EastEnders' Adam Woodyatt 'to take an extended break from the soap'

EastEnders’ Adam Woodyatt ‘to take an extended break from the soap after playing Ian Beale for 35 years’… ahead of show’s return amid COVID-19

EastEnders favourite Ian Beale is being ‘written out’ of the show after playing the character for 35 years as he takes an ‘extended break’ from the soap. 

Adam Woodyatt, 52, who has played Ian since the show’s first episode in 1985, is having a prolonged ‘holiday’ with his part being ‘written out’ of upcoming episodes, just as the show prepares to return to air.

The long-time character will be off screen for around 10 weeks due to an ‘explosive plot twist’, a BBC source has claimed according to the Daily Star. 

Break? EastEnders favourite Ian Beale is being ‘written out’ of the show after playing the character for 35 years as he takes an ‘extended break’ from the soap

Another source added: ‘Writers are staying tight-lipped about what happens, so it’s not known yet what the future will hold for the character.’ 

It comes as the actor has be pictured leaving a hotel near the EastEnders set with his luggage during time away from the home he shares with his wife Beverley.  

Ian has been centre-stage of the show’s biggest storyline this year with the death of Dennis Mitchell after he caused the teenager to perish in a boat crash – which marked the soap’s 35th anniversary in February. 

Cheers! The long-running drama is currently on a 12 week break after it ran out of episodes while filming was halted amid the coronavirus pandemic earlier this year 

The character has not faced justice over the incident but bosses have hinted Sharon, played by Letitia Dean, 52, will uncover what happened to her son.

MailOnline has contacted BBC representatives for comment. 

It comes as bosses have revealed the soap will be back on air on September 7. 

The long-running drama is currently on a 12 week break after it ran out of episodes while filming was halted amid the coronavirus pandemic earlier this year.

After almost three months off air, BBC bosses joked that they ‘can’t wait for series two’, after the soap previously ran uninterrupted for 35 years.

It’s back! It comes as bosses have revealed the soap will be back on air on September 7

The announcement was made across Eastenders’ social media platforms, including Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

The new shorter episodes will only be 20 minutes long and the programme will be shown four times a week on BBC One.

The announcement read: ‘The moment we’ve all been waiting for…#EastEnders will be back on your screens on Monday 7th September. 

‘It’s time to set your alarm and wait for the drama to begin! For more information, head to @bbceastenders on Facebook and Instagram.

Back with a bang! After almost three months off air, BBC bosses joked that they ‘can’t wait for series two’, after the soap previously ran uninterrupted for 35 years 

While a post on Instagram said: ‘Like the rest of the UK the residents of Walford have been adjusting to a new way of life since the Covid-19 pandemic swept the nation but after nearly 3 months away, the drama from Albert Square will be returning to BBC One.’ 

Speaking about the return of beloved BBC One soap, Jon Sen, Executive Producer EastEnders said: ‘From the moment we turned the lights out in The Queen Vic our ambition was to come back with a bang and this autumn certainly does that.

‘As soon as Albert Square reawakens the drama returns at a pace and, although working within social distancing guidelines has certainly given us some new challenges, I am incredibly proud of what everyone has achieved.

Bombshell: Back in June fans were left in tears as the programme aired its final episode after running out of episodes due to the COVID-19 crisis – and  ended the show with Sharon Mitchell, played by Letitia Dean, being revealed as the new Queen Vic pub landlady

Plotting: Viewers had been led to believe that Phil Mitchell (Steve McFadden) would be taking over the reins but Mick (Danny Dyer) managed to trick the Walford hardman 

‘The show is looking fantastic and we can’t wait for ‘series two’ to begin…’  

Production on EastEnders came to a halt in March, when the UK went into lockdown and most people were instructed to stay home, and work from home if possible.

And for the first time in the soap’s 35-year history, the show ran out of new material on and was forced to go on a hiatus in June in a BBC first.

The dramatic final episode before the break ended with Sharon, played by Letitia Dean, being revealed as the new Queen Vic pub landlady.

Viewers had been led to believe that Phil Mitchell (Steve McFadden) would be taking over the reins but Mick (Danny Dyer) managed to trick the Walford hardman.

Spin-off: Until the new episodes air, the gap was plugged with classic EastEnders episodes and a spin-off show that will feature presenter Stacey Dooley

Just as Mick was about to sign over the Queen Vic, he dropped the explosive bombshell that there was in fact a new different landlord.

Phil was left sceptical over the announcement as he protested: ‘We had a deal. You’re bluffing, there’s no way you could have got a different buyer that quick.’

To which Mick then led Phil and his equally baffled wife Linda (Kellie Bright) to the bar where Phil’s estranged wife Sharon was pulling pints.

In a typically dramatic Albert Square scene, Phil’s scorned wife chillingly said: ‘Hello Phil, what can I get you?’ 

Mixed reaction: Soap watchers were left delighted over the explosive ending while some fans were left in tears over the soap finishing for the foreseeable future 

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