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Shane Richie to star in new series of Benidorm

Shane Richie’s EastEnders character Alfie Moon was last seen leaving Walford for a new life in Spain with his wife Kat, and kids Tommy, Bert and Ernie. And that’s exactly where the actor has gone since taking a break from the BBC1 soap.

Following rumours on social media that the star is appearing in the next series of ITV comedy Benidorm, Shane was spotted on set wearing an 80s wig, animal-print shirt, slick metallic trousers and some silver bling.

The show’s official Twitter account sent fans into a frenzy by posting: “Day 54 of shooting #Benidorm8 - Rumours of Shane Richie being in Benidorm last night may or may not have been grossly exaggerated.”

He joins Joan Collins, who is reprising her role as Crystal Hennessy-Vass, the glamorous CEO of the Solana Leisure Group, and a host of other stars who will be making cameo appearances in the sitcom.

A production insider told What’s On TV: “Shane Richie arrives at The Solana as one of a selection of fabulous cameo appearances.  No more to say right now about the character he is playing or what he gets up to.  The only way to find out will be to tune in to Benidorm series 8 early in 2016”.

In the past, the series has enlisted some top showbiz names to star in the comedy. Among the famous faces to have checked into the Solana are Cilla Black, Matthew Kelly, Denise Welch, Janet Street Porter, The Krankies, Rustie Lee, Una Stubbs, Ken Morley, Nadia Sawalha and John Challis. The late Kate O’Mara and Wendy Richard also appeared in the show.

Last month, Shane confirmed that he was not leaving EastEnders for good but was just taking a break from the show. He's keeping himself busy though because later this year viewers will see what Alfie and Kat are up to when they appear in a six-part spin-off based in Ireland.