Shane Richie shares emotional EastEnders story as he admits he was bankrupt
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Shane Richie has shared an emotional story about the time when he first joined EastEnders.
Speaking to BBC journalist Victoria Derbyshire on Sunday night's episode of I'm A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here!, Shane discussed how he landed his iconic role as Alfie Moon on the BBC One soap opera.
He began by describing a scene he performed as an audition with the actors behind characters Paul Trueman ( Gary Beadle ), Sharon Watts ( Letitia Dean ), and Robbie Jackson ( Dean Gaffney ).
Shane explained to Victoria: "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'."
Shane Richie shared an emotional tale about how he joined EastEnders as Alfie Moon
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However, that was not the end of the story as Shane soon learned.
He continued: "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.
"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."
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The moment proved highly emotional for Shane as he realised what a great part he had landed at a pivotal moment in his career.
He continued: "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."
The love for the character of Alfie Moon and his romance with Kat Slater ( Jessie Wallace ) in the BBC One soap was not lost on Victoria, either.
Shane played Alfie Moon on EastEnders alongside Jessie Wallace who played Kat Moon
(Image: BBC/Nicky Johnston)
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In The Telegraph, Victoria commented: "Alfie Moon in EastEnders was absolutely iconic. Alfie & Kat as a couple, the love story that played out for months and months was just superb."
Shane also shared a touching story about the time when he joined EastEnders and when he was reunited with a face from the past.
He described: "Jump back 25 years to the 80’s and I’m doing warm up on The Late Late Breakfast Show.
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"There’s a runner on the floor, running around making cups of tea and someone started to shout at her, she gets teary. I went over and had a go and sat down with her and said ‘let me make you a cup of tea’.
"On my very first day on EastEnders, they said did you want to meet the director.
"I was so nervous, shaking, all the cast were there and I come around the corner and the director goes ‘here you go Shane, here’s a cup of tea’."
Victoria gasped in response to the tale, saying: "OMG, it’s her, that makes me want to cry, that’s a brilliant story."
Shane Richie made his last appearance as Alfie Moon in EastEnders in 2019
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Shane then said: "And from 2002 onwards, it just went mental, all about the timing, mad eh."
Alfie Moon was a central figure in EastEnders from 2002 until his exit in 2005, but he eventually returned in 2010 before leaving once again in 2016.
He last appeared in Walford for stint in 2018 before once again fleeing Albert Square in early 2019.
I'm A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here! continues tomorrow night at 9pm on ITV.
What is your favourite memory of Alfie Moon in EastEnders? Let us know in the comments below.