Jake Wood has confirmed that he is leaving Eastenders after 15 years on the show.
The actor, who plays longtime resident Max Branning, will leave the popular soap later this year in an explosive storyline.
Confirming his departure after The Sun broke the news, 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.”
Executive producer Jon Sen said of the shocking departure: “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.”
A source told the publication: “Sometimes in soapland 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.
The insider added: “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.”
Max Branning first appeared on the soap in 2006 and went on to become one of the most memorable characters of all time.
On this week’s episode of Goss Chats, Goss.ie CEO Ali Ryan chats with award-winning makeup artist and MRS Glam creator, Michelle Regazolli Stone.
The celebrity MUA opens up about the ups and downs of living through the pandemic, and how her makeup range saved her.
#GossChats is sponsored by top Irish aesthetic clinic Haus of JeJuve.
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On this week’s episode of #GossChats @itsalirose chats with award-winning makeup artist and @mrsglambymichelle creator @mrsmakeup_ie The celebrity MUA opens up about the ups and downs of living through the pandemic and how her makeup range saved her. #GossChats is sponsored by @haus_of_jejuve