EastEnders: Max, Tanya and Alfie bring Ian Beale back to the Square when they find him sleeping rough! (PICTURES)
Ian of course went missing after his fiancé Mandy Salter cruelly dumped him on what should have been their wedding day, which was just days after Ian’s brother Ben Mitchell (Joshua Pascoe) confessed to Ian that he’d murdered Heather Trott.
And of course, with bills and debts piling up, and on the verge of losing everything, Ian simply walked away from the Square, and he hasn’t been seen since.
That is until Lauren Branning (Jacqueline Jossa) spots him while she’s doing volunteer work at a homeless shelter, and she immediately alerts her mum Tanya (Jo Joyner) and dad Max (Jake Wood) who enlist Alfie Moon (Shane Richie) into hunting Ian down…
Horrified at the state he’s in, Max and Tanya take Ian back to their house to try and get him cleaned up while they decide whether they should tell Ian’s daughter Lucy (Hetti Bywater) that they’ve found her dad.
Of the plotline, a show insider said, “Lucy has been through it these last few months trying to cope alone.
“She’s held it together while running the businesses and caring for her brother Bobby.
“When she sees the state Ian is in she has got no sympathy for him. As far as she’s concerned he should have worked through his problems and been a dad to Bobby.
“Ian has clearly had a breakdown and it’s going to take him some time to recover. There’s also the matter of Ben having killed Heather.
“With Ian now back it’s going to take some doing for him to get over what Ben did.”
As mentioned, we’ll see all that drama a week on Thursday.