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Lesley "Jane" Beale (née Clarke, previously Collins) is the ex-wife of long-standing character Ian Beale, adoptive mother of his son Bobby and best friend to Tanya Cross. She made her first appearance on 22 June 2004.

Storylines

2004-2012: Arrival

Jane arrived in the Square in June 2004 working on a candyfloss stand when The Fairground Disaster happened. She was previously married to David Collins, who she married in 1992. He suffered from Huntington's disease and he died in 2004. In 2007, Jane married Ian Beale.

When a feud erupts between Ian and Phil Mitchell, Phil's brother Grant and Jane agree that he will handle Phil and she will handle Ian. Jane and Grant later share a kiss outside The Queen Victoria public house. Grant pesters her about her feelings but she denies her love for him. Ian and Jane have an argument and she goes straight to Grant. The pair have sex on a desk in the office of Scarlet's nightclub. Jane later decides to end the affair, and Grant leaves Walford.

Ian discovers the affair from Phil. He proposes to Jane but plans to use the wedding to humiliate her. Ian later has second thoughts about his plan after seeing that Jane is a good mother to them, but decides to go through with it after being persuaded by his aunt, Pauline. At the wedding Ian gives Peggy a letter, which he requests she read out to everyone at the reception. Phil is suspicious and opens it to discovers Ian's plan. He sends Jane a Text message to tell her not to come to the wedding. Jane walks round the Square in her wedding dress in the rain in tears. Ian finds her and they end up fighting in the mud at the allotments. After a lot of talking they realise they love each other and they want to be together. They finally marry in secret, witnessed only by Heather Trott and her friend from the meat counter at the supermarket. Jane soon goes on to adopt Ian’s youngest son Bobby Beale and raises him as her own. Since Bobby’s biological mother passed away, Jane is the only mother he knows.

Ian is taken hostage by his adoptive son Steven, who has been stalking him. Steven returns to Walford after several years of absence and lives with Jane and his sister and brothers. He eventually tells Jane it is his fault that Ian is not coming back. He then tries to kiss her, and she runs off, horrified. Steven takes Lucy to the flat where he is holding Ian. Lucy escapes and lets Jane know where they are. Jane arrives and punches Steven. He threatens to shoot himself but Jane, Lucy and Ian all try to stop him. In the struggle Jane is shot. Before she is operated on, she and Ian decide they will try for a baby when she recovers. Although the operation is mainly successful, Jane requires a hysterectomy.

Jane later tells Tanya Branning (Best friend) what Steven did. Her inability to have children depresses her and she is unable to hold Tanya's newborn son Oscar. Tanya asks Jane to be godmother to Oscar and she accepts. She is pleased that Steven is leaving for good, but as he is about to go Ian stops him. Jane is furious that Ian is rekindling his relationship with Steven. Ian invites Steven for Christmas dinner, but Jane only allows him to stay for an hour, after which she forces Ian to kick Steven out of the house. She later tells Ian that if Steven ever steps inside the house, she will leave him. However, she eventually gets used to Steven being around and he moves into the Beales' house.

Jane secretly goes to a stand up comedy club, lying that she is attending gym classes. Ian discovers that she is lying and demands that Tamwar Masood tell him what they are up to. He leads Ian to the club where Jane is on stage. Ian is amused at first but is hurt when she makes jokes about him and their sex life. He gives her an ultimatum — to give up her hobby or end their marriage. However after being accepted by a talent scout, Jane is shocked to discover that Ian became her agent. Ian is also disgusted to see that Jane and Tanya were drunk outside the R&R after Jane had lied to him.

Jane discovers that Ian has invested £2000 in Masala Masood, the curry business run by Masood Ahmed and Zainab Masood. However, the Masood's and Beales eventually go into business together. Jane has a flirtatious relationship with Masood Ahmed and worries when she is sent a hoax text about a secret. She tells Tanya about the flirting but Tanya says she has nothing to worry about. Jane wins a competition and she, Ian and Bobby go on holiday to Scotland for several weeks. They return to the aftermath of a fire at the café.

After a disagreement about parenting, Jane and Tanya swap lives for a week, with Jane living with Tanya's partner Max and doting on their young son Oscar. After the "wife swap" fails, Jane tells Tanya she does not want to go back to her life. The next day, she walks out on Ian, and when she returns, she tells him she wants a baby. 

After Ian confesses to having an affair with Glenda Mitchell, they end their relationship as Jane cannot forgive him. However, Ian is determined to win her back, going as far as asking Greg Jessop to be the best man at his wedding to Jane's best friend, Tanya. Jane later meets a man named Martin at a pub quiz, and they have a brief affair. She ends it, and Ian tries to make her jealous by hiring an escort named Jeanette. Jane soon learns that she is an escort and after a brief confrontation, Ian calls Jane a "prostitute disguised as a wife". An angry Jane reveals she wants to take everything she can in their divorce. With the help of Phil Mitchell, Jane wins the café in the divorce hearing. Bobby is upset by the constant arguing between his parents, and so Jane realises she must leave the square for his sake. After removing her wedding ring and making a promise to Bobby to see him regularly, she departs Walford on May 19th, 2011.

2014-2023: Troubles with Max and mentions

In 2017, Max demanded Jane to leave Walford for good. Eventually, Jane decides to leave Walford, but without Ian, under Willmott-Brown’s wishes and also, that Max doesn’t hire someone to hurt her adoptive son, Bobby.

Jane is mentioned by Cindy Beale on 21 September 2023, during a confrontation with Bobby. She refers to Jane "dumping" her daughter Lucy's body in the woods, as well as Bobby's attack on Jane with a hockey stick.

2024 to present: Return and meeting Cindy

Jane returns in 2024, after Ian suspiciously meets up with her and makes strange phone calls. His partner, Cindy Beale, tracks them down and storms in - shocked to meet Jane.

Kill count

Connected murders and deaths

  1. Lucy Beale (18 April 2014) (association) - Helped cover her murder after she was killed by Bobby Beale.

Employment history

Occupation Years Active
Employee at Bridge Street Café 2004-2011, 2015-2017
Employee at Beale's Plaice 2005-2012
Chef at The Queen Victoria 2010-2012

Residence

Address Years
45 Albert Square 2007-2011, 2014-2017
5 Albert Square 2009

Background information

  • On 21 June 2004 the side of a woman's head can be seen in the closing moments of the episode, it has been widely speculated that the woman was Jane due to the matching resemblance. However there has never been any confirmation that this was Jane. She made her first confirmed credited appearance the following episode.

See also

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