A television and stage star battling cancer will return to his home town of Bognor Regis for a special performance.
Ben Richards, best known for his roles in The Bill and Footballers’ Wives, will tread the boards at the Alexandra Theatre in a one-off show.
The 39-year-old said: “I am really delighted to be able to kick off my one-man show in Bognor.
“I have been very fortunate in my professional career to have had the opportunities to perform at different venues and stages across the world and the country, but since I turned professional I have not had the chance to perform in my home town.”
His show – An Evening With Ben Richards – will hit the stage on March 18.
His return will be especially poignant because it will be his first public appearance in Bognor since he revealed on Twitter two months ago he had been diagnosed with cancer.
He told his followers he was a ‘fighter’ and determined to ‘kick’ the disease within six months, though he has not revealed the type of cancer from which he is suffering.
He told the Observer: “After I was diagnosed with cancer I had to put a lot of work on the back burner.
“But the opportunity of doing this show came towards the tail end of my chemotherapy and radiotherapy treatment.”
Ben said: “I have always been impressed with the Alexandra Theatre.
“Local theatres like this one always have a special atmosphere.
“At the moment the show is a one-off for my home town. I don’t have any plans to take it anywhere else. I just want to see how it is received.”
“I am really nervous. Usually you perform to an audience mostly full of strangers, but here the theatre will be filled with family and friends,” he said.
“I will be singing all the songs I love.”
Ben, who has appeared in countless West End productions, will be joined at the Alexandra Theatre by special guest Portia Omare who he met during his stint in Priscilla, Queen of the Desert.
The show starts at 7.45pm. Tickets cost £10 each and are available from the theatre’s box office on 01243 861010.