Adam Woodyatt

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Adam Woodyatt
Adam Woodyatt.jpg
Woodyatt in 2009 at Wendy Richard's funeral service
Adam Brinley Woodyatt

(1968-06-28) 28 June 1968 (age 52)
Years active1983–present
Known forRole of Ian Beale in EastEnders (1985–present)
Spouse(s)Beverley Sharp (m. 1998, sep. 2020)

Adam Brinley Woodyatt (born 28 June 1968) is an English actor, best known for his role as Ian Beale in the BBC soap opera EastEnders. Alongside Jane Slaughter, Woodyatt is the programme's longest-serving cast member, having played the role since the first episode in 1985.

Early life and education[edit]

Woodyatt was born on 28 June 1968 in Walthamstow, and grew up in east London. He was educated at two independent schools: 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; and the Sylvia Young Theatre School. He also attended Llanidloes High School, Llanidloes, Wales.[2]


Aged 13, Woodyatt appeared on stage at the National Theatre in Tom Stoppard's play On the Razzle.[3] Following the completion of his studies at the Sylvia Young Theatre School, Woodyatt appeared in the BBC's children's drama series The Baker Street Boys (1983).

He then put his acting career on hiatus and worked as a butcher in Wales for a brief period, before joining the cast of BBC soap opera EastEnders. Not expecting to stay much beyond the first year,[4] Woodyatt has become the longest-serving male cast member in EastEnders. Alongside Letitia Dean, Gillian Taylforth and Jane Slaughter, who play Sharon Watts, Kathy Beale and Tracey, Woodyatt is one of only four members of the original cast currently in EastEnders, but, apart from a break in 2020, is the only one except Slaughter to have appeared continuously throughout the show's run. In 2013, his longevity was honoured at the British Soap Awards, where he received a Lifetime Achievement Award for his portrayal of Ian Beale.[5]

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.

In 2015, Woodyatt played the henchman of the Wicked Queen in a pantomime production of Snow White at Swindon’s Wyvern Theatre. Speaking about joining the production, Woodyatt commented: "I absolutely love performing in front of an audience as it’s so different to camera – I love the reaction of the audience. I am very much looking forward to spending the Christmas season at the Wyvern Theatre, which I know has a reputation for staging outstanding pantomimes."[6]

On 24 April 2015 the comedy singer Gavin Osborn released a song titled "Adam Woodyatt", with the lines "Imagine how it feels, being Ian Beale".[7] In 2019, he appeared on Celebrity Masterchef.[8] In August 2020, it was announced Woodyatt would be taking an "extended break" from appearing in EastEnders.[9]


Woodyatt is also a 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 Societies of Photographers with a picture he took at St Pancras, where he was filming EastEnders.[10]

Personal life[edit]

On 8 April 1998, Woodyatt married dancer Beverley Sharp in a private ceremony at Disney World, Florida.[11] The couple have two children, and for many years lived in Southam, Warwickshire, some 72 miles northwest of the BBC Elstree Studios in south Hertfordshire, where EastEnders is recorded. On 21 August 2020, it was revealed that Woodyatt had decided to separate from Sharp the previous year, after more than twenty years of marriage.[12] Woodyatt is a supporter of Liverpool F.C.[13] and has been described by Digital Spy as a "huge sci-fi fanatic".[14]


Inspired by his father's death from cancer aged 58, Woodyatt has helped raise money for various cancer research initiatives, and broke his collarbone in June 2003 whilst training for a charity bicycle ride.[15]

Woodyatt was also involved in launching an Aid for Haiti event at Coventry's Ricoh Arena in February 2010, with many of his actor 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[16] and an Ambassador for the Children's Air Ambulance.[17]

In January 2019, it was announced that he would be running the London Marathon with some of his EastEnders co-stars for a Dementia campaign in honour of former Eastenders actress Barbara Windsor.[18]




Television appearances[edit]


  1. ^ O'Neill, Sean (16 July 2002). "Public schoolboy who turned to terror – Telegraph". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 9 April 2012.
  2. ^ "BBC – Mid Wales Llanidloes – Claims to Fame". BBC Online. Archived from the original on 7 March 2009. Retrieved 9 April 2012.
  3. ^ Wood, Alex (13 November 2020). "Adam Woodyatt to star in Looking Good Dead tour". What's On Stage. Retrieved 8 June 2021.
  4. ^ Beth Neil (10 February 2010). "EastEnders 25th birthday special: We chat to Ian Beale aka actor Adam Woodyatt about being the longest-serving cast member – 3am & Mirror Online". Retrieved 21 August 2013.
  5. ^ "British Soap Awards 2013: the winners in full". Radio Times. Retrieved 5 February 2020.
  6. ^ "EastEnders' Adam Woodyatt to star in Wyvern's Christmas panto". Swindon Advertiser. Retrieved 16 August 2020.
  7. ^
  8. ^ "Series 14 Contestants". BBC. Retrieved 1 October 2019.
  9. ^ "Ian Beale written out of EastEnders as Adam Woodyatt takes a break". WalesOnline. Retrieved 16 August 2020.
  10. ^ "Architectural The Societies Photographer of the Year 2008". Retrieved 26 February 2010.
  11. ^ "BBC - Somerset - EastEnders' Ian Beale (Adam Woodyatt) talks..." 18 December 2003. Retrieved 7 April 2020.
  12. ^ "EastEnders actor Adam Woodyatt separates from wife Beverley Sharp after 22 years".
  13. ^ "oldsite – Liverpool FC". Retrieved 21 August 2013.
  14. ^ Fletcher, Alex (10 February 2010). "Ten Things You Never Knew About Adam Woodyatt". Digital Spy. Retrieved 8 June 2021.
  15. ^ [1] Archived 11 December 2004 at the Wayback Machine
  16. ^ [2] Archived 23 May 2007 at the Wayback Machine
  17. ^ "Our People".
  18. ^ "EastEnders stars to run marathon for Dame Barbara Windsor". BBC News. 8 January 2019. Retrieved 8 January 2019.

External links[edit]