Ex-EastEnders star Jack Ryder is set to join the cast of The Bill, according to the Sunday Mirror.

The paper reports that Ryder – who starred as heart-throb Jamie Mitchell in EastEnders – will play a new character called Duane Howe in the ITV1 cop drama, and has been in talks this week about the role.

An insider said it would be a “great opportunity” for the actor who split from his wife, Coronation Street actress Kym Ryder, earlier this year.

“Jack has been through the mill with the end of his marriage,” the source said.

“He’s keen to get his teeth stuck into a big project to take the focus off his personal life.”

Ryder left EastEnders in 2005 after Jamie was killed off. He was just 18 when he landed the role in 1998.

Since leaving the soap he has worked in theatre and panto as well as making occasional TV appearances on shows such as The Weakest Link and Celebrity Stars In Their Eyes.

Ryder will be just the latest in a string of former EastEnders stars to join the show. Others who have appeared in The Bill after their Walford careers include Todd Carty, Gillian Taylforth and Louisa Lytton.