Shane Richie has told The Big Issue that he regrets doing TV adverts for Daz washing powder in the 1990s – because it made him unhappy, and look like a “prat”.
In this week’s Big Issue, the Eastenders star, performer and all-round entertainer discusses the difference between being a ‘personality’ and having talent.
I was lured by the money. That was the beginning of the end
“I shouldn’t have done those Daz adverts. I was lured by the money,” says Richie. “At the time, I was with Coleen [Nolan, who Richie was married to from 1990-1999] and we bought the big house, had cars in the drive.
“Then we sat in the big kitchen going, ‘What happens next?’ That was the beginning of the end. I would warn my younger self – you will get shitloads of money but at auditions people will giggle: ‘It’s that prat from the adverts.’
“My career was based on a personality and no talent for a while. For all I was at my richest, I was probably at my unhappiest.”
The Big Issue magazine is a social enterprise, a business that reinvests its profits in helping others who are homeless, at risk of homelessness, or whose lives are blighted by poverty.
In this week’s Letter To My Younger Self, Richie also reflects upon the nature of celebrity.
“I would tell my younger self not to confuse success and fame,” he says. “Being called a celebrity when I first did television was a badge of honour. Now, to me, it is a dirty word.
“You have to earn an ego. I was asked to go to an audition for Full Metal Jacket. They said: ‘We will need to shave your hair off’ so I said I wouldn’t do it. I had grown my hair and dyed it blonde because it was the ’80s!
“My ego got in the way and I lost that role. I should have listened more. I still had such a lot to learn.”
Read more from Shane Richie – on being homeless, broken hearts, and his Sliding Doors moment – in this week’s Big Issue, on sale now