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Roman Kemp says he left Capital breakfast show to stop reliving tragedy of friend’s death

Roman Kemp has spoken about his decision to quit his Capital Breakfast radio show, saying being in the studio was like reliving the “horrible” moment of discovering his friend’s death “over and over again”.

Kemp’s best friend and producer, Joe Lyons, died in August 2020, and the star learned of his death while he was at work.

The following year, he made a documentary on mental health and suicide among young men.

In February, the 31-year-old announced he was leaving his role on the breakfast show, 10 years after presenting his first program for Capital, and hosted his final show last week.

“It’s not normal, imagine a tragedy happens in your house, you’re going to want to move,” Kemp said in a new interview with the Mirror newspaper.

“The Capital bosses know it and I said it, it’s difficult, I had such a horrible moment in that room, in that studio – four years later and I’ve lived that same day over and over again , without the horrible event.

“For me, I’m totally ready to say ‘okay, close this door now, don’t keep reliving that horrible day’. It’s sad that it obviously affects me, but it does. Every day I walk in there and I see Joe – it’s a weird thing to do.

“I think it’s going to be really good for me to move on with my life. I had an opportunity in my life, I can go and enjoy my life a little bit and I want to enjoy what I’ve accomplished.”

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Kemp joined Capital in 2014, when it was still a London-only station, before hosting The Capital Evening Show in 2016. He joined Breakfast in 2017 before the show launched nationwide in 2019.

The presenter, who is the son of Spandau Ballet star Martin Kemp and Wham singer Shirlie Kemp, joined BBC’s The One Show in 2023 and co-hosted the Brit Awards alongside Maya Jama and Clara Amfo in February.

BBC Radio 1 star Jordan North is returning to his show Capital.

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Kemp wiped away tears while addressing Lyons’ death on air in 2020, telling listeners that his friend was “kind, caring, loved dogs…he was playful, he was silly and that’s how we let’s remember him and that’s how we would like you to remember him.”

He added: “He’s my absolute brother and I never thought I’d have to do this on the radio.”

Anyone feeling emotionally distressed or suicidal can call the Samaritans for help on 116 123 or by email. jo@samaritans.org UK. In the United States, call your local Samaritans branch or 1 (800) 273-TALK

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