Martin Kemp (Part 1) - Childhood dreams, Spandau Ballet, new beginnings

In the first of a special two-parter, chart legend, actor and now author, Martin Kemp talks through the early decades of his life from his poor beginnings in 70s Islington to the heady heights of his fame in the 80s. With the release of his nostalgic book 'Ticket to the World: My 80s Story', the man at the centre of it all talks to Kate about becoming a pioneer of the New Romantic movement and what really went on at the infamous Blitz Club.

You can join Martin & Kate at The London Palladium on 25 November 2022 for Greatest Hits Live
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White Wine Question Time with Kate Thornton is the podcast that brings together well-known guests to answer three thought-provoking questions over three glasses of wine. Discover the friendships behind the entertainment headlines, and listen in on their conversations for a side to the celebrities you've never heard before.

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Video transcript

MARTIN KEMP: Success really, is being able to turn your hobby into your job. If you can do that, you've cracked it.

KATE THORNTON: You'd never work a day in your life. And then, Gary was working-- he had a band. They were called The Gentry at the time, weren't they?

MARTIN KEMP: Well, no, they were called Makers back then, when it was a school band. I used to be a roadie for the Makers. I used to carry the equipment and set it up in their gigs. But secretly, I used to go to bed at night and just dream that one day I would be in that band.


MARTIN KEMP: That's all I wanted-- was to be in that band. And Gary did not want me in the band.


MARTIN KEMP: Not at all? Because he wanted to be a rock star on his own. And anyway, I had to go to my mom, to tell him to put me in the band.


So my mom put me in the band.

KATE THORNTON: And then, you'd walk into the Blitz Club right? Just paint the scene for me. If you wanted to put your coat into the coat check, who was running the coat check?

MARTIN KEMP: Oh, Boy George. Boy George ran the coat check. I mean, it was mad. Walking into the Blitz, the most colorful explosion I'd ever seen in my life. And it was just an experience that I will never forget. It was just-- everybody was talking about what they were going to do about the future, about who they wanted to become, which was-- it didn't exist in those punk days.