Lee Ryan to return to EastEnders for at least a year?
23 May 2017 - 10:00 AM

Lee Ryan to return to EastEnders for at least a year?

Lee Ryan is set to return to "EastEnders" for at least a year.

The Blue singer was initially hired as a guest star but he's impressed bosses so much with his portrayal of Harry "Woody" Woodward that his contract has been extended.

Speaking to the Daily Mirror newspaper, he said: "I am delighted that "EastEnders" have asked me to come back. It was a dream come true when I landed the role so I am thrilled that this has now turned into something much bigger. It has been a surreal experience walking down the road and having people shouting "Woody" at me but I cannot wait to get back in the Square to see what trouble he will cause this time round."

The 33-year-old heartthrob joined the soap last month but fans were convinced we'd seen the last of him after Mick Carter - played by Danny Dyer - returned to his Queen Victoria pub to find Woody in bed with his daughter-in-law Whitney (Shona McGarty).

Although it's not known what storyline Lee will be involved in over the next coming months, the show's boss Sean O'Connor recently teased a "crazily ambitious" event.

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He said at the time: "The ambition is for "EastEnders" to be the best British soap opera. Sometimes, in order to make that happen, you have to work hard on the foundations of what the show is and that's what we've been concentrating on since I arrived in Walford.

"But what we are planning will be electric - but I'm not going to say how! It will involve all of the main characters - both new and legacy characters, nobody has been left out. We're all very excited about it.

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"No show has ever attempted what we're planning to do in the next few months. It's massively ambitious - and crucially- it's something that only "EastEnders" would or could do. And that's the challenge I keep making to the writers; we need to tell stories that only "EastEnders" could do. I love our brother and sister shows and they do what they do brilliantly. But we do something different.

"I want "EastEnders" to be essential in people's lives. The show has extraordinary power - from day one in February 1985, it was a success. It has had many different iterations since and sometimes it can take a while for the audience to get used to change. And the show has certainly evolved fast in the past six months. I have to say when I first started this job, I sometimes doubted whether we could re-calibrate the show they way we have done...

"... So, over the next few months, I guess what I'm promising is an extraordinary ride - I am genuinely excited. It's crazily ambitious- we're pulling out all the stops to make it happen. For "EastEnders", it'll be game-changing."

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