Meet the Reading third year who got Ian Beale tattooed on her thigh

She says she’s ‘keeping it real like Ian Beale’

Theatre Arts, Education and Deaf Studies third year Amber-May Ellis has taken her love for EastEnders to the next level by getting favourite character Ian Beale tattooed on her right thigh.


She got the tattoo two months ago following a drunken bet with a friend.

“We were at pre drinks and long story short I lost a bet. It was a drunken bet and basically because I always follow through with my promises, I got it done.”


Let this be a lesson, don’t make bets at pres

The tattoo is a portrait of Ian during his homeless stage, making it even more unique.

“If Ian Beale can come out of his homeless stage and have three successful businesses I know I can get through anything.

“Sometimes I look down at him and chuckle, he reminds me that as long as I’m keeping it real like Ian Beale everything’s going to be fine.”

Keeping it real like Ian Beale

Keeping it real like Ian Beale

The tattoo isn’t complete yet, there’s plans to add even more to this huge inking.

“I’m getting a frame put around it and the words ‘Keep it real like Ian Beale’ written underneath at Easter.”

Does she regret it though? Not in the slightest.

“People tell me I’m going to regret it. But I have seven other tattoos, including one between my boobs and the word ‘banter’ written in wingdings on my arm. So I can safely say I won’t be regretting Ian as I live in the moment.”


One of Amber’s many tattoos

The tattoo cost £150 and was paid for with the money her mum and nan gave her for her 21st Birthday.

“I didn’t tell my mum. She found out at Christmas when I came down in my dressing gown, she just looked down at it and went ‘Is that fucking Ian Beale?’, but she was alright in the end. 

“I got a tattoo before between my boobs which she hates, and she says she prefers Ian, so it’s okay.

“But I haven’t told my nan yet, I hope she doesn’t read this.”


Apparently getting an Ian Beale tattoo has had some unexpected side effects.

“It’s great when it comes to pulling. I get it out all the time in clubs, as people usually don’t think I’m being serious. Everyone loves it and it’s the perfect ice breaker.

“Ian Beale is by far my best wingman.”


Apparently she hasn’t really got any particularly bad comments about it. 

“Nobody’s really said anything bad about it apart from how I’ll regret it. I’ve had some comments from guys who said it was a bit awkward making eye contact with Ian when they were going down on me.

“Somebody even joked it was like having a threesome with Ian Beale, he’s just there staring”


“Some people don’t quite understand how big of a deal Ian Beale and EastEnders is to me, it’s not a joke it’s a serious appreciation. 

“Honestly it’s my favourite TV programme I’ve watched it my whole life and when people say they hate EastEnders I hate them as people”

This isn’t the end of Amber-May’s tattoos, either. She said: “I went on Judge Rinder recently so I’ve decided to get his face tattooed on my other thigh.”

In response to anyone who might tell her that she’ll regret the tattoo, she said, “I don’t take life very seriously, what’s the point it’s only temporary, so you might as well have fun while you can and that’s all I’m doing.”