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Cancer diagnosis for popular EastEnders character?

Is this the end for the soap stalwart?

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EastEnders fans are fearing for Ian Beale’s future after the clues have started to point to his having a serious illness.

In Thursday night’s episode of the soap, a couple of things had viewers worried for Ian’s health as he didn’t seem quite himself.

Firstly, he came downstairs in the morning talking to stepson Steven Beale, complaining he was tired.

“You’re tired?!” aghast Steven responded, “I’m the one that had to listen to you go to the toilet every five minutes all night.”

It wasn’t long before users were tweeting their concerns over what’s next for Mr Beale.

George W.W said “Ian peeing through the night, sounds like there’s a prostate story coming!”

And Daz added “Ian Beale at the loo 3 times during the night. Cue predictable prostate cancer storyline”.

Read more: Fans in uproar as EastEnders is taken off air AGAIN

And it wasn’t just his night-time toilet habits that had people worried.

Halfway through the episode, the show’s longest-serving character fell asleep in The Vic!

Mick woke him up and was very nice about it, but spiteful Babe set tongues wagging when she started telling the other punters Ian was drunk in the middle of the day.

It wasn’t long before Ian got wind of the accusations and, assuming Mick was the one who spread the rumours, laid into his pal.

“It’s pretty low, Mick, pretending to be a mate all concerned and then telling everyone I was drunk at lunchtime,” he yelled at the landlord.

“I fell asleep okay? I mean it’s just old age catching up on me, it happens to all of us – if we’re lucky enough.”

Overreaction much?!

We know Ian doesn’t like being the subject of gossip and the butt of jokes, but surely he could have laughed this one off – unless there’s more too it?

Read more: EastEnders star opens up about Ronnie and Roxy deaths

Plus, he’s not exactly old is he? He’s not even 50 yet, so falling asleep in the pub at lunchtime isn’t normal behaviour.

And what was all that “if we’re lucky enough”? What did THAT mean? Does it mean he already knows he’s ill? Could he really have cancer?

Carol Percy had another suggestion for what’s bugging Ian:

“Wondering if Ian in EastEnders is developing type 2 diabetes? Would be interesting to see how drama handles long term condition… [sic]”

Whatever’s wrong with him (and we’re convinced that something is) it means it’s set to be another year of high drama for the Beale family.

After Lucy’s death, Bobby’s incarceration, and Jane’s life-threatening injuries, surely they deserve a break?

In Soapland? Not likely!