Ross Kemp turns 50: His four hardest moments, from accosting a Hamas suicide bomber in Gaza to being shot at by the Taliban

The Eastenders actor noted it was 'about to kick off'. But he didn't get out of there. He stayed, looked death in the eye and told it he was Grant Mitchell.

Forget Prince George – Britain’s hardest man turns 50 today.

No, not Danny Dyer.

The other one, who used to play Grant Mitchell in Eastenders and now follows the world’s most dangerous gang members into abandoned meeting points he’s never heard of to converse in a language he doesn’t speak.

It’s fair to say that, as sensational as it may be, Ross Kemp On Gangs is seriously compulsive viewing. It sees the former TV son of Babs Windsor traverse treacherous war zones, accost murderers, terrorists and even suicide bombers – and that’s all before he casually survives a hail of bullets. Done. Dusted. Back in time for tea.

So what better way to celebrate the bald bastion’s milestone than looking at four of his very hardest moments?

Hard Moment One: That time he was guerrilla attacked by the Taliban in Afghanistan

The bullets were so close to his face, Kemp tells the camera, all the while still rolling while he desperately tries not to get shot, he could feel the air moving around his skin. He and his crew are in open ground as they desperately scramble away from the attack and make their way to a nearby building. He survives. Just. It’s a truly terrifying watch.

Hard Moment Two: That time he accosted a fully armed Hamas suicide bomber in Gaza

Kemp knew he was about to speak with the leader of a terrorist group connected with Hamas in Gaza. But he didn’t know he was about to witness a 24-year-old law student, armed with explosives, record his martyrdom video ahead of an attack. He barely flinches, and the interview he manages to score after the crude handheld camera stops rolling is as sad as it is harrowing.

Hard Moment Three: That time he swatted away an assault rifle and shouted ‘Are you going to kill me?’ at one of the most dangerous fighters in Papua New Guinea

Really needs no introduction. Probably the hardest thing anyone’s done on TV in the history of TV. Or something.

Hard Moment Four: That time he walked, unarmed, into the headquarters of the most dangerous gang in the UK

The Brownies. OK, so this one is a joke. It’s actually from The Impressions Show. And it’s not Ross Kemp, its John Culshaw. In case you didn't spot that.

But we defy anyone to be in a  room full of six-year-old girls for more than three hours and not run away screaming. Truly hair-raising stuff.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
PROMOTED VIDEO
ebooks
ebooksA year of political gossip, levity and intrigue from the sharpest pen in Westminster
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs People

Recruitment Genius: HR Manager

£25000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They are in need of a HR Manage...

h2 Recruit Ltd: Business Development Manager - HR Consultancy - £65,000 OTE

£35000 - £40000 per annum + £65,000 OTE: h2 Recruit Ltd: London, Birmingham, M...

Day In a Page

Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there