EASTENDERS legend Adam Woodyatt has signed up for this year’s I’m A Celebrity . . . Get Me Out of Here!
Adam, 53 — known to millions as Ian Beale — agreed to take part after bosses offered him a bumper pay deal. The actor — who is the BBC soap’s longest-serving cast member — is currently on a break from Albert Square.
I’m A Celebrity chiefs are said to be thrilled that Adam is joining the line-up.
One insider revealed: “Adam was a big target for the casting team — he is a soap legend and is certain to be a huge hit with fans.
“But they knew they might have their work cut out because he has been quite reticent to do interviews or reality TV shows in recent years.
“When you consider how long he has been a household name, he has only agreed to a handful of TV appearances outside of Albert Square.
“And he isn’t known for being a red carpet regular either.
“So it’s a huge coup to have reached this point, and everyone is very excited about having him on the show. He’s a brilliant addition.”
Adam made his debut in Albert Square as teenager Ian in February 1985 and has appeared in more than 3,000 episodes.
But in August last year it emerged he was to be written out of upcoming scenes as part of an “extended break” for the character.
In May, Adam — who is touring in a theatre production of Peter James’ Looking Good Dead — said the break would last until at least next year.
News of his break came weeks before he and wife Beverley Sharp confirmed they had split up after 22 years of marriage.
The couple, who married in 1998 and have children Jessica, 28, and Samuel, 23, had separated the year before but had only just begun to tell their friends.
Adam later admitted he was living in a motorhome following the break-up.
The Sun revealed last week that TV presenter Richard Madeley, 65, had signed up for this year’s series — which will take place at Gwyrch Castle, in Conwy, for a second year. The show was relocated there because of Covid restrictions.
Adam or Richard could become the first King of the Castle after author and podcaster Giovanna Fletcher, 36, became the first Queen of the Castle last year.
EastEnders favourites who have appeared on I’m A Celebrity include Shane Richie, who took part in 2020.
Three of them won the show — Jacqueline Jossa in 2019, Joe Swash in 2008 and Charlie Brooks in 2012 — in its original setting in the Australian jungle.
An ITV spokesman said last night: “We do not comment on speculation.”
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