Adam Woodyatt

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

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 forIan Beale in EastEnders (1985–present)
Height5 ft 9 in (1.75 m)
Beverley Sharp
m. 1998)

Early life and educationEdit

Woodyatt was born on 28 June 1968 in Walthamstow, and grew up in East London. He 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. He then attended the Sylvia Young Theatre School. He also attended Llanidloes High School, Llanidloes in Wales.[2]


Following the completion of his studies at the Sylvia Young Theatre School, Woodyatt appeared 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 BBC soap opera EastEnders. Not expecting to stay much beyond the first year,[3] Woodyatt has become the longest serving cast member in EastEnders; he is the only character from the first episode to appear in the soap without officially leaving. 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, but the only one of the three 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.

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."

In 2019, he appeared on Celebrity Masterchef.[4]


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 Society of Wedding and Portrait Photographers with a picture he took at St Pancras, where he was filming EastEnders.[5]

Personal lifeEdit

On 8 April 1998, Woodyatt married dancer Beverley Sharp in a private ceremony at Disney World, Florida.[6] The couple have two children, and for many years lived in Southam, Warwickshire, 72 miles northwest of the BBC Elstree Studios in south Hertfordshire, where EastEnders is recorded. Woodyatt is a supporter of Liverpool F.C.[7]


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.[8]

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[9] and an Ambassador for the Children's Air Ambulance.[10]

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.[11]




Television appearancesEdit


  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. ^ 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.
  4. ^ "Series 14 Contestants". BBC. Retrieved 1 October 2019.
  5. ^ "Architectural Society Photographer of the Year 2008". Archived from the original on 10 January 2010. Retrieved 26 February 2010.
  6. ^ "BBC - Somerset - EastEnders' Ian Beale (Adam Woodyatt) talks..." 18 December 2003. Retrieved 7 April 2020.
  7. ^ "oldsite – Liverpool FC". Retrieved 21 August 2013.
  8. ^ [1] Archived 11 December 2004 at the Wayback Machine
  9. ^ [2] Archived 23 May 2007 at the Wayback Machine
  10. ^ "Our People".
  11. ^ "EastEnders stars to run marathon for Dame Barbara Windsor". BBC News. 8 January 2019. Retrieved 8 January 2019.

External linksEdit