Ross James Kemp (born 21 July 1964) is an English actor, author and investigative journalist. He rose to prominence in the role of Grant Mitchell in the BBC soap opera EastEnders. Since 2004, Kemp has received international recognition as a journalist for the BAFTA Award-winning documentary series Ross Kemp on Gangs.
Kemp during Extreme World filming
Ross James Kemp
21 July 1964
(m. 2002; div. 2009)
Renee O'Brien (m. 2012)
He 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.
Kemp's best-known role to date is that of hardman Grant Mitchell in the BBC soap opera EastEnders. Making his debut in February 1990, his character was often at the centre of major storylines, including abusive marriages to Sharon Watts (Letitia Dean) and Tiffany Mitchell (Martine McCutcheon), as well as the "Sharongate" storyline, which saw brother Phil Mitchell (Steve McFadden) having an affair with Grant's wife.
Kemp announced in April 1999 that he would be leaving the soap later that year after nearly a decade. 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 later that year after six years away. It was co-star Barbara Windsor who convinced him to go back for a brief period. His first comeback lasted just a few weeks from the late autumn of 2005, but he returned for a period of three months in 2006, before departing once again in June that year.
Kemp has won various awards for his portrayal of Grant.
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 (Barbara Windsor), appearing in three episodes from 13 to 17 May. 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.
He also starred as the lead in ITV's Christmas edition of 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.
In 2004 Kemp filmed Ross Kemp on Gangs, a documentary series exploring the impact of modern gang culture in the UK and around the world. 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 resigned the following year after the Glasgow University Students' Representative Council passed a motion requesting him to do so. Kemp was succeeded by Scottish actor Greg Hemphill.
Kemp's mother Jean was a hairdresser and his father John was a Detective Chief Inspector in the police force. He has one brother, Darren, who is a filmmaker for the BBC. Kemp attended Shenfield High School and the Webber Douglas Academy.
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 became a father to a baby boy with his partner, Nicola Coleman, who was his makeup artist.
On 28 September 2017, Ross announced that he had become a father again for the third and fourth time with twin baby girls.
|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|
|1985–86||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"|
|1990–99, 2005–06, 2016||EastEnders||Grant Mitchell||1,008 episodes|
|1993||Doctor Who: Dimensions in Time||2 episodes|
|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|
|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|
|2011||Quick Slip Me a Bride||Trevor||Nominated: Golden Globes|
|2018||Ross Kemp Extreme Tales Live||Himself||Dates: 6, 10 and 14 February|
- "Ross Kemp granted quickie divorce". Digital Spy. 6 March 2009.
- "ON THIS DAY: July 21". Swindon Advertiser. 21 July 2014. Retrieved 28 December 2018.
- "Ross Kemp – Awards". IMDB.
- "Ross Kemp finally lured back to 'EastEnders'". Digital Spy. 21 May 2005.
- "Ross Kemp".
- "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
- "Ross Kemp on Gangs (TV Series 2006– )".
- "Kemp quits university post". United Kingdom: BBC. 8 November 2000. Retrieved 7 February 2010.
- "Vanunu elected university rector". United Kingdom: BBC. 16 December 2004. Retrieved 7 February 2010.
- "World fights for OUR democracy, not AV". The Sun. 26 April 2011. Retrieved 5 October 2016.
- "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: Sunderland Echo. Retrieved 14 June 2017.
- "Kemp to return to Albert Square". Manchester Evening News. 23 May 2005. Retrieved 2 January 2009.
- 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.
- "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. Retrieved 24 November 2014.
- "Ross Kemp becomes a dad for the second time". Hello! Magazine. 9 April 2015. Retrieved 10 April 2015.