'My best-of album' - Leigh Francis teases ‘silly and naughty’ surprises in first comedy tour

Virgin Radio

27 Feb 2024, 12:23

Leigh Francis

Credit: Getty / X (@LeighFrancis)

Comedian Leigh Francis is ready to hit the road for his very first live comedy tour, perfectly titled, My First Time. 

Kicking off in Southend tonight (27th February), the Virgin Radio weekend afternoons host is taking his near-30-year showbiz career on the road.

Speaking exclusively to virginradio.co.uk ahead of his debut night, Leigh admitted fans can expect the favourites, including Bear, Avid Merrion and Myrtle, but there’ll be plenty of fresh faces too as he traverses a new chapter of his comedy career…as himself. 

“The most worrying thing is the changes from one character to another, getting the costume and the wig on,” Leigh told us. “I have described it as, if I was in a band, it'd be my best-of album. It's like everything I've been known for all squashed into one.”

Leigh confirmed that the masks themselves will be new, as the Bo’ Selecta! masks are in the previous “comedy landscape,” but the Celebrity Juice star admitted his skits will still be “very puerile, silly, stupid and cheeky.”

“It's got a bit of Keith Lemon in there, Avid Merrion, everything. I really think if you like me, you can get your money's worth.”

When quizzed about any potential celebrity pals making any surprise appearances, Leigh kept his cards close to his chest. 

“Via video, there are some guest appearances at the [London] Palladium, but I'm not banking on any guest appearances. There'll be some people in the audience in Palladium that will be familiar to people and I might shout them out.”

Leigh has been a very busy man as of late, having confirmed he’s also releasing his memoir, titled The Autobiography

Audiences obviously know Leigh best as his on-screen alter-ego Lemon and the vast array of characters from early-noughties sketch show Bo’ Selecta!, but for the telly star, it became important to show his real life after turning 50. 

“Everything changed,” Leigh confessed during a chat with virginradio.co.uk. “I want to do different things now at 50, that means I can come out, as it were, as myself, where I was always hidden under a mask or a Bear or as a different character. 

“A lot of people don't know that. People think Keith Lemon's my stage name, they don't even get it’s a character. Every time I do a live, people go, ‘Oh, I didn't know Keith was your real name’. And I'm like, ‘it's not my real name.’

Leigh joked: “I wanted to write a book while I'm still relevant, and whilst not too old that I can't remember how I got here.”

Tune in to Leigh Francis on Virgin Radio UK every Saturday from 12.30pm-4pm.

The Autobiography will be published by HarperCollins on 12th September, and tickets for Leigh Francis: My First Time Tour are available to buy on trafalgartickets.com.