Lee Ryan and other singers who became soap stars

Lee Ryan and other singers who became soap stars
Lee Ryan and other singers who became soap stars

All Rise... Blue singer Lee Ryan is joining EastEnders.

He will be playing bad boy "Woody" Woodward when he hits Albert Square in the next few weeks.

As a member of Blue, Lee brought us anthems such as One Love and Too Close and even represented the UK at Eurovision in 2011. Quite the musical CV.

Lee is also no stranger to acting, having previously appeared alongside Vinnie Jones in The Heavy and in Holby City when he was a teenager.

But now he's set to pop up in Albert Square. And he's off to a great start, having successfully located the Albert Square road sign on some railings.

Lee Ryan isn't the first pop singer to leave music behind for the world of soaps.

Come to think of it, he isn't even the first singer in his own band to leave music behind for the world of soaps.

Duncan James

Lee's former Blue bandmate Duncan James joined Hollyoaks last year.

He plays Ryan Knight in the soap, a character who is "cool, calm and incredibly good-looking," according to the show's website.

It might be hard to spot him if you watch Hollyoaks, since basically everyone in it is incredibly good-looking.

Duncan has previously said joining the soap saved his life, adding: "It's nice to get a regular pay cheque."

Kym Marsh

Image copyright ITV

Kym Marsh first shot to fame on Popstars, the ITV singing contest show that paved the way for shows like The Voice and The X Factor.

The five-piece group that came out of it, Hear'Say, saw Kym help to bring us hits like Pure and Simple, and, erm, that other one they did.

But now she can be found on the cobbles of Corrie, having joined the ITV soap as Michelle Connor in 2006.

Keith Duffy

Image copyright Getty Images

"I set the trend for boy bands going into soaps," joked Keith Duffy to ITV's Lorraine Kelly on Thursday morning.

When he joined Coronation Street in 2002, the former Boyzone singer's stint playing Ciaran McCarthy was initially supposed to last three weeks.

He ended up staying on the soap for three years. Not bad going.

Duffy has now returned to music though as one half of Boyzlife - a pop duo which also features Westlife's Brian McFadden. Amazing.

Shayne Ward

Image copyright ITV

He's not here to say he's sorry, he's not here to lie to you.

Shayne Ward was just quite simply ready for a role in Coronation Street after 10 years of being a singer.

He won The X Factor in 2005 but now he can be found helping to run an underwear factory in Weatherfield.

His character, Aidan Connor, is described by ITV as a third cousin of Kym Marsh's character.

Must be quite a musical family, that.

Sarah Harding, Matt Willis and Suzanne Shaw

Image copyright Getty / BBC / Getty

Other singers to have ventured into the world of acting include Sarah Harding (left), who recently starred in the stage adaptation of Ghost.

The Girls Aloud singer also cropped up in Coronation Street as the ex-wife of Tracy Barlow's ex-husband, Robert Preston (keep up).

Busted's Matt Willis, meanwhile, hit Albert Square as Luke Riley - the boyfriend of Stacey Branning, played by Lacey Turner.

And Kym Marsh's Hear'Say bandmate Suzanne Shaw got her wellies on to appear in Emmerdale in 2010.

Of course, we haven't mentioned the numerous actors who have done things the other way around - starting out in soaps and moving into singing.

Kylie Minogue and Adam Rickitt (who admittedly may not be quite on the same level of fame) both went into the recording studio after leaving Neighbours and Coronation Street respectively.

In summary, soaps and pop like to share.

Clearly it will only be a matter of time before Rihanna becomes a regular at the Woolpack.

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