Lee Ryan left EastEnders fans heartbroken after he departed the BBC soap for a second time earlier this year. And now with Strictly Come Dancing fitted into his schedule, the Blue singer has revealed that BBC bosses have left the door open for his character - bad boy Woody Woodward - to return to Albert Square in the future. Speaking to HELLO! and other press at the Strictly launch, he shared: "When I left, [EastEnders bosses] said that they were going to keep the doors open for me. But who knows?"
Lee Ryan would love to return to EastEnders after Strictly
Impressing viewers with his acting skills, the role has landed Lee plenty of other opportunities. "I'm doing other stuff now and I've got a film that I'm working on," he added. "There were so many opportunities that came off the back of EastEnders and to be honest with you, it's probably the reason why I got this Strictly gig." Joking about his many talents, the 35-year-old continued: "I'm a rare hybrid now, being an actor and a pop star. There's only a few of us."
Despite leaving the soap this summer, the pop star-turned-soap actor confessed that he will always be grateful for being a part of the EastEnders family. "It's nice to say that I've been on one of the biggest soaps that has ever existed in this country," he explained. "And now I'm on the biggest show in this country, so I feel very privileged."
Meanwhile, Lee is following in his Blue bandmate Simon Webbe's footsteps by taking part in Strictly this year. When asked if his friend gave him any guidance, the singer replied: "Simon gave me loads of advice. The biggest thing he said is to have fun and to enjoy myself, make sure to be myself and to be a happy-go-lucky kind of guy." He added: "[Strictly] is an absolute mental thing, it's hard to kind of comprehend how huge it is. When you start doing it, you think 'what have I signed myself up for?' We're just taking it one day at a time at the moment."
Lee mainly may be known for his musical talents, but the pop star did admit that his "minimal" dancing experience will come to no use on the popular dance series. "It's nothing like it," he said. "With Blue we did very minimal stuff, we are more singers - we always have been. I never used to like dancing with Blue. I just wanted to concentrate on being a singer. Like the songs we did, we've all got voices and I liked concentrating on our harmonies. We may do a few steps here and there for visuals – but nothing as intricate and technical as this." Strictly Come Dancing returns to BBC1 on Saturday.
Like this story? Sign up to our newsletter to get other stories like this delivered straight to your inbox.