Riches star ‘fired from Amazon’ months before filming

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Abby Ajayi’s gripping new family drama began this week on ITVX and is already a strong contender for one of the best new British series of the year. Although Riches features a star-studded cast including Sarah Niles and Hugh Quarshie, one member of the Richards family revealed he came from rather more humble beginnings.

Breakout star of Riches Ola Orebiyi has revealed he used to deliver to the same luxury estate in which the ITVX drama was filmed as an Amazon driver months before landing the role.

Ola portrays Claudia (Sarah) and Stephen’s (Hugh) son Gus, whose life is thrown off its axis when his father has a heart attack.

Following a shocking family revelation, Gus must then decide how much responsibility he has to take in the battle to save his family’s successful beauty business, Fair and Glory.

Known for a small role in the film Cherry and as a co-lead in the indie drama A Brixton Tale, Ola revealed he also worked as a delivery driver shortly before landing his first major TV gig.

“Months before I actually started filming this role I used to work for Amazon, driving, delivery,” he confirmed.

“I used to deliver things to people’s houses and I used to deliver to that estate, where we filmed, quite a lot, for the Richards’ house.”

Much of Riches is filmed around the exclusive estates of London which the capital’s wealthiest residents call home, as well as New York.

However, before he was offered the part, Ola’s livelihood came to a halt when he lost his job over a misunderstanding.

“And I actually got fired from Amazon!” he explained at Riches’ premiere in London. “First time I was ever fired in my life.

When his co-stars asked, “For what?” Ola shrugged, and joked, “Exactly, right?”

He then elaborated: “I never knew that if you cancelled one of those driving shifts too many times they’re like, ‘Yeah, you’ve gotta go’.”

The rising star then recalled how he would reminisce about the luxury houses just a few weeks before he found himself inside one as a member of the Richards family.

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“It was really heartbreaking for me, but I remembered one of the last deliveries I did, my mum was with me in the car,” he recalled.

“I was like, ‘Mum, look at these houses, they’re so beautiful. One of these days I’m going to get in there’.

“Not knowing that a few months later I was actually going to be in there.”

Teasing more about his role in the series, he said: “We all get to a point in our lives where you either have to take responsibility or don’t.”

“Usually, when we meet people, they’re about to take responsibility for their lives or they already have, so you see this mature person.

“But with Gus, you get to see this young man going to go from not taking responsibility to taking responsibility. And I was really excited to be the actor to showcase that.”

Ola and his co-stars are optimistic the series takes off, as showrunner Abby promised she has plenty more stories to tell within the world of Riches.

Riches is available to stream on ITVX in the UK and Amazon Prime Video in the UK.

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