Fearne announced last year that she was stepping down from her role as team captain, and host Keith admits he thought about throwing the towel in.
Speaking exclusively to Mirror Online, as he showed his support for Cadbury Inventor finalist Neelam, he said: “Holly is a genius. She can do that daytime telly then nighttime telly when she goes wild. I love her so much, we have so much fun.
“It was big shoes to fill, as Holly said, when Fearne left, because I nearly threw the towel in as well, I thought, ‘If you’re not doing it, I’m not doing it’.
“And when she told Holly, Holly phoned me and asked what I thought, she said, ‘Well I’m still in’, and I said, ‘Well I am if you are’.
“We thought about who could do it and we both thought of Paddy.
“Paddy has been on every series and he’s my very good friend and Holly’s friend, and that family happened again, but now it’s just two dysfunctional brothers and a sister instead of two sisters and a brother.
“It really works so long may it continue.”
Keith said the one person he’s been dying to get on the show for years is Kylie Minogue, but he has a sneaky feeling she’s not up for it.
He added: “Ages ago, a few times, I tweeted Kylie and she replied to me saying she’d think about it which is showbusiness for ‘no’.
“I’d love Kylie to come on, well both of them, I used to know Dannii for a bit but I think she’s in Australia now.
“I met them both at the Brits once and that was a lovely Minogue sandwich.
“People often ask me who my dream guests are and they probably wouldn’t work for the show, but I’d like Jim Carrey, Mike Myers, Winona Ryder and Kylie.
“It’s not really a Juice guest line up because there’s no way any of those people are going to come in.”
Speaking about his involvement in the Cadbury Inventor campaign, Keith, who is portrayed by funnyman Leigh Francis, explained why he’s backing contestant Neelam for the win.
He said: “Neelam has invented a chocolate bar with orange bits in it and stuff, I guess it’s a bit of an evolution of chocolate orange, it’s got an edge on it, and she’s from Leeds.
“Cadbury asked me to support Neelam because she’s invented this chocolate called Simply The Zest, which is nice because it’s a play on words isn’t it?
“I’m always hoping Leeds will ask me to turn their Christmas lights on, which they never do, so to be asked to support someone from Leeds, I thought it would be fun.
“I went up to meet her and we had a photoshoot, and bless her, because she’s a civilian she’s never had a photoshoot, and I think the photographer was quite excited as well, he took about a million pictures.
“It’s giving people the chance to be like Willy Wonka isn’t it? This could be careers for people, imagine winning something like this and having your own chocolate bar?
“I’d love to have my own chocolate bar, it would be wicked.”
Keith also chatted to us about his new show Shopping, which sees him interview stars while picking up some bits at the shops.
He told us: “Shopping is still on now, that’s going down really well.
“It didn’t set out to be funny, that’s me being serious, but they just collected all the funny bits and put those bits in.
“They’ve left some deep conversations in there, I’m really proud of it.”
Keith manages to get away with asking celebs questions that some journalists would never dream of.
And he says there’s a simple secret to him winning his interview subject’s trust.
He said: “I’m not trying to pull wool over their eyes, I’m a straight talker I guess, and I win their trust really.
“I say it to everyone when they come on Celebrity Juice, I say, ‘Do what you want and say what you want, because I will, and if you’re not happy with it, we’ll just cut it out’.
“If it’s live you have to be careful but if it’s pre-recorded people can just say what they want and if they’re not happy afterwards I’ll just tell producers not to put that bit in.
“Thankfully, I’ve won the trust of these famous faces.”
He added: “Robbie Williams was at the ITV Party last night and Ayda was saying to me I should go shopping with him.
“I asked if he liked shopping and she said, ‘Look at him, he’s got silver butterflies on his lapels’.
“I am a shopaholic, it’s only when I watched Rocketman, which I’m in by the way, when he mentions being a shopaholic, I thought that’s me.
“I take my phone to the toilet with me and every pooh costs me three hundred quid, and then I forgot what I’ve bought and it comes in the post.
“I just had a Spider-Man suit delivered to me, and I thought, when did I buy that?”
If he lands a second series of the show, Keith is planning to take it Stateside, with the hope of attracting some A-list stars.
He said: “If we get a second series of Shopping, maybe we’ll go to America and get some American guests.
“Imagine doing Pretty Woman shopping with Julia Roberts, that would be good wouldn’t it?
“I love filming in America.”
One of Keith’s shows that sadly won’t be returning is the Keith & Paddy Picture Show.
It was cancelled last year, with Keith believing the reason was the huge cost of building movie sets for a 30-minute programme.
But he’s got the perfect substitute to keep fans entertained.
He said: “We’re doing a thing called Keith & Paddy’s MovieFest, where basically we’re hosting an outdoor cinema where we’ve got a set that’s like the only video shop in the UK and we only rent out 80s movies, so we’re going to play Dirty Dancing and then we’re going to have a party after and we’re going to DJ for the first time.”
*Keith & Paddy’s MovieFest takes place at Knebworth House, Hertfordshire, on August 16 and 17, and in Tatton Park, Knutsford, Cheshire on August 30 and 31. Click here for tickets.
* Keith Lemon has teamed up with Cadbury Inventor finalist, Neelam, to help get the nation behind her Cadbury Dairy Milk SIMPLY THE ZEST bar. The celebrity line-up also includes Ireland’s Louis Walsh supporting Callum’s Cadbury Dairy Milk CHOCA-LATTE, and Take That’s Howard Donald, backing Melanie’s Cadbury Dairy Milk THE RASPBERRY SHORTCAKE. With voting officially closing on 29th July, try all three and vote for your favourite to become the latest addition to the iconic Cadbury Dairy Milk range this September 2019 at www.cadburyinventor.com .
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