PROPER bang tidy! That was telly star Keith Lemon’s verdict on Doncaster as fans came out in force to greet him.
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The Celebrity Juice host was greeted with huge cheers and massive crowds as scores of followers squeezed into the Frenchgate Centre to catch a glimpse of their comic idol.
He told those who had gathered: “Alright Donny?” in his thick, Yorkshire accent and added: “You’ve been queueing for hours? Why? For me? Nowt much must happen round here then!”
He greeted those who had turned up for his book signing in WHSmith with his catchphrases “bang tidy” and “oooosh” as queues snaked through the front doors of the shopping centre.
Camera phones clicked and excited chatter swept through the mostly female crowd of admirers as Keith, aka comedian Leigh Francis, arrived for the two-hour session to autograph copies of his new memoir Being Keith.
Security kept back those craning for a glimpse of the star who delighted his fans with risque banter and posing for photographs.
Sarah Aspinall, 16, of Scawsby, spent 14 hours queuing to meet the star - and even brought along a fake moustache as a tribute to the comic, sporting his trademark blond mullet, ginger moustache, fake tan, snakeskin boots and glitzy “Lemon” belt buckle.
She said: “I am a huge fan. He’s so funny and really makes me laugh. It is the first time I’ve met him and it was really exciting.”
Stephenie Barlow and mum Pauline of Stainforth had also spent hours waiting to meet the ITV2 comedy panel game star, who appeared in his own film, Keith Lemon: The Film, this summer. Stephenie said: “I watch all his programmes - I have been waiting ages to see him. I think he’s brilliant.”
And the star’s appearance will also pack a few surprises for fans Yasmin Fletcher and Lee Thompson. For Yasmin’s son Sam, 13 of Balby saved up his pocket money and handed it over to grandma Carol to ensure his mum had an extra special signed copy of the book for her birthday while Lee’s mum Pearl also waited patiently in line to get the star’s autograph as a surprise treat.
“Lee is his biggest fan,” she said. “He lives in Spain so he’s going to be really pleased when he sees this.”
But not every shopper was so impressed: “Never ‘eard of him!” mumbled one flat-cap wearing elderly gent, bemused by all the fuss as the Frenchgate came to a standstill.
The comic, who first found fame with his Channel 4 Bo! Selecta series in 2000, has since seen his Lemon character become a household name after hosting the ITV show with Holly Willoughby and Fearne Cotton which has become renowned for its outrageous games and jokes.
A number of big name stars have held book signings at the store down the years, including glamour model Katie Price.