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Roman and Martin Kemp reveal how “emotional” DNA Journey has changed them

Martin says the show was "like therapy" for him.

Martin and Roman Kemp
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Published: Wednesday, 24th March 2021 at 9:00 am

It's been a busy year for the Kemp family, with dad Martin appearing in a fun episode of McDonald & Dodds alongside Rob Brydon and Patsy Kensit, and son Roman getting the nation talking with his important documentary, Our Silent Emergency.


The pair are back on our screens tonight, taking part in ITV's DNA Journey series, where celebrity pairings look into their ancestry. Of course the father and son team are the perfect participants for such a programme, and they say the show had a profound effect on them.

Speaking to and other press, former EastEnder and Spandau Ballet star Martin even likened the experience to therapy.

Martin says looking into their family background forced him to deal with his grief for his mum and dad. "I've always suppressed those emotions of losing my parents, and never really let it out," he tells us. "This programme gave me kind of therapy almost, because I cried for my dad, and it all came out in that two week period, the things that I've been suppressing for years. And it wasn't bad. It was lovely to be honest."

Roman was also extremely moved by being part of the show and says it has shifted his perspective on his life. "After the stories I learned about, I've never been more grateful to be in the situation that I'm currently in. I've done all right for myself and it's pretty important to see that hasn't always been the case in our family. My dad's always told me his story about how he and [his brother] Gary grew up and how tough it was, but I think this took it to another level."

Martin, who previously hosted an ITV morning magazine show with Roman called Sunday Best!, also teases an extraordinary moment in the episode. "We were pointed in the direction of my nan’s grave that we didn’t know was there, and something happens that I will not tell you about... but it is the most special moment I've ever witnessed. I've never seen anything like it on television. I'm not going to tell you what it is but it's not a set-up, it's the scariest thing and it's amazing."

Well we're officially intrigued now!

The DNA Journey series has previously seen celeb pals including Alan Carr and Amanda Holden and Ant and Dec explore their family backgrounds, but Martin says there's something special about a father and son team going on the show. "With friends doing it, you kind of hide your emotions, but with Roman and I we definitely weren't scared of showing our emotions to each other."

Roman agrees, quipping, "I had to buy new shirts, because of my dad's tears!"


Martin and Roman's episode of DNA Journey airs tonight at 9pm on ITV. To catch up on the series visit the ITV Hub. To find out what else is on telly tonight, check out our TV Guide.


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