WANT to know how former EastEnder Shane Richie ended up in the home of the real Albert Square?
Controller of Drama for ITV Productions in Manchester Kieran Roberts (pictured left) explained all when I spoke to him recently at Granada’s Quay Street HQ.
There wasn’t room to include the story in the interview with Kieran, published in the MEN last week. You can read that feature here.
Shane has been in Manchester to film a 90-minute comedy drama called The Good Samaritan, which is by Peter Whalley. He is Coronation Street’s senior writer with over 500 episodes to his credit.
Due on screen later this year, the new ITV1 drama could turn into a series if viewers like what they see.
Kieran is a former Corrie producer and now holds the post of executive producer, along with his other drama duties.
“Shane and I were, in a sense, rivals, although in very different roles for a few years when I was producing Corrie and he was starring in EastEnders,” said Kieran.
But the TV boss realised that, then, Walford resident Shane was the man he needed for the job.
“We had this lovely script and I knew it had masses of potential. But we needed a star who had the presence and charm to bring this character Brian Guest to life.
“I was doing my ironing one night and Shane was picking up his 112th award for playing Alfie Moon.
“Shane was brilliant in that show. And I thought, ‘That’s the guy who could play this character.’
So the next morning I picked up the phone and rang his agent, expecting that he’d have 68 things being offered. But he said, ‘We’ll take a look at it.’
“They came back to me straight away and said, ‘We love it.’ And Shane has been behind the project ever since.
“We, obviously, don’t know that we can get the series off the ground – that’s up to the ITV Network. But we’re game on to do it, and so is Shane.
“It’s really nice working with him. He’s a lovely man and I think really underrated as an actor.
“He’s a very clever actor and he’s got a fantastic charm and presence. I’m hoping that everyone will love The Good Samaritan as much as we do and that we’ll have a series in production before very long.”
Shane will also be back in Manchester before long. He stars in One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest at the Palace Theatre between May 21 and 26.
Now Shane’s Getting Serious