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EastEnders superfan who got Ian Beale tattoo after say it’s changed her life

3 min read

An Eastenders super fan who found fame with a permeant tattoo of Ian Beale says she wants more Walford inspired ink.

Amber-May Ellis lost a bet in 2016 and wound up getting the intricate homage to the Square’s infamous businessman on her thigh.

The decision came after a few drinks and a bet that coincided with the period of the BBC One soap where Ian had become homeless.

As a result, her tat is of him with a woolly hat, long-hair and beard combination, rather than the clean-cut chip shop more commonly seen in the long-running BBC show.

The finished body art reads "Keep it real like Ian Beale" and takes up most of her thigh.

Amber, a former University of Reading student, has since claimed that she is in the market for a new addition.

She told Get Reading: "I'd love one of Kat Slater, but I feel my mum might not like that too much. Other people have said to me I should get a sleeve of EastEnders characters or Ian Beale through the ages."

Her tattoo has since changed her life, landing her a slot on E4’s Tattoo Fixers and later on Coach Trip.

Due to "getting a bit close" to her tattooist in Reading, who then "got a girlfriend", Amber said the image of Ian on her leg was left unfinished for more than a year.

But when the experts on the E4 programme stepped in to save the day, Amber was relieved.

She said: "I love Ian Beale and I love my Ian Beale tattoo.

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"It was a bit of a drunken bet with my friends at uni, who always used to tease me about Ian Beale.

"I thought "why not?" and got it done at a tattooist in Reading.

"Happily, Tattoo Fixers were able to finish it off for me – they did a brilliant job."

Although Amber, now a dental hygienist in Norwich, is a fan of her ink – it turns out it has not gone down well with everyone.

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She added: "I kept it hidden for ages, but one weekend I was at home from uni and was wearing my dressing gown."

Her mum noticed and asked Amber: "Is that Ian Beale on your leg?"

Amber said: "She wasn't happy and every time there's an article about it, she shares it on Facebook saying things like 'will this joke ever end?'

"I studied teaching, but schools were Googling me and finding out about my Ian Beale tattoo, which meant it pretty much was impossible to get a job."

But does the Square superfan have any regrets?

"No, I love my Ian Beale tattoo and so does everyone I've met.

"I just hope they don't write Ian out of the series – I might have to go into mourning if they do."

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