Britain's Tiger Kings - On The Trail With Ross Kemp

Ross Kemp: Who is his wife, does he have children – and has he given up acting?

The actor meets Brits who keep dangerous wild animals, including tigers and lions

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Ross Kemp puts his investigative hat back on for a two-part documentary series about the UK’s ‘Tiger Kings’ – but does Ross Kemp have a wife?

Who is he married to and does he have children?

Here’s everything you need to know about the former EastEnders star.

Britain's Tiger Kings - On The Trail With Ross Kemp (Credit: ITV1)
Britain’s Tiger Kings – On The Trail With Ross Kemp (Credit: ITV1)

Read more: Dame Barbara Windsor ‘had time for everyone’ says Ross Kemp in emotional eulogy

Ross Kemp wife: Is he married?

Ross married Australian Renee O’Brien in 2012.

He was previously married to Rebekah Wade from 2002 to 2009.

During their marriage, she worked at the News of the World and became editor of The Sun.

In November 2005, Ross’ wife Rebekah was arrested following an alleged assault on her husband.

He refused medical attention for a swollen lip and no action was taken.

Ross Kemp wife: Does he have children?

Ross has four children.

In October 2010, he and his then partner and former make-up artist Nicola Coleman had a baby boy.

The actor later met and married his wife Renee O’Brien, and they have three children together.

The couple welcomed Leo, born in 2015, and twins Ava and Kitty, born in 2017.

Ross Kemp with one of a collection of five rare Bengal Tigers at Heythrop Zoological Garden in Oxfordshire (Credit: ITV1)
Ross Kemp with one of a collection of five rare Bengal Tigers at Heythrop Zoological Garden in Oxfordshire (Credit: ITV1)

Read more: EastEnders: Ross Kemp won’t rule out a return as ‘beggars can’t be choosers’ during pandemic

How old is Ross Kemp?

Ross James Kemp was born on July 21 1964.

He is currently 56 years old.

Where is he from?

Ross was born in Barking, Essex.

His mum was a hairdresser and his dad John was a Detective Superintendent in the Metropolitan Police Service.

Ross has one brother, Darren, who is a filmmaker for the BBC.

Ross Kemp as Grant Mitchell with his TV fam Steve McFadden as Phil and Barbara Windsor as Peggy (Credit: BBC)
Ross Kemp as Grant Mitchell with his TV fam Steve McFadden as Phil and Letitia Dean as Sharon (Credit: BBC)

Was Ross in the army?

Many TV viewers often mistakenly believe Ross has served in the army or SAS.

In fact, Ross has never been in the armed forces.

However, his father served for four years.

Dad John’s corps were integrated with some others to create the Royal Anglian Regiment – these were the troops Ross was with when filming his documentaries in Afghanistan.

John later became a Detective Superintendent in the Metropolitan Police Service.

Why did Ross Kemp leave EastEnders and will he ever return?

Ross played beefcake Grant Mitchell in the BBC soap from February 1990 and was involved in some of the show’s most famous storylines.

These include the ‘Sharongate’ storyline, when Phil Mitchell had an affair with Grant’s wife. It didn’t end well!

In April 1999, Ross announced he would be leaving the soap later that year after nearly a decade.

His exit was aired in October 1999 when his character moved to Brazil after surviving a car crash.

In early 2005, the BBC confirmed that Ross would be returning to EastEnders later that year after six years away.

His first comeback lasted just a few weeks, however he returned for a period of three months in 2006, before departing once again in June that year.

In January 2016, Ross made a brief return to the show for the death of Grant’s on-screen mother, Peggy Mitchell.

He later filmed a further three weeks and returned again for brief stints from July 4 to September 9 2016.

Ross has never ruled out a return.

He told ED!: “I don’t think you ever rule it out.

“But that would be down to the BBC, that’s not down to me.”

Ross Kemp and wife Renee O'Brien
Ross Kemp and wife Renee O’Brien attend the Pride of Britain Awards (Credit: Splash)

What else has Ross starred in?

Ross trained at Webber Douglas Academy of Dramatic Art, and appeared alongside John Thaw and Richard Wilson at the Palace Theatre, Westcliff-on-Sea.

He went on to star in the ITV soap Emmerdale as Graham Lodsworth, and appeared in London’s Burning, Birds of a Feather and the 1987 film Playing Away alongside Neil Morrissey.

Some TV viewers might even remember jobbing actor Ross from the golf themed advert for Kellogg’s Fruit & Fibre cereal!

Ross is definitely most famous for his role as Grant Mitchell in BBC soap EastEnders, a role he has played on and off from 1990 to 2016.

More recently, Ross has moved away from acting and prefers to front hard-hitting documentary-style series.

He is known for Ross Kemp on Gangs, Ross Kemp in Afghanistan, Ross Kemp in Search of Pirates, Ross Kemp: Middle East and Ross Kemp: Extreme World.

More recently, he’s appeared in Hatton Garden: The Inside Story, Welcome to HMP Belmarsh with Ross Kemp and Ross Kemp: Britain’s Volunteer Army.

His documentary series Ross Kemp Living With… saw him examine online gambling, homelessness, painkiller addiction, knife crime and dementia.

Ross has spoken openly about his onscreen mum and friend Barbara Windsor‘s battle with dementia.

Has he given up acting?

Ross hasn’t given up acting.

He recently starred as John Mills in four-part drama Nothing to Declare.

He also portrays the character Trevor in the upcoming film Snapshot Wedding.

Ross has said: “I would never say no to going back to anything [including EastEnders].

“I’ve always enjoyed acting and if an acting role came along, I would take it if it was something that I thought I would enjoy.”

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A post shared by Ross Kemp (@rosskemptv)

How tall is Ross Kemp?

Ross Kemp is 1.83 metres tall.

That’s exactly six foot.

Britain’s Tiger Kings: On The Trail With Ross Kemp on ITV1

This new two-part documentary series sees Ross on the trail of Britain’s tiger and lion owners.

He asks why anyone would want to keep a 250kg cat – and whether it is in the best interests of the animal to do so.

We’re told there are about 4,000 animals including tigers, lions, tigers, bears, crocodiles and giant snakes in private hands in the country.

In the first part, Ross meets Reece Oliver, a man who keeps two lions in his back garden, much to the horror of some of the neighbours.

Ross also heads to Lincolnshire to meet Andrew and Tracey Riddell, dangerous wild animal collectors, whose large property is home to monkeys, serval wild cats, lions and bears.

In Oxfordshire, Ross meets former circus trainer Jim Clubb who now trains animals for television programmes, films and adverts, and keeps tigers.

Ross then travels to Munich to meet Martin Lacey, an English circus trainer with the largest collection of big cats on the continent.

Britain’s Tiger Kings: On The Trail With Ross Kemp begins on Tuesday March 30 2021 at 9pm on ITV1.

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