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Lee Ryan joins EastEnders as bad boy 'Woody' Woodward

Gemma Strong

Lee Ryan has announced he has joined the cast of EastEnders. The 33-year-old – best known as a member of British boyband Blue – will appear on screen this spring for a short stint as bad boy 'Woody' Woodward. "I'm so excited to be part of the show," Lee said of his new TV project. "Woody is a brilliant character and the best role I could have wished to play. It's clear he has been leading a full and colourful life – I can't wait for people to see what he's like. Everyone at EastEnders has been so welcoming. I know some of the cast already, so I'm sure we're going to have a lot of fun."

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Lee Ryan has joined the cast of EastEnders as bad boy 'Woody' Woodward

EastEnders executive producer Sean O'Connor teased fans, describing Woody as "a man who has worked hard and played hard in bars, clubs and pubs around the world and has finally decided to stop wandering and put down some roots". He continued: "He's going to ruffle some feathers and obviously break some hearts, so there's a great deal to look forward to as soon as he bursts onto the square. Lee is perfect casting for Albert Square and we knew straight away we wanted him for the role."

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Bandmate Duncan James currently stars in Hollyoaks as Ryan Knight

Lee isn't the only member of Blue to venture into TV soaps. He is following in the footsteps of bandmate Duncan James, who joined the cast of Channel 4's Hollyoaks six months ago as policeman Ryan Knight. The 38-year-old has certainly made a big impression, receiving a National Television Award nomination for Best Newcomer for his role. Duncan, who has appeared in a number of West End productions since leaving Blue, recently spoke about making the transition from stage to small screen. "It's been very scary," he admitted. "I've done theatre all my life, but TV acting is very, very different. It's a great learning curve."