesn't? A smaller waist and a BMX bike!
He might be a household name in the UK but it seems that's not enough for Keith Lemon, whose new ITV2 mockumentary sees him trying to crack America. We got the lowdown from the man himself...
Keith Lemon lifts the lid on how he tries to make it big in America…
With shows such as Celebrity Juice and The Keith & Paddy Picture Show under his belt, Keith Lemon reckons he's now 'massive' in the UK.
But he wants to make it big in America, and a six-part ITV2 mockumentary follows Keith's journey as he tries to achieve his dream of hosting a chat show in the States.
With sketches and celeb cameos from the likes of Sharon Osbourne, Gene Simmons and John Barrowman, the Americans won't know what’s hit them…
Here Keith - real name Leigh Francis - tells TV & Satellite Week what happened on his Hollywood mission…
How important is it to you to crack America?
"It wasn't that important really. It was a fun adventure and if something happens it'll be fun but I'm not too bothered."
Why did you decide to try it?
"I love the weather and I like confusing Americans. I thought it might be nice to introduce some sketch shows to an American audience and see what they think."
Is it a chat show you've put together?
"It's a hybrid chat show. We've got sketch shows and loads of celebrity cameos in it. It's a different way of doing a chat show rather than in a studio going: 'hey look how good I am at socialising with people’."
You had a focus group where Americans watched some Celebrity Juice clips. How did that go?
"They were horrible. They cut me down. I went into the room afterwards and said: 'I'm so sorry you don't like me but I'm trying my best'."
And how did your 'Welcome to America' party go?
"No one would come. I thought I had loads of friends but maybe I haven’t. I’m going back in a few weeks though so hopefully I’ll hook up with Gene Simmons again and see Denise Richards."
Are you pleased that James Corden has cracked American?
"I'm really chuffed he's doing so well. When English people go over and do well it does open the door for other people. I wanted him to film for us and say: 'Keith go back to London, it's working for you there' but he didn't have time."
What do you have that he doesn't?
"A smaller waist and a rally Super Tuff Burner BMX bike. Oh, and a Chihuahua. He hasn't got Fearne and Holly either."
What do you think about Donald Trump?
"To me he's that guy who makes an appearance in Home Alone 2. That's it really. He seems like a lunatic. I heard a rumour that George Clooney is well into politics and wants to be president. I think everyone would vote for him."
How does Taylor Swift feel about your impression of her?
"I've just tweeted her a picture of me dressed as her. Imagine if she wrote a song about me because she hated me dressing up as her! That would be amazing."
Later in the series, John Barrowman gives you acting lessons, doesn’t he?
"He's a jack of all trades, him. Master of all of them. He does like to share. I went camping with him and he shares many things with me... if you know what I mean."
How do you rate your acting skills?
"I think I'm alright. When I do the sketches I pretend to be a fox and I look like one."
Was the American dream everything you hoped it would be?
"I thought it might have worked but it turned out more like a big holiday where I was filmed. The spoiler is I’m sat in Planet Hollywood in London rather than in Hollywood."
Keith Lemon: Coming in America starts on Thursday July 5 at 10pm on ITV2.
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With over 20 years’ experience writing about TV and film, Vicky currently writes features for What’s on TV, TV Times, TV & Satellite Week magazines plus news and watching guides for WhatToWatch.com, a job which involves chatting to a whole host of famous faces. Our Vicky LOVES light entertainment, with Strictly Come Dancing, Britain’s Got Talent and The Voice UK among her fave shows. Basically, if it’s got a shiny floor, she’s all over it! When she’s not watching TV, you might find Vicky in therapy… retail therapy that is!