CELEBRITY weddings are normally lavish affairs, known for their gaudy excess, huge magazine contracts and all-star guests.

But TV star and comedian Russell Kane will prove fame definitely hasn’t gone to his head when he ties the knot this weekend – he’s having the reception at a pub in Southend.

The award-winning funnyman has always claimed to love his hometown, and will put his money where his mouth is when he weds fiancee Sadie Hasler in a low-key ceremony at South-church Hall on Saturday. The wedding will be followed by a reception at the Alex pub, in Alexandra Street.

The comedian was best man at his friend Scott Norbury’s wedding in 2000, and now Mr Norbury is returning the favour.

He said: “Russell actually did a stand-up routine at my wedding, but I think I’ll just stick to a speech.

“I’ve known Russell for 25 years since we went to primary school in Enfield. We lost touch and then met up again through mutual friends. Russell’s done really well for himself. If he puts his mind to something he usually achieves it.”

Mr Norbury, 35, from Harlow, added: “We gave him a stag do. We met at a bar in Soho and then went on to a nightclub. Like the wedding will be, it was a fairly low-key event. Russell hasn’t got lavish tastes.”

Bride-to-be Sadie admitted to having a “few butterflies”. She said: “Russell and I went to Middlesex University together. We were both studying writing, but I was too shy to talk to him so I sent him e-mails saying I thought he was funny. We were pen pals for a while, but when we did eventually meet, sparks flew.

“We’ve been together four years in April.”

Sadie, a writer and actress, who often works as a support act with Russell, added: “Neither of us were terribly relaxed with the idea of a big, formal wedding. I said I’d like a reception in a local pub and Russell agreed. I am a bit rushed off my feet with last minute stuff like writing my vows. It’s been absolutely manic.”

Paul Watson, manager of the Alex pub, said: “They have hired out the function room for a get together with family and friends. He has been to the pub a few times. He seems a pretty down-to-earth guy.”

The triple Edinburgh Comedy Award nominee has lived in the town for years, and has family roots in Leigh.