Roman Kemp: I was reliving tragedy of Capital Radio producer's death every day

Roman Kemp at the Brit Awards
Kemp hosted his final Capital Radio breakfast show on Thursday after seven years [Reuters]

Roman Kemp has said hosting the Capital breakfast show over the past four years was like reliving the "horrible day" of the death of his friend and producer "over and over again".

Kemp was in the middle of an edition of his radio show in August 2020 when he found out Joe Lyons had killed himself.

"I went through such a horrible moment in that room, in that studio," he said.

"Four years on and I've been living that same day over and over again, without the awful event."

Kemp presented his final show on the station on Thursday.

"For me, I'm quite ready to go, 'OK, close that door now, don't keep going back living that horrible day over again'," he told the Mirror.

"That's sad that obviously affects me, but it does. Every day I walk in there and I see Joe. That'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 for a bit and I want to enjoy what I have achieved."

'Close this chapter'

Kemp joined Capital in 2014 and moved to the weekday breakfast slot in 2017. Alongside Sian Welby and Chris Stark, he attracted almost 2.5 million listeners a week, according to the latest figures.

Speaking to the paper, he said he had been trying "to spin the plates" of hosting a daily show but it was "getting in the way of my life".

"You can't enjoy your own life," he said. "If you think of a radio show, 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 and I've not been doing that for myself. It came to that point of 'I need to leave this behind now.'"

A big part of the decision to leave was so he could "close this chapter" following Lyons' suicide, he said, adding: "Imagine a tragedy happened in your house, you're going to want to move."

At the time of Lyons' death, Kemp described him as "my best friend".

The following year, the presenter made an acclaimed BBC documentary about men's mental health, titled Our Silent Emergency.

He joined BBC One's The One Show last August, co-hosted this year's Brit Awards, and appears on Celebrity Gogglebox with his parents, 1980s pop stars Martin and Shirlie Kemp.

Roman will also take part in celebrity football match Soccer Aid in June.