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Daily Mirror
Daily Mirror
Rebecca Cook

EastEnders fans floored as Ian Beale makes brief appearance at Dot's funeral as return teased

EastEnders fans were left stunned on Monday evening as Ian Beale made a surprise appearance during Dot Cotton’s emotional funeral.

EastEnders aired heartbreaking scenes on the BBC soap, as Dot Cotton was laid to rest in Walford.

BBC viewers heard the soap legend's voice one last time as a recording of the late June Brown before a sombre scene on Albert Square when Dot’s coffin travelled through the soap set on a horse-drawn carriage hearse.

The residents of Walford were seen clad in black with heads downcast on a heartbreaking day as they walked past the infamous Queen Victoria pub.

Yet the biggest surprise of the episode came moments before the funeral when the BBC One camera panned to a hidden Ian Beale in the trees by the church.

The long-serving mainstay was last seen almost two years ago (BBC)

The long-serving mainstay, played by Adam Woodyatt, was last seen almost two years ago but watched as Dot’s coffin was taken into the church, staying out of sight from his fellow mourners.

“Goodbye Dot,” he said, struggling to hold back tears. “I’ll miss you”.

The restaurateur’s touching moment was then interrupted by a phone call from an unknown person, who he addressed as ‘love’, leaving fans wondering if it could be his ex-wife Jane (Laurie Brett).

EastEnders fans took to Twitter moments after the scene, with one writing: “IAN BEALE IS BACK! Wow, the scriptwriters kept that one quiet.”

A second added: “Oh my god they kept that quiet!!! Ian! Please say he's coming back with Jane.”

A third wrote: “Was he talking to Jane? I feel like it’ll be obvious. Omg please bring him back I beg.”


Another wrote: “I am so glad Ian came back even if it was only for a few seconds!”

The farewell episode comes after June Brown died earlier this year, after more than 20 years of playing the iconic Walford matriarch, whose death on the soap was announced earlier this month on the soap.

EastEnders aired heartbreaking scenes on the BBC soap (BBC)

The special tribute episode was announced earlier this year, when the show's executive producer Chris Clenshaw said: "Everyone at EastEnders was truly heartbroken when June passed away earlier this year.

"For quite a while, no-one could even think about saying goodbye to Dot; an iconic character who will go down in television history and be cherished forever.

"June was always adamant that she never wanted Dot's time to end while she was still with us, but she also knew that EastEnders would rightly say their farewells to Dot when the time was right.

The special tribute episode was announced earlier this year (BBC)

"Sadly that time has come, and we are determined to give the audience, who treasured Dot for so many years, the fitting tribute that she so deeply deserves.

"So whilst it will be a very, very sad day in Walford, we will be giving Dot the send-off that she and June would want and rightly deserve."

EastEnders airs Mondays to Thursdays at 7:30pm on BBC One and BBC iPlayer.

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