Lee Ryan was asked to star in EastEnders aged 16

  • Bang Showbiz
  • 11 April 2017
Lee Ryan

Lee Ryan

Lee Ryan was scouted and asked to star in 'EastEnders' when he was just 16 years old, although he turned it down to pursue his music career

Lee Ryan was asked to be in 'EastEnders' when he was just 16 years old.

The Blue singer will make his debut in Albert Square next week as bar manager Woody, but he could have been a familiar face to viewers long before now if the 33-year-old hunk hadn't opted for a pop career instead.

He said: "(Casting executive) Julia Crampsie cast me for 'Holby City' years ago and I stayed in touch with her.

"When I was 16, she 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'. Julia told her, well if it doesn't work out, give me a call.'

"That band was Blue and it did work out."

When it came to landing the role of Woody, Lee wasn't even told he had an audition until a few minutes before, but he was happy to have it landed on him so suddenly as it meant he didn't have the time to get nervous.

He said: "Julia didn't tell me I was auditioning. She said to come in for a meeting with Sean O'Connor (executive producer), who I'd never met before.

"Then she turned around to me and said, 'By the way, there is a part for you and this is actually an audition - there's the monologue, you've got 10 minutes.'

"[But] it was actually good because it didn't give me any time to have any nerves. I just thought, 'Alright then - come on, let's do it.'

"Then the next day, she rang me up and said I'd got the part."

When he called his loved ones to tell them about his new job, they were all thrilled.

Lee told Heat magazine: "I was just walking into a boxing class [when I got the call] and I was jumping up and down.

"I rang my mum and she burst out crying, bless her. I've told the boys from Blue and they are all massively supportive."

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