Lee Ryan has opened up about his new role on EastEnders and revealed that when he was 16 he actually TURNED DOWN a role on the show.
The hunky Blue star is about to appear on our screens as Woody Woodward, the newest resident of Albert Square and is set to cause havoc – including getting into fisticuffs with Mick Carter, played by Danny Dyer.
According to show insiders, Linda has asked Woody to help out at the Queen Vic as bar manager while she and Mick are away.
And, of course, in great EastEnders fashion, no sooner has he arrived in Walford than he’s ruffling feathers and being thrown into a Carter family drama.
But although he has some kind of mystery link to Linda, the Carter family are not quite as welcoming as he hopes.
Meanwhile in real life, Lee has revealed that when he was a youngster he was actually offered a full time role on the soap.
However, as exciting as the offer was, he and his mum decided to turn it down because he had just been offered a place in boyband Blue.
“When I was 16 [EastEnders casting executive] Julia rang my mum and said she had a part for me on EastEnders, and my mum said, ‘Sorry he’s just joined a band and signed to EMI,” he told The Sun.
“Julia said, ‘Well if it doesn’t work out then give us a call’. That band was Blue and it did work out.”
Lee went on to explain that, a few months ago, the casting director got in touch again and asked him to come in to see them about a character they had just dreamt up.
‘All these years later, I’m 34 years old and she called me and said, ‘Lee do you want to come and audition for this part?’
Turning up to have a chat about the role, Julia surprised him when she told him that he had ten minutes to prepare a monologue.
Although he was thrown in at the deep end, Lee said he felt the audition went well.
“It was actually good because it didn’t give me any time to have any nerves,” he explained.
“I just thought, ‘Alright, come on then, let’s do it.”
When he found he had landed the role, he was beside him with joy and couldn’t wait to tell his nearest and dearest!
“Then the next day she rang me up and said I’d got the part,” he remembers. “I was just walking into a boxing class and I was jumping up and down,” he explained.
“I rang my mum and she burst out crying, bless her. I’ve told the [Blue] boys and they are all massively supportive.”