His alter-ego Keith Lemon might be one of the most in-demand characters on TV, but off-screen, comedian Leigh Francis is an incredibly private man. The 44-year-old, whose creations also include Bo Selecta's Avid Merrion, made a rare appearance with his wife Jill Carter on Tuesday evening as they stepped out for Jonathan Ross' annual star-studded Halloween party. And it transpires that the pair weren't just celebrating the spooky festivities – it was also their anniversary. Leigh took to Twitter on Wednesday, sharing two photos of the couple in their fancy dress costumes. Alongside, he shared a heartfelt tribute to Jill, who he started dating when he was just 19.
Leigh Francis and wife Jill Carter attending Jonathan Ross' Halloween party on Tuesday
"What a lovely anniversary evening. Together 25 years! Married 14 years! Love you Mrs F ever since we were kids xxxxxxxxxx." He then simply wrote: "Love you very much Mrs Francis." Leigh and beauty therapist Jill were married in 2002 at Allerton Castle in North Yorkshire. They are parents to one child together, a daughter named Matilda, who was born in February 2009.
Leigh and Jill have been married since 2002 and share an eight-year-old daughter
In a 2015 interview with the Sun, Leigh opened up about his character Keith, and admitted that he prefers to hide behind his alter-ego to protect his privacy. I don't want anyone to know who I really am," he said. "I prefer being Keith. Everyone goes a bit weird when it's just me. They look at me as if springs are boinging out of my head. Because you only know Keith Lemon, you don't know Leigh Francis, so it's weird."
He continued: "It's lovely when you go to a foreign country and you can be normal again. That's why I go on holiday to America quite a lot, because it's one of the places where nobody knows me."