EastEnders have confirmed Jake Wood will be leaving the BBC soap and his role of Max Branning in the near future.
The actor has been on the soap for 15 years and has been at the centre of some of the biggest and most explosive storylines of recent times.
An EastEnders insider confirmed the news to RadioTimes.com, revealing: “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 fifteen 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.”
RadioTimes.com understands Max will have an exit storyline befitting of his character when Jake's contract comes to an end.
Speaking about his departure, Jake said: “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.”
Jon Sen, Executive Producer, 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.”
Most famously, Max was involved in a sordid affair storyline with Stacey Slater (Lacey Turner).
Their dangerous liaisons were exposed in the 2007 Christmas Day episode.