Ben Richards (actor)

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Ben Richards
Born (1972-03-27) 27 March 1972 (age 42)
West Sussex, England
Occupation Actor, dancer
Spouse(s) Helen Richards (2003–2012)
Relatives Jamie Benson (sister)
Website
http://www.benrichards.com

Ben Richards (born 27 March 1972 in West Sussex, England[1]) is a British stage and television actor and dancer. Richards studied dance from an early age and later took part in theatre. He gained supporting roles on London's West End and gradually filled the role of the lead. After small roles in two films, Richards began his television career with guest roles in various British serials. In 2004 he joined the regular cast of ITV drama Footballers' Wives and after the series ended he resumed theatre work. Richards went onto secure roles in Holby City and The Bill. While working on the latter, Richards said that he will always pursue his career in theatre. Upon leaving the series he returned to theatre work.

Career[edit]

Richards began dancing aged seven and later attended the dance college Laine Theatre Arts. Richards later began appearing in a number of productions on London's West End.[2] He appeared in supporting roles in the productions of Radio Times, Up on the Roof, Hot Mikado and Smokey Joe's Cafe.[1] In 1993, he was playing Terry Johnson in Grease, musically directed by Mike Dixon.[3] In 1998 he secured his first lead role playing Tony Manero in Saturday Night Fever. He later returned to the West End production of Grease, this time playing the lead character Danny Zuko.[1] Richards made his film debut in the 1997 movie Bring Me the Head of Mavis Davis and in 1999 secured a role Julie and the Cadillacs.[1] Guest roles in the BBC television series' Doctors and Holby City.[1] In 2002 he played Jerry in The Full Monty the following year played the Dentist in the Little Shop of Horrors.[2]

In 2004 Richards joined the cast of ITV's Footballers' Wives in the role of Bruno Milligan.[4] He also appeared in the ITV2 spin-off Footballers' Wives: Extra Time.[5] In early 2006 it was announced that Richards had joined the cast of Holby City playing new character Justin Fuller.[6] He remained in the series for four months.[5] Richards then played Sky Masterson in the UK tour of Guys and Dolls in 2006.[7] That year Richards became a judge on the second series of Strictly Dance Fever.[2]

In 2007 he began playing the role of Nate Roberts in police drama The Bill.[5] He also filmed as Nate for an episode of the German series SOKO Leipzig.[8] The character of Nate became popular and producers signed Richards to a new one year contract. However, Richards told Laura Davidson of the Sunday Mail that he still wanted to pursue his career in musical theatre.[9] In 2010, Richards decided to leave the series before it was axed by ITV.[10] He then took over Jason Donovan's role of Tick in the West End production of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert.[10]

In 2011, Richards signed up to appear in a production of Peter Pan playing the role of Captain Hook, which premiered at the Grand Canal Theatre.[11] While interviewed by RTÉ.ie, Richards revealed that he had previously auditioned for roles in Coronation Street but was unsuccessful because of his southern accent.[11]

In March 2012 while battling illness, Richards returned to his home town of Bognor Regis to perform his own show titled An Evening with Ben Richards.[12] The actor told a reporter from the Bognor Regis Observer that the show was a one off to see how it would be received.[13]

In June 2012, it was announced that Richards would be playing the part of Franklin Hart, Jr. in the first UK tour production of the Broadway musical, 9 to 5. The tour began at the Manchester Opera House on 12 October 2012.[14] Richards continued to tour the show through 2013.[15]

Personal life[edit]

He is a former pupil of Felpham Community College.[12] He is the brother of singer Jamie Benson.[16] Richards is married to Helen Richards in 2003 and they resided in St Albans.[17] The couple have had four children, all of which were still born due to a rare condition.[17] Richards said that after he spoke publicly about their loss, he benefited from the support received from the public. He told a columnist of the Daily Mail that he still hoped to become a father and that doctors were looking into their situation.[18] Richards is a patron of Expressions Performing Arts in Mansfield, Nottinghamshire.[19]

In January 2012, Richards revealed that he had been with diagnosed with bowel cancer. He said that he had been given a positive prognosis and was discussing chemotherapy and radiotherapy treatments with his oncologist.[17] In March 2012, Richards spoke publically about his illness in an interview featured in hello! magazine.[20] He revealed that he was suffering from cancer of the bowel and that doctors had discovered a six centimetre tumour. Prior to his diagnosis, Richards had been ignoring the symptoms. His doctors also predicted that he will make a full recovery, while his treatment was due to finish later that year.[20] In August 2012, Helen announced via her Twitter account that her relationship with Richards had come to an end.[21]

Richards has been in remission since January 2013 and soon became a patron of the awareness charity, Bowel Cancer UK.[22][23] In addition he is also a patron for the UK charity Chestnut Tree House.[15] Richards later began a relationship with television presenter Kirsty Duffy.[24]

Filmography[edit]

Television[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
1999 Dad Tod Guest role
2001 Holby City Glen Acfield Guest role
2001 Doctors Jimmy Lancaster Guest role
2005–06 Footballers' Wives Bruno Milligan Regular role
2005–06 Footballers' Wives: Extra Time Bruno Milligan Regular role
2006 Holby City Justin Fuller Guest role
2007–10 The Bill Nate Roberts Regular role
2009 SOKO Leipzig Nate Roberts Guest role

Film[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
1997 Bring Me the Head of Mavis Davis Mark Comedy film
1999 Julie and the Cadillacs Mike Williams Musical film

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e "20 Questions With...Ben Richards". Whatsonstage.com. 2 June 2003. Retrieved 8 February 2012. 
  2. ^ a b c "The Judges – Ben Richards". BBC Online. (BBC). Retrieved 7 February 2012. 
  3. ^ Galpin, Richard (30 June – 13 July 1993). "Those summer niiiiiiiiiights". BIG! (EMAP) (26): 15–16. 
  4. ^ Green, Kris (16 June 2004). "Footballers' Wives gets new signing". Digital Spy. (Hachette Filipacchi UK). Retrieved 7 February 2012. 
  5. ^ a b c Green, Kris (18 July 2007). "Ex-'Footballers' Wives' actor transfers to 'The Bill'". Digital Spy. (Hachette Filipacchi UK). Retrieved 7 February 2012. 
  6. ^ Wilkes, Neil (3 February 2006). "'Footballers' Wives' star checks into 'Holby'". Digital Spy. (Hachette Filipacchi UK). Retrieved 7 February 2012. 
  7. ^ "Claire Sweeney talks about starring in Guys and Dolls". Uxbridge Gazette. (Trinity Mirror). 27 July 2006. Retrieved 7 February 2012. 
  8. ^ "Nate learns a lesson in life". The Journal. (Trinity Mirror). 8 April 2009. Retrieved 8 February 2012. 
  9. ^ Davidson, Laura (12 April 2009). "The Bill star Ben Richards has a tough time as playground policeman". Sunday Mail. (Trinity Mirror). Retrieved 8 February 2012. 
  10. ^ a b Bamigboye, Baz (23 April 2010). "My my officer, what an arresting outfit: The Bill actor shakes his derriere as Priscilla". Daily Mail. (Associated Newspapers). Retrieved 7 February 2012. 
  11. ^ a b "Ben Richards Interview". RTÉ.ie. (Raidió Teilifís Éireann). 26 June 2011. Retrieved 7 February 2012. 
  12. ^ a b "Actor gives brilliant performance on home stage". Bognor Regis Observer. (Johnston Press). 24 March 2012. Retrieved 1 April 2012. 
  13. ^ "Ben Richards to return to Bognor Regis for one-off show". Bognor Regis Observer. (Johnston Press). 14 March 2012. Retrieved 1 April 2012. 
  14. ^ "Cast: Bonnie Langford clocks in for 9 to 5: The Musical". Whatsonstage. (Whatsonstage). 29 June 2012. Retrieved 29 June 2012. 
  15. ^ a b "9 to 5 actor Ben Richards is backing Snowman Ball event at Hilton Metropole". Telegraph & Argus. (Newsquest). 26 August 2013. Retrieved 20 September 2013. 
  16. ^ "Jamie's born to be a star". The Argus. (Newsquest). 25 May 1999. Retrieved 7 February 2012. 
  17. ^ a b c Thain, Caroline (7 February 2012). "'I was born a fighter and will fight this': Footballers' Wives and The Bill actor Ben Richards, 39, battling cancer". Daily Mail. (Associated Newspapers). Retrieved 7 February 2012. 
  18. ^ "Stars of The Bill pose in arresting photoshoot to mark show's 25th anniversary". Daily Mail. (Associated Newspapers). 11 November 2008. Retrieved 8 February 2012. 
  19. ^ "Welcome to Expressions Performing Arts". Expressionsperformingarts.co.uk. Retrieved 8 February 2012. 
  20. ^ a b "'The Bill' star Ben Richards talks about his cancer battle for the first time". hello!. (Hello Limited). 12 March 2012. Retrieved 2 April 2012. 
  21. ^ Thain, Caroline; Bull, Sarah (3 August 2012). "'Fifteen years down the drain': Cancer-stricken Footballers' Wives actor Ben Richards splits from wife Helen". Daily Mail. (Associated Newspapers). Retrieved 29 September 2012. 
  22. ^ Reilly, Rachel (7 May 2013). "Holby actor Ben Richards, 41, reveals shock at being diagnosed with bowel cancer and says he was a 'total bloke' who ignored the symptoms". Daily Mail. (DMG Media). Retrieved 20 September 2013. 
  23. ^ "Actor Ben Richards becomes a patron". Bowel Cancer UK. 2 April 2013. Retrieved 20 September 2013. 
  24. ^ "The Wright Stuff Twitter Account". Twitter. 26 August 2013. Retrieved 20 September 2013. 

External links[edit]