I’m a Celeb’s Shane Richie reveals EastEnders saved him from bankruptcy after he 'lost everything'
23 November 2020, 12:22 | Updated: 23 November 2020, 12:24
Shane Richie admitted he cried when EastEnders offered him the role of Alfie Moon.
But during Sunday night’s show, the actor revealed how his role on EastEnders saved him from going bankrupt.
The actor played Alfie Moon on and off from 2002 until 2018, but revealed he lost everything before his audition to join the soap.
Speaking to Victoria Derbyshire and the rest of camp about his audition, Shane said: “I remember going in and Gary Beadle, Tish Dean and I think Dean Gaffney were all in the Queen Vic and I did a little (scene).
“By the time I’d got to the car my manager had called and said ‘they didn’t think you were right’.
“Then my manager gets a call saying they’d like you to come back and do some improv, they have this idea of this family they’re working on.”
He continued: “So I’ve gone in and Tony Jordan who created the Slaters was a big fan of John Sullivan (Only Fools and Horses) and he always wanted to create The Trotters but in EastEnders.
“So I kept coming back but still no idea what was going on. So we go on holiday, I’m bankrupt because of this film I’d invested in, I’ve got nothing, I’m selling the house, no work.
“The phone goes and it’s my manager and he goes EastEnders want you.”
Shane also admitted he lost £700,000 from the investment, so was over the moon when he found out about the acting gig.
He added: “I started getting teary and he told me about this character called Alfie Moon and in my first episode I’d be coming in and taking over the Queen Vic, I started crying.”
56-year-old Shane is a dad to five children, sharing three with wife Christie - Mackenzie Blue, 14, Lolita Bell, 12,and nine-year-old Romani-Skye Angel.
He also has two sons with ex wife Coleen Nolan - Shane Jr, 38, and Jake, 28.
The star previously opened up about struggling with money in his autobiography Rags To Richie.
After quitting his job as a Blue Coat at Pontins, Shane moved to Plymouth and was forced to live on the streets for a fortnight.
He explained: “I was too proud to ask my parents or anyone else for help.
“I had my jeans, a shirt and a jumper and an old parka-jacket and I stayed for a couple of weeks on this bench under a tree. During the day I’d beg at the railway station although I never got very far.
“I’d ask for five pence for a cup of tea but I’d always do it with a smile on my face and the combination of that and my London accent meant people thought I was always taking the mick.
"But what had started out as a laugh was no longer funny. I was cold, hungry, dirty, tired and starting to smell.”
Meanwhile, Shane also revealed he signed up to I’m A Celeb because the coronavirus pandemic has left him 'literally skint' after his work was cancelled.
He explained that his financial situation got so bad that he was even forced to borrow money from his family and friends to tide him over.
Ahead of his stint on I'm A Celeb, Shane said: “We got the call in January and I agreed to do it because it was the 20th one.
“My kids were old enough to travel to Australia and they wanted to meet Ant and Dec! We were all really excited.”
He continued: “We were going to fit it around my other work as I was going on tour, doing a TV series and panto — but that all got cancelled in March.
“And now I am literally skint. You save money for a rainy day but you don’t expect the rainy day to last six months.”
Shane added: “Thankfully I’ve been able to borrow money from mates, my family and the bank and my wife is now very happy we can finally pay off the credit card!”