Lee Ryan quits pantomime halfway through performance

The Blue member was forced to pull out of the panto Aladdin.
The Blue member was forced to pull out of the panto Aladdin.

Strictly Come Dancing’s and Blue group member Lee Ryan has been forced to pull out of his starring role in an Aladdin pantomime.

The 35-year-old suddenly disappeared halfway through his Friday December 28 performance at the New Wimbledon Theatre. Playing the lead role of Aladdin, Ryan was reportedly spotted at the pub opposite the theatre following his surprise departure.

A representative for the singer says that he was forced to pull out of the pantomime due to suffering a ‘chest infection.’

“Lee has got a chest infection which affects his voice,” the representative said.

Fans were left disappointed, with several taking to Twitter to ask where the show’s star had gone.

The Sun reported that Ryan was spotted at Wimbledon’s Wetherspoons shortly after his performance exit, and the staff there described him as a ‘regular.’

However, the rep hardly denied his Wetherspoon’s appearance, by responding with: “Well everyone’s different aren’t they.”

Ryan’s understudy replaced him after the interval. The Blue singer was set to continue performing in the show alongside costars Paul Merton and Pete Firman until January 6, but his return remains uncertain.

But in a perhaps telling move, many leading theatre ticket websites, including ATG Tickets, have removed Lee Ryan’s name from the promotional materials and only mentions Merton and Firman in the show’s star line-up.

Lee Ryan with his Strictly partner Nadiya Bychkova.
Lee Ryan with his Strictly partner Nadiya Bychkova.

Ryan’s shock departure comes just weeks after he admitted to drinking too much and was left waking up with a ‘shudder’ the day after the Strictly wrap party.

And this is all in great contrast to his October claims. He said he was sober and that the discipline required for Strictly had helped him quit booze for good.

“I’ve stopped drinking, I’m on the wagon. It’s good, though, because I have in the past dabbled and struggled and gone to rehab and stuff, so I’ve just decided that drink is not good for me,” he told The Mirror.

He went to rehab in 2014 after being arrested for drink-driving and suspected cocaine possession.

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