It was recently revealed that Blue’s Lee Ryan had landed a role on EastEnders, and now his former bandmate Duncan Jones has spoken out about the news, saying his friend is a “very talented boy” and promising he will do a “fabulous job” when he makes his debut.

Lee Ryan as 'Woody' Woodward / Credit: BBC

Lee Ryan as 'Woody' Woodward / Credit: BBC

Speaking earlier this week at the TRIC Awards, James said: “I think EastEnders will be good for Lee. It’s a great opportunity for him. Being in a soap is really hard work. The hours are gruelling and it’s tough.

“I actually don’t think many people realise how tough it is with the working hours and the commitment that comes with it. I think it’s really good for him. It will be good discipline.”

He added: “The last big thing Lee did was Celebrity Big Brother and he was crucified. This is a nice opportunity for him to come out and do something different. It’s a chance for him to show he’s a very talented boy. He’s already doing a great job and he’s really enjoying it. He is going to do a fabulous job in EastEnders. I’m very proud of him.”

James of course knows what he’s talking about when it comes to soaps, as he’s starring in Channel 4’s Hollyoaks as Ryan Knight.

Ryan’s character has the (horrendous) name ‘Woody’ Woodward, and the BBC teases that he’ll be causing a stir when he hits Albert Square. Though they do say he’s a ‘bad lad’, they’re keeping much of what he’s going to be getting up to under wraps, as well as what’s in store for him and his fellow Walford residents.

Executive producer Sean O’Connor adds: “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.”

EastEnders continues weeknights on BBC One.

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