Richard "Rich" Hardbeck (b. 1994) is a fictional character in the television series Skins, and is played by Alexander Arnold.
Rich is initially portrayed as being a cynical metalhead who will never compromise his musical tastes. Unlike his best friend, Alo Creevey, he has a difficult time talking to girls, but eventually includes misfit Franky Fitzgerald into their little clique, and falls deeply in love with Grace Violet. It is mentioned in "Everyone" (Episode 6.10) that he is an only child.
In "Franky", he is first seen with Alo watching Franky attempt to escape from bullies. Later, he and Alo attempt to befriend her, but are pushed aside by Mini, Liv, and Grace. Later, he and Alo tell Franky that the reason people were laughing was because embarrassing pictures of her were posted all over the school. Later, he and Alo attempt to crash Mini's party, but are rebuffed. At Grace's insistence, they kidnap Franky and take her to an indoor pool, where they drink and hang out, officially becoming friends.
In "Rich", Rich is a heavy metal fan and when he puts his taste in music on at a party, it doesn’t go down well with the other party goers so Rich and Alo get kicked out. Alo, fed up of Rich getting between him and girls, finds Rich a girl to talk to who he calls “the angel of death”. Rich talks to her but soon things become awkward. Grace goes to see Rich in disguise and offers to help him but he won’t compromise and ends up insulting her. Later at a pub Rich bumps into Grace who is dressed as a “metal head” . It becomes clear that Grace likes Rich but he is oblivious to it so he asks out “the angel of death” but she rejects him. He then buys a record and deafens himself. In anger he rips up his Napalm Death tickets and goes to see Grace’s dance recital and begins to cry during her performance. Grace has extra Napalm Death tickets so Rich and Grace go together. The next morning Rich gets his hearing back and realizes Grace likes him when he receives a text from her. He asks for advice from his dad and confronts Grace about his feelings for her but says that it’s a good thing nothing happened between them.
In "Mini", Rich goes to the after party looking for Grace. After, she admits that she is no longer friends with Mini and that she likes him, he kisses her, starting their relationship.
In "Alo," Rich throws a birthday party for Alo. He later goes to Alo's farm with the gang, and everyone starts a food fight. Grace pulls him aside, and tells him she loves him, and says that she wants to have sex later. He agrees, and after making out Alo's party, they do.
In "Grace" Rich is seen sleeping with Grace at her house. Rich later has to run out so he is not caught by Grace's dad, Professor Blood. Rich is caught by the family dog and has to be introduced to Grace's family. Professor Blood is not impressed by Rich and wants him to leave Grace alone. Professor Blood later asks Rich to ruin Grace's play so she gets bad grades and in turn, get her to move back to another college. At the end of the episode Rich asks Grace to marry him.
In "Everyone" Alo convinces Rich to get his haircut to impress Grace, but it's cut much shorter then he expected. He expects to get to the church on time, but Alo leads them in the wrong direction, and he and Grace are stuck riding to the church with hippies. They later decide not to get married, but they remain a happy couple.
In "Everyone," Rich seems to have changed quite a bit as he no longer dresses like a metalhead and is constantly affectionate with Grace in public. They wait at the airport for their friends, and then Rich and Grace are given a cheap room without a roof. Rich is annoyed by this, but Grace cheers him up, and sings to him. The next morning they have sex, and then discuss what they would do if the other died, foreshadowing their future together. The two go to the beach with the rest of their friends, and they dance together. Grace runs off, and Rich eventually senses that she's in danger. He later does her coursework for her, as she is in a coma from the car crash. He goes to see Grace in the hospital, but Blood has denied him admittance.
In "Rich", Alo has formed a band to get Rich's mind off of Grace, but she's all he thinks about, as he feels he as failed from not being able to protect her. He breaks into Grace's hospital room to see that she's woken up, and she asks him to make sure that she is not taken to Zurich that night. Rich tells her he will do his best, and the two attempt to have sex, before Blood kicks him out. Later at home, his parents worry that he's going to kill himself, and Rich convinces that he won't, and that they need to go on holiday without him. They leave, and he goes to the Bloods' home, to attempt to convince them not to take Grace away. He finds that they already gone, and Rich begins to cry as he watches old home movies of Grace. Alo comes to the house, and finds the name of the hospital on the fridge. Rich calls it, and Blood hangs up before Grace can answer. He goes back to moping and crying, until he hears Alo and Mini having sex in the next room. Mini is angry with him, and he hears Alo's phone ring: it's Grace. Rich asks her to meet him in Paris, and Grace hangs up before she can respond. Rich goes out with Liv, who begins crying as her group is falling apart. Rich buys her biscuits, and Franky arrives, telling them that she can speak french, and the three agree to go to Paris together to find Grace. When they return to the Bloods' house, Alo tells him he has booked a gig for their band, and Liv suggests they charge admittance and use the money for gas. Rich agrees, and he and Alo perform that night. He thinks he sees Grace in the crowd, and runs after her. Alo tells him he's just imagining her, and Rich cries into his arms, before running off once again. He discovers Grace in her room, and they make love. The next morning he wakes up alone, and gets a call from Grace, telling him she loves him. Rich finds Blood in the house, who explains to him that the doctors said Grace had slipped into a vegetive state before arriving in Zurich, and that there was no chance she'd ever wake up, so she was cut off of life support.
In "Mini" Rich returns to roundview after a long absence.
In "Nick" Rich is not bothered by the fact that Matty is said to be returning as everyone else is, however he tells his friends not to talk to him about it.
In "Alo" Rich convinces Alo to get over Mini, and go for Poppy, a sweet new girl. When Alo finds out that Poppy is thirteen after having sex with her, he asks Rich to run away with him, and Rich responds with maybe. He later breaks Alo out of jail, and convinces him to call Poppy and demand she tell the truth.
In "Liv," Liv demands to know why Rich seems unaffected by Grace's death, and he begins to explain to her, but she interrupts him. There are tears in his eyes at this point, signalling that he is well affected by her passing. At the end of the episode, Doug takes Rich, along with Liv and Maude to see Grace's grave. Rich lays flowers on it, and smiles as Liv, Doug and Maude watch a video of her.
In "Everyone", Rich gets accepted to Bradbury College in Cambridge, however it is unknown if he accepts.