He’s the second former member of early noughties boyband Blue to land a role on a British soap, with bandmate Duncan James joining the cast of Channel 4’s ‘Hollyoaks’ in August 2016.
Lee Ryan is joining the cast of 'EastEnders' later in spring 2017
“Woody is the best role I could have wished to play,” former ‘Celebrity Big Brother’ contestant Ryan said in reaction to his casting. He added: “He's a brilliant character and it's clear he's been leading a full and colourful life. I can't wait for people to see what he's like for themselves. 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.”
Ryan’s character is due to be introduced at an unconfirmed time later in the spring of 2017.
Sean O’Connor, ‘EastEnders’ executive producer, added: “I'm delighted to welcome Lee Ryan to Walford as 'Woody' Woodward. Woody is 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'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 a perfect casting for Albert Square and we knew straight away we wanted him for the role.”
The 33 year old star’s arrival on the soap’s cast has quickly divided fans on social media.
“I love how Lee Ryan's EE cast shot, grasping that fence with such enthusiasm, is not-so-subtly projecting he's playing A Bit Of A Geezer,” said one sceptical Twitter user, while another more enthusiastic fan wrote: Can't believe you're joining my fave show! Congratulations, @OfficialLeeRyan Can't wait to see you on my telly!”