Adam Woodyatt: things you didn't know about the EastEnders actor

EastEnders star Adam Woodyatt on the red carpet wearing a suit.
EastEnders star Adam Woodyatt plays Ian Beale. (Image credit: Getty Images)

Adam Woodyatt has played Ian Beale in EastEnders since the very first episode aired on February 19, 1985. Following a short break, where he appeared in stage shows and I’m a Celebrity 2021 he is now back in Albert Square.

His soap character alter ego has been shot, homeless, poisoned, and faced more than his fair share of feuds, fights, and failed marriages, but here’s everything you need to know about Adam Woodyatt himself…

Adam Woodyatt has been in EastEnders for over 30 years!

Adam Woodyatt stars in EastEnders.

A very young Adam begins work on Albert Square. (Image credit: Getty Images)

Adam was just 16 when he won the role of Ian Beale in the London-based soap. 

He was not long out of the Sylvia Young Theatre School and didn’t expect the character to last long.

Ian Beale is the most married character in EastEnders history

Ian Beale, EastEnders

What a happy couple! Jane and Ian married twice, but neither worked out well.  (Image credit: BBC)

He may not look like your typical Walford heart-throb, but the businessman has never been single for long.

So far, he’s been married six times to five different women, which is pretty good going – although he doesn't seem to be getting any better at it – with every one of his matches ending in death or heartbreak and divorce.

The Five Wives of Ian Beale…

  • Name: Cindy Williams
  • Marriage lasted: 1989 – 1997
  • Reason for split: Cindy hired a hitman to kill Ian and later went into witness protection.
  • Name: Mel Healy
  • Marriage lasted: 1999 – 2000
  • Reason for split: Ian lied about his daughter Lucy having lymphoma to stop Mel leaving him – she found out and left sharpish!
  • Name: Laura Dunn
  • Marriage lasted: 2001 – 2004
  • Reason for split: The mother to Bobby Beale died after falling down the stairs. 
  • Name: Jane Collins
  • Marriage lasted: 2007 – 2011 & 2015 – 2020
  • Reason for split: Both had affairs, told many lies and eventually divorced.
  • Name: Sharon Watts
  • Marriage lasted: 2020 – 2021
  • Reason for split: Sharon tried to poison him after revealing she didn't love him.

In 2013 Adam Woodyatt won a Lifetime Achievement Award

Peter Dean, Gillian Taylforth, Anna Wing and Adam Woodyatt

The Beale family – Pete, Kathy, Lou and Ian. (Image credit: Getty Images)

At the British Soap Awards in 2013, Adam was presented with a Lifetime Achievement Award by Gillian Taylforth, who played his on-screen mum, Kathy Beale.

Before handing over the award she said: "Having been there from day one, 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!"

He’s appeared in stage show Looking Good Dead

During a break from EastEnders, Adam went touring with a theatre production of Looking Good Dead.

The play is based on a book by the acclaimed author Peter James and sees Adam play Tom Bryce, whose life is turned upside down when he finds a USB memory stick on a train seat. 

The thriller also stared ex-Emmerdale and Corrie actress Gaynor Faye, as the cast picture below shows. 

In 2022 Adam was reunited with Laurie Brett, who played his wife Jane Beale in EastEnders. She joined the cast in February 2022 and played Kellie Bryce, the wife of Adam's character, Tom. 

He ran the London Marathon for his former EastEnders co-star Barbara Windsor

In 2019 Adam, alongside many of his EastEnders co-stars, ran the London Marathon. The team, which was led by Barbara’s husband Scott Windsor, also included Jake Wood (Max Branning) Emma Barton (Honey Mitchell) and Natalie Cassidy (Sonia Fowler). They ran as Barbara’s Revolutionaries to raise money for dementia charities. 

Barbara Windsor, who played the legendary Peggy Mitchell in the soap from 1994 to 2016, was diagnosed with Alzheimer's in 2014 and sadly lost her life to the disease in December 2020.

Adam Woodyatt's Fact File

Here are all the answers to the most frequently asked questions about the EastEnders actor...

How old is Adam Woodyatt?

Adam Woodyatt was born on June, 28 1968 making him 55 years old.

Is Adam Woodyatt married?

He married Beverley Sharp in 1998 but the couple have now split up.

Does Adam Woodyatt have children?

He has two children with his estranged wife Beverley called Jessica and Samuel, both are in their 20s. 

Where was Adam Woodyatt born?

Adam was born in Walthamstow in East London. 

Joanne Lowles
Freelance writer and editor

Joanne Lowles has been writing about TV since 2002. After graduating from Cardiff University with a Postgraduate Diploma in Magazine Journalism, she worked for All About Soap magazine covering the ups and downs of life on the cobbles, the square and the Dales. 

Next came nearly 10 years at TV Times magazine as a writer and then deputy features editor. Here she spent many happy days interviewing the biggest names in entertainment and visiting the sets of some of our most popular shows including Downton Abbey, Call the Midwife and Strictly Come Dancing

With a love of nature and wildlife she’s also interviewed the leading experts in this area including David Attenborough, Chris Packham and Steve Backshall. She’s also travelled the world visiting Mongolia, Canada and South Africa to see how the best in the business make the most brilliant natural history documentaries. 

Freelance since 2013, she is now is a digital writer and editor for What to Watch, previews the best on the box for TV Times mag each week and loves being constantly surprised, entertained and informed by the amazing TV that she is lucky enough to watch.