Martin was born in Islington in October 1961. By the age of six he was attending the Anna Scher Children’s Theatre, and by the age of ten appeared regularly on television in programmes including Rumpole Of The Bailey, Dixon Of Dock Green, The Tomorrow People and Jackanory!
In 1979 he formed the new romantic band Spandau Ballet playing bass guitar. The group went on to tour the world and had a number of Top 20 hits in the 80’s. The single ‘True’ made the American Top 10.
By the late 80’s Martin had married Shirlie, one of the backing singers from Wham, and had started a family. He was then asked to star alongside his brother Gary in the film ‘The Krays’ which was a huge success. He then moved to Hollywood and made several films including: Sugar Town opposite Rosanna Arquette, Monk Dawson, Vampires Embrace and Sailors Tattoo before returning to Britain.
In 1998 he was offered the role of Steve Owen in the BBC’s Bafta Award winning drama series EastEnders, a role he played until March 2002. During that time Martin won numerous awards including Best Male Actor at the National TV Awards in both 2001.
Martin’s first two-hour drama for ITV, Daddy’s Girl was screened in September 2002 to great acclaim, and a new 6×1 hour drama series entitled Serious and Oraganised, also for ITV, transmitted in early January 2003. More recently Martin was seen in The Family another 6X1 hour drama for ITV, as George Joseph Smith in Brides In The Bath a two hour special for YTV/ITV and as Howard Walmsley in Can’t Buy Me Love a 90 minute one off drama for ITV which also starred Michelle Collins.
Martin played the role Will Spencer in the British Feature Film Back In Business, Jacke Afflick in Miss Marple – Sleeping Murder’ for ITV and Mark Terry in Love Lies Bleeding, which also starred Hugo Speer and Claire Goose. The Best Years, Assassin with and Age of Kill where he takes the lead as British spy Sam Blake.
Martin has directed two feature films Stalker a horror/thriller and Top Dog a gritty movie for Universal.
His book ‘True – An Autobiography of Martin Kemp’ was published in 2000 and spent several months in the Sunday Times best sellers list.
Martin supports several major charities.
A few years ago Martin been spent time touring the world with Spandau Ballet, promoting the film ‘Soul Boys of the Western World’ and playing to sold out arenas at every stop!
In the summer 2016 he covered Graham Norton on BBC Radio 2 Saturday morning Show along side Fearne Cotton, and in December 2016 Martin Played Sam Phillips in the fantastic theatre produciton Million Dollar Quartet over Christmas.
Martin exercised his love of crime and fronted two shows for Discovery / Quest in 2016 - Murder Files & Detective. As well as being the Voice for Sky1 ‘s Hit ’ The Force - Essex ‘.
Martin has toured all over the UK 2016 with his popular ‘Audience With’.
In 2017 , Martin was a Judge on BBC Saturday Night Entertainment show ‘Let It Shine’ alongside Dannii Minogue and Gary Barlow.
Martin is currently starring in the West End production of Chicago at the Phoenix Theatre in London which will be off stage the 2nd of September. Martin will also will a contestant on Celebrity Island With Bear Grylls which will air on Channel 4 this summer. The Road to Saigon will be showing on BBC 1 this winter which documents Martin and his wife Shirley Kemp travelling around South East Asia competing with three other couples to get to the finish line.
Spandau Ballet will be returning with a new band member this Autumn.