EastEnders star Adam Woodyatt splits from his wife after 22 years

EastEnders star Adam Woodyatt splits from his wife Beverley Sharp after 22 years of marriage… as it’s revealed he’s ‘taking an extended break from playing Ian Beale on the soap’

Adam Woodyatt has split from his wife Beverley Sharp after 22 years of marriage.

It is thought that the couple separated several months ago but have only just started telling friends about their decision.

The actor, 52, is best known for his role as Ian Beale on EastEnders which he has had since the soap’s first episode in 1985. 

Split: Adam Woodyatt, 52, has separated from his wife Beverley Sharp after 22 years of marriage (pictured together in 2017)

A friend told The Sun that Beverley was ‘very upset’ at the split but added that it’s a ‘straightforward separation’.

They said: ‘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 and Beverley have been married since 1998 and have two children – Jessica, 27, and Samuel, 23.

Changes: It comes after claims the EastEnders favourite’s character Ian Beale was being ‘written out’ of the show as he takes an ‘extended break’ from the soap

A spokesperson for the actor said: ‘Beverley and Adam separated in August last year and we ask that the family’s privacy is respected.’ 

MailOnline has also contacted Adam’s representative for a comment. 

It comes after reports that Adam was being ‘written out’ of EastEnders after playing Ian Beale for 35 years as he is taking an ‘extended break’ from the soap. 

Adam was said to be having a prolonged ‘holiday’ with his part being ‘written out’ of upcoming episodes, just as the show prepares to return to air.

In character: Adam is best known for playing Ian Beale on EastEnders, a role which he has had since the soap started in 1985 

The long-time character will be off screen for around 10 weeks due to an ‘explosive plot twist’, a BBC source has claimed according to the Daily Star. 

Another source added: ‘Writers are staying tight-lipped about what happens, so it’s not known yet what the future will hold for the character.’  

The news came as the actor was pictured leaving a hotel near the EastEnders set with his luggage during time away from the home he shares with Beverley.  

Ian has been centre-stage of the show’s biggest storyline this year with the death of Dennis Mitchell after he caused the teenager to perish in a boat crash – which marked the soap’s 35th anniversary in February. 

Family: Adam and Beverley were married for 22 years and have two grownup children together (pictured in May 2019)

The character has not faced justice over the incident but bosses have hinted Sharon, played by Letitia Dean, 52, will uncover what happened to her son. 

It comes as bosses have revealed the soap will be back on air on September 7. 

The long-running drama is currently on a 12 week break after it ran out of episodes while filming was halted amid the coronavirus pandemic earlier this year.

After almost three months off air, BBC bosses joked that they ‘can’t wait for series two’, after the soap previously ran uninterrupted for 35 years.

The announcement was made across Eastenders’ social media platforms, including Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

The new shorter episodes will only be 20 minutes long and the programme will be shown four times a week on BBC One.

It’s back! TV bosses recently revealed the popular soap will be back on air on September 7

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