It's official - Max Branning is leaving Walford. Actor Jake Wood announced this week that he is stepping down from his popular role on EastEnders after 15 years. He said:
I’ve had 15 wonderful years at EastEnders and have made some truly great friends. 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.
But fear not, Max fans, he could well be back on our screens before we know it - as Jake is now hotly tipped to become one of the campmates on this year’s series of I’m A Celebrity... Get Me Out Of Here!. After his EastEnders departure was announced, the odds on Jake as a campmate shot to 3/1.
The bookies now reckon that Jake could be set to follow in the footsteps of former onscreen daughter Jacqueline Jossa, who was crowned Queen of the Jungle last year. Ladbrokes' Alex Apati told the Mirror:
Jake's no stranger to our screens. With his time on the Square coming to an end, we reckon I'm A Celeb chiefs could be about to snap him up.
This isn't the first time Jake has been rumoured as a campmate. Back in 2015, when he was on a year-long break from EastEnders, the actor fuelled rumours he was set for the jungle by saying:
I do really like that show. Everyone I’ve spoken to who’s done it has said they really enjoyed it. I’m not squeamish - so eating strange stuff wouldn’t bother me.
This year I’m A Celeb will be a rather different show - with the celebs set to make camp in an abandoned castle in Wales rather than in the Australian jungle due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Other celebs rumoured to be going on the show this year include Jeremy Clarkson and Vernon Kay.