EASTENDERS’ Jake Wood has confirmed that his final scenes as Max Branning will air in mid-February as he made his director’s debut.
The 48-year-old actor is into his final two weeks of filming for the BBC One soap, which he joined in 2006.
He’d previously confirmed that the much-loved character would not be killed off as he thanked bosses for giving him the option to return to EastEnders at some point.
Jake appeared on Good Morning Britain earlier today to reveal ITV’s 1 Million Minutes campaign advert to combat loneliness, which he directed.
Discussing the soap, host Piers Morgan asked if he knew how Max would be leaving Albert Square.
The popular star replied: “One of the security guys when I drove in last week said: ‘Sorry to hear you’re leaving, are you going in a cab or a coffin?’
“It’s not going to be a cab exactly but they’re leaving the door open so I’m very pleased for that.”
When asked when his exit will air, Jake replied: “I think about mid-February, I am filming now for another two weeks so it will be about mid-February.”
It is not yet known why Max will leave Walford, but it will no doubt involve slippery Ian Beale – who last night caught the Lothario snogging Linda Carter behind her husband Mick’s back.
In September, it was confirmed that Jake was leaving EastEnders after 15 years on the Square.
However, the star confirmed that he wouldn’t be killed off, telling fans at the time: “I have loved playing Max Branning who amongst other things in that time has had 4 marriages, 10 affairs, 4 children (2 dying from falling from the roof of The Queen Vic), been buried alive, watched unwanted DVDs at Xmas and perhaps most traumatising of all…shared a hot tub with Ian Beale.
“I have made some truly great friends whilst on the show and I’ll miss everyone there. I’m grateful they have left the door open for Max and I’m excited to see what new horizons are around the corner.”
Executive producer Jon Sen previously said in a statement about Jake’s 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.”
Jake is just one of several EastEnders characters to be leaving Walford, with Adam Woodyatt also confirmed to be taking an extended break from his role of Ian Beale after 35 years.
Lacey Turner will also be leaving for maternity leave, while Davood Ghadami and Luisa Bradshaw-White’s exits will be shown on screens imminently.