Inside Adam Woodyatt’s life from family tragedy, weight loss and split from wife

Inside Adam Woodyatt’s life from family tragedy, weight loss and split from wife

EastEnders star Adam Woodyatt has joined the cast of I'm A Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here! after taking an extended break from playing his role of Ian Beale.

Adam Woodyatt will be joining the fellow campmates in Thursday night's episode and fans are excited to see him already after so long with the star away from the BBC One soap.

While he might be back on our screens for a time on ITV, fans are certainly missing him on the popular soap, though his return to the show is yet to be confirmed.

As Adam, who is the longest standing EastEnders cast member, heads into Gwrych Castle, Daily Star looks into his private life.

EastEnders icon

No doubt one of the most familiar faces on British TV, soap veteran Adam Woodyatt has been a mainstay of the EastEnders cast for nearly 40 years playing Ian Beale.

After making his first appearance back in 1985, the star has appeared in more than 3,000 episodes and holds the title as longest running cast member in the soap’s history.

Since taking a hiatus from Walford and teasing rumours that he doesn't yet have plans to return, the star is gracing our screens as we’ve never seen him before in ITV’s I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here!

Private life

Adam, 52, has had his fair shares of ups and downs as Ian Beale on screen but in his personal life the soap legend is one of the highest paid actors on the soap.

Having appeared in the very first episode back in 1985, fresh out of Sylvia Young Theatre School, it's believed Adam now earns between £200k-£249k per year.

In 1998, Woodyatt married dancer Beverley Sharp at Disney World in Florida and the pair live in Southam, Warwickshire.

Unfortunately, after more than two decades of marriage, it was announced in August 2020 that the couple had separated the previous year. The couple share two children Sam, 23, and Jessica, 27.

The actor is also said to have recently splashed out nearly £100k on a camper van amid reports his estranged wife is 'struggling for money'.

The Albert Square legend is said to have bought the motor home after living on the road while he toured with his theatre production – Looking Good Dead.

Weight loss transformation

An avid runner off-screen, many fans were left shocked by the sudden weight-loss transformation of actor Adam in recent appearances.

While his character has always portrayed a somewhat healthy physique, fans were surprised to see the star looking very slim during an episode of EastEnders: Secrets From The Square. Back in 2020.

Adam joined his long-time co-star and friend Gillian Taylforth, who plays his onscreen mum Kathy Beale, to chat about their time on the soap on This Morning and his appearance caused a stir amongst fans.

"I didn't recognise Adam for a minute!" one commented, "Adam looks amazing omg #ThisMorning."

The actor's appearance has been documented heavily onscreen and Adam has admitted that some fans can be cruel over the differences. The avid Liverpool FC supporter said: "This woman looks at me and says, ‘You’re fatter than you are on the telly’.

"I said to her, ‘If I had said that to you, you could go to the papers and say I was being rude, this and that. I’m sorry, I don’t like the way you spoke to me’.

“She said ‘I didn’t mean it’ and went off."

The actor first decided to change his lifestyle when he was training for the London Marathon three years ago and is often spotted taking long bike rides around his hometown in Warwickshire

Soap Veteran

In 1985, aged 16 and working in his local butcher’s shop, Adam won his breakthrough role of Ian Beale.

The character has had a slew of relationship dramas on the soap, including six marriages to five women, Cindy Williams, Mel Healy, Laura Dunn, twice to Jane Collins and most recently, Sharon Watts, as well as two aborted engagements to Mandy Salter and Denise Fox.

“I was thinking that if EastEnders didn’t work out, then at least I could go back to cutting meat," he recently revealed to Radio Times.

"I just wanted to earn money, which does sound very Ian Beale, doesn’t it?"

With dramatic storylines too plentiful to count, Ian Beal has entertained fans with some of soaplands most unbelievable twists and turns. Some his most memorable storylines include his eldest son Steven shooting his then-wife Jane, resulting in her having a hysterectomy and his daughter Lucy being murdered by Ian and Jane's son Bobby.

Ian is constantly feuding with Phil Mitchell, has been shot by a hitman hired by wife Cindy, been homeless and even saw his mum Kathy Beale return from the dead.

Adam won a Lifetime Achievement award at the British Soap Awards in 2013.

In Gillian’s speech, she said: “He’s EastEnders’ longest serving cast member, whose on-screen character might be one of the most hapless, scheming and, let’s be honest, bloody irritating people you could want to meet.

“But that is testimony to what a great actor he is because in real life he’s one of the most loving, warm and entertaining people you could meet!”


After admitting he does “a lot of eating,” the east London native decided to swap Kathy’s Café for the kitchen when he signed up for Celebrity Masterchef in 2019.

Fans had high expectations for the star given that his character Ian runs a chippie, the caff and the only restaurant in Walford.

Adam admitted to MasterChef judge Gregg Wallace his east London character set a high bar for his kitchen expectations, but sadly his food did not deliver the same quality as his on-screen alter ego.

One fan took to Twitter to comment: "Anyone else looking at Ian Beale on #MasterChefCelebrity thinking why the hell cant you cook when you own two restaurants."

Another added: "Ian Beale is on Celebrity Masterchef but they aren't making him cook fish and chips. "Huge missed opportunity."

A third added: "Watching #MasterChef just to see if Ian Beale can actually cook."

Meanwhile judge Gregg seemed equally gobsmacked at his lack of prowess in the MasterChef kitchen.

He quizzed: "Hang on a minute, in Albert Square, you’ve owned a cafe."

Adam admitted: "Yeah, I know, but the props boys do a wonderful job.

"I’m only as good a chef as the props boy that day."

He added: "How good I am at cooking it, I have no idea 'cause I don’t do a lot of cooking.

"I do a lot of eating."

Family Tragedy

The EastEnders legend is well-known for running the challenging London marathon with his son Samuel, a ritual that started after his then-teen son “miraculously” took on the trek following a severe car accident that left him in a coma.

Adam said back in 2017: “He got hit by a car back in September, the London Air Ambulance came out to him and put him in an induced coma for two days, a five-hour op to rebuild his pelvis.

"He was in a wheelchair for eight weeks had to learn to walk again which he did really quickly, then he had to run which he did really really quickly, then he went back to doing his gymnastics and all his tumbling really really quickly. It has been pretty miraculous”

Adam has since joined some of EastEnders crew to run the marathon in honour of Dame Barbara Windsor and to support a dementia and Alzheimer's cause.

I'm A Celebrity airs nightly on ITV at 9pm

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