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Keith Lemon and Paddy McGuinness head to the movies

 

Remember when Keith Lemon and Paddy McGuinness attempted the Dirty Dancing lift? They're back for more - with a whole series of movie scene parodies. They chat to Gemma Dunn about sex scenes, inflatable sharks and armpit hair.

Keith Lemon and Paddy McGuinness may have narrowly missed the top spot in the 2009 final of Let's Dance For Comic Relief, but their impassioned Dirty Dancing performance certainly didn't go amiss.

For amid the wigs, Baby's pink dress and that tricky lift, an idea was born: The Keith And Paddy Picture Show.

Set to air during the prime-time Saturday evening slot on ITV, the five-part series - dubbed an affectionate and humorous tribute - will, each week, see the haphazard duo attempt to recreate an iconic film, with the help of an all-star celebrity cast.

With a mix of parodies and behind-the-scenes mock-doc footage, it poses the question: What could possibly go wrong...?

"We'd never done a show together as such; we'd not worked together properly, at least," reasons Lemon - real name Leigh Francis. "So that's when we came up with doing half-hour versions of films."

But despite their now-starry status, getting to this point wasn't all plain sailing.

"We wrote Dirty Dancing and pitched it and no one were interested," declares the 43-year-old Celebrity Juice host. "So then he (McGuinness) went away and became successful, and then I did, and then we reconvened more successful and pitched it," he adds, his familiar cackle filling the room.

"It's taken eight years to get to this point," reiterates Take Me Out presenter, McGuinness.

"We ain't been writing it for eight years, though," Lemon butts in. "He's been getting people off with each other and I've been telling Fearne Cotton she's a w*****."

"When we first pitched it all those years ago," adds McGuinness, also 43, "we were talking to these execs round a table, and we said, 'We've got this idea of recreating films', and this exec, who shall remain nameless, and the channel will as well, turned to us and said, 'Films. Is that a bit niche?'

"Films? Those things that every single person has seen at some point in their life?" the Lancashire-born personality quips. "It's like saying breathing is niche... So we were up against that at the beginning, but thankfully we ended up at ITV."

And it's certainly worked out for the best - with the energetic entertainers given free rein to realise their riotous dream. They've included an impressive list of well-loved titles: Rocky, Dirty Dancing, Jaws, Return Of The Jedi and Ghostbusters.

While laughs are guaranteed, they're keen to point out they're not mocking the films - despite a hilarious confession of a rather fishy mishap.

"For Jaws, we bought a 30ft, fantastic looking shark off the internet and there's a massive indoor tank (at Pinewood Studios) where all the big films are shot, so we were really excited," begins McGuinness.

"So they lowered this shark into the water - and it floated. The idea was the shark was under the water, but what we'd bought is a 30ft inflatable, so we had to quickly rejig things. When you see it now, it swims on top of the water."

"That was a hard day that, because I found it really difficult working with Myleene Klass because she was so hideous to look at," chimes a grimacing Lemon. "In a bikini - it were disgusting."

On that note, they welcomed a string of celebrity cameos, with the likes of Anna Friel, Stephen Tompkinson, Michelle Keegan, Kimberly Wyatt, Robbie Williams, Ant and Dec and Phillip Schofield on the list.

"'It's living the dream though, isn't it?" says Yorkshireman Lemon, adding that everyone involved - with a special mention for Schofield as Yoda - really got into it.

"It's the films you've seen when you were a kid - and then you're in it. And when you get there and it looks so much like it... I teared up when I was on the Ewok Village. I went and had a little time by myself."

What about the infamous Dirty Dancing lift - did it bring back memories of mastering it first time round for Comic Relief?

"We only did it twice," McGuinness says proudly.

"We were worried we wouldn't be able to do it because it was eight years ago (last time) and Paddy has let himself go a little bit," Lemon chips in, giggling. "We didn't know if he would be able to lift me, but I've been off the bread since September."

"It was a pleasure," McGuinness retorts. "The hardest part with Keith as Baby was his really long armpit hair, so when you do that scene where he strokes down her, I'm like, 'Oh God,'" he bellows. "Fingers were in it and everything; I was like, 'What's going on?'

"(But) the hardest part was probably the sound of two men's bellies slapping up against each other.

"We did a full sex scene, and I mean we've been every close over the years, but not rubbing each other, slapping together like that," he adds, clapping his hands together to demonstrate the sounds.

The twosome - both married with kids - have high hopes they will be inundated with celebs who want to join in the fun once the series airs. So who would they really like to see on the schedule?

"I would like someone from the actual film to be in it," says Lemon, who claims to have ideas for another three series.

"I would like Andrew Garfield to do something; I've met him, he's nice and he's English so he might be coming home to see his mum."

"Or Tom Hiddleston," suggests McGuinness. "Basically anyone who will do it - if they're free, we'll take 'em."

  • The Keith And Paddy Picture Show begins on ITV on Saturday at 9.15pm

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