EastEnders star Adam Woodyatt has separated from his wife Beverley Sharp, a spokesperson has confirmed.
The Ian Beale star, 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 Adam, 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 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.”
A spokesman for the BBC soap has confirmed they parted ways last year.
The statement said: "Beverley and Adam separated in August 2019 and we ask that the family’s privacy is respected."
It comes after Daily Star revealed that Adam's character Ian Beale would be written out the soap as the actor takes an extended break.
A BBC source confirmed the break and claimed that it was due to an explosive plot twist.
It is claimed that Walford businessman Ian will be off screens for around 10 weeks.
A separate source said: "Writers are staying tight-lipped about what happens, so it’s not known yet what the future will hold for the character. There are no guarantees and anything can happen in Albert Square."
They added: "It will be strange for viewers not to have Ian on screen for such a long time. But it will be nice for Adam to have some time out after working on the show for so long."
Unlucky in love Ian has been at the centre of this year’s biggest storyline, the death of Dennis Mitchell.
During episodes to mark the soap’s 35th birthday in February, he caused the lad to perish in a boat crash.
Ian is yet to face justice over what happened but everything is set to come to a head this autumn.
Bosses hinted Sharon, played by Letitia Dean, 52, will finally discover that Ian is responsible for her son’s death.
It is likely the fallout will cause his shock exit from Albert Square.
EastEnders is expected to return to BBC One on September 7
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