POPSTAR Lee Ryan followed Blue bandmate Duncan James’ lead by swapping singing for soap acting.
He returned to EastEnders for a love triangle storyline with ex-fiancée Whitney Carter and Halfway but after quitting Walford for good he’s now heading to the glitz and glamour of Strictly Come Dancing.
Lee Ryan joined EastEnders as bad boy “Woody” Woodward in 2017[/caption]
Who is Lee Ryan?
Lee Ryan was born in Kent in 1983 and rose to fame in the early 2000s as one of the founding members of boy band Blue along with Anthony Costa and Duncan James.
Since releasing the first of their three UK number one albums, All Rise, in 2001, the band have sold 15 million records worldwide, including a series of hit singles.
Blue reunited after a six-year hiatus in 2011 to represent the UK in the Eurovision song contest with their track All Rise, coming 11th.
Since taking part in the 2013 ITV show The Big Reunion they have released a further two albums, Roulette and Colours.
During his time away from the band, Lee embarked on a solo singing career, his self-titled album charting at number six in the UK charts in 2005.
He has been involved in some controversy, being banned from driving for 18 months in 2003 after being caught drink driving.
Lee was also fined £300 in 2008 after being found guilty of assaulting a taxi driver, claiming in court that his fame often made him a target in public.
In 2015, Lee became the fourth and final Blue band member to declare himself bankrupt.
Lee found fame along with Simon Webb, Duncan James and Anthony Costa in boyband Blue[/caption]
Is Lee going to be on Strictly?
On August 20, 2018 Lee announced on Loose Women that he would be on Strictly Come Dancing 2018.
He told the panel: “I was nervous even to say yes.
“I did [go to italia Conti][ but I used to run out my dance lessons and hide in my singing lessons.
“Have you ever seen a Blue concert? We lean! I am [nervous].”
Lee is the second member from Blue to join the show, following in Simon Webbe’s footsteps.
And this was partly the reason why Lee signed up, telling the BBC: “Four years later the man is still doing his ballroom moves on stage. It changed his life.”
Singer Lee Ryan will be aiming for the Glitterball with a little help from dancer Nadiya Bychkova.
Who did Lee Ryan play in EastEnders?
Lee’s role on EastEnders was unsurprisingly an Albert Square bad boy, known as “Woody” Woodward.
After landing a part on the popular soap, the 34-year-old said: “I’m so excited to be part of the show. Woody is the best role I could have wished for.
“He’s a brilliant character and it’s clear he’s led a colourful life.”
Fans were sent into a frenzy when Lee made his EastEnders debut in April 2017.
However after taking ill and a short stay in hospital Lee took a break from filming and before returning back to the square in November 2017.
But he left the role again in May 2018.
What other TV shows has Lee Ryan been in?
His EastEnders role is not Lee’s first acting experience – he appeared in the 2010 Brit thriller The Heavy alongside Vinnie Jones, and had a part in an episode of Holby City as a teenager in 2000.
He played alongside another EastEnders’ star Jake Wood and was managed by Katie Price.
More on Lee Ryan
Is Lee Ryan married?
Lee became engaged to Atomic Kitten star Liz McClarnon in 2003, but later split after Liz said she found being in a celebrity couple too hard.
In 2008, the Blue star announced he was engaged to hairdresser Samantha Miller after meeting her on MySpace, with whom he had a son, Rayn, born in November 2008.
However, the couple separated after he was charged with assault after allegedly hitting his partner – the charges were dropped at her request.
Lee entered a relationship with Jasmine Waltz following their time together on Celebrity Big Brother, but their romance only lasted a few months.
Until June 2017 Lee was dating former Miss Universe Great Britain Jaime Lee-Faulker.