EastEnders legend Adam Woodyatt says Ian Beale won’t return to soap ‘until 2022 at earliest’

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Fans of EastEnders favourite Ian Beale will be devastated to learn that he will not return to the popular soap until at least early 2022.

Adam Woodyatt, who plays one of soap's most iconic characters, admitted that it would be a while before fans saw Ian's return to the small screen.

The 52 year old is currently on a 10-month hiatus from the BBC show to star in the touring stage production Looking Dead Good after news of his divorce broke last year.

The stage show, which was meant to start in January, will kick off in July and potentially carry on until early next year.

Speaking of his highly anticipated return to EastEnders, Adam told The One Show: "I don't know. The tour runs until the end of October, my daughter is then getting married in America.

"There is a possibility the tour will carry on until early next year, so if the tour carries on, I won't be back in EastEnders until 2022 at the earliest."

Adam's character was last seen dumping his phone in a bin and leaving Albert Square via Walford East tube station, shortly after it was revealed that his wife at the time, Sharon, had a plot to kill him after she discovered he had a hand in her son Denny's death.

He's now making the most of the touring production by travelling the length and breadth of the country in a motor home because of his dislike towards hotels.

Adam revealed: "I've been doing this theatre tour, I didn't want to stay in hotels, I'm not a great fan of it.

"I've got friends who spend a lot of time on the road, and I just thought, "I'm gonna get a motor home.

"I can drive all over the country!'"

This comes following Adam's split from his wife Bev. The pair were married for 20 years and share two grown-up children Jessica, 27, and Samuel, 23, together.

A representative for the hit BBC soap confirmed the news, saying in a statement: "Beverley and Adam separated in August 2019, and we ask that the family's privacy is respected."

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