Stevi Ritchie Exclusive Interview

In our latest celebrity interview, we chat exclusively with Stevi Ritchie who gives a deep insight into his time on the X Factor and as a former professional wrestler besides opening up about his love of fitness and mental health awareness to his social media followers; whatsmore he covers his musical influences and ambitions for 2021.

Hi Stevi, you’ve been on TV, starred in panto and have now been in the media eye for 8 years but what would you like to do next?
” I would absolutely love to get on. “I’m a celebrity”, I want that show so bad! Happy to be a replacement. Whilst I was on Celebrity Big Brother in 2015 that was 6 years ago so I am ready to compete on another legendary tv show.

Back when you were on the x factor, you sang different songs each week from ‘Olly Murs – Dance with me tonight’ to Queen – Bohemian Rhapsody / ‘Don’t stop me’ now but were these the ones you wanted to perform?
“My song on the day was ‘Somebody to love’ by George Michael, now what you didn’t see was that Simon put his hand up half way during the song and said could you sing ‘Dance with me tonight by Olly Murs’. Now I didn’t know it!!! He said “Can you Just sing it anyway?”. Anyway, I forgot the lyrics and my mind went blank, so I just started dancing. Louis (Walsh) just laughed and found it hilarious. Mel B then Cheryl and Simon and the whole crew and production staff were laughing at me. They loved it and put me through to the next round.

How did you find the audition process?
“I will tell you what it was like. I did not get hand picked to go in-front of the judges so I went through all of the producer rounds – it was the front door way and no back door queue-jump for me. I waited 4 hours at Birmingham football stadium. It was gloomy, windy and horrible and there were so many people waiting to perform that day. I enjoyed the process and got to experience what I had seen on telly having watched it over the years.”

How was Simon Cowel as a mentor?
“During the show he was alwys the most caring, honest and attentive person; even away from the camera too. He would ask if you were happy and go “Are you alright Stevie”?, even asking me about my song choice for that week. During rehearsals he would point me in the right direction to help me improve and advise what was best to do. I did not always see him much from Fri-Sun (When we were in the studio rehearsing), though he was so attentive and caring. He does follow me on twitter and I have dm’d him and few times him but had no response at all. I know he is a very busy man and have a lot of respect for Simon. The show and producers gave me a massive opportunity. It was a million to 1 shot to get on the show (That’s what I felt). Each year there are over 200,000 applicants and they picked me, maybe as a Joke act or what you want to call it – but I was on the show.”

So Cheryl Fernandez-Versini chose you to be the over 25s wildcard?
“Yes, it was a toss up and Raign on the 6 chair challenge, she was abrupt at times and maybe because I was me being me, you know…crazy, fun, easy to chat with I made her laugh. Simon had never had a novelty act before in his category, it had always been louis. So I got the ball rolling. Simon never wanted to let me go, we even went to the Harvester for a meal together (a clip was aired on the show), as they met in West Ealing.

You were at one point a professional wrestler? and had a few professional matches using the name “Steve Straight”.
“Yes, I have a couple of friends who have also always loved, followed and understood wrestling, especially the royal rumble. Having been a big wrestling fan we went along one evening and I started training and got really hurt. I must admit, it is not what it looks like on the tv, it proper hurts when you get strained and if you don’t land properly. I hurt my back, neck and arse!! haha. I thought maybe this is something I could work towards. I trained for a year and they (The trainers) came up with a gimmick for me, a character…camp, fun, flamboyant, leather, makeup, greased back hair etc. Everyone believed I was this flamboyant camped up wrestler.. people were saying “Sexy Stevi”. After a year or 2 of not making enough money here, I thought one, I was getting hurt and two, decided that I should go back to what I was good at: singing and entertaining.”

Tell me about your current exercise regime?
“I love my exercise, I’m on this new training called Jordan Messenger, the viking way. I am training with weights 5 days a week, plus 40mins on bike… instantly at night. I am Juggling everyday life too and it’s not just about looking good.”

You have done alot for charity over the years including playing in celebrity football matches across the UK, who is the best player you’ve ever played against?
“I’ve done a few yes for Selebrity UK…Kevin cooper (Ex Wimbledon footballer player) was probably the best I came up against. Also Dan Osbourne, he’s shit really hot, built like brick shit-house too. I know you will read this and laugh Dan!. Jeremy Lynch – he’s just so bloody quick and will leave you for dust..I’m like…where did he go…lighting quick.” “Thinking about it, he was the quickest, best, and most skillful footballer I have been up against. Also Danny dyer was there that day and Katie Price, a lot of love islanders and Towie too including Arg – I can remember he had a great singing voice, a lovely geezer too.

You love a good live stream right?
“Yeah, I do my live streams regularly and love doing them. I live alone and my daughter stays occasionally like at half term and weekends), therefore when I’m doing my live streams I am not being lonely. It’s not face to face. But when I get to see them, their comments and reactions – I love it. I get to chat with people who are tuning in and don’t see them as a follower or whatever. 95% is all positive but you do get some people who make negative comments. For me, I just love people and if I can make them smile then it makes me smile…whether I’m singing, doing a quiz, posing, doing exercise on my instagram or getting drunk with Kieran Hayler – haha, I probably shouldn’t mention that but we had a whole bottle of Brandy and sour shots and yes it all disappeared! I like lives, it helps with mental health.

We had a lot of people contacted us at MarkMeets for questions and one came in saying “Ask Stevi if he fancies any girl and if yes, who?”
(Laughs). I know how it is, hello Joanna yes.!! I see you Joanna Andr. She’s an actress, beautiful and fun plus easy on the eye xx

If you had one wish to star in a band or TV show with a specific actor (male or female), who would it be and why?
“For me, though I could never compare myself to him, but Freddie Mercury. I mean Queen!! Simply the best band in the world, he was the best showman ever, and could do everything possible- no-one can touch. His stage presence and song-writing ability. No-one could ever be as good as Freddie and I don’t think anyone ever will”.
“TV show wise, it would have to be Eastenders. I mean the Shane Ritchie era…I could be Alfie Moon’s long lost son. I would come on set and the end and say “Kat/Alfie…It’s your son here or along those lines!!

Who else inspires you?
“I have to say Elvis, he is simply one of the greats also”.

Finally, you did panto last year, are you hoping to do one this year?
“Yes, I loved doing it, all the acting, laughs and dressing up and entertaining, it was great. I hope to do more panto this year, or maybe the jungle will call me up if they are back this year, ITV producers…name your price”. There we have it, I’ve put my name in the mix.

Interview by Mark Boardman: Entertainment writer and commentator originally started in the media via music PR and had been a regular on the red carpet and showbiz scene for more than a decade and is best known for interviewing talent and founding media brand MarkMeets.

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Mark Boardman
Mark Boardman
Mark Boardman is an established showbiz journalist and freelance copywriter whose work has been published in Business Insider, Daily Mail, Bloomberg, MTV, Buzzfeed and The New York Post amongst other press. Often spotted on the red carpet at celebrity events and film screenings, Mark is a regular guest on BBC Radio London and in-demand for his opinions for media outlets including Newsweek. His TV credits include This Morning, The One Show and T4. Email

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