TV hardman Ross Kemp turns gameshow host with 'Bridge of Lies' as he admits to getting emotional over losing teams

Programme Name: Bridge of Lies - TX: n/a - Episode: Bridge of Lies - Iconic (No. n/a) - Picture Shows:  Ross Kemp - (C) STV Studios - Photographer: Graeme Hunter
Ross Kemp hosts 'Bridge of Lies'. (STV Studios/Graeme Hunter)

Ross Kemp might be known as TV's tough guy for his EastEnders role as Grant Mitchell and his Ross Kemp on Gangs documentary series, but he has admitted to getting emotional over contestants losing his new gameshow Bridge of Lies.

This is the first time Kemp, 57, has hosted a quiz and he said that he'd found it tough to accept that some of the teams had to leave empty-handed from the BBC One competition.

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Casting aside his hardman exterior, he said: "I didn’t want any one team to win more than the others, but there was one particular group that I so desperately wanted to do well.

EastEnders stars Barbara Windsor (who plays bride 'Peggy Mitchell') and Mike Reid (groom 'Frank Butcher', third from left), with co-stars during a photocall outside the Queen Vic pub at London's Elstree studios, where their on-screen wedding reception was filmed.   * Joined by fellow actors (l-r) Steve McFadden (Phil), Ross Kemp (Grant), and Shaun Williamson (Barry).   (Photo by John Stillwell - PA Images/PA Images via Getty Images)
Ross Kemp is known for being a part of EastEnders' tough Mitchell family. (John Stillwell - PA Images/PA Images via Getty Images)

"They came close to winning but they didn’t actually take the money home and I really felt for them. If I could’ve given them a bit of leeway, I would’ve done, but of course I’m not allowed to."

He added: "I have to almost sound happy about it at the end of the show as I encourage viewers to come back the next day to watch a different team try to win! I want everyone to take home the money, but the way the game works simply means that can’t happen.

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"Everybody that takes part is genuinely really lovely. They all have a story to tell, so there are lots of personal reasons for wanting them to win."

Programme Name: Bridge of Lies - TX: n/a - Episode: Bridge of Lies - Ep1 (No. n/a) - Picture Shows: Ross Kemp with Players Amota, Rajan, Bobby and Sanj  - (C) STV Studios - Photographer: STV Studios
Ross Kemp said he got attached to the contestants' stories. (STV Studios)

The game involves teams having to cross a bridge of stepping stones by answering true or false general knowledge questions, with the quiz getting tougher the further they go.

Talking about his presenting style, quiz master newbie Kemp said: "I watched lots of current quiz show hosts, like Alexander Armstrong and Bradley Walsh, as well as some icons like Brucie [Bruce Forsyth] during my research, and my main takeaway from that was: if you want to be successful in this role, you’ve just got to be yourself."

Ross Kemp is exploring the notorious Belmarsh in his latest documentary. (TwoFour/ITV)
Ross Kemp has taken on a number of gritty documentaries. (TwoFour/ITV)

However, he said he'd love to watch how his old EastEnders family the Mitchells would get on if they took part in Bridge of Lies.

Kemp said: "I’d like to see what happens in the cab on the way home. Let’s be honest, Phil or Grant would probably end up running off with the cash and heading to Spain for the weekend."

Bridge of Lies begins on Monday, 14 March at 4.30pm on BBC One and continues daily.

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