As the cheeky chappy who brightened up our mornings on Capital Breakfast, you’d expect Roman Kemp to be brimming with confidence. But when we chatted after the exclusive photo session, he surprised us with a confession.
“Whenever I do a shoot, I have to make sure I don’t see one of the photos. That’s my only diva side! ” he says. “It was just insecurity. If I see a photo and I think, ‘I look terrible today,’ it can affect how I feel that day. “
The 29-year-old, the son of bassist Spandau Ballet Martin and Pepsi & Shirlie singer Shirlie, found fame when he joined Capital FM in 2014 to present his evening gig. . Since then, his profile has skyrocketed as he landed on the breakfast show three years later and went on to finish third on the I’m a Celebrity series in 2019.
But viewers saw a very different side of him last year when he filmed the BBC’s mental health documentary, Roman Kemp: Our Silent Emergency following the death of radio producer Joe Lyons, a close friend. . He had an “extreme” reaction to the documentary, in which he also hinted at contemplating suicide in 2019.
Here, Roman, who collaborated with TK Maxx on a series of Red Nose Day charity t-shirts, talks about mental health, why he’s not ready for dating right now, and the fear his about never being a father…
Hi, Roman! May will mark five years since you started Capital Breakfast. Has it flown over yet?
Yes, it’s pretty scary. I’m waiting for them to fire me! I love my job more than anything. No matter how stressed I am or how bad my mental health is, I know that for four hours of my day, I am smiling and happy. It’s like my little escape from reality.
Do you still enjoy hosting as you did when you started?
I love it more. I remember having sleepless nights before my first show. Before the breakfast show, I did the evening show, which was significantly less money, and I actually said to them, “I don’t know if you made a mistake in giving me the show, because so pay me the same as what you’ve paid me and then a year later if you like me we can talk about it.” I just think it added pressure to get paid more but now i wish i would never say that [laughs]!
Ed Sheeran famously tattooed your leg on the show. Are you planning on getting more tattoos from famous faces?
Is not! I really hate tattoos more than anything. I hate to go, how painful it is and how long it takes. My mother always tells me to stop but there is nothing I can do. But I feel like it’s superfluous to gag someone with a tattoo on my leg now that Ed can. Someone actually offered me £20,000 to skin it off my leg! People can be weird.
I remember showing my parents the tattoo and saying I was thinking about removing it and they said, “No!” They’re pretty cool.
Do you still have contact with any of your campmates from I’m a Celebrity?
Yes! Caitlyn [Jenner] text me all the time. I still think it’s weird to this day. One day I got a recording from her asking what was going on in my life and if I could call her to catch up. I called her and she [daughter] Kylie had a baby recently. So I congratulated her on having another grandchild and she said, “Thanks, it’s been so much fun.” Then I said, “Unfortunately, however, my wedding to Kendall is going to be very expensive with all these guests!” And she said, “You better start saving for it!” So, sadly, Caitlyn won’t pay for my and Kendall’s wedding.
So is Kendall Jenner the woman of your dreams?
I mean, why not? The best showbiz I’ve ever felt was at the Brit Awards. I was with Harry Styles and I saw Kendall, and I thought if I had any reason to talk to her, it would be now, because I’ve only been with Caitlyn for four weeks. I walked over and when I said my name she said, “Roman!” and I can’t believe it. She was so sweet and thanked me for taking care of Caitlyn and all this other stuff.
You are also still in touch with Kate Garraway. What do you think of her recent documentary about caring for her husband Derek after his Covid ordeal?
It really hurts but I’ve been with her since we were in the woods – she’s Superman. What she is doing for her kids and family is amazing. The amount of people in the industry who have helped her is testament to how lovely she is. I was lucky enough to know Derek before all this happened and it was horrifying. I’m so lucky that my family has been through the same thing [Roman’s father Martin suffered two brain tumours in 1995] I got my father back, and I pray for [Kate’s children] Darcey and William that they had that at some point.
You did a documentary about mental health last year. What reaction did you get?
It was just so overwhelming. It’s not a documentary I’ve ever wanted to make and I wish I knew nothing about suicide. But seeing how different it was and the work Joe’s family has done for his charity since then has been incredible.
I wanted to make another documentary because mental health in the school system urgently needed change. My next goal is to do what I can to get mental health talked about in schools early on.
In your documentary, you talked to your mother about your suicidal thoughts in 2019…
My mom and dad both wondered if I should tell the public about it, but at the same time they trusted me. My dad said, “This is your journey and if this is what you want to tell people and this is what you think is true, then it’s up to you.” Honestly, I feel like I have no choice. For six months after Joe passed away, I was in real dark space and worked nonstop. I think if a person says, “Actually, that’s how I feel,” it’s worth it to me.
What helped you when you wanted to commit suicide?
When you’re contemplating suicide, you may not see the things that can help, which is why prevention is so important. I was lucky when my mom called me and she knew right away something was wrong. What I can remember from it is that I was looking at a tax bill or something, and I wasn’t even struggling with the money. It felt like a car tower had just collapsed. I remember being on the floor of my bedroom in my underwear and I couldn’t stop crying. I remember feeling like I couldn’t do this anymore. I said, “I just don’t want to be here.” My mom called and I could hear her and my sister getting into the car. My sister kept me on the phone until they got to me.
I hate that I’ve put my family through that and I’m grateful they were able to come to me, because some people aren’t so lucky. I was silly because at that point I hadn’t taken an antidepressant for 5 to 10 days, which was dangerous.
You are very close to your family. Do you want to be a father?
Yeah, family is the most important thing to me. My biggest fear in life is never being able to have children. I think a lot of guys won’t admit it, and I’m even too scared to go to the doctor and have my sperm checked, because I almost don’t want to know. I will adopt children, I will do anything to have a family. I think the reason we’re here on this planet is to create other good people.
How do you feel when your love life appears in the newspapers?
That is part of the job. I understand it but it doesn’t necessarily mean I like it. My dad always said to me, “If you’re going to do this job, you have to understand that, and it doesn’t help if you worry about it.” I was lucky enough to see it through my parents, you realize it’s the chip paper of tomorrow.
Do you consider yourself a person with a heart?
No, and most of the time I see an article that has linked me to someone, which is not true. I’m more like, “How am I ever going to be with that person?” I think I’m pretty lame when it comes to that and my friends love telling me that. Most of my day is spent watching football on Deliveroo.
Is it difficult to date in the public eye?
Always, but generally speaking, it’s hard to date. It’s not my focus at the moment. I enjoyed my career very much and I also had to start trying to enjoy my life as much as everyone else. Once I can be happy within myself, who knows. I have a lot going on and I mean it mentally too, and if it’s too heavy for me sometimes, it’s for someone else. I just want to make sure I’m okay and take care of my own brain a little bit and just let myself get back to normal. I understand I will be grieving for a long time and things will be difficult.
You’re supporting TK Maxx’s Red Nose Day campaign by wearing one of its chariots. Why is it important for you to get involved?
Comic Relief has been a part of my life since I was a kid. It’s always been fun to join and what they’re doing with TK Maxx is a great way to support that. That’s a no-brainer. The t-shirts look great and the artists behind them are great too. Some of the donations this year will go towards helping people with mental health issues who are very close to me.
You also filmed Glow Up Does Red Nose Day. Would your mom and sister Harley be calling you to do their makeup right now?
Only if they want a Halloween makeup! But I think people will be surprised at my talent. I was surprised when I put on false eyelashes. I really feel bad for the models I’m working on! However, it’s all for a good reason.
https://www.mirror.co.uk/3am/celebrity-news/roman-kemp-says-biggest-fear-26450233 Roman Kemp says his biggest fear is not being a father as he shies away from romance