Adam Woodyatt recounts ‘very messy’ birthday party with Grange Hill’s Zammo

White Wine Question Time

Tue, 14 June 2022, 4:19 pm

Eastenders star Adam Woodyatt at The British Soap Awards in 2017 in Manchester. (Getty Images)
Eastenders star Adam Woodyatt at The British Soap Awards in 2017 in Manchester. (Getty Images)

EastEnders star Adam Woodyatt has recounted a joint birthday party he had with the actor who played Grange Hill’s Zammo.

Woodyatt, who played Ian Beale on the soap from 1985 until 2001, told Kate Thornton onWhite Wine Question Time about a ‘very, very messy’ joint birthday party from the early 80s with actor Lee MacDonald, who played Zammo McGuire on Grange Hill and went on to appear in Eastenders in 2019.

“We had a joint birthday party until God knows what [time],” he told Thornton. “All I can remember, I was talking about it the other day, it got very, very messy.

“People throwing up on top of speakers, and the police arriving and all sorts. But it was a different world.”

Telling Thornton about attending the prestigious Sylvia Young’s Theatre School, he said he was ‘so old’ he had joined before there was even a stage school.

He told Thornton the names of several other soap legends who had been at the now theatre school’s ‘Young Uns’ – “a group that used to go out and do all the old people’s homes and little shows and stuff like that,” he said.

<img src="https://s.yimg.com/ny/api/res/1.2/vzSdkzXelFlgpSx9TWlN3Q–/YXBwaWQ9aGlnaGxhbmRlcjt3PTk2MDtjZj13ZWJw/https://s.yimg.com/os/creatr-uploaded-images/2019-06/11189840-8934-11e9-bff4-d341f219aa64&quot; alt="<i>Grange Hill's</i> Lee MacDonald is back on telly in <i>EastEnders
Grange Hill’s Lee MacDonald appeared on EastEnders in 2019. (BBC)

He was in the group with Perry Fenwick, who plays Billy Mitchell in Albert Square, Nick Berry who played Simon Wicks in the show from 1985 until 1990, as well as Letitia Dean who plays Sharon Watts and was also in Grange Hill.

He said after the success of the Young Uns, Sylvia Young realised she could expand to become an agency and then a theatre school.

Thornton also listed Nat and Nic Appleton from the band All SaintsSpice Girl Emma Bunton and Denise van Outen as a group who had come through the school together.

British Actor Adam Woodyatt Stars in the BBC TV soap series 'Eastenders', 01.10.1984.   (Photo by Avalon/Getty Images)
Adam Woodyatt appeared in Eastenders from 1985. (Avalon/Getty Images)

“Without her none of us would have had a career, none of us,” Woodyatt said. “You asked earlier who was the biggest mentor?

“Without doubt, it was Sylvia and my drama teacher Ronnie, but I only ever went to about three of the drama classes because I was always working.”

A general view of the Sylvia Young Theatre School in central London.   (Photo by Yui Mok/PA Images via Getty Images)
The Sylvia Young Theatre School in central London. (PA Images via Getty Images)

He told Thornton that his son was also taking up acting, and was currently applying for training but had been picking up ‘bits of work without the training’.

“A bit like I did,” he said. “I never had any training.”

After remembering other screenwriters and actors he had worked with who had gone on to other roles Woodyatt told Thornton: “You never know where life is gonna take you.

“You just have to enjoy it, you just have to have some fun.”

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