Roman Kemp Dad: Who Is Martin Kemp And Why Is He Famous?

By Emma Moylan

30th April 2020

Roman Kemp Dad: Who Is Martin Kemp And Why Is He Famous?

Roman Kemp is a well-known radio host and television personality but who is Roman Kemp’s dad and why is he famous?

The radio presenter for Capital Breakfast show is a well-known figure, especially after appearing on the last season of I’m a Celebrity, Get Me Out Of Here. If you don’t listen to his radio show, then you’re bound to have seen him sat on the sofa on Celebrity Gogglebox alongside his dad.

But just what do we know about Roman Kemp’s dad Martin? We’re taking a look at his career and personal life.

Roman Kemp Dad

Image Source/The Mirror

Growing Up In London

Martin Kemp was born in Islington, north London and went to Rotherfield Junior School.

At just seven years old, he started to show his entertainment side as he attended the Anna Scher Theatre drama club with his brother Gary Kemp.

Together, the pair appeared in TV shows such as Jackanory, The Tomorrow Prizes and Dixon of Dock Green. 

When he left school at 16, Martin started an apprenticeship at a print factory but decided it wasn’t for him. Soon after, his life changed forever.

Rising To Fame With Spandau Ballet

Everything changed for Martin after meeting Steve Dagger who was the manager of his brother’s band, The Gentry.

It was suggested that Martin should replace the band’s bass player and Kemp learned to play the bass in just three months!

Eventually, the band became Spandau Ballet who went on to have huge success.

Spandau Ballet

Image Source/The Telegraph

Martin once explained:

“Everything was larger than life: the clothes we wore, the shoulder pads, the hairspray.

“It was all about excess, which is why I think bands from the Eighties never kind of transposed and found their way into the Nineties very well, because the Nineties became very street.”

With four of their albums reaching the top ten, the band produced songs such as “True” and “Gold”. However, personally, Martin considers “Through The Barricades” to be their best song.

Performing For Live Aid

The band also performed on the charity song “Do They Know It’s Christmas?” written by Bob Geldof and Midge Ure.

Following the successful charity single, the Live Aid concert was conceived.

Speaking of the concert, held in 1985, he said:

“We knew it was the biggest gig that was happening. It’s very rare that when you’re in the moment you realise how big that moment is but Live Aid (1985) was just an exception to the rule.

“You knew and you understood how many people were watching it, you knew what it meant to others. 

“…it changed politics, it changed everything and we knew that at the time.”

Live Aid

His Return To Acting

In 1990, after the band split up, Martin and his brother Gary returned to acting. They both appeared in the British film The Krays, a story of the gangster twins Ronald and Reginald Kray and gained a lot of critical praise.

After this, Martin Kemp moved to Los Angeles to pursue parts in television series such as The Outer Limits and Highlander: The Series. He even appeared in Hollywood films such as Waxwork II: Lost in Time and Embrace of the Vampire. 

Taking a break from acting, he returned to Britain in 1995 whilst he was recovering from brain surgery.

After a stint in The Bill, Martin appeared on Eastenders as Steve Owen. As a villain of the show, he was involved in some of the highest rated storylines; most notably “Who Shot Phil?”

Steve Owen

Image Source/The Mirror

Quickly becoming one of the best-known faces on television, Martin Kemp won a National Television Award (NTA) for Most Popular Actor in 2000 as well as five British Soap Actor Awards between 2000 and 2002.

Who Are His Family?

Since 1988, Martin Kemp has been married to Shirlie Holliman who was a backing singer for pop group Wham! She was also one half of the 1980’s pop duo Pepsi & Shirlie.

As well as son Roman, the couple share daughter Harley Moon. According to her Instagram, Harley is a Photographer/Songwriter.

With being stuck inside due to the Coronavirus pandemic, she has been singing to keep herself entertained.


View this post on Instagram


I’m quite rubbish on the guitar but damn these lyrics felt good to sing. #noonesreallygotitfiguredoutjustyet #thankyoualanismorissette

A post shared by Harleymoon Kemp (@harleymoonkemp) on

Image Source/Instagram

He Has Had Several Health Issues

In an interview on Loose Woman, Martin Kemp revealed that he has three kidneys. And the most unusual thing is that his brother has one.

He found out that he had two normal sized kidneys and a smaller one, when he went for an X-Ray.

Image Source/YouTube

As a result of two brain tumours, Martin Kemp now has controlled epilepsy. He had a protective metal plate fitted over his brain under the scalp following the surgery to remove them.

In interviews, he has since joked that he can never sneak through metal detectors at airports.

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