Meet I’m A Celebrity’s Shane Richie – 2020 contestant and former EastEnders star

The actor has swapped the small screen and stage for just under a month at the Welsh castle.

Shane Richie I'm A Celebrity 2020 contestant

The new series of I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here! only kicked off on November 15th, and already this series is getting pretty juicy.

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One of the celebs in the  I’m A Celebrity 2020 line-up is former EastEnders actor Shane Richie, who played Alfie Moon on the soap.

On Monday’s episode, Jordan North and Shane took on a very terrifying Viper Vault Bushtucker Trial, and lets just say tensions run very high.

The 56-year-old is competing for the title of King of the Castle, alongside Sir Mo Farah, journalist Victoria Derbyshire, and actress Beverley Callard.

They’ll be joined by latecomers Ruthie Henshall and Russell Watson, who will arrive in camp and be featured on the series from November 18th.

So does Shane have what it takes to win I’m A Celebrity 2020?

Here’s everything you need to know about him.

Who is Shane Richie?

Shane Richie I'm A Celebrity 2020 contestant
Shane Richie I’m A Celebrity 2020 contestant

Age: 56

Instagram: @theshanerichie

Twitter: @realshanerichie

Job: Actor

Best known for playing Queen Vic landlord Alfie Moon on EastEnders, Shane is an actor, television presenter, comedian and singer.

He first joined the BBC One soap in 2002, and played the role in three separate stints from 2002 to 2019. He also appeared in a spin-off series, Kat & Alfie: Redwater, with his co-star and on-screen wife Jessie Wallace.

A regular panto star, Shane has also presented a number of game shows for the BBC, including Decimate and Reflex.

Shane Richie I'm A Celebrity 2020 contestant
Shane Richie as Alfie Moon and Jessie Wallace as Kat Slater
BBC

In the last few years, the 56-year-old has starred as Robin Hood. He first took on the role in 2016, appearing at the Mayflower Theatre, Southampton, then repeated it again in 2017 at the New Victoria Theatre, Woking.

He then reprised the role once again in 2018 at the Milton Keynes Theatre. In 2019 he starred alongside Jenny Dale as the title character in Dick Wittington at the Bristol Hippodrome.

Phobias? “Human faeces. If I see one, it is over! I am hoping the camp toilet will be enclosed.” (Good luck!)

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Biggest misconception you want to dispel in the castle? “Nothing. I don’t think I am that interesting.”

Role in the camp? “Person who will muck in with anything.”

Who will he miss most? “My family and routine at home.”

Dream campmate? “Eric Cantona, any 80s’ pop star or The Rock.”

Relationship status? Married to Christie Goddard.

What has Shane said about joining I’m A Celebrity?

Shane says he “can’t wait” to be around adults again, after COVID-19 put a stop to his other work plans.

Speaking of when he was first asked to appear on the 2020 series, he explained: “We got the call in January and I agreed to do it because it was the 20th one. My kids were old enough to travel to Australia and they wanted to meet Ant and Dec! We were all really excited.

“We were going to fit it around my other work projects as I was going on tour, doing a TV series and panto but that all got cancelled in March.”

Shane says the lockdown took a toll on his family’s finances, so he was grateful to still have the offer of I’m A Celebrity on the table, even if it did mean shacking up in a cold castle in Wales instead of sunny Australia.

He continued: “And now I am literally skint! You save money for a rainy day but you don’t expect the rainy day to last six months. Thankfully I’ve been able to borrow money from mates, my family and the bank and my wife is now very happy we can finally pay off the credit card!

“But what an honour to be asked before lockdown. I am so grateful and I am really looking forward to being around adults again instead of my wife and three children!”

Shane Richie I'm A Celebrity 2020 contestant
Shane Richie I’m A Celebrity 2020 contestant
Getty Images

So what is Shane most looking forward to about the castle?

“When I first got asked to be in EastEnders in 2002 to play Alfie, I didn’t know what was going to happen. There is something about adrenaline and fear and that’s what I am looking forward to when I take part in this show. You aren’t going to know what to expect because we are now going to North Wales where sitting around a roaring fire is going to be more important than any other year because it will be cold and dark” he explained.

However, he doesn’t want to be the one trying to lift everyone’s spirits, saying: “I hope it doesn’t come to picking myself up when others are down,” he explains. “Otherwise it will be ‘here comes that pain in the a**e who doesn’t shut up!’ I am happy to help with whatever needs to be done and I am all over poached eggs – but I can’t cook otherwise!”

 I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out of Here! is on ITV at 9pm. If you’re looking for something to watch tonight, check out our TV Guide.