I’m A Celebrity Shane Richie’s shame over doing blackface stand-up shows

I’m a Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here! favourite Shane Richie has told of his deep regret over 'blacking-up' for a series of performances when he was younger.

The actor took part in black and white minstrel shows while working as a Pontins holiday camp Bluecoat on the Isle of Wight at the start of his career in the 1980s.

And, while performing as a stand-up comedian, he "tanned" his face and wore a turban for a character who was an "Asian comic" called Mahatma Coat.

Speaking in his 2003 autobiography, the Mirror reported he says: "I had to black up my face, paint on red lips and white eyes, wear an Afro wig and sing Al Johnson songs.

"This was in the days when these shows were hugely popular, long before people worried about racism and political correctness but I didn’t like it.

"I felt it was taking the p*ss and only did the show a couple of times before making some excuse."

In the same book, he told how a character in his stand-up act was an "Asian comic from the Punjab called Mahatma Coat. I tanned my face, wore a turban and a white catsuit."

Meanwhile, the Welsh castle camp welcomed two new celebrities yesterday – musical theatre icon Ruthie Henshall and opera singer Russell Watson.

They were plunged straight into the Stagefright trial as two jesters being splattered with all manner of nasties.

As well as Shane, they join Bev Callard, AJ Pritchard, Vernon Kay, Hollie Arnold, Mo Farah, Jordan North, Giovanna Fletcher and Victoria Derbyshire.

Some viewers were convinced Shane was already aware that Ruthie and Russell were entering the camp on account of a 'secret code'.

The EastEnders icon could be heard telling his campmates: "It's R and R" and "We've got the night off."

Viewers were left raging after the moment and flocked to Twitter to share their thoughts.

One fan moaned: "They all know they’re going in! Shane gave it away with 'R and R' – such a disappointment. It’s boring this year, they all get on too well, it doesn’t feel like they’re suffering much either!"

Another added: "Just me who noticed that Shane said 'We’ve got the night off. It’s R and R' when the celebs were celebrating?? and then Russell and Ruthie are announced???"

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