Ben returns in home town charity shows

Ben Richards
Ben Richards

TV and stage star Ben Richards is returning to his home town of Bognor Regis for two charity shows.

Ben has devised the concert to combine classic and modern sounds.

He has just finished touring the UK as Franklin Hart Jr in 9 to 5, having starred in The Bill and Holby, and is preparing for his appearances at the Regis Centre on October 26.

His two shows – at 3pm and 7.30pm – will be in aid of the Chestnut Tree House children’s hospice, of which he is a patron, and Bowel Cancer UK.

Ben has made a full recovery from the bowel cancer he suffered last year.

He said: “It’s 18 months down the line and my recovery is going really well. I’ve got another of my annual scans soon.

“I thought it would be nice to come back and do these two shows.

“This theatre means an awful lot to me. It’s in my home town and it’s where I learned my craft originally.

“As long as people want to see me, then I will be prepared to put on shows here. I’ll see how these two shows go and if the demand is there for them.”

Ben, 41, will be teaming up with guest singer Portia Emare for the shows. Their first half will feature music from the Rat Pack and swing eras and the likes of Harry Connick Jr.

The second half will see audiences brought more up to date with sounds from the likes of Motown, Lionel Ritchie, Stevie Wonder and Andy Williams.

This will be the second time Ben has staged shows in the centre’s Alexandra Theatre. He held the first last year straight after he had finished his gruelling chemotherapy and radiotherapy treatment.

“That show was a massive success. It was very emotional to me seeing the full house,” he said. “We had more people phoning up for tickets then there were seats.

“It was tough but acting is what I do. It’s part of my life and I wanted to get back to it as soon as possible.

“The first thing I wanted to do was to go back on stage but it took some mental strength.”

His experiences have seen him become an ambassador for Bowel Cancer UK to spread awareness of the potentially fatal condition among younger people.

Tickets for Ben Richards and Friends cost £14.50 each and £13.50 concessions from the Regis Centre box office on 01243 861010.