EastEnders star and Streatham local Richard Blackwood took a night off from training for ITV’s Dancing on Ice to host the Streatham Business Awards, Susie Kellie writes…

The star-stunned night was held at The Hideaway last Tuesday week and was organised by the Streatham’s Business Improvement District (BID) InStreatham.   This was the third business awards, which are held every two years.

Weekender caught up with Richard to find out more about his favourite local hotspots, setting his sights on Hollywood and hosting the Streatham Business Awards that took place last week.

Actor & local resident, Richard Blackwood (centre) hosted the annual Streatham Business Awards

Living in Streatham for most of his life, Richard described his home town as being the bread and butter of South London:“It’s the in between area that brings people from working and middle classes together.

“Growing up, it was a place that made me feel safe because it neutralised communities.”

The passion in Richard’s voice gave a clear indication that he saw his home turf as more than an area. Perhaps it could explain why he chose to host the Streatham Business Awards last week. He said: “I was asked by the organisers,” Richard paused for a while before adding:“No but seriously I wanted to give something back to the community coming from Streatham myself, I think it’s important to recognise those working behind the scenes.”

Mayor for Lambeth Borough, Christopher Wellbelove

Richard saw his fair share of shops come and go in Streatham: “I miss Monsieur Barbers. It closed down but people of my generation and younger would remember it.

“It was the hotspot of the community,” he adds,

“You could go to have you hair cut but also catch up with friends. It was a sociable environment that kept you in good spirits.”

After taking a moment to reflect on the high street of yesteryears, Richard reinforced his love for the area in the present day. He said: “Local businesses in Streatham need to be celebrated, respected and recognised for all the hard work that they all do.”

And, his favourite places to visit in Streatham?

Richard takes a long hard pause to think before explaining: “Westbury Pharmacy is the best! It’s open until midnight and Streatham Ice Skating Ring is another gem – it’s also where I’m training for Dancing on Ice 2019.”

“In life I believe you should always be prepared for anything,” he continued: “I’ve started doing rehearsals, which are going well. I could skate before but now I’m learning the correct way which is helping.”

The actor, who played Vincent Hubbard on EastEnders from 2015-2018, spoke breifly about his new projects – one of which includes a Hollywood movie that is due to come out next year:

“I can’t talk about it much – but, I would like to do more acting in Hollywood in the future,” he explained.

And EastEnders? It’s no secret that Richard’s on screen character Vincent has been missing for some time since leaving his daughter, pregnant wife Kimberly Fox and many EastEnders fans wondering if he will ever return:

“EastEnders has been really good to me. The door is left ajar – you never know!”

The annual Streatham Business Awards took place last Tuesday October 30th at 05:30pm at the Hideaway.

And Streatham Business Award Winners were:

Best Newcomer:
Batch & Co
Best Small Entrepreneur:
Belgravia Estates
Best Place to Eat & Drink:
Hood
Best Independent Shop:
Dr Doolittles 2 & Indigo Tree
Most Sustainable Business:
Thrifty’s Retro
Best Business Front or Interior:
Art & Craft
Best Customer Service:
The Leigham Well
Streatham Business of the Year:
Art & Craft
Spirit of Streatham:
El Chico’s

The Streatham Business Improvement District (BID) is dedicated to improving the area. The award ceremony recognises businesses making positive changes to the area. The BID has helped 168 local businesses save money by introducing free business recycle days.

For more information visit: www.instreatham.com/streatham-business-awards-is-back-for-2018-

The Weekender is planning to feature these award-winning businesses, if you are a business in Streatham and want to find out more contact Tammy Jukes on 020 7232 1639 or email tammy@southwarknews.co.uk