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Major EastEnders star set to take break from the soap

Nothing stays the same for long in Albert Square!

Hanna Fillingham

EastEnders fans are used to seeing many of their favourite characters leave and later return to Albert Square – normally in a black cab, and the latest person set to say farewell for a short while is resident bad boy Max Branning. According to reports, a spokesperson for the BBC soap has revealed that actor Jake Wood will be taking a break from the show early next year in order to take his boxing podcast, Pound for Pound, on tour. Rest assured though - a spokesperson for EastEnders has confirmed to HELLO! that Max will be coming back afterwards. The boxing show has already been advertised, and will see Jake along with his friend, ex European Super Bantamweight Champion Spencer Oliver, travel around the UK for a 14-day tour.

Jake Wood is taking a short break from EastEnders

Jake has been a regular on Albert Square since 2006, but has taken breaks away from the soap previously, notably for a year in 2015 when his character was sent down for the murder of Lucy Beale. The star also took a two-month hiatus at the beginning of the year. Following the devastating death of his daughter Abi Branning, Max left Walford shortly after her funeral, but returned in April, where he has been causing more mischief ever since. Most recently, Max has been involved in a storyline involving a sham marriage to his former sister-in-law Rainie Cross, where they have been pretending to be married in a bid to get custody of Abi's baby daughter, Abi.

MORE: Lee Ryan reveals EastEnders future

The actor will be taking to the stage for his live show, Pound for Pound

READ: Jo Joyner gives major hint about EastEnders return

Max is the only remaining Branning in the show right now. Two of his children – Bradley and Abi – have died, while daughter Lauren, played by Jacqueline Jossa, left Albert Square with her son Louis shortly after Abi's funeral. Ex-wife Tanya – who returned briefly for the Christmas episodes – is also living away from Walford. Fans have often hoped that actress Jo Joyner will one day return full time to the show, and she teased that it may happen one day during a recent chat with HELLO!. While at the TV Choice Awards, Jo said: "I always get asked, but never say never!"

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