EastEnders' Shane Richie has said he found his "inner RuPaul" with a little help from Albert Square co-star Jessie Wallace as he prepared for his new role as a drag queen in the West End musical Everybody's Talking About Jamie

Speaking on BBC One's The One Show on Friday evening, Richie said: "I went to see the show three times, and I fell in love with it. I totally fell in love with the show."

"The only person I confided in was Jessie, who plays Kat," he continued. "When I told her, she freaked. She loved it. All of a sudden she had ideas for make-up.

"All of this time we're playing this tragic storyline on EastEnders, I'm thinking, 'drag queen'. Christmas Day I get pushed down the stairs, I'm going, 'drag queen'."

Richie told The One Show he now felt "so empowered" wearing high heels.

"There's something empowering about being just a few inches higher," he enthused. "I find my inner RuPaul."

The soap favourite said Everybody's Talking About Jamie celebrates empowerment and difference, and brought him back to his early days starting out in entertainment.

"I've played drag queens, my dad used to run pubs in London," he recounted.

"When I was first starting out in stand-up, I toured with drag queens and strippers." 

EastEnders airs on RTÉ One and BBC One on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays. 

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