Following the remark, three members of the band are thought to have refused to appear alongside Ritchie.
A source close to the actor confirmed that Ritchie made the joke but did not mean it in an offensive manner.
Back in January, a kiss between two gay characters on Eastenders led to an outburst of homophobic comments on social media. In April, the soap's resident beefcake Ben Hardy appeared on the cover of Attitude.
Watch S Club 7’s performance along with Ritchie and the Eastenders cast taking on songs from ‘Grease’ for Children In Need, AFTER THE JUMP...