Adam Woodyatt

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Adam Woodyatt
Adam Woodyatt.jpg
Woodyatt in 2009 at Wendy Richard's funeral service
Born Adam Brinley Woodyatt
(1968-06-28) 28 June 1968 (age 46)
Walthamstow, London, England, United Kingdom
Occupation Actor, media personality
Years active 1983–present
Known for playing Ian Beale in EastEnders (1985-present) longest-serving cast member
Height 5ft 10ins (1.78m)
Spouse(s) Beverley Sharp (m. 1998)
Children 2 children

Adam Brinley Woodyatt (born 28 June 1968) is an English actor and media personality, best known for his role as Ian Beale in the long-running BBC soap opera EastEnders. He is the only actor to have been in the show continuously since its inception in February 1985. Alongside Letitia Dean and Gillian Taylforth, who play Sharon Watts and Kathy Beale, Woodyatt is one of only three members of the original cast currently in EastEnders.

Early life[edit]

A native of Walthamstow, Woodyatt was raised in the East End of London, where EastEnders is set.


Woodyatt was educated at two independent schools: at Forest School,[1] on the edge of Epping Forest, in Walthamstow in North East London, where he shared classes with comedy writer Sharat Sardana and cricket captain Nasser Hussain, followed by the Sylvia Young Theatre School, at the time based in Marylebone in West London. He also attended Llanidloes High School, Llanidloes in Wales.[2]

Life and career[edit]

Following the completion of his studies at the Sylvia Young Theatre School, Woodyatt took a small part in children's drama The Baker Street Boys. He then put his acting career on hiatus and worked as a butcher in Wales for a brief period, before joining the cast of the then fledgling soap opera EastEnders. Not expecting to stay much beyond the first year,[3] Woodyatt has gone on to be the longest serving cast member in EastEnders; he is the only character from the first episode to appear in the soap without officially leaving. His longevity was honoured at the 2013 British Soap Awards when he received a Lifetime Achievement Award for his role of Ian Beale. Woodyatt has also appeared as a guest personality on several BBC game shows and charity fundraisers, including A Question of Sport, Robot Wars (Winning the show's Celebrity Special with the robot Pussycat) and Children in Need.


Woodyatt is an accomplished photographer, a hobby he took up while performing On The Razzle at the National Theatre when he was 13 years old.[citation needed]

In 2008 he won the Architectural Photographer of the Year Award of the SWPP BPPA Society with a picture he took at St Pancras, where he was filming EastEnders.[4]

Personal life[edit]

On 8 April 1998, Woodyatt married dancer Beverley Sharp in a private ceremony at Disney World, Florida. The couple have two children, and live in Southam, Warwickshire, some 72 miles northwest of the BBC's Elstree Studios in south Hertfordshire, where Eastenders is filmed. Despite hailing from the South East of England, Woodyatt supports Liverpool F.C.,[5] and has a keen appreciation for sport.

An avid fan of science fiction, he took part in a special BBC evening dedicated to Star Trek and has attended some of the 'Series Launches' of Doctor Who alongside many other celebrities. He appeared in Casualty as Paul Brown in 1995.


Inspired by his father's death from cancer aged 58, Woodyatt has helped raise money for various cancer research initiatives, and broke his collar bone in June 2003 whilst training for one such charity cycle ride.[6]

Woodyatt was also instrumental in launching an Aid for Haiti event at Coventry's Ricoh Arena in February 2010, with many of his soap star colleagues posing for photographs, signing autographs, and providing items for an auction, which raised £30,000. Woodyatt is also a supporter of Warwickshire & Northamptonshire Air Ambulance.[7]






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