Ross Kemp defends ITV coronavirus documentary after backlash

LONDON, ENGLAND - JANUARY 25:  Ross Kemp attends the National Television Awards on January 25, 2017 in London, United Kingdom.  (Photo by Jeff Spicer/Getty Images)
Ross Kemp attends the National Television Awards in 2017 in London. (Getty Images)

Ross Kemp has defended his new coronavirus documentary after he was criticised for filming scenes in a hospital’s intensive care unit and wearing much needed personal protective equipment (PPE).

The EastEnders star, 55, visits the intensive care unit (ICU) at Milton Keynes University Hospital in his new programme Ross Kemp: On The NHS Frontline.

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The show has come under fire in recent days, with angry viewers posting messages on Twitter asking why Kemp was able to get PPE when it has been in short supply for staff caring for those affected by the virus.

Questions were also been asked about whether the star should have been filming in an ICU.

But Kemp set the record straight during an appearance on Good Morning Britain on Thursday, insisting that he and his team were not “a drain on resources” at any point.

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He also explained that the crew took their own equipment to the hospital.

He told the breakfast show’s hosts Piers Morgan and Susanna Reid: “In terms of the PPE, we used one set, and we brought more than that, and we left it behind, and it’s exactly the same standard.

“So they were happy with what we did.”

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The actor also said the crew were inside the ICU for less than 30 minutes.

Milton Keynes University Hospital previously said they had agreed to give Kemp and a “small crew” access to show how staff are dealing with the coronavirus pandemic.

A statement on Twitter said: “We have agreed to give to @RossKemp & a small crew access to capture the amazing efforts of NHS staff in response to #COVID19.

“This access has been risk assessed & agreed in discussion w/ @NHSEngland.

"We believe it's in the public interest to show them how hospitals are preparing.”

Ross Kemp: On The NHS Frontline airs at 8.30pm on Thursday on ITV.