EastEnders actor Jake Wood unveiled quite the surprising new look on his Instagram page on Monday. The 46-year-old, who plays Walford businessman Max Branning in the BBC soap, revealed that he has grown an enormous beard, and he asked his for approval. He captioned the snap: "Strong beard game. Likey or no likey?" The soap star received a flurry of replies, many of them rather mixed. One said: "Nooo much prefer the shorter beard." [sic] Another remarked: "It's a no from me, but if you like it that's all that matters."
Not everyone was displeased as one follower commented: "Seriously your beard is proper amazing." Another fan agreed, saying: "I love it, love a man with a beard." One other post read: "Looking good with or without!!! Our fave TV ginger." Some followers likened him to Irish fighter Conor McGregor, with one writing: "Look like Connor McGregor in this pic."
Meanwhile, it was announced in September that Jake would be taking a break from EastEnders in early 2019. Viewers watched his on-screen exit earlier this month as brothers Max and Jack Branning temporarily left Walford as part of the Mel Owen murder cover-up plot. "I've been there 12 years so my approach was always - two years ago I had a year off," the former Strictly star revealed on Loose Women. "I love being there. I love the job, but it is very demanding. Its long hours and I’ve got a family, two kids at home, and a beautiful wife I probably don't see enough of."
The actor has played Max on the BBC soap since 2006. He has been involved in some of the biggest storylines, including the time Max famously had an affair with his daughter-in-law Stacey, before getting involved with a police officer investigating the murder of Lucy Beale - before she herself was killed after being hit by a car.
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