Keith Lemon outrageous moments – Mel Sykes crying all night to X-rated gift

Keith Lemon rose to fame in 2002 on his own Channel 4 show, Bo Selecta, which saw the comedian poke fun at celebrities including Craig David and Michael Jackson by imitating them in latex face masks.

The 50-year old – real name, Leigh Francis – starred in the programme himself as Avid Merrion, an creepy stalker was obsessed with the stars and eager to track them down. The series ran for five years, before Lemon moved on to pastures new – most notably ITV2's Celebrity Juice – a comedy game show he hosted alongside regulars Holly Willoughby and Fearne Cotton, which broadcast for 14 years.

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Lemon's career has hardly been a bed of roses, however, with the star often on the end of a backlash as a result of what could be deemed controversial behaviour. Over the years a number of fellow celebrities have pointed the finger at his antics despite his on-screen slapstick persona.

Join as we look back at some of his most outrageous moments in the public eye.

Melanie Sykes' 'humiliation'

Former Des and Mel star, Melanie opened up this week about her time with Lemon on ITV's Through the Keyhole.

Speaking in 2019 to fashion PR Lynne Franks' podcast, Frankly Speaking, the 53-year old described her "humiliation" at the hands of the comedian, which left her "crying all night" following remarks such as her "a******e smelling of flowers".

She said: "I went into the studio and I didn't think Keith was going to be like he was on the other show he does [Celebrity Juice] where it's all sex and blowjobs and talking about people's a*******s."

Mel said he used her to "entertain the audience", adding: So for three hours I struggled through that. I got home that night and I cried all night and I rang my agent in the morning and told him about my experience and I said, "I don't know what I'm going to do about it."

She continued: "So I rang the head of the production company [Talkback], and said 'can you make sure in the edit I don't look out of my depth, angry or upset, because I don't have a poker face, because it's detrimental to me'. Responding to Mel's complaint, a spokesperson for Talkback said: "Looking after those who appear on our shows is a top priority."

Craig David 'bullied'

Last year R&B singer Craig labelled Lemon as "insincere" in a stinging attack live on BBC Breakfast. Incidentally, Lemon's Bo Selecta was named after Craig's breakthrough hit single with Artful Dodger – 1999's Re-Rewind (The Crowd Say Bo Selecta).

In October, Craig joined show presenters Sally Nugent and Jon Kay to talk about his new album and his 22 years in the music industry. However, the topic of conversation grew serious as he opened up on the bullying he experienced when he was younger and throughout his time in the music business.

A cringe-worthy sketch on Lemon's show used to paint Craig as a failure and as though his career was hanging on by a thread, ending with him working in a call centre. Despite the likeness, Lemon insisted that the character was not based on him, but Craig was having none of it.

He explained: "When the show was out it was a period of time of hard processing." He continued: "I didn't know why a song like Rewind, which was a cultural song that broke the ice for so many artists to come through, was now being ridiculed. In a Sunday Times interview way back in 2007, meanwhile, he admitted the sketch "absolutely p*****d him off" and he found it "hurtful beyond belief".

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School run shame

Back in 2021 Lemon was forced to admit he could no longer pull off some of his Celebrity Juice humour on the show due to it being appropriate now that he's a dad. Appearing on Good Morning Britain, he was quizzed by co-presenter Adil Ray on his reputation of being the "naughtiest man on television".

He responded: "I don't like it now if I'm honest. I did like it because I was young and I was edgy but now I'm old and a bit tired, especially now. And I'm a bit more pure now because I've got children, so when you do the school run and parents look at you with filthy eyes like 'you bad man' it's sort of embarrassing."

Michelle Keegan and Mark Wright's 'X-rated' gift

Lemon hit the headlines in 2018 after presenting former TOWIE star Mark Wright with an unusual present to help him cope when spending time apart from his actress wife, Michelle Keegan. After discussing how the pair chat via FaceTime, Lemon suggested "FaceTime sex" to keep the romance alive before whipping out an iPad holder complete with its own vagina.

He told Mark: "So when you Facetime I mean you can just feel a bit closer. Here it is…so you hold it like this yeah and you Facetime, but what’s great about it is, it has a m***e there."

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