Ross is a BAFTA award-winning documentary maker, actor and author, who rose to prominence in the BBC1 soap EastEnders (1985-). Since 2006, he has received international recognition for his award-winning and hard-hitting documentaries.
After training at the Webber Douglas Academy of Dramatic Art, Ross began his acting career on the stage alongside acting greats John Thaw and Richard Wilson. He soon moved from the stage to the silver screen, starting with small parts in Emmerdale Farm (1972-1989), London’s Burning (1986-2002), and Birds of a Feather (1989-2010). He is best-known for his multi award-winning portrayal of Grant Mitchell in EastEnders, first between 1990-1999, returning in 2005 for a year, and once again in 2016.
From starring in a training video for the Ministry of Defence to completely embedding himself in the toughest of situations, via a stint on Albert Square, Ross has enjoyed a wide range of television roles.
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During his time in EastEnders, Ross won a number of awards, including Best Actor at the British Soap Awards, Inside Soap Awards, TV Quick Awards, and the Choice Awards, and was nominated for many more at the National Television Awards and the Inside Soap Awards.
Following his departure from the soap, he moved to the ITV for roles in A Christmas Carol (2000), Without Motive (2000-2001), In Defence (2000), Ultimate Force (2002-2008), and Hero of the Hour (2000). It was whilst filming the latter that he required hospital treatment after being shot in the face after a stunt went wrong. He could also be seen across the pond in the TV film for the USA Network, Spartacus (2004).
In recent years, Ross has built an impressive reputation as one of television’s most exciting documentary makers. After a brief meeting with a member of the infamous ‘Bloods’ gang in California, Ross pitched an idea to Sky called Ross Kemp on Gangs (2004-2009), for which he won a BAFTA for Best Factual Series. This documentary took Ross all over the world, and from Brazil to California, he met and interviewed hundreds of gang members across 27 episodes.
More factual documentaries followed, including Ross Kemp in Afghanistan (2008-2012) where he spent time with various army regiments – Ross would go on to win the AIB International Media Excellence Award for International TV Personality for this documentary, Ross Kemp in Search of Pirates (2009), Ross Kemp: Behind the Story (2009), Ross Kemp: Battle for the Amazon (2010), Ross Kemp: Extreme World (2011-2017) which followed Ross and his team through the Amazon Rainforest, the Congo, Gaza, Israel, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, and Ukraine, Ross Kemp’s Britain (2016), Ross Kemp Behind Bars: Inside Barlinnie (2017), Ross Kemp and the Armed Police (2018), Welcome to HMP Belmarsh with Ross Kemp (2020), Ross Kemp: On the NHS Frontline (2020), The Millennium Dome Heist with Ross Kemp (2020), Britain’s Tiger King’s – On the Trail with Ross Kemp (2021), and Ross Kemp: Living With… (2019-) which included a heartfelt documentary about dementia after his EastEnders on-screen mother Barbara Windsor passed away from the disease in 2020.
Whilst Ross is seen as a very serious man in his documentaries, he has also been seen in a number of entertaining programmes, such as Extras (2005-2007), A Line in the Sand (2004), The Friday Night Project (2005-2009), The Paul O’Grady Show (2004-2015), Top Gear (2002-), and All Round to Mrs Brown’s (2017-2020).
In 2022, Ross added another string to his bow by becoming the presenter of new BBC quiz show, Bridge of Lies (2022-). He can also be seen on Sky History’s new four-part series Ross Kemp: Shipwreck Treasure Hunter (2022-), which follows Ross as he dives off the British coast to visit a number of famous shipwrecks, including the remains of a slave ship off of Plymouth coast, the Kaiser’s sunken Imperial Fleet in Scapa Flow, and a submarine aircraft carrier.
Ross has taken his experiences from the silver screen to the written word, having authored the Sunday Times bestseller Ross Kemp on Gangs, as well as Gangs 2, Ross Kemp on Afghanistan, and Ross Kemp on Pirates, all published by Penguin, plus Warriors & Raiders and The A to Z of Hell, published by Cornerstone. He also expanded his output by starting up a podcast titled The Kempcast (2020) where he is joined by a variety of guests to talk about their personal lives, career, or their expertise and their place in the world.
A television legend, investigate journalist Ross has received wide critical acclaim for his acting and presenting roles. Due to his diverse career, Ross is the ideal choice for a wide range of events. His charismatic nature makes him perfect for after-dinner speeches, industry presentations, and keynote addresses of any size. He will make for an exciting, informative, and thrilling event.
Ross Kemp was fantastic. His speech was great and his patience with everyone who wanted his autograph and photo was superb. St Joseph’s College
Thank you so much for joining us as our guest speaker at the UJIA Manchester dinner. Your interesting and informative interview where you talked about your acting, your TV series about gang culture and, in particular, your experiences in the Middle East, helped contribute to what was a most successful event. The feedback from our guests has been highly positive. William Benjamin, Chairman of the UJIA Charity
We had some great feedback from our event yesterday. We always try to end the day on a completely different note, giving the guys and gals a guest who has an interesting story to tell…and without doubt, Ross Kemp has a story to tell. He went down a storm with the attendees, one comment being “he’s one of the best speakers I have seen and I must have seen about 40 plus”. Very captivating and obviously very passionate about what he does. Sandra Lowe, 2Plan Wealth Management