I'm a Celebrity's Adam Woodyatt's Welsh life and how his job as a butcher almost cost him Ian Beale role

By Kathryn Williams

I'm a Celebrity's Adam Woodyatt will enter the I'm a Celebrity.... Get Me Out of Here! camp on Thursday night and as he's already mentioned, he has strong links to Wales, having grown up in Llanidloes.

You'd have thought he was Cockney through-and-through having played Ian Beale in EastEnders since the soap's debut in 1985 and while Adam was born in Walthamstow, East London, he spent some of his school years at Llanidloes High.

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Ahead of his entry into Gwrych Castle in Abergele, Adam revealed his connection to Wales.

"I like Wales and I'm not just saying that because I am here, it is because I am half Welsh," he said in an interview with North Wales Live and other media outlets.

"Many years ago, I played charity football in Rhyl and Llandudno and I nearly went to school in Harlech back in 1983, but we didn't settle there we settled in mid Wales instead. Wales is quite familiar to me."

In the past, the 53-year-old has spoken how his job as a butcher, in Llanidloes Kwik Save according to the Shropshire Star, almost put paid to his acting career back in the 1980s.

At 16 he was working as a butcher, a career he planned on if acting didn't work out, but the long journey from mid Wales to London for auditions meant going to callbacks weren't always possible.

He told MirrorOnline about being asked back for a second audition for Ian: "I kept thinking, ‘Was it worth it?’ It was going to cost me a week’s wages to get down for this audition.”

After finally deciding to go for the role, he warned them at the audition his time was precious.

"I said, ‘I’m not being cheeky but I’ve come down from Wales. If I go back today and you call me back for a recall tomorrow, I can’t make it. If you want me, can you let me know today.’

“I thought that was the end of it. Next thing, a voice is shouting out of the window, ‘Stop, stop.’

“Then one of them is running down the road, they wanted me to meet the producer. It was an instant recall.”

A couple of days later he was back in the butcher’s shop when he got the call.

"It felt amazing," he said. "I punched the wall.

"The tile on the wall at the other side came off."

Speaking ahead of his debut, Adam explained: "I've known about doing I'm A Celebrity for a long time and I can't wait to go in now!

"I don't mind if I am first or last in the Castle – I am just really looking forward to being on the show.

"Why have I finally said yes? Because I am not in EastEnders! That is the honest answer. I am not in contract with the BBC so I can come and do it.

"Everyone thinks I am Ian Beale and so it's going to be great to show I am not."

See Adam and Coronation Street's Simon Gregson enter the castle in tonight's I'm a Celebrity.

I'm A Celebrity continues on Thursday night at 9pm on ITV.

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