Ross Kemp has taken a camera crew behind bars in a new ITV show airing tonight that offers an unprecedented look inside the notorious Belmarsh Prison.

Returning to our screens at 9pm tonight (Thursday, January 9), Ross Kemp will take us inside the walls of Belmarsh Prison, revealing what life is like inside the Category A facility.

Belmarsh Prison, located in Thamesmead in south east London, is famed for holding the country's most notorious convicts, and currently houses nearly 200 murders and 17 convicted terrorists.

The prison has now offered full camera access for the first time, with investigative journalist and ex-East Enders actor Ross Kemp spending six months filming the harsh realities of life in prison.

News Shopper:

Welcome to Belmarsh with Ross Kemp is a two-part documentary, the first part airing tonight at 9pm on ITV and the second episode coming out a week later on Thursday 16 January at the same time.



The prison has held some of the nation's most high profile criminals including Ronnie Biggs, Charles Bronson and John Worboys.

It also currently houses controversial figure Julian Assange and Tommy Robinson, and one anonymous prisoner once dubbed it "Hellmarsh."

News Shopper:

Adrian Knight, head of prisoner safety, HMP Belmarsh, stated: "We will take anyone. We’ve had war criminals in here for genocide. There’s not one prisoner in the country that we won’t take. We’ve got 17 convicted terrorists, 187 murderers, prisoners that have killed three or four people.”

Cameras follow Ross as he explores how prisoners and staff cope with high-profile inmates, extremists and common criminals living side-by-side, goes inside the High Security Unit – the only ‘prison within a prison’ in England and Wales - experiences the effect drugs can have on prisoners, and gets an insight into Belmarsh’s efforts to rehabilitate inmates.

He also sees how this complex prison operates as a violent protest unfolds outside, gaining a full-access close insight into life for staff and prisoners while it goes into lockdown.

Kemp will also look at the growing numbers of gangs operating in the prison, which an annual report in October revealed were exerting a growing influence on life inside.