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Ex-EastEnders star Shane Richie: 'I turned down Simon Cowell deal!'

Shane Richie PA

Former EastEnders star Shane Richie has told how he turned down a record deal from Simon Cowell after revealing his musical talents to the nation

Former EastEnders star Shane Richie has told how he turned down a record deal from Simon Cowell after revealing his musical talents to the nation.

The actor, who famously played Alfie Moon in the BBC One soap until last year, has been focussing on his passion for country singing in recent months and this summer announced both his signing with East West Records and plans for an American album.

But the 53-year-old suggested his musical career could have kicked off more than a decade ago following the success of his Children In Need single I’m Your Man in 2003, which reached number two in the official UK charts.

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He told the Sun newspaper: “Off the strength of the single, I was offered a deal by Simon, but my contract was with EastEnders, and I was happy to carry on playing Alfie.

“Before EastEnders I’d been made bankrupt because of a movie I had invested in, I owed three quarters of a million.

“The last thing I wanted to do was turn my back, as much as I would loved (sic) to have done an album, but my allegiance was to EastEnders.”

Shane recently returned to screens, reprising his role as Alfie in EastEnders spin-off show Kat And Alfie: Redwater, alongside former co-star Jessie Wallace.

His new collection will hit shelves in November and includes a collaboration with his son Jake Roche.

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!