EastEnders' Ian Beale actor Adam Woodyatt leaves wife of 22 years

EASTENDERS legend Adam Woodyatt, famous to millions of fans as Ian Beale, has split from his wife after 22 years of marriage.

The Albert Square Icon, the soap’s longest-serving star after appearing in the first episode in 1985, has been married to Beverley Sharp since 1998.


The couple have two grown-up children together, but Ian, 52, has been staying away from the family home for several months.

It’s understood the actor made the decision to leave the relationship, but sources insist there is no third party involved.

A friend said: “Beverley was naturally very upset, as anybody would be in the circumstances, but these things happen and it’s a straightforward separation.

“Nobody plans for these things and divorce is a difficult thing to get your head around but they have dealt with it quietly for several months and are now telling friends so it’s less of a secret.

“They still get on well, and are keen to make sure they stay that way for the sake of their children – even though they are now grown up.”

Adam is one of the best paid stars on British soap, with a salary reportedly close to £249,000 according to official BBC figures.

He’s also understood to top up his earnings with hefty pantomime pay cheques each year, as one of the show’s only stars still allowed to take on extra work thanks to his old-style contract.

Last week it was reported he is to temporarily step away from the show during a storyline break, which will see his character briefly depart Albert Square.

But show bosses insist the departure will only be short-lived, and he remains a major part of the soap’s future.

A spokesman for Adam confirmed: “Beverley and Adam separated in August last year and we ask that the family’s privacy is respected.”


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