Bloke at the back
martin Kemp shot to stardom in Spandau Ballet in 1980, then played Steve owen in Eastenders from 1998 for four years – now he’s due to play another villain, Captain Hook in Peter Pan. we chatted to the 55-year-old about why he’s so excited about it, as are his wife Shirlie and their children Harley and Roman.
The hardest thing in my life has been my kids leaving home. You don’t just lose your kids, you lose all their mates as they all used to come round and watch the football and things. I wouldn’t rush my kids in to having kids. I loved having mine around when they were growing up, but it doesn’t make me broody for grandkids!
Shirlie and I go away for short breaks a lot. We went to Venice for three days recently. I love making it special, but it’s not about what we do; it’s just about how we treat each other. We’re best friends and that’s what keeps the romance alive.
I go to the gym as much as I can. I put my headphones on and play the same music tracks I’ve always played. It’s almost meditational. I wouldn’t say it’s vanity, though, it’s looking after myself.
Top of my bucket list is flying in a Spitfire. I’ve never forgotten flying a training plane for an original vintage aircraft and a flight in a Spitfire has been an ambition ever since. It’s not that long, my list – it’s pretty much that one thing!
I always thought that if I ever did pantomime, Captain Hook in Peter Pan would be perfect for me. He’s a bad guy with some fun. I was gobsmacked at the size of everything – the waterfalls, the galleon, people flying around, it’s so impressive.
✱ Peter Pan An Arena Spectacular comes to the arena Birmingham, and the SSE arena, wembley, London, in December. For tickets, see worldsbiggestpanto.com