THE comedian best known for his famous Keith Lemon character is set to tour the country for the first time as himself - and will be trialling his new shows in Southend this month.

Leigh Francis has kept millions of people laughing for years as Keith Lemon - with his hit TV shows including Celebrity Juice - and now, he is embarking on a 26-day trip around the country as himself.

The 50-year-old comedian, from Leeds, will be launching the new shows at the Palace Theatre at the end of February before he kicks off the tour.

He will be at the London Road venue on February 27 and February 28, where his characters will be brought to life for the first time in a live environment.

Leigh shared on X - formerly Twitter - yesterday: "Morning! So it’s almost here! I've got a couple dates that are ‘work in progress’ nights in Southend end of February. Then the tour kicks off!

"Avid, Keith, Bear, Fox, Myrtle and lots of new mask stuff! Hope to see you there.

"Dress code - your favourite character, or jeans or a nice dress or a Spider-Man costume. Wear whatever you feel nicest in."

The shows will start at 7.30pm, and the age restriction is 16-plus.

Tickets range from £19.75 to £24.75, depending on pass band selected and are online sales only. For more information, click here.