Ian Beale isn’t returning to EastEnders anytime soon

EastEnders’ longest-serving actor Adam Woodyatt is on an extended break from the soap - and has now revealed why he won’t be returning this year.

Ian Beale is one of the most memorable EastEnders characters ever. But he’s not been seen in Albert Square for some time. Actor Adam Woodyatt decided to take some time off at the end of last year, and Ian made his on-screen exit on 22 January 2021. Now, Adam’s revealed that Ian won’t be back in Walford until next year.

Adam is currently using his break from EastEnders to appear in a stage production of Looking Good Dead—a thriller which sees his character’s life thrown into danger after he witnesses a recording of a brutal murder on a discarded USB memory stick. The play is touring the UK and will be keeping Adam busy for a while.

In an interview on Lorraine this week, Adam said:

It is gonna be quite a while [before I return to EastEnders] because the tour is going until at least next April. They've just picked up the second length from January through to April, so we have got a load more venues to do which is gonna be great.

Where is Ian Beale?

While we know what actor Adam Woodyatt has been up to, the whereabouts of Ian Beale are more of a mystery. Ian left Walford alone after discovering that his new wife Sharon was trying to kill him as revenge for her son Dennis’ death. We’re not likely to find out where Ian has been all this time until he returns—hopefully next summer.

Is Ian coming back to EastEnders?

But Ian fans shouldn’t be too worried. Both Adam Woodyatt and EastEnders bosses have been clear that he’s taking an extended break from the show and hasn’t made a permanent departure. Back in 2010, Adam revealed he had no desire to quit EastEnders, saying:

Why would I want to leave when I'm not going to get the chance to portray even half the range of emotions I get to here in a one-off drama or a six-part series? And you're not going to get the same viewing figures either.
Will Ian Beale return to EastEnders? Adam Woodyatt speaks out Will Ian Beale return to EastEnders? Adam Woodyatt speaks out