Former EastEnders star Jack Ryder has signed to ITV for the channel's new daytime drama The Royal Today.

The show is a modern day hospital drama which is due to begin production this summer in Yorkshire.

Ryder will play a hard-working nurse called Adam Fearnley who is highly popular with the student nurses despite being in a long-term relationship with his girlfriend, Heather.

The actor said: "Adam is a great character and so different from my previous roles. I loved the scripts as soon as I read them and I'm really excited about the show. I can't wait to start filming."

Also starring in the show will be stage and TV actor Paul Nicholas, who will play a meticulous consultant surgeon.

Keith Richardson, executive producer of the Royal Today, said he was excited about having the actors on board.

"We are thrilled to have two such fantastic actors on board to join The Royal Today. The opening episode ends with a murder in the hospital, so there will be plenty to get viewers gripped right from the very beginning," he added.

Ryder is married to Kym Marsh, who also works for ITV and stars in the hit soap Coronation Street.

25/05/2007 15:46:19