Roman Kemp says dealing with the death of friend Joe Lyons is ‘incredibly hard’

Tom Horton, PA
·2-min read

Roman Kemp said he has found dealing with the death of his friend and colleague Joe Lyons “incredibly hard”.

The radio DJ told Channel 4’s Sunday Brunch he is “getting through” the situation but has found his death difficult to come to terms with.

Kemp has made a documentary for the BBC about mental health and suicide in young men following his friend’s death, titled Roman Kemp: Our Silent Emergency.

The Global Awards 2020 with Very.co.uk – Show – London
Roman Kemp (Isabel Infantes/PA)

His friend and Capital Radio colleague Lyons, who was a radio producer, died in August last year.

Kemp said: “It’s incredibly hard and it’s so surreal, just sitting here talking about Joe and realising he’s not here and everything we went through and the way that we found out.

“It’s hard, really hard.”

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In Roman Kemp: Our Silent Emergency, the presenter will investigate what can be done to encourage people to seek help, what preventative action needs to be taken and the lasting impact mental health and suicide can have on friends and families.

He told Sunday Brunch he hopes the programme will encourage people to check in on their friends’ mental wellbeing more regularly.

He added: “I think when we set out to make the documentary, the first thing I said was ‘I don’t want this to be a Covid doc’.

“I don’t want this to to be a thing where in a year’s time we look back on it and go, ‘That documentary came out because of how bad the pandemic was’.

“This had been going on before the pandemic, but unfortunately the rates will always be higher because you are leaving people with their thoughts, you are taking away jobs, you are losing money, families are apart from one another.”

Roman Kemp: Our Silent Emergency will be shown at 9pm on Tuesday on BBC One.