EastEnders star Shane Richie has helped to highlight the UK's homelessness problem by opening up about his own experiences of sleeping rough when he was younger. The 54-year-old actor was homeless for ten days as a teenager, sleeping in shop doorways and on park benches. Speaking to the Mirror, Shane revealed: "What I learnt almost 40 years ago has had, and will always have, a lasting effect on me. I slept rough for no more than 10 days before the grim reality kicked in and sent me home with my dirty, unwashed tail firmly between my legs. I soon found out there was nothing adventurous about sleeping in the freezing cold, in a shop doorway or wrapped up in a sleeping bag on a park bench."
Explaining how he found himself in the situation in the first place, Shane explained how he was a penniless 16-year-old aspiring actor looking for work. He found a job as a DJ in a Plymouth club, but he wasn't due to start it until a few weeks later. During this time, he was asked to leave the B&B he'd been staying in, then went on to find shelter in a squat. After the police raided the squat, Shane found himself on the streets of Plymouth with just a sleeping bag to keep warm in for ten nights. Luckily, Shane was able to go home to London after getting a lift by the police. He said: "I didn’t choose to be homeless, no one does, but unlike others I met in the same predicament I was lucky enough to have options to go to back in London."
Shane later went on to find success as an entertainer and actor. Fans know and love him best as Alfie Moon in EastEnders, who he has played on-and-off for the last 17 years. Alfie is currently not in the show, after a disappearing act that left many viewers asking if he is dead or alive. However, his wife Kat Moon received a text message from him in January, which means that the door is very much open for the long-standing character to return...
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