The former EastEnders actor said the Hollywood heartthrob was surprised when a mob of paparazzi turned up at the go-kart track - because he didn’t realise they were there to see Richie.
The 56-year-old musical star recalled: “When I was in the West End doing Boogie Nights in 1999, Nicole Kidman and Tom [Cruise] were filming Eyes Wide Shut. And there was a big indoor go-karting track near the BBC and one time I got a phone call from Charlie who used to run it and he said, ‘Come along on your own.’
“I was going through a real public divorce at the time, I was being followed by the press, so I turned up and went in and he said he wants to know if he can race against you because you love go-karting.
“We’d race ‘til 5am in the morning. He was a speed freak. He didn’t care about danger.”
Richie went on: “But the thing was all the press had followed me to outside this warehouse, Tom said, ‘Oh my God, did someone tell them I was here?’ I said, ‘They’re following me.’ Then he realised in that period of time I was famous. Anyway we got chatting, just a couple of times we’d go and have drinks, we’d talk about stuff but mostly about go-karting.”
Richie divorced his first wife, Loose Women star and Nolan sister Coleen Nolan in 1999. H had a successful West End and TV presenting career before landing the part of Alfie Moon in EastEnders in 2002.
Tom Cruise starred with his then wife Nicole Kidman in Stanley Kubrick’s final movie Eyes Wide Shut, which was filmed at London’s Pinewood Studios.
Watch: Two late entries for this year’s ‘I’m A Celebrity … Get Me Out Of Here!’ have been confirmed
TV presenter Vernon Kay revealed he had an A-List encounter of his own to share, at his local supermarket
The former model and husband of Strictly Come Dancing host Tess Daly said: “I was in Mark’s & Spencer had my face in the veg and I saw this figure coming to the door and I recognised it straight away and I thought okay, wow, that’s such and such and I looked and it was, it was Brad Pitt!
“And he walked in and he carried on walking and you and you could just see everyone kind of go...
“And that very afternoon I went to my favourite DIY shop to pick up a few bits and as I’m crossing the road, Kate and [Prince] William stopped in their Range as I’m crossing the road. What a day.”
He added: “Angelina [Jolie] used to go to our Sainsburys.”
Due to the coronavirus pandemic the jungle reality show is being shot at Gwrych Castle in north Wales.
This year contestants include Olympic athlete Sir Mo Farah, 37, ex-Corrie star Beverley Callard and Radio 1 DJ Jordan North, 30.
Also in the camp this year are vlogger Giovanna Fletcher, journalist and broadcaster Victoria Derbyshire, Strictly dancer AJ Pritchard, Paralympic javelin thrower Hollie Arnold and EastEnders actor Jessica Plummer.
North and Pritchard both confessed that they had not changed their underwear since they arrived at the castle three days ago.
North said: “Usually at home I wear them once, in here we’ve just gone feral.”
Watch: Jordan North try to find his happy place in a vault full of snakes