Martin Kemp confesses guilt for bullying Tony Hadley in Spandau Ballet

Martin Kemp
Martin Kemp feels guilty for the way Spandau Ballet treated Tony Hadley. (Getty Images)

Martin Kemp has confessed he feels guilty for bullying Tony Hadley in Spandau Ballet.

The 61-year-old Spandau Ballet bassist and former EastEnders star has admitted that lead singer Hadley took "the brunt" of jokes in the band and said in his new book Ticket to the World: My 80s Story it “tipped over into bullying”.

Kemp told The Guardian: “If you imagine five boys in the playground, there’s always going to be one guy that’s going to take the brunt of the jokes.

Read more: Tony Hadley says there's 'more to' his exit from Spandau Ballet than band let on

“Now, I’m not saying that Tony was bullied, as such... but he took all the banter.

"I can look back at it now with space. And I don’t like the way that we used to group up on Tony, and I feel guilty about that… If it was me, I think it would have been too much for me."

LONDON, ENGLAND - JANUARY 20:  Tony Hadley and Martin Kemp present at the 21st National Television Awards at The O2 Arena on January 20, 2016 in London, England.  (Photo by Tristan Fewings/Getty Images)
Tony Hadley and Martin Kemp at the NTAs in 2016. (Getty Images)

The True singer - whose brother Gary Kemp was also in the band, playing guitar and writing the songs - admitted the behaviour was mainly driven by jealousy of Hadley's singing voice.

He said: “It was mainly singer envy. If you asked Tony about it, he might not even say he recognised it. But I recognise it. And there was part of me that recognised it at the time."

Hadley, 62, did not rejoin the Gold group when they reformed in 2017.

He said earlier this year: "I have nothing to do with Spandau at all now. I wish they would be honest and someone would ask them: ‘Why did your lead singer leave the band?’

Spandau Ballet's Steve Norman, Tony Hadley, Martin Kemp and Gary Kemp performing in 2015.
Spandau Ballet's Steve Norman, Tony Hadley, Martin Kemp and Gary Kemp performing in 2015. (Getty Images)

"It’s not just, as they said in the past, ‘He didn’t want to do it any more’. That’s a lie."

Spandau Ballet formed in London in 1979 and rose to fame in the 1980s as one of the most successful examples of the New Romantic era.

They had huge hits with tracks including Gold and True, releasing six studio albums before they split in 1990.

In 1999 Hadley, drummer John Keeble and sax player Steve Norman failed in an attempt to sue Gary Kemo for a share of royalties to the songs.

Photo of Tony HADLEY and SPANDAU BALLET and Gary KEMP and Martin KEMP; L-R: John Keeble, Martin Kemp, Steve Norman, Gary Kemp, Tony Hadley  (Photo by Ebet Roberts/Redferns)
Spandua Ballet formed in 1979 in London. (Getty Images)

In 2009, they reformed in the original line-up and embarked on a tour as well as releasing their seventh album.

In 2017 they reformed with Ross William Wild replacing Hadley as lead singer.

The band said in a statement: "Much to our frustration, Tony had made it clear in September 2016 that he didn’t want to work with the band any more.

 Steve Norman, Martin Kemp, Ross William Wild, Gary Kemp and John Keeble of Spandau Ballet perform on stage at Eventim Apollo on October 29, 2018 in London, England.  (Photo by Dave J Hogan/Dave J Hogan/Getty Images)
Ross William Wild performs with Spandau Ballet in 2018. (Getty Images)

"This has not changed and 2015 was the last time we were able to perform or work with him. So we have now made the decision to move on as a band."

Read more: Ross William Wild attempted suicide after leaving Spandau Ballet

The group has been inactive since 2019, when Wild announced that he too was stepping away from the band.

Watch: Martin Kemp on Spandau Ballet/Duran Duran feud