EastEnders star Shane Richie has played loveable Alfie Moon on and off for two decades but admitted the role meant he missed out on the opportunity to play Doctor Who.
The 58-year-old first appeared on Albert Square back in 2002 and has become somewhat of a soap icon thanks to the long-running role.
But the actor has now revealed he was approached to star as the lead in the BBC revival of Doctor Who, but his commitments to EastEnders meant he was unable to pursue the role.
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Speaking to RadioTimes, Shane explained: "The deal was I’d go in [to EastEnders] for three months, see the reaction, and then they'd talk about renewing the contract."
He continued: "It took off, so I signed a three year deal – but what happened in the meantime was the papers had said I was only going in for three months… and then someone said, 'We just want to know the availability for Shane Richie to play Doctor Who'."
"Of course, it wasn't the monster it is now, so I didn't think any more about it. But there was an availability check and there was some interest," the star added.
He went on to say: "I think my manager had a meeting about it. But I'd signed up to [play] Alfie for three years."
Shane returned to the role of cheeky chap Alfie in September and fans have their fingers crossed that he will reunite with ex-wife Kat Slater.
Kat and Alfie's tumultuous relationship began in 2002 and they remain amongst the most iconic pairings in the soap's history.
But in an exclusive chat with Daily Star and other publications, Shane revealed their iconic romance almost never happened.
He said: "When I turned up 20 years ago, they were going to recreate 'The Graduate' story with Alfie and Peggy."
The former I'm A Celebrity star added: "And then off-camera, me and Jessie [Wallace] were having a right laugh and the writers saw this chemistry, and so that relationship purely happened by accident.
"And now 20 years later after all the things that have happened between Kat and Alfie, there's still a spark there," he added.
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