I’m A Celeb’s Shane Richie was ‘skint’ and borrowing money from pals before ITV call up

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While plenty of us have taken a financial hit during the pandemic, you would expect Shane Richie of all people to have a safety net.

But after failing to save and lots of daft spending in his 40-year showbiz career, the TV favourite finds himself “literally skint” as he hits screens in I’m a Celebrity.

Speaking just before entering Gwrych Castle, Shane said: “I was going on tour, doing a TV series and panto but it all got cancelled in March. Now I am literally skint!

“You save for a rainy day but you don’t expect the rainy day to last eight months. Thankfully, I’ve been able to borrow money from mates, my family and the bank."

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He went on: “I got rid of my car but only cos I lease a car for my wife for the school run. I can get around on a moped.

“I am alright, I have had a career and if it all finishes tomorrow, so be it. If the worst comes to the worst, I’ll do stand-up or resurrect a musical.”

Asked if he had taken Government aid, he said “The mortgage, yeah” – suggesting he may be one of millions who have frozen payments until 2021.

The 56-year-old previously wrote in his autobiography: “Despite all the money coming in, I didn’t put a single penny to one side. I had no savings account and no pension. My philosophy was ‘Treat every day as if it is your last because one day you’ll be right’.”

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His lucrative roles have included turns in EastEnders, musical Grease and the Daz adverts. But after the last financial year his firm, Bluebell Skye Productions Ltd, only had £4,165 in capital. Shane was in Enders from 2002 to 2005 and 2010 to 2016, and at his peak was on a reported £230,000 a year as Alfie Moon.

But just before he joined the soap, he owed £1million on a mortgage and “ploughed £700,000 into a movie” – time-travel gangster flick Shoreditch, which made £2,272 in its first week before closing.

Shane – who has five kids, two of them from his first marriage, to Coleen Nolan – admitted that at the end of 2003, he had a £1.6m debt. And he has confessed to splurging on film memorabilia.

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He said: “I blew thousands on the strangest things, in particular Planet of the Apes memorabilia. It was my favourite show as a boy,I couldn’t resist. It harks back to Christmases when Mum and Dad couldn’t afford much.”

Shane also splashed out on flash cars when he was younger – including a Rolls Royce he drove twice. He landed the Daz ads in the mid-1990s, netting £500,000 over two years.

But he claimed in 2017 they damaged his career, saying: “I’d warn my younger self – you will get s***loads of money but at auditions people will giggle, ‘It’s that prat from the adverts’.”

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Shane’s divorce from Coleen was not costly, settled amicably out of court in 2003. He said at the time: “The only people who lost out were the lawyers.”

And he considers himself a rich man to have second wife Christie, with whom he has kids Mackenzie Blue, Lolita Bell and Romani-Skye Angel.

Shane played Alfie Moon on EastEnders alongside Jessie Wallace who played Kat Moon
(Image: BBC/Nicky Johnston)

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Telling how he hopes to do his brood proud on ITV hit I’m a Celeb, he said: “If anything will get me through, it will be thinking of them.”

Shane hopes Covid restrictions are over soon so he can tour in musical Everybody’s Talking About Jamie. He would also like an EastEnders return – and with his ability to bounce back, it may be worth putting money on…

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