Celebrity Gogglebox regular Roman Kemp has already tackled the Australian jungle in I’m A Celebrity… And now he has his sights set on Strictly Come Dancing. But there’s one condition – he has to dance in a same-sex partnership.
The Capital Radio DJ says he’d consider swapping the studio for the ballroom but doesn’t want to get embroiled in a “soap opera” about whether he’s doing more than just dancing with his professional partner.
As the son of Spandau Ballet bass player Martin Kemp, who recently appeared on The Masked Singer with wife Shirlie, the 30-year-old broadcaster is bound to have a few funky moves up his sleeve, but we might have to wait a while to see them.
“The only way I’d do Strictly is if I was teamed up with Johannes [Radebe],” he tells OK! in an exclusive chat. “I think sometimes the show takes away from the skill of the dancers and it becomes like a soap opera of who’s dating who.”
The BBC One series has become notorious for its scandals over the years, particularly when it comes to the so-called ‘Strictly curse’ – in which some contestants’ real-life relationships have crumbled as they get up close and personal on the dance floor with their professional partners.
For Roman, who last year was linked to Love Island's Maura Higgins, the thought of being the subject of the same headlines is enough to put him off signing up, for now at least.
“I’d want to be focused on the dancing and enjoying who I’m dancing with, not feeling like, ‘Oh God, is someone going to write a story about me?’ – I would never want that,” he says. “So, if I was teamed up in a same-sex pairing, it would be brilliant because I’d just be focusing on the show.”
While Roman – who was crowned Radio Personality winner at the TRIC Awards in June – shares a degree of personal information on Celebrity Gogglebox alongside his dad Martin, 61, he prides himself at keeping a low profile when it comes to gossip.
“You won’t see me stumbling out of a nightclub or at loads of events – I’m not that person,” he says. “Even when I was a kid, I was always obsessed when we went out for dinner with my mum and dad. I would always say to them, ‘People are looking at you’ and it would really annoy me.
“I love my life and I like being able to make people laugh and do my job. I totally understand that part of the job means I’ll get recognised, but it’s just a huge insecurity that you can have working in this industry, so I guess it’s made me go a bit more inward.”
The fact that Roman avoids attention is a surprise given he spends every weekday morning chatting to the nation on his radio show. “My career over the last 10 years has just been constant, weird moments where you don’t really understand what’s going on or you don’t understand how you’ve ended up in that situation,” he says. “But you just blag it!”
He’s also been the subject of a few hilarious and very intimate stories from his dad and mum Shirlie, who was a backing dancer for Wham! Roman was recently left red-faced when Shirlie revealed to him and his radio show listeners that doctors had “a problem finding your willy” when he was born.
And on an episode of Celebrity Gogglebox last year, Martin told a mortified Roman that he and Shirlie “have sex everywhere” in the family home, prompting Roman to beg him to shut up.
"Talking about sex is something they do all the time – you’re just seeing what my life is like normally!," Roman said.
“Even when I’m with work or my mates, they’ll still talk about my penis and they’ll still talk about their sex life – I have no choice in the matter. Everyone knows us like that as a family. I like to think we’re the tightest-knit family in this industry. I firmly believe that.”
Despite his parents sharing such details of their love life with him, Roman says he never wants to stop working with them.
“I had no videos of my dad and his dad together and I loved my granddad, but I don’t have anything tangible that showed their relationship,” he says. “Whereas I’ll be able to say to my kids and maybe grandkids, ‘Look, this was my relationship with my dad.’
“When people say I’m working with my dad and riding on his coat-tails, no, I’m just fortunate enough to be able to make memories and someone else wants to film and document them.”
When he’s not watching his favourite football team Arsenal or having a kickabout with his friends in the park, Roman says he likes to wind down watching his TV guilty pleasure – Clarkson’s Farm.
In fact, the idea of having his own farm “very much appeals” to him, he explains, especially as he recently spent the day with frozen food company McCain on an Oxfordshire farm learning about two of his favourite things – chips and tractors.
“I was absolutely gagging to get on a tractor,” he says, laughing. “I’ve heard about celebrities owning farms and – I won’t lie – it very much appeals to me. I love getting outside London and I love being able to do stuff, out of town and get a bit dirty.”
His desire to become Farmer Roman faces one major hurdle, his “outrageously bad hayfever”, but he has a plan. “I’ll just make it like the Eden Project and put it all in a big dome and just keep it in there forever. That would be fun.”
To find out more about McCain’s regenerative farming campaign Let’s All Chip In (and Roman’s day on the farm), see mccain.co.uk/sustainability
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