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9 Questions with Martin Kemp

1. How did you get involved in the show?

Simple – they asked me to do it! My experience spreads over several different fields – singing, acting, being in a band – so I think that’s where I come in.

2. Did you know Gary before the show?

Gary and I had never met properly, just shaken hands! He’s one of the nicest men and it’s been a real pleasure working with him.

3. Are you a Take That fan?

When Take That came around, my band had just ended and I was settling into acting. We used to have a nanny who was obsessed with Take That, especially Mark Owen: she plastered her room with posters. It’s their great songs that make them last: you can do whatever you want but if you don't have the songs you won't last five minutes.

4. What was it about this show that appealed to you?

It's obviously a talent show, but it's a talent show with a lot of heart. That's what really appealed to me, it sounded so warm, and hopefully that will come across.

5. What's surprised you the most?

I think for me it's how emotionally involved I’ve become with the show. I've been in this business a long time and I have never felt like this on any TV show before. It's one of the nicest, warmest, most rewarding shows I have ever been involved with.

6. Is it nice that you're offering someone a job and not instant fame?

That's right, it's a job they’re working towards and that's why our boys are working harder. They're not kids sitting in their bedrooms thinking they just want to be famous. They’re kids that are actually saying they want to work, they want a job, and the platform we're giving them is huge.

7. Did you disagree with the other judges about the talent on stage?

Absolutely. It wouldn't be fair on the boys if we just sat back going, 'What do you think?' You have to put your side across. In the back of our minds we all have the same goal – we all just want to colour it slightly differently.

8. Gary has said you are looking at personality as well as talent because one 'bad egg' could ruin it for everyone...

Of course, but it's very difficult because in the end, they can all be good eggs – it takes a little time for that to come out. At the moment they are all on the same level, all starting out. So the responsibility of getting the right guys who aren't going to upset the apple cart down the line, that's tough.

9. Your career has lasted so long, what’s your secret?

When I was young, I first went into the theatre that opened up across from my house. My mum and dad put me in there, not to become an actor but to get rid of my shyness. My time there was all about encouragement and improvisation. I think if you learn to improvise at a really young age then you can use it for the rest of your life, whether that’s in acting or singing.