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Last Updated: Wednesday, 21 January, 2004, 15:39 GMT
Richie's movie debut falls flat
Joely Richardson and Shane Richie
Shane Richie and co-star Joely Richardson at the ill-fated film's premiere
EastEnders star Shane Richie's debut film - in which he invested £500,000 - has flopped at the box office with ticket sales of just £2,272.

Richie, who plays Alfie Moon in the BBC soap, even remortgaged his house to plough money into the project.

It was roasted by the critics, opened in only two cinemas, and was seen by only 300 cinemagoers in its only week of release before closing.

Shoreditch starred Richie as a club owner who falls for a jazz singer.

The film, set in the 1930s, saw Richie's character fall for a beautiful jazz singer played by Joely Richardson.

I just hope the public want to go and see it
Shane Richie on his ill-fated debut film Shoreditch
At the premiere in November, Richie said: "The amount of money I've put into this film is well-documented."

"At the start it was only going to be a low-budget thing, but it escalated and I didn't want to let go."

"I've put my money where my mouth is and I just hope the public want to go and see it," added the actor.

The Times branded Shoreditch a "lamentable vanity project" with acting so woeful it "made you want to chew off your own fist in sheer embarrassment".

The newspaper went on to name it as a contender for the "worst film of the decade".

The soap star was supported by a whole host of his EastEnders colleagues at the premiere, including Steve McFadden (Phil Mitchell) and his on-screen brother Spencer Moon, played by Chris Parker.

'Labour of love'

A spokesman for Shane Richie said Shoreditch had only ever been intended for very limited release.

The star hopes to recoup some of his £500,000 investment when the film is out on DVD at the end of the year.

"Shoreditch was never intended to go on distribution through cinemas - the only reason it had a première and screenings was to showcase it to home rental companies," the spokesman said.

"Shane financed the film as a labour of love. He may never make all his money back but he hopes to recoup at least some of it from the DVD."

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