EastEnders has been defined by its iconic storylines and impressive longevity, but above all, one of its characters actors has stood the test of time.
Adam Woodyatt has played the tole of Ian Beale for more than three decades and most viewers believed that his time on the Cockney soap opera would never come to an end.
However, EastEnders viewers were stunned earlier this year when Ian Beale made an exit from Walford after almost 36 years in the role on the BBC soap.
The 53-year-old was often seen on Albert Square feeding the residents of Walford from his cafe and takeaway outlets and now he has had a taste of that life for real.
The actor is taking an extended break from the show, since January, and in that time he has been travelling the UK with the stage production Looking Good Dead .
His latest work has seen him pitch up in Buckinghamshire to sell burgers to the public to help out some friends of his.
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It was no greasy spoon or burger van for Adam though, as he was at The Pub in The Park event and he helped run The Star at Harome stall.
The actor joked with fans of the soap that he wasn’t actually Ian Beale and that his wages for the day would see him being paid in burgers.
A source speaking to The Sun said: “Most people didn’t recognise him, because he looks so different these days, but some were really shocked to see Ian Beale behind a till.
“He joked with some punters that he wasn’t really the EastEnders legend – and he told some customers he was being paid in food!”
After a day of work on the stall, his new colleagues shared a snap of them all together with the caption: “Special guest appearance from @AdamWoodyatt putting in a shift front of house @TheStaratHarome @Pubinthepark today.”
Adam has said that he is in no hurry to return to Albert Square and told The One Show recently that it will be 2022 “at the earliest”.
He said: “I don’t know. The tour runs until the end of October, my daughter is then getting married in America.
“There is a possibility the tour will carry on until early next year, so if the tour carries on I won’t be back in EastEnders until 2022 at the earliest.”
Adam has been appearing on EastEnders since its first episode in 1985 and the break is doing him good as after an appearance on Lorraine last week, fans flooded social media to say he looks “10 years younger”.