EastEnders' Adam Woodyatt: Ian Beale is 'stuck on the Circle Line'

Ian Beale (ADAM WOODYATT) - (BBC - Photographer: Kieron McCarron/Jack Barnes)
Adam Woodyatt played Ian Beale in EastEnders for 36 years. (BBC/Kieron McCarron/Jack Barnes)

Former Eastenders actor Adam Woodyatt says he genuinely has 'no idea' if his character Ian Beale will ever return to Albert Square, in a role he played for 36 years.

Woodyatt, who has been touring the country in a motorhome with the play Looking Good Dead said appearing on the BBC soap 'made him the man he is'.

Asked by Kate Thornton on White Wine Question Time if the actor knew if or when he would return to the soap, Woodyatt said: "No. [I've] genuinely got no idea.

"They've not asked, I've not asked them."

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"I think at the moment [Ian Beale's] on the Circle Line," he added. "He can't work out where to get off, [he's] just going round.

"He found a night tube and he stayed on it. I haven't got a clue what's going to happen."

WATCH: Adam Woodyatt on being Ian Beale, motorhome living and his new life as a chef

He said he was 'quite happy' doing what he was doing now, as he prepares to run a vegan food truck at this summer's CarFest. He says soap bosses had left the character with 'nowhere to go' when he finally left the square.

When Woodyatt started in Eastenders in 1985, he said the character Ian Beale was a teenage kid, getting bullied at school and whose dad wanted him to go into boxing rather than catering.

Woodyatt told Thornton: "I think getting the job in the first place probably made me the man I am."

On his character, he said: "It's been a very, very long journey, which is something you can do with a soap.

The actor is joining the show. (ITV/Shutterstock)
Adam Woodyatt recently appeared on ITV's I'm a Celebrity. (ITV/Shutterstock)

"You can see how the characters change and evolve over the years. I don't always think that some of the changes were right.

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"And maybe they should have chosen other directions in which do go but they weren't my decisions."

He said Ian had become 'unpopular' over the years, calling him an 'absolute narcissist'.

Ian Beale (ADAM WOODYATT), Phil Mitchell (STEVE MCFADDEN) - (BBC - Photographer: Kieron McCarron/Jack Barnes)
Phil Mitchell (Steve McFadden) and Ian Beale (Adam Woodyatt) in a scene from EastEnders. (BBC)

"He was also a sociopath, if you really want to psychoanalyse him," Woodyatt continued. "But he was also very misunderstood. I think a lot of the time his heart was in the right place, but he just got things wrong."

Ian was last seen in the soap eating poisoned food at the hands of Sharon Watts, one of five women the character had been married to.

Listen to the full episode to hear Adam talk about motorhome living, separating himself from his Ian Beale character and his first Eastenders audition

After the character's second marriage to Jane Collins broke down, Woodyatt says the character almost reverted to a previous version of himself, with 'nowhere left to go'.

But despite an uncertain future, he was sure the job had made him the man he is today, even if it did make him 'slightly schizophrenic'.

The cast of EastEnders on set. Picture includes Mike Reid, June Brown, John Altman, Letitia Dean, Peter Dean, Daniella Westbrook, Ross Kemp, Steve McFadden, Gretchen Franklin, Adam Woodyatt, Bill Treacher, Todd Carty, Wendy Richard, 28th June 1991. (Photo by Nigel Wright/Mirrorpix/Getty Images)
The cast of EastEnders in 1991 including Mike Reid, June Brown, John Altman, Letitia Dean, Peter Dean, Daniella Westbrook, Ross Kemp, Steve McFadden, Gretchen Franklin, Adam Woodyatt, Bill Treacher, Todd Carty and Wendy Richard. (Mirrorpix/Getty Images)

Explaining it was 38 years ago the job and the character were first discussed, he said: "It has been a massive part of making me who I am.

"But Ian and Adam are two completely different entities. Yes, we look alike. Yes, we sound alike. We behave completely differently."

Ian Beale locks Dennis Mitchell in a room on the boat during EastEnders 35th anniversary. (BBC/iPlayer)
Eastenders' Ian Beale locked Dennis Mitchell in a room on the boat during the show's 35th anniversary. (BBC/iPlayer)

He described being approached on the street, by people who did or didn't like Ian as a character, as an 'occupational hazard'.

Woodyatt told Thornton: "If people are nice when they come up and say: 'Oi Ian!'

"If somebody comes up and they're a bit more aggressive, and the language isn't as nice, then yeah, you're gonna react differently.

"You're not going to be quite as welcoming and friendly towards them, if they're not as welcoming and friendly to you."

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