Alfie is set to star in a dramatic storyline with a gunman – as well as getting on the wrong side of Phil! We catch up with Shane Richie to find out more about next week’s EastEnders‘ storyline…
How much fun is Alfie having looking after his kids when Kat’s away?
Both me and Alfie are having a blast with the Moon kids! When Kat tells Alfie, ‘You’re in charge of the kids’, you know it’s going to go one way or the other! The stuff you’re seeing on screen now is a lot of me just having fun with the kids. I’ve got five children, so it’s been a home-from-home most of the time. When we get downtime, I’ve been saying to them, ‘Right, let’s improv. Who can make up the funniest line? Who can have a go at Alfie and do some mickey-taking?’ The more time I spend with them [The Moon boys], the more I want them to feel they can relax and play around in the scene we’re in.
Why does Alfie decide to play a ‘guess the safe passcode’ game?
Alfie is doing anything to wind Phil up. There’s no intention to really try getting into the safe – he’s not really bothered about what’s in the safe. It’s just a game to play with the kids, a guessing game. When they eventually get into the safe, it’s the start of dominos falling to push the story forward.
The trouble begins when Alfie is off to pick up a video game for Tommy. What happens?
Alfie is just dropping Vi off at the bingo, and then he’s on a mission to get to the shop to pick up the Zombie Apocalypse computer game for Tommy. Alfie’s forever just trying to make things up to his kids, and he’s going over the top because of the time he didn’t spend with Tommy, Bert and Ernie for those years. Now he’s got this opportunity while Kat’s away to go full-time dad with the kids, but of course, he’s still got to earn a living, so he’s going to do a bit of cabbing on the side. He’s got an hour to get across town to the shop, and he’s about to take off when he looks in the rear-view mirror and sees a guy in a rabbit mask sitting in the back of his cab!
How does Alfie react?
The mask is a bit ‘Donnie Darko’ disturbing! But Alfie just straight away thinks, ‘I can’t let my boys down regardless’. It’s not until the guy in the back pulls out a gun, and it looks like this is going to turn a bit nasty, that the goalposts slightly move. But all the time, even though this guy has just robbed a building society and he needs to be driven to the other side of London, all Alfie is thinking is, ‘Can I make it to the other side of London and back in time to get the game?’ Even with a gun in his back!
Tell us how things go with the gunman.
As time goes on, Alfie turns on the charm and starts befriending this guy. He ultimately finds out the man has trouble with his wife and can’t get access to his kids, they find a common bond between them, and Alfie thinks he’s won him over. So when the guy demands to be taken to this particular place, Alfie goes, ‘No, I need to get this game regardless!’ He turns the car around and starts going back to the shop, telling the guy that he will just run in, get the game and then drive him to wherever he wants to go. He manages to get it with five minutes to spare, but then he takes a call on his hands-free speaker, and suddenly the gunman knows about the safe and the code that’s been cracked. That’s when the gunman spots another opportunity.
Phil will go mad if Alfie loses his money. Is Alfie scared of Phil?
Back in the day, Alfie and Phil’s paths never really crossed. It was always Alfie and Ian Beale, and Alfie always had an affinity with Ian, and Ian was Phil’s nemesis. Now it feels like Alfie’s slowly taking that mantle of Ian in Phil’s mind. I think that’s predominantly down to the fact that Kat and Phil are now an item, and Alfie, for the life of him, cannot see a future without Kat and certainly can’t see a future for Phil and Kat. So, he’s constantly astonished and flabbergasted that Kat’s even got feelings for Phil.
Are you enjoying the Phil vs Alfie aspect of the story?
Yeah! I’ve got some great stuff coming up next week that we’re filming. Alfie and Phil are two characters that are just polar opposites. At the moment, Kat is totally in love with Phil, or at least she keeps telling Alfie she is. But I think Alfie fears more for Kat’s allegiance with Phil because Alfie knows, like most people in the Square know, Phil’s background and his association with the dark side of Walford. That’s something Alfie doesn’t have a hand in, so he fears for Kat and the boys. I don’t think he’s that scared of Phil. If he had been, he wouldn’t have run off with Phil’s money in the first place. But I think he fears for Kat and what may or may not happen in the future.
Do you get the impression the public wants Kat and Alfie back together?
Oh, most definitely! They say to me, ‘We can’t wait to see Kat and Alfie together’ and I keep saying, ‘Well, it may not happen’! Everyone wants to believe there’s a happy ending somewhere. Everyone loves a happy ending and there may well be but at the moment, there isn’t. Kat and Phil are an item, and Alfie’s just a fly in the ointment getting in the way. And some people want Kat and Phil to succeed, they want them to be happy, and they feel like Alfie should get out of the way now because these two are in love, so there are people rooting for Kat and Phil, which is interesting.
What was your reaction when you first heard that Kat and Phil were an item?
It made sense because they’re two characters who have been in the Square for a long time. They’re both characters that are very broken, and they’ve found each other but what they don’t have is history. Now Kat and Alfie have got history. And sometimes history can rear its ugly head, and sometimes history can bring two people back together because of their history. So, how EastEnders will play that one out, I don’t know. But I think Alfie’s still got his eye on the prize, and the prize is Kat.
… but there’s been a little bit of flirting with Linda!
I don’t think there’s anything there other than Alfie hates to see someone hurting, and when he sees what happened with Mick and Linda, he just sees someone who’s hurting, and he wants to be a shoulder to cry on. Now how people read into that is up to them, but, at the moment, Alfie has no feelings for Linda whatsoever. How other people read into that is really interesting – it’s interesting that when two blokes are like that or two women, it’s friendship, but for some reason, on Albert Square, a male and a female can’t be really good mates, but I’m hoping we break that cycle and show they can be. They can be really good mates who can cry on each other’s shoulders but have no feelings other than friendship.
Is it fun to be reunited with Jessie Wallace on EastEnders?
Of course. I’ve known Jessie now for twenty years. We’ve got a history off-screen as much as on, and we’ve got each other’s backs all the time. Jessie is one of my best mates, we’ve done plays together, we did Redwater, we’ve done panto, and we’ve holidayed together, she’s like a sister. Even when we weren’t in the show, I would talk to her two or three times a week. We have a lot of fun together.
EastEnders is on BBC One Mon-Thurs, 7.30pm, as well as BBC iPlayer
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