Spoilers: EastEnders star reveals if Max Branning will return

Max Branning (Jake Wood) makes his final appearance in EastEnders next week, as the stalwart bids farewell to Walford.

It’s been a tough couple of months for Max, who has once again found himself in love with a woman he cannot have in Linda Carter (Kellie Bright).

Of course, he never stood a chance, as Linda reunited with love of her life Mick (Danny Dyer), but — in spite of this — he makes one final attempt to win her affections next week.

His plan? Why, blackmailing Phil Mitchell (Steve McFadden), of course!

‘He’s got his mind set in terms of what he wants to achieve,’ actor Jake Wood told Metro.co.uk. ‘He wants to get Linda. He thinks that blackmailing Phil will lead to a chain of events that will help him get Linda back.

‘He’s lost the plot in some ways. He’s deluded in terms of what he wants and what he thinks he can get.

‘Linda has been very clear with him in terms of what she wants. She’s made it clear she doesn’t want to have a relationship with him, but Max is not taking no for an answer.’

Naturally, Max’s plan doesn’t pan out, as Linda rejects his surprise and reiterates that Mick is the man she wants to be with.

Both she and Jack (Scott Maslen) offer up some advice in suggesting that Max should leave Walford, and ultimately he resolves to do just that.

‘I guess it comes at that point when he realises it’s not going to work out with Linda. He’s living with Jack, who’s busy with his career, and he’s asked him to move out.

‘There’s not much for him in Walford. He hasn’t really got the car lot and he hasn’t really got a business there. Ian Beale’s gone missing owing him a lot of money. It’s all going a little bit wrong for him.’

But what goes through Max’s head as he leaves Walford behind?

‘Is there a job at Coronation Street is the first thing!’ laughed Jake, before adding: ‘Fresh beginnings.’

Max’s departure well and truly marks the end of an era for EastEnders, but have we really seen the last of him? 

‘Never say never!’ Jake teased. ‘Obviously, I’m very pleased they’ve kept the door open, so we’ll see what happens further down the road. At the moment, I’ve no plans to go back, and I’m excited about what’s next. 

‘I think it always takes a period of time coming away from a soap after that amount of time. 

‘We’ll find out now what’s ahead! I’m in no rush to rush into anything straight away, so I’m happy to just let the dust settle. I’m here home-schooling my two children, so that’s keeping me busy and I’m grateful to be at home for that, and to support them for that.

‘It’s nice to be at home a bit if I’m honest, fifteen years hard graft and no at home very much, so it’s nice to have a little bit of a break. It’ll take a while to let that drop away and move onto the next thing, but there’s no rush.’

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