The former EastEnders actor is due to join Vernon Kay, Sir Mo Farah, Victoria Derbyshire and others in this year’s installment of the ITV competition. In contrast with previous years, I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! be held in the “haunted” 2,000-year-old Gwrych Castle, in Wales – rather than the sweltering Australian jungle due to coronavirus. Shane, who is best-known as Alfie Moon on the BBC soap, rose to fame as a comedian and performed in Spain under a number of different aliases. He revealed that a spat led him to change his name and an unfortunate blunder meant he would be forever known as Shane Richie.
The TV star recalled the unusual events after an interviewer pronounced his real surname Roche as “RO-sh” and quipped that “makes it sound so posh”.
Shane admitted that while his wife of 13 years Christine Goddard preferred that pronunciation – it actually sounded like “Roach”.
He detailed a number of other stage names he used in the past and said: “Before that I was Shane Skywalker… don’t get me started about that!”
Likely a tribute to the Star Wars character Luke Skywalker, Shane donned that surname after he had left Pontins, where he worked as a Bluecoat.
He continued: “Then for a while was Shane Ryan, after my cousin Ryan, and then I kind of fell out with my dad when I was 15 or 16.”
During their spat, which he didn’t detail further, he was living in Torremolinos, Spain, where he worked as a compere, DJ and holiday rep.
It was there that he discovered his talent for stand-up comedy after he performed in sketch shows for their international audiences and admitted an error led to a change in his stage name.
I’m A Celebrity: Shane Richie revealed how a ‘fall out’ led to his stage name
I’m A Celebrity: Shane Richie’s ex wife Coleen Nolan with sons Shane Jr (left) and Jake (right)
Shane recalled: “On the poster it said Shane ‘Roché’, one of the guys who was Spanish, in the crew out there, had mispronounced it.”
This blunder was followed by another where instead of being named ‘Roche’ he was listed as Shane ‘Richie’.
He continued: “At the time Lionel Richie had gone solo from The Commodores… around about then and someone went, ‘That’s a great name!’ – I went ‘Richie?’”
Shane, who was 17 at the time, was singing in a Neil Diamond tribute act and fondly recalled belting out their 1969 hit Sweet Caroline while he was an “out of work actor”.
He recalled: “Someone said, ‘Oh, can you please welcome onto the stage Shane Richie!’ – ‘What? It’s Roche?’”
They repeated “Richie” before he came out on-stage and admitted from there “it kind of stuck”.
Shane added: “Then the contract came in and it said ‘Richie’ on it and I said ‘Forget about it’.
I’m A Celebrity: Shane Richie starred in Daz washing detergent adverts in the Nineties
“I was rebelling against my dad as well so I stuck with Richie – it confused the hell out of the taxman as well!”
Shane’s comments were made during a 2018 interview with Milton Keynes Theatre ahead of a run in a pantomime production of Robin Hood.
The star’s fall-out with his father, Harry Roche, was not detailed further – but it was reported that they made amends before he died from cancer at the age of 65.
Shane was by his parent’s side during his “remaining days” and “was holding his hand when he slipped away”, according to a 2009 Sun article.
Ahead of the actor’s appearance on I’m A Celebrity, his son Shane Jr quipped that he would use his father’s surname to support him during the show.
The 32-year-old, whose mother is Loose Women panelist Coleen Nolan, used her maiden name while she appeared on Big Brother for encouragement.
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A source told The Sun this week: “He did this to support her and to show her how much he cared and respected her. It was really sweet and meant so much.
“After his mates found out his dad Shane was heading to Wales for I’m A Celeb they joked about whether he would change it back to Richie and he’d said he would think about it.”
In a preview for the show, Shane admitted he was taking part because he was “literally skint” due to being out of work because of the coronavirus pandemic.
He told the Radio Times: “You save money for a rainy day but you don’t expect the rainy day to last six months.”
Shane was thankful that he could “borrow money from mates, my family and the bank” – but added: “My wife is now very happy we can finally pay off the credit card!”
He joins Vernon Kay, Victoria Derbyshire, Beverley Callard, Hollie Arnold, AJ Pritchard, Jessica Plummer, Jordan North, Giovanna Fletcher, and Sir Mo Farah on the reality TV show.
I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here! airs at 9pm on November 15 on ITV.