Interview With Roman Kemp for Virgin TV’s Must-See Moment BAFTA Awards!
As i’m sure some of you TV fans are aware, next week sees the arrival of the BAFTA Television Awards on Sunday 14th May from 8pm on BBC One. As part of the awards this year, there is a new category called ‘Virgin TV’s Must-See Moment‘, which can be voted for by YOU, the British public.
To find out a little more about the new award, we had the chance for a little chat with Roman Kemp, Capital Radio’s new Breakfast Show host, and one of the judges who helped whittle down the list of ‘Must-See Moment’ to the final 6 which the public get to vote on.
GT: Roman, you’re one of the judges on ‘Virgin TV’s Must-See Moment BAFTA’. How did you get the list down to the 6 finalists?
Roman: A lot of arguing in a very long boardroom the lasted about 3 hours [laughs]… It was just that, it was just literally arguing for 3 hours, which was great! Loved every minute of it! It was fun, and it’s lovely to see people so passionate about tv, and it’s always nice to be in a room with people that all share the same passions as you. But it was just that. We just hashed it out over an afternoon.
GT: How many things were on the long list?
Roman: 50 different things I think, so narrowing it down to 6 took quite the time!
GT: You ended up getting down to –
- Game of Thrones: Battle of the Bastards
- The Late Late Show: Carpool Karaoke Michelle Obama
- Line of Duty: Urgent Exit Required
- Planet Earth II: Snakes vs Iguana Chase
- Strictly Come Dancing: Ed Balls’ Gangnam Style
- Who Do You Think You Are: Danny Dyer’s Origins
Interesting mix of shows in there from serious drama, to documentary, to some of the sillier moments of reality tv!
Roman: Yeah, I mean it kinda had to be though. Thats the part of this award I enjoy the most. The fact that it’s about a ‘moment’ within a tv show, not necessarily about ‘the best’ tv show. It’s what’s been the best talking point from that series or episode. Being able to give it a fair share. I think each one in it’s own right deserves to be there.
GT: It’s an interesting new category for BAFTA to add in, as this seems like a very different type of award.
Roman: I was actually more shocked that it hadn’t been done before, because, to be totally honest, the reason why we watch tv is for ‘a moment’. It’s for “I’m sat on the edge of my seat and haven’t breathed for the last 10 minutes,” or “I’ve laughed so hard for the last 10 minutes that I’m now in tears on the floor.” That’s what it is. That’s what tv is for. That’s what tv and film is made for, so for me it was more a shock that they hadn’t done this before.
GT: Were there ‘must see’ moments you were pushing that didn’t make the list?
Roman: I was really trying to fight the battle of it being fair. In the sense of… I was the youngest person in the room by… well… quite a long way! And a lot of people weren’t, you know, subscribed to Netflix, or watching YouTube. They didn’t think a lot of people watched ‘on demand’ or anything like that. So when they were talking about Carpool Karaoke, the argument came up of “Well, who even watches that?”… I’m like “Are you mad?!” It’s a phenomenon now! It’s become it’s own business. It’s a huge thing online and within social media, and it has a lot of impact! So I felt it was my job to bring those arguments to the table, for those types of shows that are on Netflix and on demand.
GT: Were there any specific moments which you would have liked to see on the final list?
Roman: Genuinely no. I think for me, the one I was really pushing for was Carpool Karaoke. That’s not even because of my relationship with Ben [Winston] and James [Corden] [Carpool Karaoke creators], it’s just working within the culture that I’m in now, I know how important it was, and I genuinely had to fight quite hard for that to be pushed forward.
GT: Yes, I mean to have the sitting first lady do a show like that, was a huge moment, so I think that totally deserves it’s spot!
Roman: Yeah, definitely!
GT: You mention watching online, and social media there, which is something you’re heavily involved in. You were part of the online media presenting team for X Factor last year. Are you doing it again this year?
Roman: Well… I’ve spoken to ITV about it… But no ones really decided on much yet. If it fits, it fits. They’re an amazing team, that I loved being a part of, and they’ve made it very aware to me that they’d love me to still be a part of that team. So, it’s just trying to work it out. Making sure it fits in the calendar, but nothing’s been decided yet.
GT: A music show like X Factor sort of seems like an appropriate show to be a part of, given your background in radio, and, of course, the family you come from [his dad is Spandau Ballet’s Martin Kemp and mum is Shirlie from Pepsi & Shirlie].
Roman: [Laughs] Yeah, of course!
GT: Did your parents ever try and put you off going into ‘showbiz’, and want you to be something like a doctor or an accountant?…
Roman: No, you know what, I was so fortunate to grow up in a family where my parents just wanted me to do exactly what I wanted to do, and that was it. It was the same with my sister, they just wanted us to be happy, and wanted us to live our lives exactly how we wanted to live it. The only thing they ever pushed for was to take opportunities. If something comes up, then take it. If you don’t enjoy it, you can walk away and try something else. Fortunately for my sister and I those opportunities kept coming round thanks to the work ethic my parents had instilled in us. Which was just to keep jumping in the deep end, and keep trying to swim, and it’s done me alright so far! [Laughs]
GT: You’ve been working in radio for a while, and you’ve just become Capital Radio’s new Breakfast Show host. In a job like that you get to interview lots of people. Growing up in your family, and surrounded by ‘famous’ people, so what’s the most ‘star struck’ you’ve ever been?
Roman: [Laughs] It’s an interesting one, cause, as you say, I was fortunate enough to be around some unbelievably talented people, and people that I have huge respect for. Yet, they were people that were round our dinner table, and have big debates with. It’s not that it desensitises you, but it makes you realise they’re just normal people. You have to pay them a lot of respect because of what they’re done, and I know how much hard work they’ve put in to get there. That being said, I think when I first started doing presenting, I think it was always the footballers. Growing up, being a massive football fan, going to matches with my dad and my grandad. I remember when I interviewed footballers for the first time, that was still like… “Holy ****, that’s Thierry Henry!” If you ever see an interview with me and him, I’m just smiling the entire time!
GT: Ahh yes, you’re an Arsenal fan aren’t you?
Roman: Yes… unfortunately! Many calls to my dad on the phone going “what the **** is going on?!” [Laughs]
GT: What has been the most interesting moment of your career so far?
Roman: I’d say this week, starting as the Capital Breakfast Show host, which is the biggest gig in radio, especially for London, the city and town that I’m from. It’s an honor to be able to take on that, and wake up 6 million Londoners each week. I remember driving to school with my mum and hearing Chris Tarrant with the ‘Capital Breakfast Show’ jingle, and it’s so weird hearing that with my name attached to it! It’s very strange and very surreal… Out of everything I’ve done, this is the weirdest thing!
GT: But you’re settling in okay?
Roman: Yeah, well the thing is, I’ve been at the company 3 years, and I’ve done slots like the 1am to 6am shows, and the 6am to 9am, so everyone here are my friends. We’ve got an amazing support team… What it feels like is that I’ve gone up in the next school year! Like, the works just got harder, but you’re with your mates still.
GT: So onto the final questions that we ask everyone. Firstly, what TV shows are you watching at the moment? And Secondly, if you could be involved with any show, past, present or future, what would it be?
Roman: Shows i’d love to work on in the past, it would be a hard choice between Curb Your Enthusiasm and The Office, UK version… But just because of the UK humour, it would have to be The Office… Still obsessed with that show, I’ve watched it a million times, and I still watch it everyday.
And shows I’m watching at the moment… I don’t know why I’m putting myself through it, as I’m not really enjoying it that much, but Season 3 of Better Call Saul. But I’m not really enjoying it, so I don’t know why I’m watching… But I’m also happy because the new season of Rick and Morty just started!
Vote now (up until Wednesday 10th May at 5pm) for the Virgin TV’s Must-See Moment at virginmedia.com/bafta and tune in on Sunday 14th March to the British Academy Television Awards at 8pm on BBC One to see who wins.
Dave has over 20 years experience in the digital industry, and is founder and editor of Geektown. Obviously a huge geek himself, he can often be found in front of the latest tv show or movie, on various video games, or with his head in a comic book.