EastEnders star Ross Kemp attends Easter event in Norfolk
PUBLISHED: 16:50 19 April 2019 | UPDATED: 10:20 20 April 2019
A former EastEnders star hailed his Norfolk roots when he attended his first event as patron of an animal rescue group.
Ross Kemp, who played Grant Mitchell on the long-running BBC soap, signed photographs and merchandise at The Royal Hotel in Mundesley on Good Friday.
He took on the ambassadorial role at the north Norfolk Seal and Shore Watch in April 2018.
His parents live in nearby Knapton and he said: “I've played on the beaches of Norfolk since I was a child. My family were born and brought up here, even though I was born in Essex.
“My mum was born in North Walsham and my dad in Norwich, and my family can be traced back to Rackheath.
“I'm very proud of my Norfolk heritage and some of the best beaches in the UK are in Norfolk.
“But my generation has done a very good job of destroying the planet, with the build-up of plastic on the beaches.
“So when I was asked by (Seal and Shore Watch chairman) Bob White to be the patron, I jumped at it. Anything I can do to help wildlife and draw attention to it, I will.”
Mr White said he bumped into the BAFTA-winning documentary maker on the beach while he was staying with his parents.
He said: “When I took on this job I thought I'd ask him to get involved.
“He's a good person to represent us as he's got ties to the area.
“This is the first time since he's been our patron he's been able to come to an event as he's been busy filming.”
Mr Kemp's parents John and Jean also attended the event.
Mrs Kemp said: “He's a wonderful son and a great ambassador. He's not big-headed at all.”
Ross's brother Darren Kemp once worked for the EDP and Mr Kemp senior said: “He did his training at the EDP. The EDP had a reputation as being one of the best regional papers in the country.
“Ross loves Norfolk and his grandparents all come from this way.”
Crew and supporters of the seal watch group also attended the event, which was heaving.