10 Pop Stars Who Turned Into Soap Stars

There's more than you think!

Lee Ryan Blue EastEnders

by Katy Brent |
Published on

Blue star Lee Ryan will hit Walford as EastEnders' new heart-breaker, Woody Woodward, this spring. EastEnders announced the surprising news on Wednesday (February 15) and Twitter basically went into meltdown as everyone speculated about Lee's acting abilities and if he was being lined up as a potential love interest for Whitney Carter. While Lee is the name on all our lips at the moment, he certainly isn't the first pop star who's made the move into soap. Here's a rundown of the others...

Lee Ryan Blue EastEnders
Lee Ryan (credit: BBC) ©BBC

1. Duncan James - Hollyoaks

Duncan James Blue Hollyoaks
Duncan James (credit: Getty) ©Getty

Lee’s Blue bandmate Duncan is currently starring in Hollyoaks as Ryan Knight, partner of Amy Barnes. Ryan has already had an affair with Mercedes and is set to become a murder suspect when Amy gets killed in the not too distant future. Fans have been divided about Dunc’s performance, some are impressed while others have slated him as being wooden.

Soap success score 5/10 (but it’s still early days)

2. Kym Marsh – Coronation Street

Kym Marsh Coronation Street
Kym Marsh (credit: Getty*) ©Getty

Hard to believe but Kym has been playing Michelle Connor in Corrie for just shy of ten years now. Before that she was 1/5 of Hear’say, a band put together by reality show Popstars. Kym’s impressed everyone recently after ‘Chelle and Steve recently lost their unborn son.

Soap success score 9/10 (she loses points for the ridiculous storyline of her son not being her son)

3. Suzanne Shaw –Emmerdale

Suzanne Shaw Emmerdale
Suzanne Shaw (credit: Getty*) ©Getty

Kym’s Hear’say bandmate Suzanne played Eve Jenson – granddaughter of Edna Birch – for just over a year in 2010. Eve famously had an affair with Carl King and was basically a bit of a cow. She wasn’t bad but hasn’t really been missed since her departure in 2011.

Soap success rating 4/10

4. Shayne Ward – Coronation Street

Shayne Ward Coronation Street
Shayne Ward (credit: Getty) ©Getty

Corrie fans were a bit dubious when former X Factor winner Shayne Ward was cast as Aidan Connor in Corrie. But I think it’s fair to say we’ve all been surprised by his performance. Aidan is in a relationship with Eva, but has been cheating on her with jailbird Maria.

Soap success rating 7/10 – lots of potential

5. Simon Webbe – River City

Simon Webbe Blue River City
Simon Webbe (credit: Getty*) ©Getty

Another one of the Blue lads joined Scottish soap River City last year playing Andy Cousins, a former military man. It's only a matter of time before Anthony Costa turns up in Summer Bay.

Soap success rating – 6/10 – he’s not half bad

6. Martin Kemp – EastEnders

Martin Kemp Let It Shine EastEnders
Martin Kemp (credit: BBC) ©BBC

Former Spandau Ballet star Martin played tricky Steve Owen for just over three years from 1998. Steve was involved in several high profile storylines including the murder of his girlfriend Saskia with an ashtray, a weird snog with his dying mum (Sheila Hancock) and stealing Melanie Healy from Ian Beale. Sadly he was blown up in March 2003 so won’t be making a comeback.

Soap success rating 9/10 – good innings and good stories

7. David Essex - EastEnders

David Essex EastEnders
David Essex (credit: Getty*) ©Getty

70s heart-throb David played Eddie Moon, dad to Micheal, Tyler and Anthony, for a short period in 2011. It was all very strange and we don’t talk about those days too much.

Soap success rating 2/10

8. Keith Duffy - Coronation Street

Keith Duffy Boyzone Coronation Street
Keith Duffy (credit: Getty*) ©Getty

Former Boyzone star Keith played Ciaran McCarthy on and off from 2002 to 2011. He famously had a relationship with Michelle, which was loved by fans. He was also nominated for several soap awards including Sexiest Male several times. Not bad for what was supposed to be a three-week stint.

Soap success rating 8/10

9. Matt Willis - EastEnders

Matt Willis Busted EastEnders
Matt Willis (credit: Getty) ©Getty

Busted star Matt played a character called Luke who was crucial in Stacey Slater’s return to the show a few years back. Stace was on the run and had been living under a false name, Jenny Smith. Luke didn’t know anything about her past and was put off when he discovered she was on the run for murder. Which is fair enough, really.

Soap success rating 6/10 (didn't see enough of him!)

10. Sarah Harding - Coronation Street

Sarah Harding Girls Aloud Coronation Street
Sarah Harding (credit: Getty*) ©Getty

Girls Aloud star Sarah played Robert Preston’s ex-wife Joni for four episodes in 2015. Let’s just say her reception wasn’t a warm one.

Soap success rating 0/10

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