I’m a Celeb’s Shane Richie still regrets £500k job – and says it ‘shut career down’
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Shane Richie became a household when he moved ion to Albert Square as the Queen Vic's cheeky new landlord, Alfie Moon.
But before landing the EastEnders gig, the actor's career was full of low moments, including a 10-day stint living on the street and being forced to beg for money at the train station.
He had a number of jobs over the years, including a part in the musical Grease, but he admits there is one role he wishes he could wash all trace of the from his CV – because he reckons it was a blemish on his career.
The actor, who is currently in starring in I'm A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here was the face of the washing detergent Daz in the 1990s and doorstepped people in the campaign.
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He said: “I was given a s***load of money for that but it shut my career down because casting directors would go, ‘We’ve got that prat who does the Daz ad’.
"I know what people think of me, I know sometimes they don’t take what I do seriously. But I do.”
He's previously admitted that he never wanted to do the advert, and actually tried to price himself out of the job.
During his time in the I'm A Celeb castle, he told his campmates: "Never say no to a job, just price yourself out of it.
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"With Daz I didn’t want to do it so I said it would be £500,000 for 21 days work over two years, they’re never going to pay that… but they did."
But Shane has also revealed the ads did earn him some fans – women looking for good, clean fun.
He said: “They do attract a lot of bored housewives. I get these letters saying, ‘Come to my house at 2.30pm. My husband won’t be there and you can check my whites – if you know what I mean’.”
Shane Richie and Coleen Nolan were married in the 1990s
(Image: Getty Images)
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Shane has spoken openly about his financial struggles in the past, including in his autobiography, Rags to Richies.
He explains: "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.
Shane's life changed forever when he landed his role on EastEnders, taking over as landlord of the Queen Vic
(Image: BBC/Nicky Johnston)
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"But what had started out as a laugh was no longer funny. I was cold, hungry, dirty, tired and starting to smell."
Shane also wrote a moving account of his experience for The Mirror in 2019, in which he admits that he had the option to go home – which most people on the streets do not.
He writes: "What I learnt almost 40 years ago has had, and will always have, a lasting effect on me.
"I slept rough for no more than 10 days before the grim reality kicked in and sent me home with my dirty, unwashed tail firmly between my legs.
"I soon found out there was nothing adventurous about sleeping in the freezing cold, in a shop doorway or wrapped up in a sleeping bag on a park bench."
He also recalled the people he met over the 10 days, and how their stories have stayed with him.
"I met a few and was intrigued by their stories and how they ended up homeless. Some not much older than me had left home for one reason or other; sexual or physical abuse, drug or alcohol addictions," he writes.
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"One girl, aged 19, told me she had been ostracised by her family after making claims that she’d been sexually abused by a family member since 13.
"Everyone I spoke to over my very short time of living on the streets had a heartbreaking story."
He finished his piece by asked people to think when they see someone sleeping rough, rather than just walking past.
He said: "What I did experience was being invisible; being looked through.
"The people I’ve spoken to over the years, who are living on our streets, are not looking for pity but dignity.
"So next time you pass someone curled up in a doorway in the freezing cold, just think that whoever it is under that filthy blanket is someone’s son, daughter, brother, sister, mum or dad… and that in the blink of an eye, it could be me or you."