Who is Martin Kemp? Let It Shine judge profile

The Spandau Ballet and EastEnders star is helping Gary Barlow find the next big musical boyband


Name: Martin Kemp


Age: 55

Twitter: @realmartinkemp

Best known for: Being the bassist in Spandau Ballet, playing one of the Kray twins with his brother Gary, and starring as EastEnders’ Steve Owen

Bio: Londoner Kemp began acting at an early age, attending the Anna Scher Children’s Theatre drama club with his brother Gary. Kemp popped up in the likes of Jackanory, The Tomorrow People and Dixon of Dock Green, before starring alongside Tom Conti and Nigel Havers in The Glittering Prizes.

But acting took a backseat when he picked up a bass guitar and filled a gap in his brother’s band, Spandau Ballet. He was working in a printing factory at the time, and left to pursue a music career.

Luckily enough Spandau Ballet rode the New Romantic wave, notching up their first UK number one album and single with True and churning out hits including Gold, Only When You Leave and Through the Barricades. They also performed on the original Band Aid single in 1984 before going their separate ways in 1990.

Kemp is probably best known to a generation as EastEnders bad boy Steve Owen, the arch nemesis of Phil Mitchell who went out in a blaze of glory after leaving a trail of destruction in Albert Square.

His TV CV is extensive, with roles in Daddy’s Girl, Serious and Organised, The Family, The Brides in The Bath, Can’t Buy Me Love, Waterloo Road and most recently Birds of A Feather under his belt.


Oh and he finished third in the 2012 run of Celebrity Big Brother