Lee Ryan will make his anticipated debut on EastEnders next week but it could have been a very different story.
The Blue singer is about to make his Walford debut as bar manager Woody, who is sent to manage The Vic by absent landlady Linda Carter.
However, Lee has revealed that he has actually been on the radar of the soap's casting directors for a while, having gone to audition for James Bye's role of Martin Fowler a few years ago,
"I've been auditioning for EastEnders for years," he said to Inside Soap. "I went up for the recast of Martin a couple of years ago and read with Lacey Turner.
"The part wasn't right for me, but then Julia rang me again recently to invite me to meet the show's executive producer, Sean O'Connor. When I got there, they asked me to read a 10-minute monologue for the role of Woody."
Lee also revealed some gossip on his new character Woody, hinting that he will arrive in Walford hiding a tragic backstory.
"He has quite a sad past, which we'll find out about later on," he explained. "Woody is also a bit of a flirt, and yes, there may be someone he has his eye on."
EastEnders airs Woody's first scenes on Tuesday, April 18 on BBC One.
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