Shane Richie
Actor Shane Richie of EastEnders fame, trying out a vintage motorised bike at IACF Ardingly in January.

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He is also a patron of the Shinfield Players Theatre in Reading and was at IACF Ardingly in January, where IACF’s Grant Nicholas caught up with him.

Richie said: “I’m supposed to be looking for an antique stool to use on stage, but there’s so much to see, I’ve got a feeling I’m going to get distracted.”

Looking at an array of toys and dolls, he added: “It makes you wish you’d looked after your own toys a bit better, doesn’t it?”

Also at the fair was an eight-strong film crew looking for props for a new version of the 1920s series of children’s books around the theme of Dr Dolittle. The character first appeared on film in 1967 with Rex Harrison as the doctor who preferred animals to humans.

Made by Universal Pictures, the film will star Robert Downey Jr and Jim Broadbent with a title The Voyage of Dr Dolittle, and is due for release in April 2019.

Nicholas said the fair, although held on a bitterly cold two days, was dry and with “not a bad turn-out for the first fair of the year at Ardingly”.

The next IACF Ardingly is on Tuesday and Wednesday, March 6-7.