'You're not going to f****** kill me!': Ross Kemp stares down guerrillas in the highlands of Papua New Guinea
Ross Kemp has been caught on camera in a terrifying face-off with armed guerillas as he filmed his latest show in Papua New Guinea.
The 49-year-old former EastEnders hardman and his crew had hiked into jungle near the city of Hagan to interview 'The General', the leader of a gang of violent robbers who terrorise the slums.
But the expedition nearly ended in disaster after three men wielding rifles and shotguns emerged from the bush and pointed the weapons at Mr Kemp. The actor is seen pushing away one of the rifles and yelling ‘Are you gonna kill me? No one’s gonna f*****g kill me!’. He was eventually allowed to leave unharmed.
The extraordinary stand-off unfolded while Mr Kemp was in PNG, a notoriously violent country, filming his show Extreme World 3. They were taken to The General's remote hideout by a local guide called Lucas. He accompanied them most of the way before telling them to go on without him, an instruction which Mr Kemp says should have set ‘bells going off’.
However, they continued with their journey and were met by a group of men with black-painted faces wearing combat gear, one of whom was the General. The meeting was initially calm, and Mr Kemp was offered beetlenut and a cigarette.
It was at this point the three armed men appeared from between the trees and screamed at the actor to get on his hands and knees.
Ross Kemp takes on some armed men
In an interview for Sky 1 after the event he said, ‘You know if get down on your hands and knees you know you are going to become a victim at that point. What they're going to do you don't know.’ Cameraman Jonathan Young caught the entire incident on camera. The journalist's defiant approach seems to have worked, as the General called off the gunmen and then agreed to be interviewed by him.
‘I don’t know to this day if they were going to hurt us … or if they were just testing us, testing our mettle to see if we’d capitulate, and because we didn’t, we earned his respect I think,’ said the star.
Mr Kemp described Papua New Guinea as ‘one of the most violent societies I’ve ever encountered’, and said that while he tries not to be judgmental when making his documentaries, ‘when you look at the stats in terms of how much violence is committed against women in particular… there are some things that I would suggest are unacceptable.’
Two thirds of women in PNG have experienced domestic violence and 50 per cent have been raped, an Amnesty International report found in 2011. A 2013 study conducted on behalf of the United Nations found that 41 per cent of men in Papua New Guinea admitted to raping a non-partner.
Mr Kemp is best known for playing Grant Mitchell in EastEnders. After leaving the soap in 2006, he has forged a career as a investigative journalist, visiting some of the most troubled parts of the world including Afghanistan. He has won a number of awards for his work.
The presenter was married to former News International executive Rebekah Brooks. They divorced in 2009 and his second wife is lawyer Renee O'Brien.
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