I’m A Celebrity star Shane Richie’s regret over doing blackface stand-up acts
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I'm A Celebrity…Get Me Out Of Here! favourite Shane Richie has told of his regret at blacking up for performances when he was younger.
The actor took part in black and white minstrel shows while a young holiday park entertainer.
And as a stand-up, Shane played an “Asian comic”, a role for which he “tanned” his face and wore a turban.
On Wednesday night’s show, Shane was trying to teach Victoria Derbyshire how to do stand-up comedy after she told him she’s no good at delivering jokes.
Writing in his 2003 autobiography, he says: “I had to black up my face, paint on red lips and white eyes, wear an afro wig and sing Al Jolson songs."
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He went on: “This was in the days when these shows were hugely popular, long before people worried much about racism and political correctness but I didn’t like it.
“I felt it was taking the piss and only did the show a couple of times before making some excuse about why I didn’t want to be in it.
"I didn’t tell anybody the real reason because I couldn’t put it in words. It just didn’t feel right.”
But in the same book, he also told of playing an “Asian comic from the Punjab called Mahatma Coat”.
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He says: “I tanned my face, wore a turban and a white catsuit….people didn’t recognise me at all.”
Shane got his first job as an entertainer at the Pontins holiday camp Little Canada on the Isle of Wight, in the early 1980s.
He then moved on to the live comedy circuit, where he got nominated for Best New Stand-Up at the inaugural British Comedy Awards in 1990.
Before I’m a Celeb, Shane, 56, teased he could return to Albert Square.
Shane (top row, third from left), took part in black and white minstrel shows while a young holiday park entertainer
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He said: “I would love to go back. I think under the present climate, there are still restrictions at EastEnders but I speak to Jessie Wallace a lot and I speak to Adam Woodyatt.
"Alfie thankfully is still alive and I think he is on the run in Spain and still owes Phil Mitchell some money.
"What is interesting is Jessie said the other week they got a letter from him so they still talk about him.”
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Richie has also starred in Benidorm, Win, Lose or Draw and a stage version of Grease but despite all that is skint.
He said: “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.
"I got rid of my car… I can get around on a moped.”
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