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Richard Blackwood praised for last night's EastEnders debut

PRAISED: Richard Blackwood

UK COMEDIAN Richard Blackwood received largely positive feedback following his on-screen debut on EastEnders last night (Feb 7).

Blackwood, from south London, announced he was joining the long-running soap last month as part of the show’s 30th anniversary following stints in theatre and film.

The 42-year-old, who earlier revealed to The Mirror that he had contemplated suicide ahead of landing the life-changing role, made a brief appearance in a scene with the character of Phil Mitchell.

He will play a villain on the soap whose backstory involves the character of Phil’s cousin, Ronnie.

Twitter user @kelianee_ wrote: “Can we just pause to appreciate Richard Blackwood pls?”

While fellow comic Mr Cee added: “‪RBcomedian Brother man, good seeing you back in your natural habitat, Mainstream TV. Keep pushing forward & know there is more to come.”

“Wow, ‪#RichardBlackwood in ‪#EastEnders. Great! So good to see him on our screens. Can't wait to see what delights he will bring to the show,” another fan went on.

The father-of-one’s appearance on the show came after a tell-all interview with The Mirror where he revealed he had sunk into depression after he went bankrupt.

From interviewing top celebs on his TV shows and presenting awards in the 90s, his life fell apart, he was declared bankrupt and relied on an income from sporadic stand-up shows and theatre performances for 12 years.

He also told the publication that things got so bad he even considered suicide. He recalls standing on a window ledge, ready to jump.

He says: “When I was made bankrupt, it was hard because I was one of the first young guys from the MTV era to be deemed to have it all and then to lose it all.

“I don’t drink or smoke. I never have. I’ve never taken a drug in my life. But I was depressed, I was even suicidal.

"It was very real for me back then. Every time I walked out of the house, I was reminded by people that I had failed.

“I actually tried to throw myself out of a window, and that’s very true. An ex-­girlfriend at the time stopped me from doing it. But it was a very dark time.”

ITV newsreader, Charlene White, was one of the first high-profile names to praise Blackwood for his honesty.

She wrote on Twitter: “Oh no! I missed ‪@RBcomedian in 'Enders! Such touching honesty in his i/v talking about his struggles w/ mental health”

TV presenter Leah Charles-King added: “Well done, ‪@RBcomedian! Proud 2 c ur progression. Frm our ‪#Kleshay ‪#RB bantz bk in '95; the rise & fall times; to a main character in ‪#EE. U didn't quit, now look! U have a platform now 2 share your story. It may literally save another's life. But only when ur ready x”

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