'EastEnders': Ian Beale returns as tramp - first look
Published Jun 26 2012, 00:02 BST | By Daniel Kilkelly
This is the first look at EastEnders
businessman Ian Beale's shocking transformation, which will feature on screen in upcoming episodes.
Ian has been absent from Walford since last month, when he suffered a breakdown and did a disappearing act
after being jilted by fiancée Mandy Salter on their wedding day.
Tabloid reports recently revealed that Ian will be returning to EastEnders as a tramp
- which has now been confirmed as a new picture shows him looking dishevelled with long hair and a beard.
It is thought that Ian has been sleeping rough on the streets in recent weeks following his sad downfall.
Ian's breakdown was a major story last month as viewers saw him become increasingly frantic while trying to juggle his ailing financial affairs and many problems within his family.EastEnders
bosses worked closely with various mental health experts and charities, including Time to Change - a partnership between Mind and Rethink Mental Illness - while devising Ian's plotline, with the aim of accurately reflecting and highlighting the issue.Adam Woodyatt
, who plays Ian, recently said that he was "overwhelmed" by the viewer response to the story
, while fans have since been busy speculating about the character's whereabouts.EastEnders
will air Ian's return in a few weeks' time.