Shane Richie of EastEnders was ‘a disaster’ as he prepared for his character Alfie Moon’s prostate cancer storyline.
The BBC serial was recently acclaimed for how it handled beloved character Lola’s brain tumour diagnosis and devastating death, and they are now prepared to face Alfie’s prostate cancer journey.
On Wednesday’s The One Show, actor Shane said that EastEnders ‘had a history’ of exposing critical medical tales, and that this one was’so vital to convey.’
He said that he spent an afternoon with prostate cancer sufferer Jonathan Hall, who was diagnosed three years ago and had previously shared his own experience on the show.
Reflecting on his day with Jonathan, Shane admitted: ‘At the end of it, I was a mess.’
‘I remember coming out of it going, “Oh, this is such an important story to tell.”
‘And the fact they gave that particular story to a character like Alfie Moon, as people are familiar with Alfie over 21 years, maybe doing it with another character wouldn’t have had the same impact.’
Jonathan is one of several patients and charities that work with EastEnders to ensure that difficult themes are handled carefully and appropriately.
He had surgery to remove his prostate in order to combat cancer, saying that he knew a man who did not want to go through the same procedure since he would ‘had to wear a stoma bag.’
Jonathan became upset throughout the conversation and said that his friend died after refusing surgery.
He is ‘on the path to recovery’ from the condition, and his cancer is no longer traceable.
Alfie from EastEnders was recently shocked when a trip to the hospital showed that he may have prostate cancer, with doctors sending him for additional tests.
After receiving his findings, he informed Kat Slater (Jessie Wallace) and Phil Mitchell (Steve McFadden) that he had been cleared – yet it would be shown that he was lying during a confrontation with Phil.
In subsequent episodes, Alfie will have a prostatectomy, and Linda Carter (Kellie Bright) will accompany him to the hospital to provide her support.
It was recently revealed that Alfie would be leaving the Square for a bit while getting treatment in the show.
The One Show airs weekdays from 7pm on BBC One and BBC iPlayer
Source My Celebrity Life.