The ex-Eastenders actor known for his hard-hitting documentaries is appearing aa a special guest in Car S.O.S on National Geographic.
The TV hardman said: “I’ve always loved cars and now have a Ferrari and an Audi.
“Cars have played a very important role in my life, but when I was growing up in Essex and waiting to go to drama school, I had no money and no car.
“I couldn’t get a girlfriend because, no matter how good your recital of Hamlet was, if you didn’t have a car, no girl was going to look at you!”
“I couldn’t get a girlfriend because, no matter how good your recital of Hamlet was, if you didn’t have a car, no girl was going to look at you!”Ross Kemp
The TV star bought his first car aged 20 when he got a role in Emmerdale — before he even had his own house.
He said: “You can live in a car, but there is more room in a house and the sanitary conditions are better!
“That first car was a midnight blue Capri. It’s registration number was JZT 194W - you don’t forget a thing like that!”
But things didn’t go smoothly at first due to his unusual profession.
He recalled: “I was driving up to Emmerdale in the days before mobiles. I stopped at a service station and put 10p in a phone box to call my mum.
“She told me, ‘Your insurance company have rung and said they won’t insure you to drive. They won’t insure actors’.
“That’s still the case!” he added.
Due to the hold-up getting last-minute insurance, the young actor was three hours late getting to the Railway Hotel in Leeds.
“But as soon as I parked the car there, girls started saying hello to me,” he said.
“See, I was making up for all those years without a car!”
But Kemp said he hates driving in the UK and would rather be a passenger than spend time bogged down in traffic.
“Even on the motorway, you’re sometimes limited to 50 mph,” he said.
“At the age of 54, I now much prefer sitting in the back of a car!
"Having said that, I was just looking at a McLaren. If I have a very good year, I might get one!”
Ross Kemp is teaming-up with Car S.O.S presenters Tim and Fuzz in a daring attempt to restore a cancer survivor dad’s 1959 series 2 Land Rover in just seven days.
Car S.O.S Special: 7 Day Challenge, Thursday February 14 at 8pm on National Geographic.