EastEnders' Ian Beale will be left for dead after being attacked in the Queen Vic in shocking Christmas Day storyline

EASTENDERS icon Ian Beale will be left for dead in a shock storyline.

The fan favourite, played by Adam Woodyatt since 1985’s first episode, will be bludgeoned in The Queen Vic — sparking a huge whodunnit.

Café owner Ian has made a host of enemies, even in his own family.

Suspects include mum Kathy (Gillian Taylforth) and sons Peter (Dayle Hudson) and Bobby (Clay Milner Russell).

Also in the frame are Max Branning (Jake Wood) — who tried to strangle Ian with fairy lights in a 2017 episode — plus Dotty Cotton (Molly Conlin) who knows Ian’s role in the death of teen Dennis Rickman Jnr.

A show source said: “People are queuing up to cave Ian’s head in.

“He borrowed money from Max and hasn’t paid him back. Kathy knows Ian remortgaged the café without telling her, plus he’s upset his sons in money rows.

“Dotty knows what happened to Dennie on the boat so may have an axe to grind. Even Phil Mitchell could be involved. He’s never far from trouble.”

Actor Adam, 52 — back after a break following his split from wife Beverley — shot the scenes recently.

They could be shown early next month, giving writers plenty of material in the run-up to the Christmas specials.

The source added: “As far as legendary EastEnders characters go, Ian is up there with the best so this storyline will leave viewers shocked.

“He has no shortage of enemies so exactly who attacked him and left him for dead will be the focus of the weeks that follow.”

In a 1996 plotline, Ian’s estranged wife Cindy hired a hitman to kill him but he survived after the bullet only clipped him.

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