EastEnders star Jake Wood says he'll be playing Max Branning for at least "another year"

If EastEnders ever gives manipulative Max Branning his ultimate comeuppance, it won’t be happening any time soon.

Actor Jake Wood announced on Friday night (April 27) at the BT Sport Industry Awards that he’s recently signed a contract extension with the BBC One soap.

“I’ve just signed another year so I’ll stay for that, at least,” he told The Sun. “As I’ve always said, I’m always happy there and fully committed to the show. I’ve been there for 12 years so long may it continue.”

His big announcement comes days after Max Branning made his shocking return to Walford, following his botched revenge plot and the death of his daughter Abi earlier in the year.

Fans learned during Friday’s episode that Max was now paying his former sister-in-law Rainie Cross (Tanya Franks) for a marriage of convenience to ensure that he got custody of Abi’s newborn daughter.

Chatting with Digital Spy, Jake Wood tipped a grim road ahead for Max and Rainie: “Max has his own agenda in mind, so has he got Rainie’s welfare in the front of his mind? No, I don’t think so. But of course, he’s got to hope that she can keep clean – it’s part of their deal. She has to be on best behaviour, otherwise she’s not going to get any money.

“Max, at this moment, is very much holding all the cards in the relationship, but whether that dynamic will shift at all, we’ll have to wait and see. That’s what will be interesting over the coming months, to see exactly what the reality is.

“I don’t think either of them have really thought it through, what it means day-to-day, to be living together and pretending to everyone that they’re a couple. Of course that has its own pressures, so viewers will see just how that pans out.”

Wood has been a mainstay on the BBC One soap for 12 years, aside from taking an extended break while Max was wrongly imprisoned and a shorter hiatus after Abi’s on-screen death earlier this year.

EastEnders continues on Monday (April 30) at 8pm on BBC One, when Max once again clashes with Phil Mitchell over his return to Walford.

Digital Spy Soap Scoop video – hit play below for all the latest EastEnders spoilers, as Halfway returns with a secret and Phil lets his guilt show.

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