Jake Woods quits EastEnders after 15 years playing Max Branning

Kimberley Bond
·2-min read
BBC/Kieron McCarron/Jack Barnes
BBC/Kieron McCarron/Jack Barnes

Soap bosses has confirmed that Jake Woods will be leaving EastEnders when his contract expires.

The 48-year-old, who joined Walford with the rest of the Branning's in 2005, will be leaving Albert Square in part of a big upcoming storyline.

However, Branning will be waltzing out of Walford most likely in the back of a black cab as opposed to a coffin, as bosses are planning on leaving the door open for Woods to return.

Speaking about his upcoming departure, Woods said: “I’ve had 15 wonderful years at EastEnders and have made some truly great friends.

Woods' character has been at the centre of numerous huge storylines (BBC)
Woods' character has been at the centre of numerous huge storylines (BBC)

“I’ll of course miss everyone there but I’m grateful they have left the door open for Max and I’m excited to see what the next chapter holds.”

The soap’s executive producer John Sen added: “Jake is a truly wonderful actor and EastEnders have been extremely lucky to have him for so long

“We have a big storyline for Max that starts in the coming weeks and we are all very excited to see that play out.”

Woods’ character, who has been involved in some of the soap’s biggest storylines, including an affair with Stacey Slater in 2007 and the death of his daughter Abi Branning in 2017, is likely to have an typical EastEnders-style dramatic departure, complete with doof-doofs.

A BBC insider revealed: “Sometimes in soap land big characters have to leave. Bosses are staying tight lipped about what they have planned for Max but considering he has played a major part in the show for over 15 years they are clearly planning something big and he will not be departing Walford quietly.

“Everyone will be sad to see Jake go as he is not only a great person to have on set but he’s also a fantastic actor.”

EastEnders has recently returned to screens after it returned to production, following lockdown restrictions halting filming of any further episodes.

Additional reporting from PA

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