Adam Woodyatt is giving a hint that Ian Beale may return when he issues the ‘come and grab me’ call

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According to the actor who played Ian Beale 36 years, he believes the storyline is right and would return to Albert Square to give the falling ratings a lift.

Adam Woodyatt is the EastEnders legend. “come and get me”Contact BBC chiefs

Adam, 53, played the role of Ian Beale for 36-years and left Walford last January. He has hinted that he might return.

And the imminent departure of Danny Dyer, who played Mick Carter for nine years, amid ailing ratings is thought to mean Adam – who was on £250,000 a year – has a strong bargaining position.

The soap’s plot needed Ian to leave for a spell but Adam said: “They’ve got to come up with a storyline, they’ve got to ask me to go back.

“The timing has got to be right for me to go back because I don’t know what else I’m ­going to be doing.”

Since leaving, Adam has been on stage in Manchester in Looking Good Dead and took part in I’m A Celeb with fellow soap stars Simon Gregson, from Corrie, and Emmerdale ’s Danny Miller.

Insider on television: “The bosses want Adam back and are prepared to pay – and he knows that. The ratings are suffering at the moment and they need a big boost like Ian Beale returning to Walford.

“They’d known for a while that Danny had wanted to leave but he will still leave a big hole in the show.”

Last week, we revealed Danny, 44, had quit after being poached by Sky for an ­upcoming ­drama.

He is thought to be on less than his £1million-a-year deal with the BBC but it may open the door to many offers that could dwarf what he earns now.

Danny stated last week: “I’ve had nine years of playing Mick and I think he needs to be rested for a bit. I’m still looking for that defining role.”

He also added: “I’ve always been quite ambitious I want to go out there and have ­another go.”

A spokesperson for BBC said: “We’ve known for a long time that Danny would be ­leaving the show at the end of his contract.

“Any suggestion that urgent meetings are taking place to discuss who to bring back in light of the news being made public is nothing but ­speculative nonsense.”

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