Belfast Telegraph

EastEnders bosses hit back at reports Lee Ryan is being axed

Rumours have swirled that Lee Ryan could be in for the EastEnders chop but Beeb bosses slam it as "speculation".

EastEnders bosses have denied Lee Ryan is in the firing line as the BBC soap gets ready for a shake up.

It was reported last week (ends25Jun17) that executive producer Sean O’Connor was stepping down after a year in the role, following disastrous ratings and storylines.

New EastEnders boss John Yorke, who previously helmed the show from 2000 to 2002, is planning to make his mark on the soap once again, and is said to be negotiating the return of Walford favourites Kat Slater and Alfie Moon, played by Jessie Wallace and Shane Richie.

It’s also been rumoured that he’ll be showing a crop of current characters the door, with Blue singer Lee’s name thrown into the hat.

However the BBC has denied this is the case.

“This is pure speculation. It is far too early for any decisions to have been made," the BBC told MailOnline.

Under John’s leadership, new EastEnders' plot lines will include a prominent death of a lead character, a hard-to-watch family abuse storyline and a potential shooting, reports the Daily Star.

Lee recently inked a new EastEnders deal, signing a one-year contract to stay on as Woody after a successful guest stint as the bar manager. He’ll be back on screens this autumn.

"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,” he said in a statement.

"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."

Lee recently faced a health battle when he was twice admitted to hospital after suffering a complication of tonsillitis called quinsy. After initially being discharged, Lee was readmitted as a precaution, but is now back to his old self, and showed off his fitness skills in a recent Instagram post

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