Actor Adam Woodyatt has teased some dramatic confrontations when Ian Beale returns full-time to EastEnders.


The beloved veteran of the BBC One soap made his return in Thursday's extended episode (23rd June 2023) when it was revealed that he had reunited with his presumed dead first wife, Cindy Beale (Michelle Collins), and his eldest son Peter Beale (now played once again by Thomas Law).

However, Ian had a heart attack after a row with Cindy and went back on his idea to return to Walford after learning Cindy's most recent husband George Knight (Colin Salmon) had moved to Walford with daughters Gina (Francesca Henry) and Anna (Molly Rainford).

Despite this, Ian and Cindy will return to Walford full-time later this year and Ian has a lot of unfinished business since he fled Albert Square in January 2021.

Speaking to and other press at an event last week, Adam Woodyatt spoke about his big return to EastEnders.

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When asked about what to expect when Ian returns to Albert Square after over two years away, Woodyatt teased three encounters in particular.

“There's a lot of conversations that need to take place," noted Woodyatt, who first portrayed Ian in the first-ever episode in 1985.

"I think one of the most interesting ones is going to be discussing the process of making carbonara with Sharon."

Ian and Sharon were close friends for decades until their unexpected marriage and the revelation that Sharon wanted Ian dead after blaming him for the death of her son Dennis Rickman, Jr (Bleu Landau). In 2021, Sharon tried to poison Ian's pasta meal to kill him before a dramatic confrontation led to him leaving Walford.

Woodyatt also highlighted that Ian would need to discuss "missing years" with his mother Kathy Beale (Gillian Taylforth).

"Yeah, there's a lot of water but it's got to be dealt with… and we will," confirmed Woodyatt. "Yeah, it's gonna be fun."

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Steve McFadden as Phil Mitchell in EastEnders.
Steve McFadden as Phil Mitchell in EastEnders. BBC/Jack Barnes/Kieron McCarron

Finally, the EastEnders veteran teased humorous scenes between Ian and his longtime nemesis Phil Mitchell (Steve McFadden), who was revealed to be the person who attacked Ian and left him for dead in December 2020.

Woodyatt revealed: "I think one of the lines with Steve [McFadden] – I mean, it's only short – we just say each other's names to each other and I just know damn well when we filmed that it’s going to be hysterical."

EastEnders airs Mondays to Thursdays at 7:30pm on BBC One and from 6am on BBC iPlayer. Visit our dedicated EastEnders page for all the latest news, interviews and spoilers.

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