Hollyoaks’ Richard Blackwood mugged at knifepoint – and his son faced similar ordeal

Hollyoaks is currently tackling the issue of knife crime, and it is an incredibly personal issue for one of its biggest stars.

Richard Blackwood has revealed his first-hand experiences of being mugged twice when he was younger – once with a knife and once with a gun.

Opening up about the incident, Richard, 50, explains he was just a teenager when he was robbed at knifepoint in London, and that his son Keaun had a similar experience aged just 11.

Richard, who plays Felix Westwood in the Channel 4 soap, said: “I was grateful to live another day.”

Speaking at Wednesday’s Television and Radio Industries Club awards, the ex-EastEnders actor said to the Mirror: “We’ve got an upcoming storyline about knife crime and we are really approaching it in a serious manner.

“A lot of these young kids are going through it right now, so we want to let them know we hear them and know what they are going through."

Recalling his own experiences, he said: "When I was 17 I got mugged at knifepoint. Unfortunately knife crime has been going on for years. When the knife got pulled on me it was like a sword.

“My son also got a knife pulled on him aged 11. He had an iPhone 5 and I remember him saying to me, ‘I’m ­going to get a cheaper phone’.

“He had to adapt to what was going on in the street and go, I’m going to make myself less of a target.

“My son came through it though and I’m very proud of him.”

When he was 35, Richard was held up with a gun to his head outside of a club in London's West End, but tried not to let his experiences faze him.

He said: “About a week later, I returned to the club because I had to DJ.

“My mum said, ‘Are you OK to go back to the club?’ I said, ‘Yes’. You either make me stay in my house and be afraid to go outside or be grateful I was able to live another day and attack life.”

Richard believes Hollyoaks is at the forefront of TV dramas willing to tackle racial issues, but added that improved racial equality within the TV industry is “a slow mover”.

He said: “With myself being in the industry, I’m part of that bridge. Rather than expecting it to turn around just like that, it’s more about the part we play in turning it around.

“At times you don’t even get to see it, it’s the people behind you that get to benefit from what you’ve done.

“If you think about women’s rights. Emmeline Pankhurst. The Suffragettes. Emmeline didn’t get to see how things are for women now but you know she was a part of the push.

“It’s about laying your brick rather than thinking it’s got to start and end with you.

“I 100% want to be part of that change. It’s a burden I’m willing to carry. In life you either stand for something or you don’t and I’m willing to stand for something.”


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