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Martin Kemp and wife discuss passion they have for gardening

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At the time, Martin Kemp was known as part of the band Spandau Ballet, which created songs such as True (1983), Only When You Leave (1984), and Round and Round (1984). He then dipped his toe into acting, starring in the TV series Highlander (1993). Three years before he featured as bad boy Steve Owen on EastEnders in 1998, Kemp discovered a concerning lump at the back of his head.

When medics investigated the lesion, following an MRI scan, they found two brain tumours.

One was just below his skull while the other was deeply embedded in his brain.

Appearing on ITV’s This Morning, alongside his wife Shirlie, voltaren emulgel para que es the couple spoke about the scary ordeal.

“One of the hardest things, mentally, was knowing he had this huge brain tumour,” Shirlie said of Kemp.

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He needed a “huge operation where they removed part of his skull and put titanium plates in his head”.

Shirlie continued: “And he had another tumour as well… We didn’t know what they were gonna do to save him.”

While Kemp acknowledged that his health battle was “a long time ago”, the “shock” of it stayed with him, Shirlie, and their children, Harley and Roman.

“I’m not even sure how much [Roman] remembers. But I think as a family, it still rubs off on you,” Kemp stated.

“It makes you appreciate each other because you learn that you never know what’s around the corner.”

His brain surgery wasn’t without consequences, as he revealed on the TV programme.

“Having epilepsy is quite common for anyone who has a brain tumour or is recovering from one,” he said.

“I still take drugs to suppress it and will have to do so for the rest of my life.”

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Kemp, 61, said: “You have to live with [the possibility that the tumour can come back].

“Doctors scan me every five years to see what is going on. One of mine was so large pieces had to be left behind as they are connected to important tissue.

“But I’m told there is the same chance of anyone getting one as there is of one coming back for me.”

Brain tumours

The NHS explains: “A brain tumour is a growth of cells in the brain that multiplies in an abnormal, uncontrollable way.”

Non-cancerous (benign) brain tumours, which were the type that Kemp had, grow slowly and are “less likely to return after treatment”.

Depending on where the tumour is in the brain, it can lead to symptoms, such as:

  • Headaches
  • Seizures (fits)
  • Persistently feeling sick (nausea), being sick (vomiting) and drowsiness
  • Mental or behavioural changes, such as memory problems or changes in personality
  • Progressive weakness or paralysis on one side of the body
  • Vision or speech problems.

“Sometimes you may not have any symptoms to begin with, or they may develop very slowly over time,” the NHS adds.

Martin Kemp is on BBC Two’s Celebrity Antiques Road Trip on Thursday, October 20 at 7pm.

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