Roman Kemp says his biggest fear is not becoming a father as he shuns romance

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As the cheeky chappy who brightens up our mornings on Capital Breakfast, you’d expect Roman Kemp to be brimming with confidence. But when we chat after our exclusive photoshoot, he surprises us with a confession.

“Any time I do a shoot, I have to make sure I don’t see one of the pictures. That’s the only diva side of me!” he says. “It’s just insecurity. If I see a picture and I think, ‘I look terrible today,’ it can affect how I feel that day.”

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The 29-year-old, who is the son of Spandau Ballet bassist Martin and Pepsi & Shirlie singer Shirlie, found fame for himself when he joined Capital FM in 2014 to present its evening show. Since then, his profile has headed skywards as he landed the breakfast show three years later and went on to finish third on the 2019 series of I’m A Celebrity.

Roman Kemp says his biggest fear is not becoming a father as he shuns romance

Roman has confessed he told Capital Bosses not to pay him more when he landed a new show ( Image: Lorna Roach)

Global Tech News Daily

Roman Kemp says his biggest fear is not becoming a father as he shuns romance

The brooding DJ said he was never happy talking about his love life ( Image: Lorna Roach)

Global Tech News Daily

But viewers saw a very different side to him last year when he filmed BBC mental health documentary Roman Kemp: Our Silent Emergency following the death of radio producer Joe Lyons, who was a close friend. He had an “overwhelming” reaction to the documentary, in which he also opened up about having suicidal thoughts in 2019.

Here, Roman, who has partnered with TK Maxx on its range of charity T-shirts for Red Nose Day, talks about mental health, why he’s not ready for dating right now and his fears about never becoming a dad…

Hi, Roman! May will mark five years since you started hosting Capital Breakfast. Has it flown by?

Yeah, it’s quite scary. I’m waiting for them to sack me! I love my job more than anything. No matter how stressed I am or if my mental health is bad, I know for four hours of my day I’m laughing and happy. It’s like my little escape from reality.

Do you still love hosting the show as much as when you started?

I love it more. I remember I had sleepless nights before my first show. Before the breakfast show I did the evening show, which is significantly less money, and I actually said to them, “I don’t know if you’ve made a mistake by giving me the show, so pay me the same as what you’ve been paying me and then in a year if you like me we can talk about it.” I just thought it was added pressure to be paid more but now I wish I’d never said that [laughs]!

Ed Sheeran famously tattooed your leg on the show. Are you planning on getting any more tattoos from famous faces?

No! I actually hate tattoos more than anything. I hate going, the pain and how long it takes. My mum keeps telling me to stop but I can’t help myself. But I feel like the gag of someone tattooing my leg is redundant now Ed has done it. Someone actually offered me £20,000 to skin graft it off my leg! People can be weird.

I remember showing my parents the tattoo and saying I was thinking of getting it removed and they were like, “No!” They’re pretty cool.

Are you still in touch with any of your campmates from I’m A Celebrity?

Yeah! Caitlyn [Jenner] texts me all the time. I still think it’s odd to this day. I got a voicenote the other day from her asking what was going on in my life and if I could give her a call to catch up. I called her and her [daughter] Kylie had had her baby recently. So I was congratulating her on another grandchild and she said, “Thank you, it’s very exciting.” Then I said, “Unfortunately though, mine and Kendall’s wedding is going to be very expensive with all these guests!” And she said, “You better start saving up for it then!” So, sadly, Caitlyn won’t be paying for mine and Kendall’s wedding.

Roman Kemp says his biggest fear is not becoming a father as he shuns romance

Roman famously has a tatt drawn on by Ed Sheeran ( Image: Lorna Roach)

Roman Kemp says his biggest fear is not becoming a father as he shuns romance

Roman Kemp's heartbreaking tribute to producer friend ( Image: Instagram)

So is Kendall Jenner your dream woman?

I mean, why not? The most showbiz I’ve ever felt was at the Brit Awards. I was with Harry Styles and I saw Kendall, and I thought if I’m ever going to have a reason to talk to her, it’s now, as I’ve just been with Caitlyn for four weeks. I walked over and as I went to say my name, she went, “Roman!” and I couldn’t believe it. She was so sweet and thanked me for looking after Caitlyn and all this other stuff.

You’re also still in touch with Kate Garraway. What did you think about her recent documentary about caring for her husband Derek after his Covid ordeal?

It’s absolutely heartbreaking but I’ve stood by her since we were in the jungle – she is Superwoman. What she is doing for her kids and her family is amazing. The amount of people in the industry who have been helping her is testament to how lovely she is. I was lucky enough to know Derek before this all happened and it’s terrifying. I’m fortunate that when my family went through something similar [Roman’s father Martin suffered two brain tumours in 1995] I got my dad back, and I pray for [Kate’s children] Darcey and William that they have that at some point.

You made a documentary about mental health last year. What sort of reaction did you get?

It was just so overwhelming. It’s not a documentary I ever wanted to make and I wish I didn’t know anything about suicide. But seeing the difference it does and the work Joe’s family have been doing on his charity since is incredible.

I want to make another documentary because mental health in the school system needs changing urgently. My next goal is to do what I can to make mental health be spoken about in schools early on.

In your documentary you spoke to your mum about experiencing suicidal thoughts yourself in 2019…

Roman Kemp says his biggest fear is not becoming a father as he shuns romance

( Image: ITV)

My mum and dad both questioned whether or not I should tell the public about that, but they trusted me at the same time. My dad said, “This is your journey and if this is what you want to tell people and this is what you think is right, then it’s up to you.” To be honest, I felt like I had no choice. For six months after Joe died, I was in a really dark headspace and working non-stop. I thought if one person was like, “Actually, I feel like that,” then it was worth it for me.

What was it that helped you when you were feeling suicidal?

When you’re having suicidal thoughts, you can’t see those things that could help you, which is why prevention is so important. I was lucky that my mum called me and she knew instantly 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 money. It felt like a tower of cars had just collapsed. I remember being on the floor of my bedroom and I was in my pants and I just couldn’t stop crying. I remember feeling like I couldn’t do this any more. I was like, “I just don’t want to be here.” My mum 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 put my family through that and I’m grateful they were able to get to me, as some people aren’t as lucky. I was silly because at that point I hadn’t taken my antidepressants for something like five to 10 days, which was dangerous.

You’re very close to your family. Is becoming a dad something you’d like?

Roman Kemp says his biggest fear is not becoming a father as he shuns romance

STRICT EMBARGO – NOT TO BE USED BEFORE 22:25 GMT, 07 Dec 2019 – EDITORIAL USE ONLY Mandatory Credit: Photo by ITV/REX (10494009cc) Goanna Lizard Enters Camp – Roman Kemp 'I'm a Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here!' TV Show, Series 19, Australia – 07 Dec 2019

Yeah, family is the most important thing to me. My biggest fear in life is never being able to have kids. I think a lot of guys won’t admit it, and I’m even too scared to go to the doctors and get my sperm checked, as I almost don’t want to know. I would adopt kids, I would do whatever to have a family. I think the reason we’re here on this planet is to make other good human beings.

How do you feel when your love life hits the headlines?

It’s part of the job. I understand it but it doesn’t necessarily mean I enjoy it. My dad always tells me, “If you’re going to do this job you have to understand that, and there’s no point being in it if you’re worried about that.” I’ve been lucky seeing it through the parents I have, you realise it’s tomorrow’s chip paper.

Do you consider yourself to be a heartthrob?

No, and most of the time I see an article that has linked me to someone, it’s not true. I’m more like, “How would I ever be with that person?” I think of myself as pretty lame when it comes to that and my friends like to tell me that. Most of my day is spent in my pants watching football with a Deliveroo.

Can dating while in the public eye be difficult?

Always, but it’s hard to date in general. It’s not a focus of mine at the moment. I’m very much enjoying my career and, also, I’ve got to start trying to enjoy my life first as much as other people. Once I can be happy in myself, then who knows. I’ve got a lot going on and I mean that mentally, too, and if it’s too much of a weight for me sometimes, it will be for someone else. I’d rather just make sure I’m OK and take care of my own brain for a little bit and just get myself back to normal. I understand I will be grieving a long time and that side of things will be hard.

You’re backing TK Maxx’s Red Nose Day campaign by wearing one of its chari-tees. Why was it important for you to get involved?

Comic Relief has been a part of my life since I was a kid. It’s always fun to get involved and what they’re doing with TK Maxx is a nice way to support it. It was a no-brainer. The T-shirts look great and the artists behind them are great. Some of the donations this year will go towards helping people with mental health problems, which is very close to me.

You’ve also filmed Glow Up Does Red Nose Day. Will your mum and sister Harley be calling on you to do their make-up now?

Only if they want Halloween make-up! But I think people are going to be surprised at my talents. I was surprisingly good at putting on fake eyelashes. I did feel so bad for the models I was working on! It was all for a good cause, though.

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