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I’m A Celeb star Shane Richie reveals pandemic left him 'literally skint'

I’m A Celeb star Shane Richie
(Image credit: Getty Images)

'You save money for a rainy day but you don’t expect the rainy day to last six months'

I’m A Celeb star Shane Richie has revealed how taking part in the new series will pay off debts that have built up this year due to the coronavirus.

The entertainment business has been badly affected by the pandemic, with theatres and entertainment venues across the UK being forced to shut down.

And it’s even taken its toll on big names like Shane, who’s best known for playing Alfie Moon in EastEnders.

Shane was officially confirmed as part of I’m A Celebrity 2020 last night on I’m A Celebrity A Jungle Story, where Ant and Dec looked back over past series.

But Shane reveals that he actually signed up to I'm A Celeb back in January...

“We got the call in January and I agreed to do it because it was the 20th one,” he says.

“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 as I was going on tour, doing a TV series and panto - but that all got cancelled in March.

“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!"

EastEnders Alfie Moon Kat Moon

Shane Richie back in his EastEnders days as Alfie Moon (credit: BBC)

MORE: Can you remember all the winners of I'm A Celebrity over the years?

Shane adds that he’s hoping to make his children proud in the castle.

“To make the kids proud would be so nice,” says the 56-year-old star. “They were too young for the height of Alfie Moon and they have only seen Daddy dressed as a drag queen!”

Shane says the things that he will miss most while on the show is his family and "routine at home".

The official I’m A Celeb line-up is: Shane Richie, Vernon Kay, Victoria Derbyshire, Hollie Arnold, Jordan North, Beverley Callard, AJ Pritchard, Giovanna Fletcher, Sir Mo Farah and Jessica Plummer.

The new series of I'm A Celebrity... Get Me Out of Here will start on ITV this Sunday at 9pm.

David is the What To Watch Editor and has over 20 years of experience in television journalism. He is currently writing about the latest television and film news for What To Watch.

Before working for What To Watch, David spent many years on TV Times magazine, interviewing some of television's most famous stars including Hollywood actor Kiefer Sutherland, singer Lionel Richie and wildlife legend Sir David Attenborough. 

David started out as a writer on TV Times before becoming the title's deputy features editor and then features editor. During his time on TV Times, David also helped run the annual TV Times Awards. David is a huge Death in Paradise fan, although he's still failed to solve a case before the show's detective! He also loves James Bond and controversially thinks that Timothy Dalton was an excellent 007.

Other than watching and writing about telly, David loves playing cricket, going to the cinema, trying to improve his tennis and chasing about after his kids!