Simon Keys’ love for reptiles and all kinds of animals began at a very young age. Ever since he developed an unfathomable connection with these animals, he has continued to make snake-catching appear easy and less scary. Simon Keys inspires many animal lovers, especially snakes lovers, through his show, Snake City (also known as Snakes in the City). Besides catching snakes and taking them back to their natural home, the snake expert has a soft spot for tattoos. He is heavily tattooed and loves showing off his unique body on some occasions.
The 48-Year-Old Snake Catcher is from England
Simon Key’s parents gave birth to him on 15 July 1974 in a city in the United Kingdom called Hertfordshire. He was raised in the city, where he spent the better part of his childhood. The celebrity snake handler was known even in his family for his love for animals as a kid.
Unfortunately, he hasn’t been generous enough to talk about his birth family and background. The names of his parents and their identities are unknown to the public, and it’s not clear if he has siblings or not and whether any of them are on the same career path as he is.
Similarly, Simon hasn’t released information about his academic background. Some sources claim he dropped out of school at the age of fourteen. Though Keys was not a lover of books as a kid, his interest in reading soared after his connection with the animal world. He would go to read books about reptiles and every single animal he came across.
As mentioned earlier, Keys’ love for animals started at an early age, and he spent most of his childhood exploring all kinds of animals, including fishes, amphibians, and reptiles. The wildlife reality TV star received his first pet snake at the age of 19. He caught his first snake at the age of 10 in a wasteland near his home. It was the way he felt about the snake he caught and the relationship he developed with the pet that inspired his career path and his profession. At the age of 12, he was able to convince his parents to allow him to keep a corn snake.
The Wildlife Documentary Series, Snake City, Brought Him into the Limelight
Simon Keys is a British snake-handling expert, conservationist, and reality star. He is famously known for appearing in the reality show Snakes in the City. The show documents how he catches all species of snakes with his partner and then releases these animals to their natural home.
The show, which began airing on 7 November 2014, runs on the National Geographic Channel. Simon splits his time between his birth home England and the town he has been living in for many years now – Durban, South Africa. He spends six months in England every year, after which he returns to South Africa.
Currently, Snakes in the City is in its 7th season. Through the show, Keys and his partner have been able to redefine how people view snakes globally, especially in Europe and Africa. Simon’s journey as the host on Snake City is quite an interesting one. His journey into TV presenting was not really a premeditated one, even though he has hosted more than 30 primetime wildlife shows for Nat Geo Wild.
Snake City Was Birthed From A Promo Recording
Keys, unarguably, is the face of Nat Geo Wild. Snakes in the City was birthed after Keys was filmed for a promo going to rescue a spitting cobra from a household. The director was impressed with the shot that he decided that something great could come from Simon’s rescue missions.
Ever since the show began, it’s been doing great in all aspects. It’s been able to change a lot of people’s perspectives about reptiles and how they are handled. The show also seeks to show that man can comfortably live with these dreaded animals without fear.
Simon has been captured rescuing hundreds of snakes from urban households in South Africa and Europe. By the age of 30, Simon was already an owner of one of the UK’s largest exotic and venomous snake businesses – from Kraits to Taipans, Rattlesnakes, and Vipers.
The snake handler reportedly charges $20 depending on certain factors, such as the type of snake. Keys may have mastered the tricks of catching snakes based on his years of experience and wildlife knowledge; his involvement with these reptiles has also led to him going through pains from snake bites on a few occasions.
In his over two decades in the wildlife industry as a snake catcher, he has been bitten by snakes twice. Though his relationship with snakes started with just one snake, the snake catcher revealed that, at a stage, he had about 88 venomous snakes in his bedroom, including a boa, some pythons, king cobras, spitting cobras, and tailspins.
Simon Keys And His Ex-Wife’s Divorce Is Still Shrouded In Mystery
Keys has been involved with two women in Snake City so far. He began appearing on the show with a woman named Nadine Keys, who was later revealed to be his wife. The two were already married before the show started. The duo filmed the first season of the show in 2014 together, winning the hearts of many viewers due to the way they showed so much love and passion for creeping creatures.
📷 © The Ballito Pro pic.twitter.com/PcSkZOXBUs
— Snake City Simon (@SnakeCitySimon) July 5, 2019
People began noticing the duo’s relationship could have gone sour after the second season started without Nadine. The two met in England and got married in South Africa. Their connection was an easy one because Nadine also had a passion for animals, and so she worked with Keys all through the first season of the show, rescuing snakes from homes.
She also had a soft spot for tattoos like her ex-husband. She also inked her body and wasn’t scared of showing it off. The two spent 7 years together before their marriage sadly crashed. To date, no one knows why the couple went their separate ways. Neither Keys nor Nadine has come out to address speculations that trailed their divorce and her mysterious disappearance.
Following her disappearance from the limelight and Simon’s life, Keys’ ex-wife has continued to keep a low profile on her life. She is said to have returned to her town, where she lives a quiet life. Simon did not mention in any way if Nadine’s exit from the show affected the show. He moved on with his life and the show after they both parted ways. After it emerged that she had left the show, Nadine was greatly criticized by many viewers, with some saying she was not good enough for the show while others said they did not like her.
It is Unknown If Keys and His First Wife Had Any Kids
The couple’s sudden marital crash is not the only aspect of their marriage that is shrouded in mystery. It’s not also clear if their years together as husband and wife produced any offspring. Neither the snake expert nor his ex-wife has mentioned having kids nor raising anyone as their kids.
Keys Is Currently In A Relationship With His Girlfriend Of Many Years, Siouxie Gillett
After Nadine left the show, Simon introduced a new person – a lady named Siouxie Gillett as his partner – on the show. The duo had professionally known each other for about 14 years before they became close.
They met for the first time when Simon came for a job interview at Gillett’s reptile park many years ago. Just like Nadine, she shares the same passion for snakes as Simon. Still, due to her hypersensitivity to snake venom, she usually exhibits a high level of carefulness while filming to avoid snake bites.
Though the two reality TV stars have professed their love for one another on several occasions, they are yet to officially seal their love for each other. At the moment, they haven’t shared if they have plans of settling down and the year to look forward to. Regardless, their fans believe they are meant for each other and would officially become one at the right time.
There’s More To Know About Siouxsie Gillett
Siouxsie Gillett was born and raised in North London, London. Her date of birth and information about her family and background is currently unavailable. A qualified herpetologist and snake handler, she developed a passion for wild animals at a very young age. She became a vegetarian at the age of 7, with the aim of becoming a veterinary doctor.
Over the years, she has managed well-known exotic pet shops and zoos around the United Kingdom. She has also been part of several TV and film productions as a special manager of deadly snakes. Some of the notable films she’s been part of include Exodus films, the Harry Potter series, and the BBC Sir David Frederick Attenborough series. Gillett specializes in crocodiles, amphibians, deadly reptiles, and many more.
She spent all her time with Simon in both their Durban and Hertfordshire, UK homes. They live with many venomous snakes, spiders, a meerkat, frogs, a parrot, and even a crocodile.
Simon Keys’ Body Is Heavily Covered With Inks
Tattoos are fast gaining acceptance in mainstream culture, and Keys is one of those that has embraced it with no apology. The snake catcher loves tattoos so much that he massively tattooed a better part of his body.
Interestingly, the TV star doesn’t just love tattoos, but he is also a tattoo artist with a thriving tattoo business center in the UK. The name of his tattoo company is Taipan Tattoos, and he only attends to clients strictly on appointments due to his tight schedules. No one knows the meaning of any of the tattoos on his body. Keys is yet to open up about the reasons he got so many tattoos on his body and their meanings as well.
The Professional Snake Handler is very Much Alive Contrary to Some Reports
Simon Keys, the celebrity snake expert, and covertionist is much alive. He currently lives with his co-host and partner, Gillett Siouxsie, the herpetologist. The couple split their time between South Africa and the United Kingdom, as mentioned earlier. Their business has not changed a bit. They still go about rescuing snakes, taking them to their natural home, and caring for some of these wild animals in their home, which they have made open to the public.
In addition, the duo also speaks at and hosts reptile and natural history events across the UK and South Africa regularly. They also organize school talks where they bring a variety of safe snakes with them for display.
Keys and Gillett have an Animal Activity Licence (which is required by law) and also ensure that all animal welfare standards are met at such school talks. They are fully insured as well. You can catch up with them on Nat Geo Wild. The show runs for 45 minutes.
Other People Simon And Gillett Work With On The Show
1. Richard Slater-Jones
Richard Slater-Jones is a writer, director, and showrunner. He is majorly known for making documentaries and series. His audience is not only the US market but also other countries. Richard’s works are mostly seen on NatGeo Wild, BBC, Netflix, YouTube, etc. He was the writer, showrunner, and director for the first season of Snake City
2. Benjamin Hewett
He is a director, producer, and writer. He is known for creating documentaries and wildlife series for big shots like NatGeo Wild, Animal Planet, Freemantle, etc. He worked side-by-side with Richard Slater-Jones on different projects. He also produced the 7th season of Snake City. Ben, as he is fondly referred to, lives with his wife and two children in Cape Town.
3. Dave Birch
Dave is popularly known for his work on Malika Leopard Huntress, which was released in 2018.