Lee Ryan has been confirmed as the twelfth contestant for the new series of Strictly Come Dancing.
The announcement was made on Monday’s episode of Loose Women and was a surprise to many Strictly fans, as he hadn’t actually been linked to the show.
The Blue singer and EastEnders actor admitted he was “nervous” to sign up for the show as he’s never been any good at dancing.
Despite going to a musical theatre school, he joked: “I used to run out of my dance lessons!”
He also said his time in a boyband had been no help, quipping: “Have you ever seen a Blue concert? We lean! We move our shoulder now and again!”
Blue sold more than 15 million records and scored three number one albums.
— BBC Strictly ✨ (@bbcstrictly) August 20, 2018
Lee kept reiterating he was really nervous and had asked his Blue bandmate Simon Webbe, who appeared in Strictly’s 12th series, for advice.
“They approached me and I was like… because Simon did it, Simon Webbe… he did absolutely amazing, where else do I go?” said Lee.
“Just watching him and his transformation of how he went through the show, I think that’s what’s really important. He didn’t go in there knowing what he was doing. He grew, that’s what the show is about.”
Lee also joked the so-called Strictly curse wouldn’t bother him as he’s single!
The actor said he’s trying to get in shape for the show by boxing, but admitted it’s been tricky given it’s the holiday season.
Lee admitted that his previous experience as a Celebrity Big Brother housemate meant he’d really had to think hard about signing for Strictly.
He explained: “It’s such a machine that you get into. I’m quite a private person really. I’m either with my kids or working. My younger days were quite crazy. When you get into being an adult and you’re with your children all the time, you get into a show like this where there’s a lot of press… it’s scary and very exposing.”
As well as success with Blue, Lee worked on solo music, appeared in 2013’s The Big Reunion and, of course, played Harry ‘Woody’ Woodward in EastEnders.
The names of this year’s Strictly Come Dancing celebrity contestants have been announced slowly over the past week ahead of the show starting later this year.
Television presenter and campaigner Katie Piper was the first to be confirmed, followed by Red Dwarf’s Danny John-Jules and Steps singer Faye Fozer.
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The new series will see presenters Tess Daly and Claudia Winkleman return as co-hosts, along with judges Shirley Ballas, Bruno Tonioli, Dame Darcey Bussell and Craig Revel Horwood.
Strictly Come Dancing will return to BBC One in the autumn.
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