Jake Wood to leave EastEnders after 15 years as Max Branning

EastEnders legend Jake Wood, who plays Max Branning, is leaving the hit BBC soap.

Jake has been on the show for over a decade.

Confirming the news himself, Jake, 48, said:

"Ive had 15 wonderful years at EastEnders and have made some truly great friends.

"Ill of course miss everyone there but Im grateful they have left the door open for Max and Im excited to see what the next chapter holds."

Meanwhile, Executive Producer of EastEnders Jon Sen, also has spoken about Jake bowing out insisting a big exit is planned.

Jon said:

"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."

July 10, 2019 - London, United Kingdom - Jake Wood attends The Illusionists Press Night at the Shaftesbury Theatre, Shaftesbury Avenue in London. (Credit Image: Keith Mayhew/SOPA Images via ZUMA Wire)

An insider added to Mirror Online:

"Sometimes in soapland's 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 hes also a fantastic actor."

Jake's character Max recently discovered Ian Beale has stolen his money.

The duo are currently locking horns with Max threatening Ian for it to be returned.

Max is increasingly concerned due to the fact he is now raising granddaughter Abi.

Over the years Max has been central to some of the biggest and most shocking clashes in Albert Square.

Jake initially joined EastEnders in 2006 before taking a break from the show back in 2015.

Max's time away from the show was explained by him being sent to prison.