From EastEnd to Wild West
by Debbie Pogue -
Playing Alfie has left Shane Richie over the Moon.
As cheeky chappie Alfie Moon, Shane Richie is soaplandís favourite
landlord. But even he was shocked to find out just how far-flung his
characterís popularity is.
To celebrate his success at the Queen Vic, Shane, girlfriend
Christie Goddard and his sons - Shane Jr, 14, and 11-year-old Jake -
flew to a remote ranch in the depths of the Grand Canyon in the
States. And he was besieged by fans who watch EastEnders on BBC
"A helicopter took us from Las Vegas to this ranch in the middle of
nowhere," says Shane.
"And as soon as I stepped out, there was a crowd of people wanting
"People had been coming up to me on the streets in LA and Vegas
saying 'Hey Alfie, how ya doing?í But I didnít expect it out on a
The North London-born actor loves playing Alfie, but is worried
something dark from his characterís murky past might surface at any
"All this loveable-rogue stuff is going to come crashing down soon,"
he reckons. "But I hope they donít turn him into a bad man.
"I feel quite strongly that the EastEndersí bosses shouldnít lose
sight of the fact that Alfie means so much to people.
"When I did the scenes with Jessie Wallace - who plays Kat Slater -
about her losing the baby, I got letters from 14 and 15-year-olds
saying thank you for being so understanding.
"Then when we did that hilarious scene where Alfie was adamant that
he should find a condom, we had letters from the safe sex people
saying what a great role model I was.
"I know itís a bit mad but Iím actually becoming quite protective of
Alfie and what he stands for "If all of a sudden we find he is a
serial rapist or something, it will kill it all."
Lifeís ups and downs
When it comes to his own life, Shane has had his share of ups and
As host of Lucky Numbers and Win, Lose Or Draw, he graced our TV
screens several times a week. But he then suffered a very public
split from his ex-Nolans wife, Colleen, after being caught having an
affair with Louise Tyler, a dancer he was appearing with in the
"Iíve had my fair share of problems, most of which have been down to
my own stupid mistakes," says the 39-year-old.
"I did the whole sex, drugs and booze thing. But now I know that
this business owes you nothing and youíre only as good as your
But even before he got his break in Walford, Shane found a saviour
in 25-year- old actress, dancer and TV presenter girlfriend
"Weíve been together for two years now and itís great that she knew
me before EastEnders," says Shane.
"We are blissfully happy and the only change is that she sees less
of me now because of the workload." Christie even got him out of a
hole when he ran into financial trouble after bankrolling a film
project for £500,000.
In the movie, Shoreditch, Shane plays a 1930s nightclub owner who
falls for a singer played by Joely Richardson.
"Iím very proud of the film," he says. "But it did cost me a lot of
money - and nearly my house.
"Thanks to Christie, I managed to get out of debt and then
EastEnders happened which couldnít have been at a better time.
"Hopefully the film will be successful because I believe in it, but
it wonít be the end of the world if it isnít."
And whatever happens in the future, either to the wannabe film star
or his alter ego Alfie Moon, Shane says heíll always be grateful to
EastEnders for one thing.
"Iím just so glad that people now shout out 'Hey, Alfieí instead of
'Hey, arenít you that prat off the Daz ad?"í
Shane Richie and Grand Canyon West
Owner Nigel Turner
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