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EastEnders fans convinced this MISSING character is Ian Beale's attacker

(Image credit: BBC / Jack Barnes)

Eagle-eyed EastEnders fans have got a new theory...

EastEnders has got fans guessing who could be responsible for Ian Beale's attack ever since it aired on Friday. But viewers have got a great new theory which puts Dotty Cotton in the frame.

Viewers will remember that Dotty made the sudden announcement in November that she was going to stay with her grandma, Dot, in Ireland.

Dotty and Ian EastEnders

Dotty and Ian have been feuding for months (Picture: BBC) (Image credit: BBC/Kieron McCarron/Jack Barnes)

Her quick departure from the Square left fans worried that the character might be leaving the soap altogether, however it has been revealed that Dotty will be back.

More: EastEnders brings in Adam Woodyatt's real life son for secret cameo

But while Dotty might not be on our screens at the moment, that hasn't stopped fans becoming convinced that she is the one who attacked Ian.

Dot Branning and Dotty Cotton return in EastEnders

Dotty supposedly went to Ireland to see Dot last month... but did she really go? (Picture: BBC)

Fans have a theory that Dotty has faked her departure from the Square in a bid to cover up the fact she is the one who left Ian for dead on the floor of the Queen Vic...

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But are they right? While Dotty might not be in the official list of suspects that have been lined up by EastEnders, this wouldn't be the first time the soap has lined up a few red herrings.

It's no secret that there's no love lost between Dotty and Ian.

Ever since Dotty discovered Ian's secret that he was responsible for Denny's death, she has been trying to make sure Ian get his comeuppance.

Who attacked Ian Beale EastEnders

Someone attacked Ian and left him for dead last week (Picture: BBC)

Earlier this year Dotty told the shocking truth to Sharon, only for her to believe Ian's version of events.

Could Dotty attacking Ian be her way of getting justice for Sharon's son?

Speaking of Dotty's sudden exit recently, actress Milly Zero replied to a message on Twitter from a worried fan: "Yes, she will be back! I haven't left the show."

EastEnders airs Mondays at 8.05pm, Tuesdays and Thursdays at 7.35pm and Fridays at 8.30pm on BBC One - see our TV Guide for full listings.