Interview: Keith Lemon On His New C4 Series The Fantastical Factory Of Curious Craft

Interview: Keith Lemon On His New C4 Series The Fantastical Factory Of Curious Craft

The Fantastical Factory of Curious Craft is a brand-new craft competition series, where skilful amateur crafters create prop-like, mic-drop craft of epic proportions. Fronted by funny man and master crafter Keith Lemon, alongside TV presenter Anna Richardson, each episode sees four different crafters use their artistic talent to wow us with spectacular makes.  In the first task, the crafters have to impress Keith before he chooses the best three to go on to craft for that week’s celebrity client (Eamonn Holmes, Mel B, Katherine Ryan, Nick Grimshaw, Spencer & Vogue, Martin Kemp). Quality control craft experts, Harriet Vine MBE (Tatty Devine) and Zak Khchai, will deliberate and help ‘factory boss’ Keith choose the three most impressive makes. The weekly winner is decided by the celebrity, who then takes home the winner’s craft.

The Fantastical Factory of Curious Craft, Sundays, 8pm, C4 from May 10.

Read an illuminating interview with Keith Lemon below.


Describe The Fantastical Factory of Curious Craft in your own words 

It’s like Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory but there’s no chocolate. In fact the only brown stuff is brown cardboard, amongst a rainbow of other colourful materials. Fur, felt, spray paints, Acrylics, ribbons, fabrics. Everything you need to make your imagination create whatever you have the skills to build, paint or draw. Wow that sounds good doesn’t it!  It’s a lovely joyful place you probably wouldn’t expect to find me in, but I loved it!


Why did you want to get involved? How did it come about?

I got sent the idea from Channel 4. They actually wanted an artistic Willy Wonka.  I guess that’s me, although they didn’t know I had an artistic flare as such. Then I sent them loads of pictures of things I’d made, so yeah I was the right man for the job I guess.


So you love a bit of crafting.  Is that why you wanted to be part of this series?

Yeah I’m always making things, and drawing at home. I have a T-shirt label , so I do all the designs for that. I recently did the t-shirt for Caroline Flack, in which all the proceeds went to the Samaritans. 


What’s the best thing you have ever created?

I’ve made a life-size E.T., Gremlins, recently made a Howard the Duck and a Teen Wolf doll. I also just made a 20 inch model of Michael Hutchence.


Did you create anything new whilst filming the series? 

I did a lot of the challenges that I set for the crafters. What did I make? A puppet, an animal headdress and a 3D self portrait.


What was it like working with Anna Richardson?  Have you worked together before? 

I’ve never worked with her before. In fact I met her on the first day of filming. Luckily we clicked straight away. She’s so lovely and has a producer background so I really respect that. She knows how to make telly and she’s so lovely. I felt like I knew her already but obviously I didn’t. I really want to work with her again. 


Your mum is the factory tea lady.  How did that come about and how did you find working with your mum?  

My mum is lovely. They auditioned a few other tea ladies but I suggested getting my mum as she’s not afraid of the cameras and I thought people would find it interesting that she’s my actual mum. She loves doing a bit of telly.


Has she previously starred in any of your programmes?

I’ve worked with my mum before. She was in Lemon la Vida Loca, Keith Lemon Coming in America, and series one and two of the Keith Lemon Sketch show. She played Chris Jenner. 


What surprised you about the series? 

Well I’m used to having a studio audience but it was quite quiet on this set because everyone was so focused on their craft. It was just so lovely on set and a massive contrast and very calming, compared to the craziness to Celebrity Juice, which I was filming at the same time. 


What was your favourite crafting creation on the series?

A lot of the work was amazing. One guy made a picture of me out of screws - that was cool, oh and the cat house that was made for Katherine Ryan. It was a giant cat with a little bed in its belly.


Tell me about the celebrities on the series?  What did they bring to it? 

The celebrities enter the factory in the second round of each episode, to set the next craft challenge. They decide who wins and they take home the winning creation.


Did you learn anything new from Harriet and Zak? 

They just had a lot of knowledge about different aspects of craft. They’re artists! 


Did any of the crafters stand out to you?

Yeah I’m still in touch with them. I talk to them on insta. There were a lot of great crafters on the show. I was almost brought to tears. I cry at anything good.


How did you feel, watching some of the crafts being ‘recycled’? 

It was exciting. It was cathartic! Nobody was upset as they knew it was going to happen if they weren’t going through to the next round.


What are you hoping the viewers get out of this series? 

Firstly I hope they just enjoy it. But it’ll be nice if they feel inspired to craft themselves. 


Would you like to run your own craft factory one day?  If so, what would your main craft creations be?

No, I just like running it for telly. There would be a lot of admin if it was a real factory! 


Are you crafting to keep yourself busy during lockdown?

I just craft for fun. I’m always making things.


Anything else you want to tell us about The Fantastical Factory of Curious Craft? 

It’s on telly Sundays at 8pm on Channel 4. It’s got some great people on it. It’s lovely and I hope people like it.


Interview supplied by C4



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