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Shane Richie: Why did Shane Richie really quit Eastenders as Alfie Moon?

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Shane Richie has come a long way since he walked away from Albert Square, having played Alfie Moon on Eastenders for 17 years. The star is now one of the campmates on the 2020 series of I’m A Celebrity…Get Me Out Of Here! and he has been speaking to the other famous faces about his time on the soap. Express.co.uk has all you need to know about why Richie left Eastenders as Alfie Moon.

Why did Shane Richie really leave Eastenders as Alfie Moon?

Alfie Moon made his first appearance on Eastenders in 2002, and stayed a part of the popular British soap for three years.

He made a comeback five years later in 2010, following the return of his wife Kat Slater (Jessie Wallace) and fans were glad to see him on screen again.

Alfie and Kat were known for having a rocky relationship, and Alfie was a much-loved character during his time at the Queen Vic pub.

Both characters left the soap in 2015, before starring in their own spin-off series called Kat & Alfie: Redwater, which aired in 2017.

Alfie later returned to Eastenders in 2018, and starred in his final episode in January 2019. The star has said he did not think he had landed the role at first, and he was very emotional when he found out he had got the part.

His character is one of the most iconic in the series, and he was inspired by the show’s scriptwriter, Tony Jordan.

Alfie Moon is still alive in the soap, so there is always a chance he could return in the future, and Richie has not ruled out the prospect.

Richie revealed his character was “still on the run”, but he said he kept in touch with his co-star Wallace about the latest storylines.

The star has said he is too busy to rejoin the cast next year, but he would not rule out a 2022 return.

He has enjoyed making various comebacks on the soap, saying he loved playing Alfie Moon, but the star has so many other commitments to think about.

The 56-year-old actor has starred in a number of other shows since leaving the soap, including Caravanning With Shane Richie, and narrating Star Boot Sale.

His other credits over the years include Benidorm, Moving On, We’re Doomed! The Dad’s Army Story, and he acted as a guest presenter on The One Show.

Fans may also know the star, who is also a singer, has made three albums in his time, including Once Around the Sun in 2000 and A Country Soul in 2017.

He is also a huge fan of the theatre and one of his most recent ventures has been as the retired drag queen Hugo Battersby, otherwise known as Loco Chanelle, in the musical Everybody’s Talking About Jamie.

The father-of-five has also been keeping busy with his charity work, as he is a patron of children’s charity Cherry Trees, and The Huntington’s Disease Association.

There is no wonder the actor has not returned to Eastenders in a while, as he has had so much on his plate.

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Fans have been loving Richie on this year’s I’m A Celebrity, as he has been labelled the joker of the group, bringing plenty of laughs.

He is one of the most supportive campmates, and he continues to offer plenty of encouragements to his co-stars ahead of their trials.

He has developed a strong bond with Jordan North, as the pair took part in the first trial, called Viper Vault, together.

Hosts of the series, Ant and Dec, have suggested the actor has a ‘hammock of truth’, as the celebs seem to open up to him about their most private affairs.

The star is believed to have a special hand signal for his children who watch the series, telling them he loves them.

One fan said on Instagram: “Winner winner winner, so genuine and down to earth, his quick wit and humour is spot on [sic].”

Richie appeared on This Morning in October 2019 and he suggested Alfie Moon may well return to Eastenders in the future.

In 2016 he left Walford with Kat after winning a huge amount of cash on a scratchcard. He was later diagnosed with a brain tumour, but fans were pleased to hear he had life-saving surgery.

The last time he was seen in Walford, he had scammed Phil Mitchell (Steve McFadden) and went on the run, having faked his own death.

Fans have shown plenty of support for the star this year, with one saying on Twitter: “I’m so gassed Alfie – my favourite #EastEnders character ever – aka

@realshanerichie is going into the #ImACeleb castle. He’s gonna be awesome. Defo got hopes from him! #ShaneRichie [sic].”

Another fan said: “So basically Shane Richie was just being himself when he was in #EastEnders – he is Alfie Moon and Alfie Moon is him #ImACeleb [sic].”

I’m A Celebrity airs daily on ITV

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