Martin Kemp tells son Roman Kemp he has '10 years' left to live in poignant admission

Martin and Roman Kemp
Martin Kemp explained to his son Roman Kemp he believed he only had 10 years left to live -Credit:Jeff Spicer/Getty Images

Martin Kemp made a poignant admission to his son Roman Kemp, sharing his belief that he only has "10 years" left to live. The Spandau Ballet star opened up during an episode of the podcast 'FFS! My dad Is Martin Kemp', which was aptly titled "Death".

In a candid conversation with the former Capital FM breakfast show host and BBC1 The One Show presenter, Martin said: "I'll be really honest with you, 10 years." The musician, aged 62, then delved into his past health struggles, including a serious brain tumour scare that significantly altered his outlook on life.

He shared: "I don't know how long I've got left but I will tell you, since I was the age of 34, when I went through all of that brain tumour scare, I spent two years of my life thinking I was going to die. And I think, after that, everything else, every day, every year, every month that I've lived, every experience that I've had has been a bonus,".

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As a result, Martin has come to accept his fate and feel privileged for the life he has lived as he added: "It's really strange that when I was 34 and stuff and I went though that brain tumour stuff, I was practically resigned to the fact that I was going to die, but I was quite happy with my lot, because I had lived the most incredible experiences.", reports the Mirror.

Reflecting back, he said: "By the time I was 34 and I thought I was going to die, I spent two years thinking about it, I was quite happy, I thought: 'If I go, do you know what? What a life, and that was back then'. So every year that I live, every month that I'm alive now is like a bonus."

Devoted followers of Martin Kemp will recall his battle with benign brain tumours diagnosed in the early nineties, leading to radiotherapy and surgical procedures for their removal. While the interventions were successful, he currently grapples with epilepsy, an unfortunate by-product of the medical procedure, requiring regular medication.

Martin further expressed how the surgery affected his cognitive function at a crucial point in his career - when he was approached for a part in EastEnders. His family and friends were apprehensive and tried persuading him against accepting this role, fearing it could jeopardise his career.

"Everybody around me was saying, 'Don't do it, don't do it. It's going to ruin your career, don't do it'", he recalled during the Dish podcast in 2022. "Well because they hadn't had any name actors in that show before, right? Everybody had grown up with EastEnders, so I was kind of the first one of those name actors to go in."

Martin Kemp and Shirlie Kemp with their son Roman Kemp
Martin Kemp and Shirlie Kemp with their son Roman Kemp -Credit:Antony Jones/Getty Images for Tu at Sainsbury's

Despite the ongoing cognitive issues from his brain surgery, he chose to view EastEnders as an avenue to "get (his) life back together", ultimately deciding against everyone's advice.

"My brain still wasn't working properly from the operation. To the point where sometimes if I wanted to walk left, I would walk right, or like I couldn't think about putting things in order, or anything like that. Learning lines was just way out there", revealed Martin.

He continued, "When EastEnders was offered to me it was a chance for me to get over it, so it wasn't just me taking EastEnders on because I thought yeah, it was a good gig - it was me trying to get my life back together."

That he did succeed as his character Steve Owen in EastEnders stands as one of Walford's greatest villains, marking his rule in the soap from 1998 to 2002.