Ross James Kemp
21 July 1964
Ross James Kemp (born 21 July 1964) is an English actor, author, and television presenter. He rose to prominence in the role of Grant Mitchell in the BBC soap opera EastEnders. He is also known for his other roles as Graham Lodsworth in Emmerdale and Birds of a Feather as Detective Inspector Monk. Kemp has received international recognition as a reporter for presenting the BAFTA Award-winning documentary television series Ross Kemp on Gangs (2004–2009).
Kemp was born on 21 July 1964 in Barking, Essex. His mother Jean was a hairdresser and his father John was a detective superintendent in the Metropolitan Police. His maternal great-grandfather was a sub-organist at Chichester Cathedral for many years. He has one brother, Darren, who is a filmmaker for the BBC. Kemp attended Shenfield High School and the Webber Douglas Academy.
Kemp went on to feature in training films for the Ministry of Defence and the ITV soap opera Emmerdale Farm (now Emmerdale) as Graham Lodsworth. Guest appearances in London's Burning and Birds of a Feather followed, before he had a minor role in the 1987 film Playing Away alongside Neil Morrissey.
In 1990, Kemp appeared in an edition of the Anglia Television police drama The Chief. The episode, entitled Call Sign Bravo, saw Kemp play the role of Police Constable Dennis Scovell. Around the same time he also starred in a golf themed advert for Kellogg's Fruit & Fibre cereal.
Kemp's best-known role is that of hardman Grant Mitchell in the BBC soap opera EastEnders. Making his debut in February 1990, his character quickly became part of the soap’s key storylines during the 1990s, particularly troubled marriages to Sharon Watts (Letitia Dean) and then Tiffany Mitchell (Martine McCutcheon), as well as the "Sharongate" storyline, which saw brother Phil Mitchell (Steve McFadden) having an affair with Grant's wife, which was uncovered two years after it began.
Kemp announced on 24 March 1999 that he would be leaving the soap later that year after nearly 10 years. His exit was aired in October 1999 when his character moved to Brazil after surviving a car crash. Kemp refused to rule out an eventual return to EastEnders, and various media reports over the next few years speculated that he would return to the series at some stage. In early 2005, the BBC confirmed that Kemp would be returning to EastEnders in the autumn of that year after six years away. It was co-star Barbara Windsor who convinced him to return, even though his comeback would only be a relatively brief one. His first comeback lasted just a few weeks from October 2005, but he returned again in March 2006, before departing once again in June that year.
In January 2016, it was confirmed that Kemp would make a brief return to the show for the death of Grant's on-screen mother, Peggy Mitchell (played by Windsor), appearing in three episodes during May of that year. He later filmed a further three weeks and returned again for brief stints from 4 July to 9 September 2016.
Following his initial departure from EastEnders, Kemp moved from the BBC to ITV for a reported £1.2 million two-year deal. Kemp's first role for ITV was in Hero of the Hour. During its filming, on 27 October 1999, Kemp required hospital treatment after being shot in the face when a stunt went wrong. He suffered cuts to his chest and face after safety glass shattered, and was also hit in the face by the discharge from a blank round. He was treated at the scene by paramedics and made a full recovery.
In 2000, Kemp starred in ITV's A Christmas Carol. He took the lead roles in the television series Without Motive and In Defence in 2000, and in 2002's Ultimate Force, where he played Army Staff sergeant Henry Garvie from the British Special Air Service. He continued to appear in this role until 2006. He also played "Cirra" in the 2004 TV film, Spartacus.
In 2005, Kemp appeared in an episode of BBC's Extras and in a two-part adaptation of the Gerald Seymour novel A Line in the Sand for ITV. He has also presented on The Friday Night Project and appeared as a stand in host on The Paul O'Grady Show (2007, 2008).
Kemp appeared in the 4th episode of Series 14 of BBC's motoring show Top Gear. He was the "Man in Boot" of a Renault Twingo Sport being tested by Jeremy Clarkson. The test ended with Clarkson driving the car off the quayside of Belfast Harbour, after which Clarkson joked that Kemp had been killed. Kemp also appeared in Series 1, where he did a 1 minute 54 seconds (wet) in the "Star in a Reasonably Priced Car" segment.
In 2004, Kemp filmed Ross Kemp on Gangs. He followed this up with the documentaries Ross Kemp in Afghanistan, Ross Kemp in Search of Pirates, Ross Kemp: Battle for the Amazon and Ross Kemp: Extreme World.
Kemp has written several books. Initially focusing on tie-ins to his various TV documentaries, 2011 saw the publication of his first fictional story, Devil to Pay. A novel, Moving Target, was released in summer 2012.
In 1999, Kemp was elected as Rector of the University of Glasgow as the candidate of the Glasgow University Labour Club but did not attend local meetings. In October 2000 the Glasgow University Students' Representative Council passed a motion requesting him to resign, and within weeks he did. Kemp was the first rector in 50 years to leave the position prematurely and was succeeded by Scottish actor Greg Hemphill.
On 11 June 2002, Kemp married Rebekah Wade, the then editor of The Sun. In November 2005, Wade was arrested following an alleged assault on her husband. Kemp refused medical attention for a swollen lip and no action was taken. In March 2009 Kemp and Wade divorced, and in October 2010, Kemp fathered a boy with his partner, Nicola Coleman, who was his makeup artist.
|1996||National Television Awards||Most Popular Actor||Nominated||EastEnders|
|1997||National Television Awards||Most Popular Actor||Nominated||EastEnders|
|1999||British Soap Awards||Best Actor||Won||EastEnders|
|British Soap Awards||Villain of the Year||Nominated|
|British Soap Awards||Best Storyline (for Tiffany discovers Grants affair with her mum)||Won|
|Inside Soap Awards||Best Actor||Won|
|Inside Soap Awards||Villain of the Year||Nominated|
|TV Quick and Choice Awards||Best Soap Actor||Won|
|National Television Awards||Most Popular Actor||Nominated|
|2006||British Soap Awards||Best Actor||Won||EastEnders|
|British Soap Awards||Best Storyline (for The Mitchells' Return)||Nominated|
|British Soap Awards||Spectacular Scene of the year (for Phil's Close Shave)||Nominated|
|Inside Soap Awards||Best Actor||Nominated|
|Inside Soap Awards||Sexiest Male||Nominated|
|Inside Soap Awards||Best Storyline (for The Mitchells' Return)||Nominated|
|TV Quick and Choice Awards||Best Soap Actor||Nominated|
|TV Quick and Choice Awards||Best Soap Storyline (for The Mitchells' Return)||Nominated|
|National Television Awards||Most Popular Actor||Nominated|
|2006||BAFTA Awards||Best Factual Series||Won||Ross Kemp on Gangs|
|2008||AIB Media Excellence Awards||International TV Personality||Won||Ross Kemp in Afghanistan|
|2009||BAFTA Awards||Best Factual Series||Nominated||Ross Kemp in Afghanistan|
|2009||BAFTA Awards||Current Affairs||Nominated||Ross Kemp: A Kenya Special|
|2014||Asian Media Awards||Best Investigation||Won||Extreme World: India|
|1986–1987||Emmerdale||Graham Lodsworth||32 episodes|
|1987||The Moneymen||Dealer||TV Movie|
|1988||London's Burning||Liver Salts||Episode: "Series 1, Episode 3"|
|1989||Birds of a Feather||Detective Inspector Monk||Episode: "Shift"|
|Screen Two||Police Officer||Episode: "The Picnic"|
|1990||The Chief||PC Dennis Scovell||Episodes: "Daydreamer" & "Call Sign Bravo"|
|The Manageress||Defender||Episode: "A Match for Anyone"|
|1990–1999, 2005–2006, 2016||EastEnders||Grant Mitchell||1,090 episodes|
|1993||Doctor Who: Dimensions in Time||Part Two|
|1998||EastEnders: The Mitchells – Naked Truths||VHS special|
|City Central||Dilly Dally||Episode: "Nothing Like a Dame"|
|2000||Hero of the Hour||Richie Liddle||TV Movie|
|In Defence||Sam Lucas||4 episodes|
|A Christmas Carol||Eddie Scrooge||TV Movie|
|2000–2001||Without Motive||DC Jack Mowbray||12 episodes|
|2002–2006||Ultimate Force||Staff Sgt. Henry 'Henno' Garvie||21 episodes|
|2003||The Crooked Man||Harry Fielding||TV Movie|
|A Line in the Sand||Gavin Hughes / Frank Parry||2 episodes|
|2005||Extras||Himself||Episode: "Ross Kemp & Vinnie Jones"|
|2007||Robbie the Reindeer||Trooper No. 2||Episode: "Close Encounters of the Herd Kind"|
|2009||10 Minute Tales||Liam||Episode: "The Running of the Deer"|
|Top Gear||Man in Boot||Episode: "Series 14, Episode 4"|
|2011||That Sunday Night Show||Himself|
|2017||All Round to Mrs Brown's||Himself|
|2022||The Bridge Of Lies||Host||BBC quiz show|
|1999||Ross Kemp: Alive in Alaska||BBC One|
|2004–2009||Ross Kemp on Gangs||Sky One||Series 1—4; 20 episodes|
|2008–2012||Ross Kemp in Afghanistan||Series 1—4; 18 episodes|
|2009||Ross Kemp in Search of Pirates||3 episodes|
|Ross Kemp: Behind the Story||3 episodes|
|2010||Ross Kemp: Battle for the Amazon||2 episodes|
|2011–2017||Ross Kemp: Extreme World||Series 1—6; 36 episodes|
|2016||Ross Kemp's Britain||3 episodes|
|2017||Ross Kemp Behind Bars: Inside Barlinnie||ITV|
|2018||Ross Kemp & the Armed Police|
|2019||Welcome to HMP Belmarsh with Ross Kemp||2 episodes|
|2020||Ross Kemp: On the NHS Frontline||2 episodes|
|The Millennium Dome Heist with Ross Kemp|
|2021||Britain's Tiger Kings - On The Trail With Ross Kemp||2 episodes|
|2022||Searching for Michael Jackson’s Zoo with Ross Kemp||Documentary|
|2022||Ross Kemp: Shipwreck Treasure Hunter||Sky History||4 Episodes|
|2011||Quick Slip Me a Bride||Trevor|
|2018||Ross Kemp Extreme Tales Live||Himself||Dates: 6, 10 and 14 February|
- "ON THIS DAY: July 21". Swindon Advertiser. 21 July 2014. Retrieved 28 December 2018.
- "Kemp to return to Albert Square". Manchester Evening News. 23 May 2005. Retrieved 2 January 2009.
- "Ross Kemp – Awards". IMDB.
- Archived at Ghostarchive and the Wayback Machine: Hitman & Her: Full Show Flicks Brechin Summer 1990, retrieved 4 March 2021
- "Ross Kemp finally lured back to 'EastEnders'". Digital Spy. 21 May 2005.
- "Ross Kemp returning to EastEnders for Barbara Windsor's exit". BBC News. 18 January 2016.
- "KEMP IN£1.2M ITV DEAL".
- "Video: Top Gear Season 14 Episode 4". Archived from the original on 20 August 2013. Retrieved 7 June 2010.
- "Ross Kemp on Gangs (TV Series 2006– )". IMDb.
- O'Hare, Paul (2 February 1999). "Grannie competes with EastEnders hardman for university rector's post". The Herald. Glasgow. Retrieved 14 June 2020.
- "Five in the running for rector at Glasgow University". The Herald. Glasgow. 2 February 2001. Retrieved 14 June 2020.
- "Students want Kemp kicked out". BBC News. 13 October 2000. Retrieved 14 June 2020.
- "Kemp quits university post". BBC News. United Kingdom. 8 November 2000. Retrieved 7 February 2010.
- Belcher, David (2 March 2001). "Greg's university challenge Glasgow's new student rector, funnyman Greg Hemphill, will be taking the role very seriously". The Herald. Glasgow. Retrieved 14 June 2020.
- "Celebrities' open letter to Scotland – full text and list of signatories". The Guardian. 7 August 2014. Retrieved 26 August 2014.
- "Ross Kemp adds muscle to Labour campaign". Express & Star. Wolverhampton. 6 June 2017. Retrieved 14 June 2017.
- Seddon, Sean (5 June 2017). "See Ross Kemp campaigning for Sunderland Labour candidate ahead of general election". Evening Chronicle. Wolverhampton. Retrieved 14 June 2017.
- Allison, David (5 June 2017). "TV star Ross Kemp in Sunderland to back Labour candidate ahead of election". Sunderland Echo. Sunderland. Retrieved 14 June 2017.
- "National Thank You Day: Ross Kemp talks royal celebrations and his favourite cake". BBC News. Retrieved 2 February 2022.
- Laville, Sandra; Wells, Matt; Dodd, Vikram (4 November 2005). "The editor, the actor, the (ex) cabinet minister and a night behind bars". The Guardian. London.
- "Editor free after Kemp 'assault'". BBC News. 3 November 2005. Retrieved 2 May 2007.
- "Ross Kemp granted quickie divorce". Digital Spy. 6 March 2009.
- "BABY JOY! Former EastEnders star Ross Kemp becomes a dad – now". Nowmagazine.co.uk. 8 November 2010. Retrieved 26 August 2014.
- Wilson, Benji. "Ross Kemp: confronting danger". Reader's Digest. Reader's Digest. Archived from the original on 20 September 2014. Retrieved 24 November 2014.
- Davis, Rachael (6 April 2021). "How EastEnders star Ross Kemp went from having no kids in his mid 40s to a doting dad of 4 in his mid 50s". MyLondon. Retrieved 2 February 2022.
- "Ross Kemp shares incredibly rare personal photo with fans". 27 May 2021.
- "Ross Kemp wins Best Investigation award for Extreme World: India - Asian Media Awards". 10 November 2014. Archived from the original on 10 November 2014.
- "Alex Scott and Ross Kemp to host new BBC Daytime Quiz formats made in Scotland". bbc.com/mediacentre. Retrieved 7 November 2021.
- "ITV commissions new Ross Kemp documentary on the trail of Britain's Tiger Kings". itv.com/presscentre. Retrieved 5 March 2021.
- "Searching for Michael Jackson's Zoo with Ross Kemp". itv.com/presscentre. Retrieved 18 April 2022.
- "ROSS KEMP: SHIPWRECK TREASURE HUNTER: EPISODE GUIDE". history.co.uk. Retrieved 30 April 2022.