Max Branning (played by Jake Wood) has been a mainstay in the cast of EastEnders for a decade and a half now. The BBC soap lothario has had his fair share of action-packed storylines, whether it be his sordid affair with Stacey Slater (Lacey Turner) to the horrific death of son Bradley (Charlie Clements), but now his time has come to an end following the announcement by actor Jake, 48, he would be leaving.
Confirming his exit, Jake said in an announcement obtained by Express.co.uk: "I’ve had 15 wonderful years at EastEnders and have made some truly great friends.
"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.”
A show insider also added because Max has been such a staple in Walford, the character will be making anything but a “quiet” departure.
Executive Producer Jon Sen commented: “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.”
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EastEnders spoilers: Max Branning will be leaving BBC soap (Image: BBC/Getty)
EastEnders spoilers: Max Branning star Jake Wood will be leaving the BBC soap later this year (Image: BBC)
Following the announcement of Jake’s exit from the show, fans quickly took to social media to respond to the departure.
One viewer wrote on Twitter: “Sad to see Jake Wood leaving #EastEnders. A great actor and glad to see that they will leave the door open for him. The beginning of the end of the Branning family now with only Jack on the square…?”
Another added: “Oh man I have loved Max Branning and Jake Wood since the very first time I saw him in #EastEnders!”
Whilst a third remarked: “No! Say it ain’t so @mrjakedwood! I don’t want to think about a Branningless Square! #EastEnders.”
EastEnders spoilers: Max Branning and Ian Beale are set to go head-to-head (Image: BBC)
EastEnders spoilers: Max Branning could be reunited with Lauren Branning before his exit (Image: BBC)