Why is Jake Wood leaving EastEnders as Max Branning?
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EastEnders is a popular British soap on the BBC and many famous faces have come and gone over the years. Actor Jake Wood joined the cast 15 years ago and in tonight’s episode, he will be departing the square for good. Express.co.uk has all you need to know about why Wood is leaving EastEnders as Max Branning.
Why is Jake Wood leaving EastEnders?
Back in September 2020, it was revealed Max Branning would be leaving the soap as part of a huge plot twist.
The character first made an appearance in 2006 as the estranged son of Jim Branning (played by John Bardon).
During his time on the soap, his character has experienced his fair share of marriages, affairs, deaths and drama.
The day has come for Max to finally leave the soap and he is expected to star in a huge storyline.
Some fans believe he will be sent to prison as the creators confirmed he will not be killed off.
The door is being left open for his character so he can return at any time.
However, Wood revealed he had no plans to return any time soon, but he had enjoyed his time on the soap.
No official reason has been given as to why the star is leaving, but it could be because he has spent so much time on the show.
At the time, he said he had made some great friends and he would miss everyone, and he was grateful the door had been left open.
Speaking to Express.co.uk, he said he was unable to official celebrate due to the current situation.
He said: “Obviously with Covid, there were no parties. Nothing like that so I just walked away, said goodbye to the person at the front gate.
“So that was one a bit weird after 15 years but I’ve known since the summer that I was going so I had good chances over that time to have good conversations with everyone so they all know how I feel about them.”
His character has been involved in some of the most iconic and harrowing storylines, including having been buried alive.
He became a fan favourite and will be sorely missed, but he is excited to move on to new things.
The star did say he was worried about whether his long stint in a soap would impact his future job prospects.
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In an interview with OK! Magazine he joked: “No one might ever offer me a job again! This might be the last you ever see of me on screen.”
He did say spending 15 years on the show had been hard graft and he was looking forward to spending time with his family.
He is married to wife Alison and they have two children together, Buster and Amber.
Wood said he was not in any rush to take on another role just yet, so his departure may have been a good way to let the dust settle and relax for a while.
The actor has been very busy over the years and has taken part in other shows while still playing Max.
He wowed fans on the 12th series of BBC’s Strictly Come Dancing, reaching the semi-final of the competition.
Fans may be interested to hear he actually had a small role in EastEnders back in the 1990s.
He was cast as Jackson, a character who came across Diane Butcher (Sophie Lawrence) while she was sleeping rough.
Fans have taken to Twitter to say they are “gutted” he is leaving, with one saying: “Jake Wood has been consistently amazing in the role and he will definitely be missed.”
Another said: “Is Max Branning leaving EastEnders for good? Hope not, think he’s brill!”
EastEnders airs at 8pm on BBC One
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