Shane Richie reveals he was homeless at 16

Shane Richie reveals he was homeless at 16

Shane Richie was left homeless after an acting job fell through when he was just 16 years old.
The ‘EastEnders’ star, now 54, has opened up about sleeping on the streets as a teenager when he moved to Plymouth before a potential role didn’t materialise, leaving him spending his first night in a shop doorway.
Speaking to the Mirror, he said "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.
"When I think back, I see a 16-year-old boy who hadn’t been abandoned by his family, who didn’t have mental health issues or drug and alcohol addictions. But what I did experience was being invisible; being looked through."
Despite spending a relatively short time on the street before moving back to London, Shane – who plays Alfie Moon on the soap – acknowledged that he was lucky to have another option.
He added: "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."
During his time on the streets, he found a homeless community, which has given him a different perspective.
He explained: "The people I’ve spoken to over the years, who are living on our streets, are not looking for pity but dignity.
"So next time you pass someone curled up in a doorway in the freezing cold, just think that whoever it is under that filthy blanket is someone’s son, daughter, brother, sister, mum or dad… and that in the blink of an eye, it could be me or you."