It’s been almost a whole year since Ian Beale hobbled away from Albert Square after throwing up a remorseful Sharon’s poisoned pasta. He hasn’t been seen on screen since and while his departure was initially reported to be an ‘extended break’, doubts have since been cast over actor Adam Woodyatt’s return to the role.
During his break, Adam has been appearing in touring theatre production Looking Good Dead, which is set to run until the beginning of April. He also had a stint in Gwrych Castle as a campmate on I’m A Celebrity... Get Me Out Of Here! 2021. But will he be going back to Ian Beale?
Adam Woodyatt EastEnders return
In an interview on Sunday Brunch this week, Adam was asked if he would be returning to EastEnders. He replied:
I don’t know. It’s not just my decision to make, it’s also EastEnders. I left because of the way the storyline was going, because Ian needed to go. Not me going, 'I wanna leave', or them saying, 'You’re going!' that was the storyline.
Elsewhere in the interview, the actor recognized that having played Ian since he was just 16, he will always ‘be seen as Ian Beale’. With this in mind, we reckon it’s inevitable that Adam/Ian will be back on Albert Square at some point—the question is when.
When will Ian be back on EastEnders?
Back in October, Adam stated that he wouldn’t be returning to the soap until mid-2022 at the earliest. With EastEndersfilming 6-12 weeks in advance and Adam's theatre job running until early April, the very earliest we can imagine seeing Ian back in Walford would be late May to June.