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Shane Richie: I turned down an offer to return to EastEnders – for now

Shane Richie has dashed the hopes of EastEnders fans expecting to see the star back in the soap anytime soon.

The actor – Albert Square’s Alfie Moon – and his co-star Jessie Wallace (Kat Moon) were last seen in the soap’s spin-off Redwater.

Wallace, 46, recently announced that she would be back in Walford this year.

Kat and Alfie Moon in Redwater (BBC/PA)

But Richie, 53, told The Sun he had turned down an offer to return to the BBC1 soap, for now.

“I’m in a fortunate position where I can pick and choose what I want to do and EastEnders at the moment – I said no to it,” he said.

“I just need to take a break from television and a little break away from showbiz.

“Trust me, it’s not because I’ve got loads of money because that is far from the truth. But I just need to pick and choose.”

It was recently announced that Richie would resume his role in Benidorm, as entertainer Sammy Valentino, for a few episodes.

Characters Big Mo (Laila Morse) and Jean Slater (Gillian Wright) will also be back with Wallace in Albert Square.

Redwater saw Kat and husband Alfie head to Ireland to look for Kat’s long-lost son.