He’s been everything from a loan shark to a property tycoon. Thankfully his fish and chip shop and fruit and veg are seeing him through the recession. But will he ever get over the loss of his beloved café?

Where there’s money, there’s women and true to form, Ian has had his pick of the ladies of Albert Square. His first wife, suicide blonde, Cindy cheated on him repeatedly, then tried to have him killed. Wife number 2, the beautiful Melanie Healy only married him because she thought that Lucy had cancer. The marriage lasted the full five minutes that it took for her to work out that Ian was lying. Wife number 3, Laura, endured Ian’s dangerous liaisons with local prostitute Janine Butcher, until she died in a dubious accident after a fight with Janine.

His latest wife Jane was supposedly Ian’s soul mate. But after being treated like the help, buttering endless rounds of toast in the café, and wiping bacon fat from her brow – Jane had had enough. She left him, and took the café with her (not literally).

But by far Ian’s longest and most passionate relationship has been with tough nut Phil Mitchell. The pair have been embroiled in a long term feud that sees them regularly arguing, brawling, plotting against each other. We don’t know why they don’t just grow up and ask each other out.

Finally, Ian’s a family man. He’s a devoted dad to Lucy, Peter and Bobby, but let’s be honest, he won’t be winning any ‘father of the year’ awards any time soon!


As a teenager, Ian experiences conflict with his father Pete (Peter Dean) over his desire to become a caterer. He begins several business ventures, becoming the owner of a local café soon after graduating from catering college. Ian becomes engaged to Cindy Williams (Michelle Collins) in 1989, however a one-night-stand with her former lover Simon Wicks (Nick Berry) leaves her pregnant. Cindy marries Ian and pretends that her son, Steven, is his, resulting in Ian attempting suicide upon learning the truth. He recovers and causes Simon to have a vehicular accident in revenge, prompting Simon, Cindy and Steven to leave Walford together. Ian immerses himself in his catering business, though his exploitative working practices alienate his friends, employees and family. He and Cindy later reconcile, and Ian is overjoyed to become a father to twins, Peter and Lucy. After opening a fish and chip shop, Ian becomes so obsessed with building his business empire that he neglects Cindy, who decides to leave him for his half brother David (Michael French). Ian wins custody of their children, and makes Cindy so miserable that she hires a hit man to kill him. Ian is shot, but is only clipped by the bullet and recovers. Cindy flees the country with Steven and Peter, and spends a year in Italy before Ian traces them and retrieves the boys. Cindy returns to Walford and wins back custody of the children, but is implicated in Ian's shooting. She is jailed on remand and dies several months later in prison.

Ian's next serious romance is with Mel Healy (Tamzin Outhwaite), manager of his bric-a-brac shop. Mel proposes to Ian, but later cheats on him with Steve Owen (Martin Kemp). Suspecting that she is planning to leave him, Ian manipulates Mel by falsely claiming that Lucy is dying from lymphoma. They marry on New Year's Eve 1999, but Mel leaves Ian during their wedding reception after discovering that Lucy is fine. Ian then pursues a new business venture: development of high-market flats. He begins a casual relationship with his nanny, Laura Dunn (Hannah Waterman), but only commits to her after being declared bankrupt. Laura buys back the fish and chip shop and, despite fearing that Ian is only interested an inheritance she has received, they marry in May 2001. Their marriage deteriorates when Ian attempts to kiss Mel. He refuses to have a child with Laura, who frequently belittles him. Steven learns that Ian has been visiting local prostitute Janine Butcher (Charlie Brooks), and tells Laura, before moving to New Zealand to live with Simon. Laura forgives Ian on the condition that they have a baby. Although he agrees, Ian has a secret vasectomy and throws Laura out when she becomes pregnant later that year, conning her into signing over control of their businesses. Laura's son Bobby requires a blood transfusion shortly after his birth, leading Laura to realise that Ian must be his father, as her lover Garry Hobbs (Ricky Groves) is not a match. Laura dies in 2004, breaking her neck after falling down the stairs. Ian takes custody of Bobby, and later also takes in his half brother Ben, following the death of their mother. Ian fights Ben's father Phil (Steve McFadden) for custody, worsening their long-standing enmity which stems from Phil's disastrous marriage to Ian's mother Kathy (Gillian Taylforth).

Ian meets a new romantic interest, Jane Collins (Laurie Brett), in 2004. He helps her to come to terms with the death of her husband David (Dan Milne) from Huntington's disease, and although their relationship is severely tested when Jane has a brief affair with Phil's brother Grant (Ross Kemp), they marry in July 2007. Steven returns to Walford and stalks Ian, escalating to holding him hostage for several weeks. He accidentally shoots Jane during an altercation, which results in her needing a hysterectomy. Ian is able to forgive Steven, but banishes him from his life when he later helps Lucy to run away. Ian and Jane temporarily separate over Ian's reluctance to adopt a child. When Lucy becomes pregnant, Jane offers to raise the baby as her own. Ian agrees, but secretly assists Lucy in having an abortion, lying to Jane that she miscarried. Jane later learns the truth, and decides to steal Ian's money and leave him. Ian arranges for her to adopt Bobby, and is devastated to discover Jane's plans. Although she decides to remain with him, Ian begins an affair with Glenda Mitchell (Glynis Barber). He decides to end it for his family's sake but accidentally reveals the affair to Peter. Peter does not tell Jane, but leaves Walford to stay with Lucy (who has already decided to live with her aunt in Devon), disgusted at his father's behaviour.

Phil blackmails Ian over his affair with Glenda but when Ian brings Phil the money, he walks in on Phil having a heart attack while with Glenda who calls an ambulance, but Ian takes revenge by sending the paramedics away, hoping that Phil will die. However, when he hears Ben asking where Phil is, he changes his mind and calls an ambulance for Phil. When Glenda reveals her affair with Phil, Ian worries that she will also reveals her affair with Ian to Jane. Ian asks Jane to renew their wedding vows, which she accepts. Glenda attempts to blackmail Ian but he gives her less than she wants. He then tells Jane about the affair and she is heartbroken. He proposes that they renew their wedding vows, but Jane says she is leaving him as she is no longer in love with him. Ian sees her kissing a man named Martin (Alasdair Harvey) so he hires an escort, Jeanette (Georgia Reece), saying she is his new girlfriend who he knew from his school days. However, Jane finds out the truth. She tells Ian she regrets ever meeting him, and Ian calls her a prostitute disguised as a wife, so she vows to take everything from him in their divorce. However, she decides against taking the house as it is Bobby's home, and instead gets the café. Afterwards, Ian reveals Jane's affair with Masood Ahmed (Nitin Ganatra) affair to his wife Zainab Masood (Nina Wadia). Jane leaves for Bobby's sake, as he is witnessing arguments, and Ian refuses to give up the café, but eventually realises that he has to.

Denise Fox (Diane Parish) starts helping Ian out with Bobby, and they become good friends, but people start to think there is something going on between them. Ian tells Denise that he sees her as nothing more than a friend and that he is not attracted to her. However, when Denise helps organise a birthday party for Bobby, Ian misreads her signals and tries to kiss her, but she leans away. He later tries to get Bobby into a play group, and asks Cheryl Matthews (Heather Craney) to find him a place. She assumes that Jane has died, so Ian goes along with it and she takes pity and finds Bobby a place. They later meet again and Ian buys an urn and fills it with cigarette ash, introducing it to Cheryl as "Jane". He also meets women called Fiona Walker (Sarah Head) and Rebecca (Louise Breckon-Richards), allowing them to believe that Jane is dead. He tells Alfie that Jane's death is the best thing that happened to him, which is overheard by Shenice Quinn (Lily Harvey), who tells Bobby that Jane is dead. Bobby is upset so Ian tells him she is still alive and calls her to prove it. When Ian realises he has feelings for Rebecca, he tells her the truth, but she rejects him, whilst the lie also ruins Ian's relationship with Bobby, who ignores him. Feeling dejected, Ian agrees to join Tyler Moon (Tony Discipline) and his brother Anthony (Matt Lapinskas) in visiting a strip club, but Anthony is refused entry and they are forced to return home. Later, Ian returns to the strip club alone but, as he enters, he notices a man threatening a blonde woman nearby. He is stunned when she calls out to him and he realises it is former Walford resident Mandy Salter (Nicola Stapleton)


Glenda MitchellEdit

Glenda was more than just a shoulder for Ian to cry on...but for the right price.

Jane BealeEdit

Their first attempt to wed descended into a mud fight, but they've settled their differences since.

Janine ButcherEdit

Ian was Janine's main customer when she turned to prostitution back in the day. They recently shared another night together. Janine recorded their antics and used it to blackmail Ian.

Clare BatesEdit

Ian was completely beguiled by flirtatious Clare, but she only had eyes for his wallet.

Kate MitchellEdit

Ian fell for her but the feeling wasn't mutual.

Laura BealeEdit

Laura become the third Mrs Ian Beale, but Ian discovered her drunken fumble with Garry.

Melanie OwenEdit

Mel only married Ian because he pretended that Lucy had a terminal illness.

Cindy BealeEdit

Ian married pregnant Cindy, but later discovered that Steven's father was Simon Wicks.

About Adam WoodyattEdit

In 1993, he 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

Star sign: Cancer

Eye colour: Blue

Height: 1.78

First appearance: 19.02.1985

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.