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|Ritchie de Vries|
|First appearance||11th December 2013|
|Last appearance||17th February 2014|
|Number of appearances||12|
|Played by||Robin Askwith|
Ritchie de Vries (real name: Rodney Purvis) was an old friend of Dennis Tanner from the 1960s who he worked with in his show business days. Dennis started to get the bug to revisit his old life and got in touch with his friend who had his own band, "The Power", who had reached No.13 in 1965 with Sweets of the Night. He arranged to meet Ritchie in Nick's Bistro and Rita Tanner and Norris Cole, amused but intrigued, towed along. Gloria Price heard about the impending visit and, much to Rita's annoyance, joined them.
When Ritchie arrived, he was revealed as a sad, ageing rocker, boasting about his group's recent appearance in Albania where "The Power" were still big, as well as Crewe and Redcar. Gloria suggested that the group play at the bistro and Dennis readily agreed to help with the organisation, to Rita's obvious annoyance. When Ritchie arrived a few days later to discuss arrangements, Rita inveigled herself into the discussions, mainly to annoy Gloria, as did Mary Taylor, taken with the showbiz mystique, who said that she would be on the front row at the 1960s-themed concert to be held on 20th December. As the date approached, Dennis contacted various talent agents from his old days to attend but found that they were all retired, ill or dead and even Rita started to look on the gig in a positive light when she got annoyed at Norris's cynical comments.
On the night itself, the band arrived with huge speakers which caused Stella Price some qualms but more concerned was Rita who saw Gloria and Dennis getting closer. It was Ritchie though who was impressed with Gloria's drive and praised her for the Facebook page she had set up promoting the evening, causing Dennis to feel excluded. The set went well with Ritchie in his element on the makeshift stage playing to a packed bistro. Although Rita hoped the event would get the impresario urge out of Dennis's system, Gloria had other plans and suggested they set up a sideline between them, promoting bands.
The following January, Ritchie was contacted again to see if he would be interested in doing another gig. After a few weeks, he appeared in The Kabin asking for a meeting to discuss details and insisting that Gloria joined them, again riling Rita. Dennis was getting ambitious, talking about permanent staff and an office for their agency, further troubling his wife. Someone else getting concerned was Stella who overheard talk about Dennis and Gloria and told her mother that although it was fine to have Ritchie paying her attention, Dennis was out of bounds. The second gig was at the salubrious venue of the Hyde Working Men's Club and even worse was the trip there in the group's transit van with Gloria stuck in the back with Dennis, some of the band and their equipment. Although the appearance went down well, Dennis was hurt when Ritchie and Gloria went off on their own afterwards for a drink, with Gloria's barbed comments about getting home to his cocoa ringing in his ears.
After his suggestions for the next gig were ignored and feeling desperate not to be seen as "past it", Dennis changed his image with a leather jacket and greased-back hair which invited nothing but ridicule from those around him, including Ritchie, who along with Gloria continued to exclude Dennis from their work chatter. Moreover, there was a real breach caused between Dennis and Rita when she accused Gloria of being a cheap money-grabber and Dennis, in turn, accused Rita of being jealous of a woman ten years younger than her. The two split, with Gloria putting Dennis up for the night but when he got in the doldrums, she summoned Ritchie to cheer him up. On his arrival, he told them pair that he had been poached by a management company and was leaving for the airport to fly to Europe. Gloria was livid that their verbal contract was being ignored while Dennis was happy to say goodbye to Ritchie, tired of the turmoil he had introduced into his married life.
List of appearancesEdit