EastEnders legend unrecognisable in ITV’s Benidorm as fans forced to double take

EastEnders’ Shane Richie looked totally different for his appearance on ITV’s Benidorm.

Actor Shane, 60, shot to fame thanks to his role as Alfie Moon on the BBC One soap. Making his debut in 2002, Alfie has gone on to become one of the show’s much-loved characters.

But back in 2016, Alfie swapped Walford for sunny Spain, when he joined the cast of the beloved sitcom playing comedian Sammy Valentino.


Sammy was hired on the ITV show to perform at the iconic Sloane Resort. Sadly the night ended in a bit of a disaster when he suffered a breakdown.

The character returned two series later in 2018, though, when Sammy was given another chance to show off his comedy skills at the resort.

For the role of Sammy, actor Shane underwent a major transformation, turning himself into a ‘80s inspired king. Looking worlds away from Alfie, Shane looked almost unrecognisable

As well as bushy and curly hair, Shane also rocked an array of bedazzled jackets and out-there open shirts, as well as metallic trousers – with Alfie Moon’s leather jacket nowhere to be seen.

He appeared in Benidorm
Fans watching Benidorm at the time soon shared their thoughts on Shane’s stint on the show. On X, one person said: “Shane was wonderful as Sammy Valentino.”

Someone else added: “Is that Shane Richie in Benidorm? Didn’t recognise him for a minute.” A third penned: “Rewatching Benidorm and just had to turn it off when Shane Richie came on, I can watch him in EastEnders, he’s good in that but not this.”

Shane looked totally different in the ITV sitcom
Talking to Express at the time about Benidorm, Shane gushed about his time on the show and said : “I absolutely loved it.” He added: “Darren [Litten] the writer and producer, he’s fantastic.

“He would say to me, ‘Oh Shane, go and improv something’. And I’d just go off on one and I loved it. Whether it gets shown or not… probably not.”

Despite being a hit with fans Benidorm was axed six years ago. The series debuted in 2007 and followed a group of Brits as they headed to the Solana Resort to soak up the sun.

For 11 years, the show was a ratings hit and bagged countless awards including BAFTAs and NTAs. However, in 2018, Benidorm was axed leaving fans of the show devastated.

Related articles

EastEnders legend was meant to be brutally murdered and it would have changed everything

Janine Butcher (Charlie Brooks) might be one of EastEnders’ most iconic villains ever, but the soap icon was very nearly cut down in her prime. It has…

Former EastEnders child star who played Louise Mitchell is unrecognisable now

Nowadays when we think about Louise Mitchell in EastEnders, all we can visualise is Tilly Keeper who has made the role her own with major storylines. But…

EastEnders star reals real reason why he quit

Former EastEnders star Jaz Deol explained why he left the soap two years ago. Jaz played Kheerat Panesar in EastEnders and departed in November 2022, when the…

SOAP SHOCK EastEnders reveals Cindy Beale is in contact with ANOTHER Walford legend – and she could be returning

EASTENDERS has hinted at yet ANOTHER Walford legend after Cindy Beale revealed she is in contact with them. The Walford superbitch – who is played by actress…

BARRY MORE Quitting EastEnders was my best decision – I make fortune doing karaoke & have duetted with star, says Shaun Williamson

FEW actors have experienced career twists like Shaun Williamson – and duetting with Cher in The Queen Vic has to top the lot. Of all the EastEnders’…

MOON STRUCK Tommy Moon takes drastic action to reunite mum Kat Slater with ex in EastEnders

TOMMY Moon takes drastic action to reunite mum Kat Slater with an ex in EastEnders. The youngster was left gutted in January when his mum split from…