Kerri-Ann Roper, PA Entertainment Editor
Comedian and TV star Leigh Francis said Celebrity Juice was the “longest most fun party” as it was announced that the ITV2 show will come to an end later this year.
The comedy panel series was first broadcast in 2008, with Francis on screen as his alter ego Keith Lemon, alongside original team captains Fearne Cotton and Holly Willoughby.
Cotton left the show in 2018 to pursue other projects, while This Morning star Willoughby announced her departure in 2020, with Love Island host Laura Whitmore and The Inbetweeners’ Emily Atack going on to step in to the team captain roles full-time in series 24.
After 14 years, 26 series, 300 eps @CelebJuice is concluding later this year with two farewell specials. Thank you so so much to everyone who watched, to the team captains, guests, crew and itv2. It was the longest most fun party! I had a wonderful time. Big love x pic.twitter.com/1SqJDYkj1j
— Leigh Francis (@LeighFrancis) June 29, 2022
Following the news, Francis tweeted: “After 14 years, 26 series, 300 eps @CelebJuice is concluding later this year with two farewell specials.
“Thank you so so much to everyone who watched, to the team captains, guests, crew and itv2. It was the longest most fun party! I had a wonderful time. Big love x”.
The show, which ran for 26 series on ITV2, will finish with two specials celebrating “all of Juice’s maddest moments”, ITV said.
Francis added in a statement: “I remember doing the first episode thinking ‘Wow, that was fun! In the V/O in opening titles I said it was the best telly show on telly.
“Whatever you thought of it, it was definitely the best fun making it. An amazing team, and amazing guests, but all good things must come to an end. I’ll miss it, and everyone so much, but on to the next chapter and I look forward to going out in style on the specials! All t’ best and good luck with ya business!”
Over the years the show saw names like Gino D’Acampo, Mel B, Paddy McGuinness, Maya Jama and Kelly Brook all appear as team captains, while celebrity guests included Ed Sheeran, Pamela Anderson and more.
For the show’s 15th series, an hour-long, live special broadcast from Elstree Studios featured celebrity names such as This Morning’s Phillip Schofield and I’m A Celebrity winner Vicky Pattison.
Francis will continue to appear on his ITV2 series Shopping With Keith Lemon.
Paul Mortimer, director of reality, acquisitions and controller, ITV2, ITVBe and CITV, said: “Celebrity Juice and Keith have become firm favourites in the ITV2 schedule over the years, with Keith’s no-holds-barred humour and outrageous antics redefining the comedy panel show experience.
“It’s safe to say Celebrity Juice certainly won’t be forgotten in a hurry, and we’d like to thank all of the team at Talkback, and of course Keith and all of our team captains over the years for making Juice the infectious TV hit it’s become.”