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Jake Wood shares sweet tribute to wife as he makes shock EastEnders announcement

The star has played Max Branning on the BBC soap for 15 years

Gemma Strong

Jake Wood has taken to Twitter with a loving message for his wife. The EastEnders actor shared a snapshot of the couple together on Wednesday, writing: "Happy birthday beautiful @alisonrwood46. I couldn't imagine a life without you [love hearts]."

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Jake, 48, and Alison have been married since 2001, and share two children together – Buster, 12, and 15-year-old Amber.

MORE: 7 EastEnders stars who dated each other in real-life

Last year, Max proudly shared a rare snapshot of his daughter, revealing she is hoping to forge a career in modelling. The dad-of-two posted a gorgeous headshot of the teenager, and wrote in the caption: "My daughter Amber Bo wants to model. Thank goodness she takes after her mum."

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Jake shared a sweet message for wife Alison on her birthday

Jake's touching tribute to Alison came just 24 hours before he confirmed he is leaving EastEnders after 15 years playing Max Branning. The actor, who has played Max since 2006, will leave the BBC soap in a dramatic new storyline.

MORE: Look back at the EastEnders stars' stunning wedding and engagement photos

Speaking about his departure, Jake confirmed: "I've had 15 wonderful years at EastEnders and have made some truly great friends.

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The couple are proud parents to two children

"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."

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EastEnders' executive producer Jon Sen added: "Jake is a truly wonderful actor and EastEnders have been extremely lucky to have him for so long.

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Jake has starred as Max Branning for 15 years

"We have a big storyline for Max that starts in the coming weeks and we are all very excited to see that play out."

There is already speculation that Jake could be swapping Walford for Wales for the new series of I'm A Celebrity, which is taking part at Gwrych Castle in Conway County Borough this year.

The TV star certainly has reality show experience. He previously appeared on Strictly Come Dancing in 2014, dancing all the way to the semi-final with partner Janette Manrara.

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