EastEnders Ian Beale makes comeback for Dot’s funeral and looks different with huge beard

Ian Beale made a surprising return to EastEnders on Monday's episode as he showed up to attend Dot Cotton's funeral.

Ian, played by Adam Woodyatt, hasn't been seen for over two years, so fans were shocked to see him reappear for the funeral along with several other characters.

Back in October, EastEnders announced that Dot's old friends Colin Russell, Mary Smith, Lofty Holloway, Disa O'Brien and Barry Clark would be returning, as well as Jacqueline Jossa returning as Lauren Branning.

It was a surprise when viewers also spotted Ian making an appearance, hiding away in the bushes as he watched Dot's casket be carried into the church.

He certainly looked a lot different from when he was last seen on the show as he's now sporting a beard.

"Goodbye Dot," he said as he tried to hold back tears. "I’ll miss you."

His thoughts was then disturbed by his phone ringing, making viewers wonder who he is talking to – especially since he refered to them as "love".

"Hello love," he answered the phone.

"Yes, I’m coming home," he told the unknown caller before leaving the cemetery.


Fans expressed their delight and surprise by Ian's return on Twitter, were most couldn't get over the shock of seeing him again.

One person couldn't hide their shock as they said: "LOOOOOOOOL IAN CAME BACK IM SCREAMING #EastEnders"

A second person said: "We were hoping Ian would come back. Well done, #eastenders you can still surprise us."

Another viewer said: "Still can’t believe that ian fucking beale made a cameo at dot’s funeral and is potentially returning with jane next year."


However, not everyone was happy with his return, as one critical viewer said: "In what world is Ian Beale the best thing of the episode!!!Dot deserved so much more! I am an absolute Eastenders fan but didn’t like this tribute at all! She deserved the proper Julia’s theme all the way through !"

Discussing Ian's return at a recent press event, EastEnders boss Chris Clenshaw told Digital Spy: "I called Adam and told him our plans and said Ian had to be there, and he agreed.

"It was kind of as simple as that. Ian didn't make it into the church, but he said his own private goodbye to Dot and that's how it came about. Adam wanted to be there for June and he knew that Ian should be there for Dot."

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