Actor And Spandau Ballet Star Martin Kemp

150 150 Rob McGibbon

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Published: 2 November 2013

Actor and Spandau Ballet star Martin Kemp:

‘I regret how Spandau Ballet finished in 1990 with us suing one another. We’d been mates since childhood so to have all those great years end in animosity was upsetting’


We ask a celebrity a set of devilishly probing questions – and only accept THE definitive answer. This week: actor and musician Martin Kemp…


The prized possession you value above all others... My iPhone. I’m 52 and come from a generation that didn’t have these things, so I know how difficult the world was without them. I travel a lot and use it to keep in touch with my family. I’d be lost without it.

The unqualified regret you wish you could amend... The way Spandau Ballet finished in 1990 with us suing one another. We’d been mates since childhood so to have all those great years end in animosity was upsetting. Thankfully, we got back together in 2009 and sorted it all out.

The way you would spend your fantasy 24 hours, with no travel restrictions... My wife Shirlie and I would wake up at Château Miraval in the south of France. We’d have croissants and coffee on the terrace, then get in an old Porsche 911 and drive along the coast road to San Remo in Italy for lunch.

I’d have pasta with garlic and oil. In the afternoon, we’d chill on St James beach in Barbados with the kids – our daughter Harley Moon, 24, and son Roman, 20. I’d begin the evening in Monte Carlo with some champagne, then head to a casino for a game of blackjack. I’d fly back to Barbie for dinner at The Cliff with all the family. I’d have lobster and a few glasses of decent sauvignon blanc.

The temptation you wish you could resist... I’m a pig when it comes to chocolate. Dairy Milk is my weakness. 

The book that holds an everlasting resonance... Self-help book The Road Less Travelled by M Scott Peck. Shirlie gave it to me when I was recovering from two brain tumours in 1995. It calmed me.

The priority activity if you were the Invisible Man for a day... I’d sit in when Arsenal manager Arsène Wenger is talking to the directors. For once, I’d have inside information rather than be a typical fan surviving off rumours.

The pet hate that makes your hackles rise... I hate it when people go outside for a fag then come back and puff smoke from their last drag into the room.

The film you can watch time and time again... Goodfellas is the best gangster movie. Ray Liotta is outstanding and I used a lot of his performance when I played Steve Owen in EastEnders.

The person who has influenced you most... Anna Scher [the legendary drama teacher]. My mum sent me to her drama school when I was eight because I was shy. Anna gave me confidence.

The figure from history for whom you’d most like to buy a pie and a pint... Adolf Hitler. I’d simply like to look into his eyes and ask him ‘Why?’

The piece of wisdom you would pass on to a child... The Three Ps: Professionalism, Punctuality and Preparation.

The unlikely interest that engages your curiosity... I’m a total geek and I love reading gadget magazines. My latest fixation is 4K TV. It’s like HD TV gone berserk – I’ve got to get one.

The treasured item you lost and wish you could have again... My red 1969 4.2 litre E-Type Jaguar. I bought it in 1988 for £12,000 and a year later sold it back to the same guy for £20,000. It’d be worth £100,000 now.

The unending quest that drives you on... Just to keep going professionally.

The poem that touches your soul... I’ve never been into poetry, but the lyrics to David Bowie’s Lady Stardust, about a pop star, are very poetic.

The event that altered the course of your life and character... Discovering that I had brain tumours. My life had been going so perfectly and then, boom! Going through all that did teach me to really value the good times.

The misapprehension about yourself you wish you could erase... That I’m Gary Kemp! I have had long conversations with people who think they are talking to Gary and I’ve not even bothered correcting them. I’m past explaining it and so is Gary, who is always getting called Martin!  â€¨The crime you would commit knowing you could get away with it... I’d steal the Millennium Star diamond.  

The song that means most to you... My One Temptation by Mica Paris from 1988. When I hear it I always have an image of Shirlie in a tiny white dress on the back of a pick-up truck coming to marry me on top of a cliff in St Lucia.

The happiest moment you will cherish forever... The day in 1983 when us Spandau lads found out True was No 1.

The saddest time that shook your world... The joint funeral for my mum and dad in 2009 [Eileen, 77, and Frank, 79]. They died within four days of each other from heart attacks. It was so unreal and devastating to know I’d never see either of them again.  

The unfulfilled ambition that continues to haunt you... To star in a perfect film that stands the test of time.

The philosophy that underpins your life... Don’t burn your bridges.

The order of service at your funeral... I’m an atheist, so don’t want anything religious. I’d like Lady Stardust, My One Temptation and to be taken out to Bruce Springsteen’s Born To Run. I’m sure my ashes will end up in the garden with Mum and Dad and some of our dogs.

The way you want to be remembered... As a nice guy. That’s all that matters.

The Plug... I have two films out next year – Assassin with Danny Dyer and Gary and Top Dog, which I’m directing. You can follow me on Twitter @realmartinkemp.