I’m A Celebrity…Get Me Out Of Here! star Shane Richie was ‘bankrupt’ before he was cast as Alfie Moon in EastEnders in 2008.
The actor had invested in a film and when the venture went pear-shaped he was left with nothing and had to put his house up for sale.
The soap star was so relieved when he got the part of Alfie, who went on to become landlord of the Queen Vic, that he broke down in tears.
Speaking to camp mate Victoria Derbyshire on Sunday’s episode, Shane said: ‘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. 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.’
He remembered doing an audition with stars Gary Beadle, Letitia Dean and Dean Gaffney.
The TV star also shared a moving story about how a runner he had helped in the 80s turned out to be a director on EastEnders.
Shane explained: ‘Jump back 25 years to the 80’s and I’m doing warm up on The Late Late Breakfast Show. 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, I was 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 said the tale moved her to tears, adding: ‘That’s a brilliant story.’
Alfie, along with Kat Slater (Jessie Wallace) became one of the most iconic couples on EastEnders when they ran the pub together.
Shane previously said that he would love to return to Albert Square after the cheeky landlord vanished from Walford in January 2019.
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