Re: Winter 2013/14 - Page 14

Bognor to Broadway Bognor Regis boy Ben Richards has come good, with a string of high-profile acting roles, he’s also an avid supporter of Sussex children’s hospice Chestnut Tree House. “I was originally a Bognor boy but I moved away at 16 when I went to train in musical theatre and acting and I have more or less been living around London ever since but working around the country – and the world. “I have done the West End but various television shows as well. I suppose the big change in my life was getting my role on Footballers’ Wives – it’s such a big show but a friend of mine who’d done the season before said ‘look Ben, your life is going to change once this comes out’ and I told her it would be fine but she said ‘no, seriously’ and sure enough, the first day it went out and I walked down the same street I’d always walked down in Hertfordshire, all of a sudden people were staring at me because they’d seen the one episode. “It was a weird feeling but I’d been working for my whole career to get to that point where you get some recognition for what you do, so it was great. “I started when I was 11 or 12 or maybe even younger than that. My sisters used to go to dancing school and my mum and I would go and pick them up and wait at the back. I used to sort of try and copy them tap dancing and the teacher once said to me ‘look, would you like to try and start?’ There were no boys in the area doing it so it was quite a big step 12 but I started and I had an aptitude for it. I carried on with all the other dance styles – jazz and then ballet and I ended up doing it every night after school. “I got a little bit of stick for it and it was all a bit strange as it wasn’t the done thing but when they realised I had a talent for it they supported me all the way and have been very proud of my achievements, which is great. “I was 16 when I attended Laine Theatre Arts in Epsom, I studied there for three years which was amazing. I learnt everything I needed to know about singing, dancing and acting but the acting side more