Who is Max Branning star Jake Wood in EastEnders, why did his character go to prison and what else has the actor been in?

JAKE Wood's character Max Branning has been terrorising Walford for years, and it's about to get a hell of a lot worse as Christmas comes around.

Here's everything you need to know about the character, what he has planned for the festive season and the actor who plays him…

Jake Wood is a British actor most known for playing Max Branning in BBC soap, Eastenders, appearing in more than 1,000 episodes.

Starting his acting career in 1984, he has since appeared in a number of TV favourites as short-lived roles.

These include Only Fools and Horses, London's Burning, Inspector Morse and One Foot in the Grave.

He has also made appearances in several British-made films including The Illusionist and Vera Drake.

Before becoming a regular in Walford, he made a brief appearance on the show in 1990 as a completely different character named Jackson.

Jake has been married to wife Alison Murray since 2001.

The couple have two children together – daughter Amber, born in March 2005, and son, Buster, born in January 2008

Celebrating sixteen years of married in October 2017, the pair renewed their vows with a festival-themed ceremony.

Naming the event "WedFest", the party was held 23 years to the day that they met.

Explaining their secret to a strong marriage, Jake told OK! magazine: “We obviously love each other a lot but also we’ve always wanted the same things.

“You’ve got to work hard at it and you’ve got to talk. Alison’s taught me that."

Completely shaking off his on-screen tough guy persona (quite literally!) Jake took part in the 2014 series of Strictly Come Dancing.

The twelfth series of the long-running BBC favourite, Jake proved popular with the fans and came fifth overall in the competition.

He was knocked out in the quarter finals that series, after being beaten out by Mark Wright in the dance-off.

Performing with long-running professional Janette Manrara, their final dance was a Cha Cha to Boogie Shoes by KC and the Sunshine Band.

Caroline Flack went on to win that series.

Max Branning is currently in the centre of a storyline that is set to come to a head around the Christmas season.

Out for revenge after being wrongfully sent to prison for the murder of Lucy Beale, his long-running revenge plan has lasted nearly two years.

In November however, Max was double-crossed by Wilmott-Brown and his family after he successfully helped them try and knock down the Queen Vic.

The overall plot was to gentrify Walford, knocking down a series of its landmarks in order to build luxury flats.

With his daughters Lauren and Abi turning their back on him, and his ex-wife Tanya refusing to allow him to see his son, Oscar, Max has been pushed to the brink of sanity.

It has been revealed that his ultimate plan is to kill Phil Mitchell and Ian Beale for their role in his distress across the festive period.

Speaking to the Radio Times, Jake said: “It’s non-stop action. Max is consumed by revenge. He wants to kill Ian and Phil and everyone who’s wronged him.”

Despite nearly losing everything over the past few weeks following his secret plan being exposed in front of everyone at the Vic, Jake reveals that Max still shows no sign of slowing down.

“In his mind, he’s justified – but he takes it too far,” he admitted.

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