TV bosses ignored my complaints about Keith Lemon's 'inappropriate jokes' reveals Mel Sykes | The Sun
MELANIE Sykes has alleged that her complaints about Keith Lemon to TV bosses were “ignored,” after filming ITV show Through The Keyhole.
On a podcast in 2021, TV star Melanie, 53, claimed Keith, real name Leigh Francis, made a series of sexual jokes about her in front of a live audience in 2018.
The TV presenter says that one of these gags included Keith saying: “I bet your a*****e smells of flowers.”
She told fashion PR Lynne Franks' podcast, Frankly Speaking, that bosses at Talkback didn’t acknowledge her complaints at the time.
Melanie 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.
“I sat there for a three-hour record and he did all that stuff to me verbally to entertain the live audience — because it was never going to make the edit of the show – so he used me to entertain the audience.
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“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'. So I rang the head of the production company, 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'.
"And she agreed for me to part of the edit and I would approve the edit, and I said, 'It was a terrible experience' she said, 'you're the first person that has ever complained about him' and I said, ' I don't care' and this was before MeToo, so it wasn't like I felt strongly because of it. I said 'you and I know that there are loads of women who don't say anything, it doesn't mean it's not happening'.
"So all of these things can hit the cutting room floor but my experience still lives and breathes, it still lives and breathes now."
In response to the claims, a spokesperson for production company Talkback told The Mirror: “Looking after those who appear on our shows is a top priority and we always strive to ensure our guests feel comfortable and happy during filming.
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“Whilst Through the Keyhole hasn’t been on air since 2019, we continually review and evolve our company welfare processes with the aim for everyone to feel supported.”
The Sun has approached Keith’s representatives for comment.
Mel has criticised Keith before and slammed the Celebrity Juice host as "basic and limited" while discussing "disappointing" men.
During a chat with Frank Magazine, Mel explained she felt "sorry" for British men as she let rip on the ITV2 star.
The TV personality said: "Sadly, in all realms of life, most men are pretty basic and disappointing.
"I feel a bit sorry for British men who have adopted the limited vocabulary of the television character Keith Lemon when talking about and to women.
"I would be surprised, and indeed it would be a miracle, if any of these men are actually getting laid."
Keith hit back, saying it hasn’t stopped him winning “two Baftas and two NTAs” — which is more than Mel can claim.
He revealed he privately messaged Mel after she made her remarks in an interview.
But he clearly wasn’t too chuffed with the response to his olive branch.
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He said: “I reached out to her and asked why she didn’t like me. She said, ‘It’s not you, it’s your on-screen persona’.
“Well if anyone’s watching and you have a limited vocabulary, you can still win two Baftas and two NTAs. I don’t want to boast about all the things I’ve won.”
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