It’s the moment we’ve all been waiting for – in the week before Christmas, Alfie Moon is set to discover who his wife Kat has been having an affair with. Since July we’ve been wondering who the mystery man could be, with the field having now narrowed to just three suspects: Jack, Max and Derek. So how does Alfie make his discovery? Shane Richie reveals the details:
So Alfie comes to fear that the affair is still going on. How does that leave him feeling?
He’s devastated. These scripts were so well written. Alfie is still in denial, he doesn’t want to face up to it. There’s a big stag do going on in the Vic and Alfie pretends that he has to go and collect some cheap booze, and he tells Kat that he has won’t be back until the morning. But in fact he becomes this mad stalker and he follows her. It was a great scene to film and I love working with Jessie under these circumstances.
And, at the time when he’s following her, with whom does he think Kat’s having an affair?
He still thinks she’s having an affair with someone he doesn’t know, some bloke from Catford. There’s a wonderful scene where Alfie follows her back to the bedsit, still believing that it is a stranger. Then the pin starts to drop about the engagement ring, the key that keeps being found in the Vic and that’s when he realises that, actually, this is a lot closer to home.
And yet he still thinks it can’t be someone he knows. I mean, who would do this to Alfie? Then he finds out it’s someone who drinks in the Vic, and then he discovers that it’s actually one of the Brannings. And suddenly Alfie, who I absolutely love playing, becomes a different monster. Alfie just really gets his balls and goes, “Right. Enough is enough. I don’t care about you any more, Kat. I’m not interested in what you’ve got to say. You’re filth, you’re disgusting. Not only have you done this, but you’ve done this with one of our friends”.
Do you think it will surprise the audience when we find out who it is?
Oh, big time. And it’s really interesting about how we play the Branning card as to which one of them it is. The way it’s worded, you believe it’s one brother in particular and then that all changes and you go, “oh it’s him!” Because we make people believe it’s another Branning – the way its worded, the way I face up to one of them. The audience will all think it’s one person in particular, but then I throw a curve ball and it all kicks off. It’s great.
What does Kat do when Alfie finds her in the bedsit?
It’s the whole remorse thing again about how she was there to tell him it was over, how she doesn’t want to see him anymore. And when I get to the room and see petals on the bed and scented candles, I’m saying, “Really? Is this how you’re going to tell someone this is over, Kat?”
And of course he doesn’t believe that. She’s dressed up for another night of passion, so he really doesn’t believe it this time. He’s done with the lying. In the past, Alfie has forgiven Kat but this time I really do not think he’s going to forgive her.
Do we find out why Kat did this?
This will all come to fruition in the New Year and you’ll kind of get to know why she has gone with this particular person. It’s an on-going story, which is really interesting, to see why Kat was with Alfie and why she went for this bloke because they both offer her different things.
Did you always know who it was?
To be honest with you, because we didn’t know, we used to joke about it. I thought it was Michael Moon till will got the script and thought, ‘no it can’t be him’ and then we thought it was Ray, and then we did a scene when it came down to the Brannings. And it was a case of we knew who it wasn’t but we didn’t know who it was. It wasn’t until we got the script though that I went, “ahh, I get it!”. It’s all very clever!
Could you describe what it was like to film the key scene?
It was great to film. We worked with Karl Neilson, who’s one of our well-respected directors here, and with Simon Ashdown, who wrote the scripts. One scene is long, which is great as you’ve worked hard enough to be given that opportunity where the BBC bosses have said you deserve this. It was an honour by EastEnders to carry this one scene with just these two guys for that long.
Because you have a vested interest to try and get this right, especially if the EastEnders bosses are giving you opportunity to do this, you kind of want to tick every box and know where the high and lows of the emotions are. Basically its choreography: do I kiss her, do I stand here? We spent a lot of time working on it and that was enjoyable.