Adam Woodyatt has been through a dramatic year of change which would have made for an explosive EastEnders storyline.
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Having grown up in Albert Square during a legendary 36-year stint, Adam decided to quit the soap in January this year so he could start to experience new things.
This came months after the shock announcement that he would be divorcing his wife Beverley Sharp after 22 years of marriage.
Adam decided to up sticks and left his home and his job behind to go travelling around the country in a motor home – but now he’s staying put for a few weeks inside the terrifying I’m A Celebrity castle.
The 53-year-old actor is looking forward to showing fans that he is very different to Ian Beale in real life, explaining: “Ian is a character on a TV programme. That was just a job. [I’m A Celeb] is a different thing.”
Adam currently looks drastically different to how we were used to seeing him on EastEnders for so many years – with the actor transforming after the split from his wife was announced.
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Adam met ex-dancer Beverley after finding fame on EastEnders and they married at Disney World in Florida in April 1998.
The pair also own their own gin brand, Neat Gin, which they launched together in 2017 and signed a deal with Marco Pierre White to sell in 50 of his restaurants a year later.
But in August last year, it was was announced he would be divorcing Beverley, who he has two children with, 27-year-old Jessica and 23-year-old Samuel.
Last year, a spokesperson for Adam said: “Beverley and Adam separated in August last year, and we ask that the family’s privacy is respected.”
A source later told The Sun: “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.”
Despite the year-long separation, sources say both parties deny cheating in their marriage and it’s understood there is no third-party involvement.
Around the same time, Adam dazzled us with his toned and sporty body as he unveiled his weight loss transformation.
Lifting the lid on his transformation, Adam revealed that getting out on his bicycle every day had contributed to his impressive drop in weight.
He credits former co-star Jake Wood with his success, as it was the Max Branning actor who initially inspired him to get on the saddle.
Taking to his Instagram Stories, the soap star insisted that he has never felt better after making the choice to introduce exercise into his daily routine.
The upbeat star told his followers: “Like my mate Mr Wood says, ‘you got to get out there. You got to do it.’ He goes running and I go cycling.”
Adam recently admitted that his weight was a sore topic for him to stomach after he was targeted by cruel trolls online.
Opening up about the disheartening comments, the soap legend admitted that one of the most vivid memories he has is of a woman who claimed that he was much fatter off-screen.
Adam recalled: “One of the best examples of somebody being rude is when we were at the BBC Good Food show. This woman looks at me and says, ‘You’re fatter than you are on telly’.”
As for his EastEnders future, it doesn’t look like Adam will be going back to Walford anytime soon.
Earlier this year, Adam revealed he would be taking an extended leave from the show after decades of service across thousands of episodes.
In January, Adam shared a poignant few words on Instagram when he left the soap which read: “Goodbyes are not forever. Goodbyes are not the end. They simply mean I’ll miss you, until we meet again.”
Since then there’s been post after post of photos shared of him cycling around the country as he takes time away from acting.
“Another day, another bike ride. This time Manchester. Amazing what you see when out on a bike,” he captioned a set of photos of canals, waterfalls and cityscapes.
“Devon has some challenging climbs, hard work even on an electric bike but the view at the top was worth it,” he wrote next a photo of him beaming, with a wide smile.
It was suggested earlier this month that Adam was quitting the show for good after it was revealed that he would be taking part in I’m A Celeb.
Adam revealed himself that he has “no plans” to return to Albert Square any time soon when probed on whether he had been asked to appear on the show before.
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“No, not that I’m aware of,” he replied. “Last December, ITV asked me and I said yes.”
As part of his break from the soap, Adam had agreed to star in a touring production of a play called Looking Good Dead, but pandemic restrictions have put the show on hold for now.
Quizzed on whether he would be back in Walford after I’m A Celeb, he said: “So I literally come out of the castle whenever that is, have Christmas off and then we’re back into rehearsals because Laurie Brett’s taking over from Gaynor Faye.
“And then we’re doing that until the end of April.
“It’s been it’s been a lot of fun working and seeing [Laurie] again. It’s kind of bittersweet.
“I’m looking forward to Laurie coming in, I’m going to miss Gaynor because she’s been an absolute joy to work with. It’s been wonderful.”
Adam confessed that he is “nervous” to appear on the show but said that he knew what he was letting himself in for.
“Like everyone I’ve watched this series since the start with Tony Blackburn,” he said. “I know what I’ve let myself in for.”
*I’m A Celebrity airs tonight on ITV at 9pm
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