Richard Blackwood has revealed that he broke down and cried after being offered a role in EastEnders. The former MTV presenter said the new job has changed his life, and expressed his gratitude to the show's executive producer Dominic Treadwell-Collins who cast him in the role.
"Before Dominic came to me, I had resigned myself to the fact that maybe this country wasn't going to give me a role like this," Richard told The Mirror. "When the audition came for EastEnders, I didn't think I would get it.
"When I got it I went back to my car and I started to cry. I couldn't believe it. Dominic has changed my life."
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Richard Blackwood has said that his new EastEnders role has changed his life
The new role is particularly rewarding for Richard, who was declared bankrupt in 2003. The 42-year-old admitted to feeling depressed after he "failed" his initial career as a television presenter and rapper in the early noughties.
"When I was made bankrupt, it was hard because I was one of the first young guys from the MTV era to be deemed to have it all and then to lose it all.
"It was very real for me back then. Every time I walked out of the house, I was reminded by people that I had failed."
Richard rose to fame in 1996 when he began working for MTV. Three years later he had his own primetime show on Channel 4 and also started a successful rap career, but he admitted that it was all "too much" for him to handle.
"I had a TV show, MTV and a music career simultaneously. It was a rollercoaster that had to hit a wall at some point because it was too much. For any young guy, that is too much too soon."
Richard Blackwood will make his debut on the show on Tuesday
However Richard gives credit to the worst times in his life for making him stronger and bringing him to this point, admitting: "The person I was in 2003 would not have been ready for this role."
Richard's first EastEnders scenes will be aired live on Tuesday as part of the soap's 30th anniversary week – something the newcomer is understandably nervous about.
"Well, er, I am very nervous. It's not the live stuff that's making me nervous, it's joining the big machine.
"All eyes are on EastEnders and I'm going to be in the midst of that as the new character."