Wednesday, January 07, 2009

It's a crying Shane

Before you say you don't know who this is, let me tell you. It's Shane Richie, formerly end of the pier 'comedian', reinvented himself as romantic lead in EastEnders in which he was actually quite good, got delusions of grandeur and left to pursue other projects, which all soon dried up. So now he's reduced to the 'reimagining' of the classic series Minder. On Channel Five.

There's a launch next week, and I think I'm going to go along. I don't usually do daytime things, but this I have to see. I've heard mixed reports so far, but I want to make my mind up before it comes on the telly proper. I'm not mad on Shane Richie, and I have plenty of experience of dealing with him. Frankly, he's a nightmare, quite bizarre, but not as bad as his former partner in crime Jessie Wallace, who's a graceless bitch with little discernable talent. Watch her vanish from our screens before your very eyes. No one's got a good word to say about her, especially those who used to 'handle' her.

So at least Shane's working still, though perhaps not as he'd hoped. They all want Hollywood don't they, or a singing career. It's laughable. They end up guesting in Casualty or doing a national tour of A Slice Of Saturday Night. They're told they're wonderful and they believe it. No one around them dare tell them no. It's sad. They become monsters. You can see who's going to make it and who's not and it's usually the nice guys who do come first. The divas get left behind because no one will work with them. They're under the impression that if they behave like monsters people won't stand in their way. But that's all changed, or changing, thankfully. The badly behaved are told to get fucked. And quite rightly. Where are the little prima donnas know who refused to do any publicity back in the mid-Nineties because 'they didn't see why they should'?

Martine McCutcheon, there's a classic example of how NOT to manage your career.

1. Arrives in EastEnders out of nowhere, instant hit as Tiffany Raymond, nice as pie, great interviewee.
2. Give it a couple of years and she's no longer talking about her private life. Complains about journalists who then have to pen her letters of apology. Still a hit with viewers, but not with anyone else.
3. Becomes bigger than show in own mind. Announces departure for bigger and better things. Is shocked to be killed off, however. No safety net now.
4. Launches singing career. Imagines she's Shirley Bassey. Gets No.1 single. Imagines Hollywood's a-knocking. Magic FM love her. Diva.
5. Singing career dries up when novelty wears off and public realise she's as talented as your average Stars In Their Eyes contestant.
6. Is perfect choice as Mary Poppins in National Theatre revival. Bickers with Jonathan Pryce, whom she tells 'You're at the end of your career. I'm at the beginning of mine'. Never turns up for work. Leaves production under a cloud, though astonishingly - not least to Pryce - wins theatre award.
6. Moves 'into films'. Gets part in Love, Actually. It's a hit. Thinks Hollywood's a-knocking.
7. Hollywood not interested, even though she graciously tells them she's available to present Oscar. British press laughing up sleeve.
8. Goes quiet.
9. Skulks back onto telly in disastrous soap parody Echo Beach. Gets shocking reviews and eventual axe.
10. Right back where she started from. Thinks on.

Let that be a lesson. Don't believe the hype.


Matthew Rudd said...

Crikey, refreshed brusqueness for 2009, I love it! I agree with you on most of this - Martine McCutcheon was spectacularly awaiting a fall after she decided she was better than EastEnders, although she did once vomit on Mick Hucknall's dreadlocks, so she's not all bad.

As for Shane Richie, well I'm prepared to be a) alone, and b) ridiculed for this, but I've always really liked him. I've seen him onstage as a comic and also as a musical performer and he is drizzled in star quality. He was exceptional in EastEnders, both as actor and galvaniser, and onstage he captivates an audience, beyond the 40-something women who just want his balls, and you find yourself laughing or singing along like a loon, irrespective of your principles and preconceptions prior to taking your seat. I don't know what he is like behind the scenes but I think he has the talent to deserve better than he currently has.

Clair said...

I was once mistaken for Martine McCutcheon, but to be fair, it was only because I was wearing a fur coat.

Bright Ambassador said...

Do you know, I was only thinking to myself the other day that somebody really ought to do a remake of a distinctly average 1980s comedy/drama series with a cheeky chappie ex-Pontin's Bluecoat playing the lead role. Not.

Whose playing Arthur Daley? Brian "it's a puppet" Conley?

Bright Ambassador said...

And doesn't Martine McCutcheon's name look ugly written down?

LF Barfe said...

"They all want Hollywood don't they, or a singing career." - Ah, but Shane's had the singing career, FC. Had you overcome your antipathy towards Danny Baker a bit sooner, you'd have heard the exquisite dreadfulness of Richie's version of Sorry Seems to Be the Hardest Word, which is sung in an accent somewhere between Noo Joisey and Newton Abbot. "Whaddagoddadoootomakeyawanmeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee...". Baker (a mate of Richie's) delights in stopping the CD and admonishing it, as though it'll make any difference: "Shane. Shaaaaaaaaaaane. Stop it. You're from Harlesden."

Clair said...

...and to be fair, I think Shane was in Dan's studio when he played it once, and was surprisingly good-natured about it.