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Roman Kemp’s heartbreak as he reveals friend’s death is the reason why he quit radio show

Roman Kemp has revealed the death of his best friend, producer Joe Lyons, was a reason for him leaving the hit breakfast radio show they had worked on together because it was like “living that same day over and over again”.

DJ and TV host Roman, 31, left Capital FM last week after seven years presenting its breakfast show with Chris Stark and Sian Welby.

Producer Joe had worked with him on the show until he took his own life in 2020.

Roman was told the heartbreaking news while at work, after ­colleagues went to Joe’s home when he failed to show up.

He has since become an advocate for men’s mental health and even opened up about his own struggles, inspiring millions to reach out to friends, family and professionals, but admits he has struggled to move on from the tragedy while still working in the same studio.

Roman said: “Imagine a tragedy happened in your house – you’re going to want to move. I went through such a horrible moment in that studio…I’ve been living that same day over and over again.

“I’m ready to go ‘OK, close that door now, don’t keep going back living that horrible day’. Every day I walk in there and I see Joe…I think it’s going to be good for me to move on with my life.”

Roman, who stars on Channel 4’s Celebrity Gogglebox alongside his dad, ­former Spandau Ballet bassist and EastEnders actor Martin Kemp, also said he needs time for himself after seven years of early mornings.

He added: “I’ve been at that company [Global] for 10 years, on that show for seven. I’ve tried to spin the plates and tried to do everything and I’ve realised it’s getting in the way of my life. Every day you’ve got to go out in front of the public and dance, and every now and then you’ve got to give yourself a rest.”

Although he has no new radio gigs lined up, this summer Roman is delighted to be returning to Soccer Aid alongside the likes of Usain Bolt, Bobby Brazier, Tom Grennan and Alex Brooker.

Roman said: “I’m buzzing – as a football fan it’s the job that everybody wants to do. It’s such a wonderful vibe, everyone is friendly, everyone is happy to be there and it raises so much money for a good cause. You see where the money’s going and we get to live out our childhood dreams.

“I’ve been lucky enough to do this a few times now. I’d do anything for any form of football in my life. I melt in the presence of footballers – I can meet anyone in our industry, but as soon as it comes to a footballer, I’m gone to the world. You just don’t want to make any form of mistake. If Thierry Henry goes anywhere near Soccer Aid this year, I don’t even know what I’d do.”

  • Soccer Aid for UNICEF 2024 takes place on Sunday June 9 at Stamford Bridge, London. A family of four can attend the game for just £60 – buy your tickets at socceraid.org.uk/tickets

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