Ian Beale

With his portfolio of business concerns, Ian should be a Beale-ionaire by now. From his first venture, knitting company Loftelian, he's come a long way…

Fact titleFact data
First appearance: 19th February 1985
Address: 45 Albert Square
Occupation: Restauranteur

Ian's been everything from a loan shark to a property tycoon. Thankfully the fish and chip shop, fruit and veg stall, cafe and Scarlett's have seen him through the recession... especially now he's regained control of his businesses from daughter Lucy! 

I've got to clinch this deal by 5pm.Ian Beale

  • Nickname: Squealy Beale
  • Godchild: Tommy Moon
  • Distinguishing features: A cheeky tattoo just above his bum
  • Interests and Hobbies: Cycling and making money
  • Music: Ian was in a band called The Banned! with his friends in the 1980s

Other women who've loved and left Ian include first wife, suicide blonde Cindy, mother of Lucy and Peter. Cindy cheated on Ian repeatedly, then tried to have him killed.

Wife number two, Melanie Healy, dumped him moments after marrying him.

Wife number three, Laura, with whom he had son Bobby, endured Ian's dangerous liaisons with local prostitute Janine Butcher and died in a dubious accident after a fight with Janine.

Then Jane, lovely Jane, who he mistreated time and time again.

And finally, Mandy, whom Ian obsessed about getting to the altar and escaping Walford with, when he discovered that his brother Ben had killed Heather. Their split saw Ian fall into a deep, downward spiral, culminating in him wandering barefoot down a motorway and sleeping on the streets. Ian returned to The Square a different man, and found himself on the road to recovery after a rare show of community spirit from his fellow Walford residents.

Back to work and almost back to his normal self, Ian even bagged himself a girlfriend in the lovely Denise. Ian was determined to regain and expand his empire once again, and decided to open a new restaurant on The Square, financed largely from £10,000 of Derek's money that he found while renovating... naughty Ian!

It has since transpired that Derek had a debt to pay with that money... and when new bad boy Carl arrived in The Square looking for his pay off, he wasn't too impressed to see that it had been squandered on fancy linen for Scarlett's! As things got nasty, Ian scrabbled to raise the dosh to get Carl off his back.

When Carl offered Ian a way of paying off all his debts without giving him another penny, Ian reluctantly accepted. The terms: Ian had to tell the police he had witnessed Max tampering with Carl's car. With Max locked up, the entire Branning clan on his back and Carl not backing down, Ian was grateful that Denise stood by him and asked her to move in. But slowly the truth came out, first to Peter and Ian... and then David Wicks caught wind of something suspicious between Ian and Carl. When the day came for Ian to testify against Max, he was a no-show, so despite Carl's testimony, Max was a free man once more!

While it seemed that Ian had actually decided to do the right thing for once, it transpired that David had clued Phil into Carl's plot, and Phil decided to kidnap Ian to keep him from testifying. After Phil and Max gave Ian a good scare in a deserted wasteland, they set him free to face a disapointed family and a furious Denise.

Over Christmas, it looked like Ian was ready to bag himself a new wife, but after his plans to propose to Denise failed, Ian was left somewhat down in the dumps. Struggling, he confided in Sharon and re-planned his proposal. Waiting nervously with the ring for Denise to arrive, Ian got a shock... his ex-wife, Jane, was back.

With the news of their engagement circulating, in true Beale fashion, Ian decided to throw an engagement party at The Vic. After snubbing Denise's choice of dress, Ian took to the stage to deliver a heart-felt speech about his bride-to-be, who was nowhere to be seen. Little did he know that she was pre-occupied... with Fatboy in the ladies!

Adam Woodyatt

  • In 1993, Adam appeared as Ian Beale in a Children In Need one-off Doctor Who Special set in Albert Square.
  • Adam is a keen cyclist and photographer.
  • Adam's one of the few EastEnders cast members to actually come from the East End of London.
  • Apart from acting, Adam's interests include cricket, fishing, football and golf.
  • Before landing the part of Ian Beale, Adam appeared in the 1983 children's drama The Baker Street Boys.
  • Adam's pantomime and theatre credits include Aladdin, Mother Goose, Cinderella and Oliver. He regularly guests on TV game and panel shows. His appearances include Celebrity Ready Steady Cook, The Weakest Link and A Question of TV.
  • Adam's also turned his hand to presenting programmes such as Value For Money, Dreamhouse and National Lottery Live.
  • Adam has played Ian Beale since the first ever episode of EastEnders aired on 19th February 1985. This makes Ian the longest serving and only remaining original character to have appeared continuously since the show began!

Follow Adam on twitter: @AdamWoodyatt

  • Walford Families

    Find out more about Ian's Walford connections and play quizzes and games in our family tree.

Ian Beale

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