Here's everything you need to know about Ricky Champ... written by Claire Crick
He’s swiftly becoming one of Walford’s most terrifying villains, but while Stuart Highway is set to go down in EastEnders history as Mick Carter’s twisted arch enemy and best friend all rolled into one, you’ll be pleased to know lovely Ricky Champ is nothing like his alter ego…
1. He used to be in Game Of Thrones
Before spending his working life plotting against the Carters, Ricky appeared in huge shows like Plebs and Crims, and is probably best known for his role as Paul Parker in sitcom Him & Her. He also appeared in Game Of Thrones season 6 as Gatins. Younger fans might also recognise him as the prison guard in Paddington 2!
2. He’s a big family man
While Stuart Highway might be a bit of a loner, Ricky’s life couldn’t be more different – thank goodness! He has been married to his lovely wife Samantha for two years and they have a gorgeous daughter called Beatrix, who turns one next month. Ricky can often be found sharing cute photos of them all on Instagram at @rickychamp2
3. He’s best friends with his on-screen enemies
Stuart Highway’s main role in life is to terrorise the Carter clan as much as he can, but when the cameras stop rolling at EastEnders, Ricky couldn’t get on better with his co-stars if he tried. He recently told us: “I love working with Tony (Clay, who plays Halfway), he’s just great. And I think Danny (Dyer, who plays Mick) is wonderful. I have become very close to all the actors who play the Carters, they’re luminous!”
4. He has a really long commute
Ricky lives an hour and a half away from the EastEnders studios at Borehamwood, but this means he can spend the travel time getting himself into Stuart’s evil mindset. Ricky recently told us: “II spend my drive getting into the zone, and then on the way home I can do the reverse and leave Stuart Highway on the highway!”
5. He’s a Shakespeare actor
You wouldn’t know it looking at his terrifying portrayal of Stuart, but the multi-talented Ricky is well known as a Shakespeare actor. He played Tybalt in Romeo and Juliet at The Globe, and he has also appeared in Midsummer Night’s Dream, Hamlet and Love’s Labour’s Lost to name but a few.
6. He once badly injured himself filming EastEnders
Now this is dedication for you. Ricky recently tweeted to fans that he had fractured a metatarsal in his foot while filming a scene where his alter ego Stuart has to trash his own flat in a fit of rage. Fans were quick to send their get well soon wishes, but all agreed that it was a worthy injury for such a brilliant scene!
7. He loves chatting to fans on social media
Living in an age of social media means Ricky knows exactly what his fans think of his work as soon as it’s been on TV. He told us: “Most of the time the comments are beautiful. I love that people like to hate Stuart though, it’s a backhanded compliment in a way and I feel really lucky!”
Ricky Champ Pic: Stephen Coke/REX/Shutterstock