EastEnders: Jake Wood - "It's great that Max isn't Kat's lover"

The actor gives his reaction to last night's revelations and offers his thoughts on the departure of Jamie Foreman

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EastEnders: Jake Wood - "It's great that Max isn't Kat's lover"
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David Brown

EastEnders actor Jake Wood has spoken of the joy he feels knowing that Max wasn’t the Branning brother having an affair with Kat Moon (Jessie Wallace):

“An awful lot of people thought it was Max and, given his history, that’s no surprise,” he said at a screening in London of the Christmas episodes. “I think it could logically have been any of the Branning brothers. Each of them had a reason to be with Kat. But we’ve seen Max have affairs before and given his behaviour over the last year and his commitment to Tanya during her cancer treatment, it’s great that it’s not Max on this occasion.”

Last night, fans saw Derek Branning unmasked as Kat’s lover following months of speculation. Jamie Foreman, who has played Derek since November 2011, is set to leave over Christmas and Wood also offered his thoughts on the actor’s exit:

“Jamie was such a pleasure to have around. He’s a great actor, Derek’s a great character and there’s been a fantastic reaction from the public. This is a story arc that has been mapped out for a year. We all knew what the conclusion would be, so it’s not a huge surprise. It was always going to be the case when he joined that he’d be leaving now. But on a personal level, I loved working with him and he’ll be missed - by the viewers, by me and by all the cast.”

Of his own future on the show and the events in the Branning household in 2013, the actor commented: “ Max Branning is always there! I’m committed to the show long term. It’s been seven years. I’m really enjoying my time there and I don’t see that changing in the foreseeable future. If they’re still happy to have me, then I’m happy to be there.”

This festive season will be very Branning-centric in Walford with events revolving around revelations at No 5 Albert Square. But when asked about which cast members he’d like to work with more if he had the opportunity, Wood replied: “I’ve always been a big fan of Steve McFadden. And Adam Woodyatt. Two great actors playing great characters. I’ve always enjoyed scenes between Max and Phil – Steve’s a consummate professional and I think those two characters work well together. So we’ll have to wait and see.”

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