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18 November 2020, 16:02
You can certainly call Shane Richie an all-round entertainer, from his early comedy days to his dramatic performances as Alfie Moon in EastEnders to his decades-long pop career.
Starting off as a stand-up comedian in the late 1980s, Shane has always been passionate about his music, and starred in various stage musicals like Grease in his early days.
Throughout the years, he has never given up on his musical dream, and who knows... maybe his I'm a Celeb stint will see a chart comeback?
Here's the Shane Richie musical story so far...
After a number of years of West End musicals, Shane knew it was time for him to do a Michael Crawford and release his first album.
Titled simply - The Album - Shane's debut was a collection of mostly cover versions.
However, it wasn't your run of the mill covers album. Shane at least put some thought behind which songs to take on, and it's a fascinatingly brilliant lineup.
Later in the album he really goes for it and takes on 'What a Fool Believes' by The Doobie Brothers with fantastic results, and even 'Goodbye' by Hootie and the Blowfish.
He then ends it with a burst of 'Grease', because obviously.
Shane mixed it up a bit for his second album, and performed a load of original songs instead.
It didn't exactly have the charm of the first, but with titles like 'Marvin on My Side', 'Sha Na Na', 'Let's Do Sex' and 'Run the Risk' (sadly not a cover of the '90s kids' game show theme tune), it's still classic Richie.
According to its Wikipedia page, it's particularly hard to get hold of this one, due to the fact it was 'deleted'. It could be worth some dosh by now if it's in your attic somewhere.
By 2003, Shane had scored a surprise massive comeback by landing the role of loveable rogue Alfie Moon in EastEnders.
In a very short space of time, he had become everyone's favourite TV personality and even a sex symbol (he won The British Soap Awards' 'Sexiest Male' three years running, don't you know?).
The height of his fame saw him cover Wham!'s 'I'm Your Man' for Children in Need in November 2003.
It reached as high as number two in the UK Singles Chart, and was the 17th best-selling single that year.
Sadly, it hasn't had the YouTube HD upgrade treatment yet, and the only videos that exist look like they were filmed on a potato, but you get the idea.
Over the years, the EastEnders team have put together musical numbers for various specials and charity drives. If Shane was in the cast at the time, you could bet your bottom dollar he'd be front and centre, baby.
In 2004, we had the EastEnders Christmas Spectacular, with the cast covering all kinds of festive tunes.
The most cringeworthy incredible of all going to Shane and Jill Halfpenny attempting to cover The Pogues and Kirsty MacColl on 'Fairytale of New York'.
It may have made more sensse if Jessie Wallace performed with Shane as Kat, but it was... quite something.
We had to wait well over a decade before Shane attempted another crack at pop supremacy.
The official Amazon description for the album states that it was "a collection of interpretations of his favourite country, and country-ish, tunes, topped off with a handful of originals."
There's versions of Darius Rucker's 'Wagon Wheel' and 'What Hurts the Most' by Rascal Flatts, but the best has to be a country cover of an '80s classic no-one asked for.
Back to Amazon: "His take on Nik Kershaw’s ‘I Won’t Let The Sun Go Down On Me’ switches the original’s shiny 80s production in favour of a boot-stomping Pogues-esque vibe which reflects his Irish roots."