Being Keithby Keith Lemon
It seems almost ironic to say that Leigh Francis is the poor man's Sacha Baron Cohen, but there's a ring of truth to it.
Cohen has not only found big screen success with his small screen comic creations Ali G, Borat and Bruno, but is now smooching with the likes of Martin Scorsese in Americaland, where he appeared in the director's Hugo.
Meanwhile, Francis is squeezing all he can out of his Keith Lemon character, as he still appears on ITV2 making fun of Holly Willoughby's breasts and Fern Cotton's nostrils on their 'quiz' Celebrity Juice week after week.
This year in particular has seen Francis really pushing Lemon; he's appeared as an agony aunt on This Morning , hosted the prime time ITV1 Saturday night show Lemon Aid as well as a fake reality TV series about his life with a new girlfriend in ITV2's Lemon La Vida Loca. He also found time to star in his first film Keith Lemon The Film as well writing this book Being Keith. These last two in particular prove that Francis has clearly overindulged with his Lemon character, spreading the concept – as well as the joke – so thin that there's actually nothing left to see anymore.
Keith Lemon works best when he's near the knuckle; this book is situated at the furthest point possible anatomically.
At the heart of the problem is one simple fact: the character takes the concept of the book far too seriously. Not only does it overly retread the Lemon legend, with information that fans are all too aware of, but is written in the style of believing that Lemon is real, taking what was already a fairly simple, juvenile joke too far.
Whenever Lemon discusses a so-called celebrity, he never utters anything disparaging about them. Everyone he has crossed paths with is dead 'nice'. Considering that Lemon is a work of fiction, he surely could have had artistic license to have some fun at the expense of celebrities? Instead, all his mundane stories are re-told with the main aim of not offending anyone. Instead of liberally dishing the dirt, Lemon resorts to a practice no-one would have thought possible of him: ass licking. And what's the point of a castrated Lemon?
He also waffles on about his new 'girlfriend' Rosie quite a bit. We all know that she isn't his real girlfriend considering a) he's a fictitious character and b) she's a fictitious character, so why spend so much time on the dullest of anecdotes, considering that none of them are real?
On top of that, the book contains more white space than it knows what to do with, as well as page after page of pictures; it would be better described as a picture book with some words on it.
No one would in their right mind consider it as coffee table book material, but at the same time, it's really not worth taking it to the loo with you either, as its pages are only worth using as emergency bog roll if you find yourself without.
Francis seems completely unaware of causing oversaturation with his Lemon character. In the past he's culled both Avid Merrion and The Bear fairly early on, but seems keen on running Lemon completely into the ground – at our expense.
This book is a complete embarrassment to the Keith Lemon brand, and that's saying something. It's clearly marketed at fans only, but at the same time, offers them nothing new or relevant to get excited about. Unsurprisingly, it's nothing more than the laziest type of cash-in.
If ever there was a death knell for a character's demise, this book should be it for Keith Lemon, as Francis has squeezed every ounce of fun out him. What a dingbat.