Meet Richie & Debs

Tackling Armed Robbers and Chasing Villains is All in a Day’s Work for Actor-producer Richie Hobday – but in Their Spare Time, He and Debs Get Away From It All in Their Manhattan Campervan.

With his action movie film credits, fast-paced music video and TV drama roles, you might think Richie’s private life is equally adreninlin-fuelled. On screen he explores a dark underworld, with roles in Clownface (2019), The Underdog (2018), One Last Dance (2016), Dead Heads, Hard and Soft and action film Street Blood. By contrast, he plays the messenger who sets a beautiful, lovelorn young woman off on a completely new path in the surreal award-winning short film Entanglement.

Richie certainly needs to keep fit to play some of the roles, where he’s seen taking on armed robbers single-handedly, and giving chase down alleys and leaping over fences in hot pursuit. Luckily Richie’s real life is nothing like the film image. 

Richie and Debs collected their sleek black bespoke Manhattan from Sussex Campervans in January 2019. With gleaming gold decals on the side, it certainly has a touch of Hollywood style. The interior is beautifully understated, with titanium furniture and vegan-friendly leatherette seating.

They had their compact Nissan Camper conversion built to order by Sussex Campervans and collected it in August 2015. Steve asked for no stag livery, but instead embellished the sleek Twilight Grey bodywork solely with his favourite creature – a lizard.

Why a lizard? “I like climbing with lizards – it means that I’m in a warm and dry place,” says Steve with a smile. He enjoys climbing, especially calling into Fontainebleau on the way home from the Alps, an area just outside of Paris used by many Alpine mountaineers for training. There were certainly lizards climbing alongside Steve as he tackled the famous boulders in the region. 

Warm, dry weather is clearly a luxury for Steve. He recalls a more typical camping trip, which really made him appreciate the shelter of the campervan: “In North Wales I was climbing on Cader Idris, which was cold, wet and miserable. I was belayed on a ledge and watched a slug beat me up the rock!”

black campervan

The couple live on a private island on the River Thames – the beautiful Thames Ditton Island, Surrey – and love to cycle along the tow path to Richmond and go kayaking on the river. He goes running in Bushy Park, too. Richie styles himself as “the vegan actor” and in May 2019 organised the Vegan and Eco Film Festival in London’s Portobello area. He is a persuasive advocate of delicious vegan food and sustainability. 

Soon after collecting their Sussex Campervan they explored the South Downs National Park. They also stayed in their campervan in Devon, and Richie says, “We loved Ocean Pitch Campsite, Croyde. It has an amazing chilled surf vibe, with sea views over Croyde Bay. And there are some amazing vegan options served by Biffens Kitchen.” 

Debs shares so many of Richie’s passions. She is a Holistic Therapist, specialising in Bowen, Reiki and Reflexology treatments. A mum of three, she has been vegetarian for 20+ years and vegan for the past 11 years. She loves to travel, has lived in New Zealand and Hong Kong, and this fuels her thirst for adventures and the outdoors. She is a keen on hiking, gravel cycling and wild swimming and ran the London Marathon in 2015.

Richard Hobday photos collage
Photos and adventures: Richie Hobday
Words: Kate Taylor