Ian Beale (Adam Woodyatt) made quite the exit in EastEnders on Friday night (January 22).
The mainstay of the BBC One soap made the decision to depart Walford after he discovered that Sharon (Letitia Dean) had been trying to kill him.
Viewers will know Ian was left for dead in a whodunit storyline last year, after he antagonised multiple residents of Albert Square.
However, it was subsequently revealed that Sharon was once again in cahoots with Phil Mitchell (Steve McFadden), and together, they plotted to kill the landlord of the Queen Vic.
The motive: Sharon discovered that Ian locked Dennis on the boat prior to his death, and therefore she held him responsible for the boy’s demise.
Ian realised what Sharon was up to in a huge showdown on Friday night, and ultimately he decided to leave Walford.
But is he coming back? Or is he gone for good?
Has Ian Beale left EastEnders for good?
No, it appears as if Ian has not left EastEnders for good, as it was confirmed last year that actor Adam Woodyatt is simply taking a break from the soap.
The star will seemingly be taking a 10-week break from the serial drama.
And an insider claimed back in August that an ‘explosive twist’ was coming for Ian, which would lead to him being ‘off screen’ for some time.
‘Writers are staying tight-lipped about what happens, so it’s not known yet what the future will hold for the character,’ they said.
‘There are no guarantees and anything can happen in Albert Square.’
‘It will be strange for viewers not to have Ian on screen for such a long time,’ they added to the Daily Star. ‘But it will be nice for Adam to have some time out after working on the show for so long.’
Adam’s final scenes aired during the latest episode, as Ian broke down in tears, and revealed that — in spite of Sharon’s belief that he’s responsible for Dennis’ death — he did, in fact, try to rescue the young boy.
Sharon refused his apology, revealed their entire marriage was a sham, and ultimately called him ‘pathetic’. She told him everybody hates him and he doesn’t deserve to live.
Her words evidently hit home, as Ian agreed with her sentiment — that he deserved to die.
Therefore, he started eating the poisoned spaghetti.
Sharon told him that he should eat it, and she won’t pity him, but she soon saw sense, and — incredibly emotional — she did all she could to prevent her former best friend from following through with his plan to take his own life.
She made Ian vomit what he’d taken, before telling him that she was planning on leaving.
However, it was ultimately Ian who left, as he took one final look around the place he called home for 36 years.
EastEnders continues Monday January 25 at 8:05pm on BBC One.
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