Ross Kemp, the actor turned bold investigative reporter renowned for fronting fearless documentaries from global hotspots, has undertaken his most daring mission to date -- a visit to the district of Thanet. Having witnessed life on the frontline against the Taliban in Afghanistan, Kemp travelled to the Kent coast on Friday to participate in the fight against Ukip, the former EastEnder hoping to bolster support for Labour with polling showing the party trailing well behind Nigel Farage for the seat.
Kemp blends in with the inhabitants of Broadstairs
Alongside Labour candidate Will Scobie, Kemp went on a audacious walkabout down Broadstairs High Street, stopping to talk and pose for pictures with locals while pursued by a savage battery of cameramen and journalists. The actor, a long-time and active Labour supporter who has fronted party political broadcasts, said (in a gruff voice) that Scobie is "a local man who will champion local causes".
He added: "After the election he'll still be living here and won't be tucked up in some wine bar in Westminster. He'll be coming back here to see his family and look after the people that live here. It's very very close and people who care about living here and the issues that affect local people should vote for this man."
Scobie is involved in a three-way fight with Ukip leader Nigel Farage and the Conservatives' Craig Mackinlay to secure the Thanet South seat. A survey by Survation for major Ukip donor Alan Bown found that Farage has 39% of support in the constituency, well ahead of nearest rival Mackinlay on 30%.
Kemp stayed alive by forcing down local tribal delicacies
Meanwhile, Scobie is just about keeping pace with the front-runners, securing 26% of support, while Liberal Democrat candidate Russ Timpson is poised to lose his deposit on 2%, the poll suggests. All parties have waged a hard-fought campaign to secure Thanet South, which was won by the Conservatives' Laura Sandys on a narrow majority in 2010.