EastEnders – the return of Ian Beale

See the first shot of a bearded, homeless Ian as he reappears back on Albert Square

He was last seen shambling along the hard shoulder of a motorway in a toweling robe, his life in tatters following a break-up with Mandy. But Ian Beale is set to return to EastEnders in an even worse state.


Actor Adam Woodyatt, who has played Ian since the very first episode in 1985, looks more like he should be auditioning for a revival of 1970s kids’ series Catweazle. But the unkempt appearance is all down to the fact that Ian’s mental deterioration has resulted in his living on the streets since quitting Albert Square over a month ago.


Ian’s disappearance has given Woodyatt, 43, a six-week break from the BBC1 soap, one of the longest since he joined 27 years ago. He is expected to appear back on the Square sometime in the next few weeks.