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27th Aug 2022

Eastenders’ Adam Wodyatt: “I’m not just Ian Beale, there is an actor behind Ian Beale”

Ellen Fitzpatrick

“Loves him or loathe him, he’s like Marmite.”

We all know the name Adam Woodyatt, whether it’s from his iconic run as Ian Beale on Eastenders or his stint in the I’m a Celeb castle last year.

After a two year break from the BBC soap, Adam has gone on to do some different acting work, taking a leap into the world of musical theatre.

Admittedly not what we expected from him, his role as Alfred Doolittle in the touring production of My Fair Lady sounds like it could be the perfect fit.

“I’m not just Ian Beale, there is an actor behind Ian Beale,” he told Her.

“I’ve been associated with Eastenders for 38 years. In 22 years I’ll probably still be associated with Eastenders because that’s the nature of the character. Love him or loathe him, he’s like Marmite.”

Adam briefly studied at Slyvia Young Theatre School which has created stars like Amy Winehouse, Emma Bunton and Dua Lipa, as well as one third of Busted and a quarter of McFly.

With a background here, it’s not one bit surprising this is the route he’s taken, and for anyone familiar with My Fair Lady, you’ll immediately be able to picture Adam in the role.

He said: “The good thing for me having come back to the theatre is it’s reminded me why I fell in love with the job in the first place. It’s that instant response that you get from an audience that you just do not get from a TV screen. You have to wait ages to find out if what you filmed, the audience like, and the only reaction you get is from online feedback or critics. Whereas on stage, you know if you’ve got the song right, got the gagline right, if you’ve given that little twist of shock horror. Whatever the reaction you’re looking for, you know if you’ve got it right. There’s no hiding.

“It is such an adrenaline rush and it’s just great fun. I look at it and think we are so lucky to be working in this industry, to be able to do what we do. We all grew up as kids running around a playground playing pretend and now we get to do it for a living.”

My Fair Lady is coming to the Bord Gáis Energy Theatre from October 6th to the 30th, and as Adam takes the stage, there is one reason he was drawn to this show.

“It’s fairly iconic, like a lot of people I grew up watching films at Christmas and obviously My Fair Lady was one of those films that was always on and it was a big thing. It was a massive film. For me to get the chance to play Alfred Doolittle, I wasn’t going to say no. It’s one of those roles that if you get the chance to do it, you’ve got to do it,” he said.

“I’m not known for singing and dancing, I haven’t done a musical since 1980 but I’ve been working hard at it, I’m loving it. I’m doing a job that I love doing, I’m still in my playground, I’m still having fun.”

All-Stars I’m A Celeb is coming next year, so I asked would it be something Adam is interested in, and before evening finishing the question, he was shouting “yes” repeatedly.

While he admitted he thinks this version of the show might be reserved for, in his own words, those who did a lot better than he did, it would be something he’d definitely be up for.

“I’d go back and do it in a heartbeat, I’d go back to the castle, dump me in a desert, I’d go back, I loved it,” he said. “Me and Si [Simon Gregson], we had the best time.”

Adam stars in My Fair Lady at Bord Gáis Energy Theatre from October 6th to the 30th.