holly-and-keith-lemon

Keith Lemon reveals real reason Holly Willoughby left Celebrity Juice – and why he's gutted

Holly's departure comes 12 years after joining the hit show

Andrea Caamano

Holly Willoughby shocked fans by announcing her departure from Celebrity Juice back in May, and Keith Lemon has revealed the reasons behind her decision and why he was left gutted.

READ: Fans can't get over how much Keith Lemon's wife looks like Kate Middleton

Talking to The Sun, Keith, whose real name is Leigh Francis, opened up about the moment he received the news. "She rang me up. She never usually rings me so I thought she is going to tell me she's pregnant. She said, 'I've got something to tell you. This is like breaking up with a boyfriend'," Keith said.

Loading the player...

WATCH: Keith Lemon unsure of Celebrity Juice's future 

Revealing the real reason for her surprising departure, Keith added: "I said, 'You're going to tell me you're leaving, aren't you?' and she said, 'Yes, it's been 12 great years but I want to spend time with the family'. I'm gutted, she was like my TV sister. She's welcome back any time. I'll properly miss her," he added.

holly-tribute-keith-lemon

Holly announced her departure from the show last week

The This Morning presenter shocked fans after she confirmed the sad news on her Instagram. Sharing a collage of pictures taken throughout the years, the mother-of-three wrote: "Thank you @celebjuiceofficial for 12 years of fantastic chaos… I can't quite believe what we've done and how quick that time has gone. Thank you to you all for watching. We’ve always had the loudest and best audiences. Also a huge thank you to @itv2 for believing in the show in the first place and for all of your support."

holly-willoughby-and-daughter-belle

Holly has said her departure will allow her to spend more time with her family

The star continued: "Over the years the production team has changed, however to anyone lucky enough to have worked on the show, they will know that we really do have the best time, it's never felt like work and always been to me like a night out.

MORE: A look at Holly Willoughby's family life: see photos of her husband, children and mum

MORE: Keith Lemon's daughter dons fancy dress for playtime at home

MORE: Keith Lemon shares glimpse inside his quirky home office during isolation

"Thank you for all your ingenious ideas and hard work... all good things must come to an end and nothing lasts forever... It's time for me to hand over my team captain seat to some lucky lucky person... whoever that is, know you are about to get one of the best jobs in telly working with one of comedies finest... @keithlemon."

Like this story? Sign up to our newsletter to get other stories like this delivered straight to your inbox.

Activate HELLO! alerts and find out about everything before anyone else.