We're still digesting the heartbreaking news that Albert Square lothario Max Branning, aka Jake Wood, is leaving EastEnders

EastEnders

Feast your eyes ladies on the love God that is Max Branning (aka Jake Wood) Photo | BBC

The news that EastEnders‘ loveable rogue Max Branning will be leaving Walford later this year with ‘a bang’ has left us bereft.

We’re not sure how we will live without our usual fix of the Albert Square ladies’ man – aka Jake Wood.

Thankfully Jake – who will not leave until after the summer – has signed a new contract and will return to the soap next year.

But still, that’s 365 days without the ginger warrior and his sexy smirk. Here are some of his finest on-screen moments to keep us going…

Max Branning |  EastEnders | Soap Spoilers | Pictures | Photos | New | Now Magazine

We wish we were that chair…  Photos | Now Magazine

From his numerous affairs to being run over by his daughter Lauren, Max Branning has caused a stir since he arrived in Walford nine years ago quickly establishing himself as the Don Draper of EastEnders.

A man ruled by his passions and lover of Scotch – within no time he had seduced his son Bradley’s girlfriend Stacey Slater (Lacey Turner) – embarking on what has to be one of the most gripping affairs in soap history.

Max and Stacey sleep together

How could any woman resist those puppy dog eyes? Stacey was putty in Max’s hands… Photo | Now Magazine

One of the most memorable EastEnders scenes ever was when Max’s affair with his son’s wife was discovered on Christmas Day in front of the entire family, while he was dressed in a dodgy Santa costume.

Slaters and Brannings | EastEnders 25 | Pictures | Now Magazine | Celebrity Gossip

The Slaters and Brannings came together on Christmas Day but were torn apart when a video tape revealed Max’s affair with son Bradley’s wife. Photos | Now Magazine

Or when he begged his heartbroken wife Tanya (Jo Joyner) to stay with him and not leave Albert Square, despite his cheating ways.

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Don’t go! We’d not be able to resist a begging Max on his knees… Picture | Now Magazine

Our hearts were in our mouths when Max was the victim of a deliberate hit-and-run and left for dead. Tanya confessed to it and was arrested, but it was his daughter Lauren who was driving the vehicle.

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Max was nearly a goner when daughter Lauren mowed him down…Photo | Now Magazine

 

And again when Tanya – with the help of Sean Slater (Rob Kazinsky) – drugged Max and decided to throw him in a coffin and bury him alive in some woods after he threatened to report her to social services as an unfit mother.

buried alive

Grisly! Max underwent his worst fear when he was buried alive by his ex Tanya. Photo | BBC

Bradley fell to his death from a rooftop following a police chase. But Max was forced to admit to himself he was in love with his son’s widow as he held a vigil by his bedside. We always forgive him though as we love that he can’t control his emotions.

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Max is always at his finest when in deep contemplation. Photo | Now Magazine

It wasn’t long before Max’s wandering eye landed upon his daughter’s best friend, Lucy Beale (Hetti Bywater). Well after bedding your son’s wife you’re unlikely to lose much sleep over sexing a friend of the family. Of course history was made when the pair were blackmailed and Lucy was murdered by an unknown assailant…

Max and Lucy

Lucy was very fortunate to be trapped in a room with a half naked Max…Photo | Now Magazine

We’ll miss you Jake!