Ross Kemp Was Left Unable To Speak After Smoking Spice For New Prison Documentary

AvatarHannah Humphreys in Entertainment, TV
Published 09.01.20

Always game to get hands on with his investigative journalism, ex-Enders hard man Ross Kemp is left unable to verbalise his words after taking a few drags on a prisoner’s vape in his latest documentary at HMP Belmarsh.

Since 2004, Kemp has received international recognition as a journalist for the BAFTA Award-winning documentary series ‘Ross Kemp on Gangs’ and has visited some pretty rough and hostile places.


At 55-years of age, Ross decides to have a little dabble and see what the ‘crack’ is about as he inhales spice from a prisoner’s vape in ‘Welcome to HMP Belmarsh’ that airs tonight on ITV at 9pm.

According to The Sun, Kemp recalled: “I am rarely lost for words, but as I turn to camera, I have lost the ability to speak.

“My brain has gone blank, my hands are clammy and my mouth is dry. I have just inhaled a tiny amount of spice residue left in a vape by a comatose prisoner.


“This particular version of the drug is known as Man Down – and it does exactly what it says on the tin. It is a potentially lethal combination of aluminium cleaner and insect killer, and the man who smoked it has collapsed.

“Prison officers and medical staff have responded to a Code Blue, where a prisoner has difficulty breathing or is unconscious.”


Appearing on this morning’s GMB alongside Piers Morgan and Susanna Reid, Ross admits he “barely touched the drug” and yet still got in a complete state.

“It stops your ability to function; you’ve seen people in a zombie state?“, he explained.

Ross revealed the prisoner which gave him the drug “smoked the whole lot”.

“There’s not a prison in the world that doesn’t have drugs in it”, he stressed.

“Prisons reflect what’s happening in society”.

Yep, littered with the walking dead and people with no teeth.

Spice use is rife behind prison bars, with users left in a ‘zombie-like’ state after smoking or in this case inhaling the synthetic drug.


Fresh calls have been made to make the drug which mimics marijuana a Class-A.

The drug is currently a Class-B, but it is feared to be the “most severe public health issue we have faced in decades”.

Users are increasingly seen “slumped on the streets in a state of semi-consciousness, often passed out, sometimes aggressive and always highly unpredictable”, says Marc Jones, the Police Crime Commissioner for Lincolnshire.

So, for those of us not partial to a dabble – spice is a plant-based mix of herbs laced with synthetic chemicals meant to mimic cannabis’s psychoactive substances.

It has a flaky texture, green in colour and usually smoked (in prison, it is more common for users to vape the substance as this can go undetected by prison officers).


It’s both strong and cheap, making it appealing to those in prison who can readily get their hands on it..

Pretty toxic stuff then, even for a big man like Kemp.

Welcome To HMP Belmarsh With Ross Kemp airs on ITV at 9pm on Thursday 9 January.

In the meantime, check out a clip of him chatting with Tommy Robinson.

Can’t wait for this tonight.

Images via ITV