EastEnders' Max Branning looks unrecognisable with big bushy beard

EASTENDERS star Jake Wood looked unrecognisable with a big bushy beard.

The 48-year-old actor, who left the soap in February, looked miles apart from his on-screen character Max Branning.

The TV star fashioned a huge beard and told his fans that he's "looking forward" to the future.

In the photo, Jake is wearing the a black t-shirt and shades, as he candidly starred out of the car window.

The actor simply wrote: "Always looking forwards 💪🏼💪🏼❤️❤️."

Jake's new look sent fans into a frenzy, with one writing: "Looking good there Jake."

However other fans demanded that Jake gets rid of the facial hair, posting: "Are you going to have a shave."

Another cheekily joked: "Bring back the clean shave!"

Jake quit the role of Max Branning earlier this year and recently convinced fans that he was joining rival soap Coronation Street after he dropped a huge hint.

He teased his followers as he shared a picture of himself drinking from a Corrie mug.

He wrote alongside the snap and a laughing emoji: “Morning all. Can’t beat a cup of tea first thing.”

While most of his fans suspected he was just winding them up, others were quick to ask if he was making the move to ITV.

One person wrote: “Is that a hint? Are you off to Corrie after leaving eastenders?”

Another asked: “Are you going to the other side?”

And someone else said: “Is that a hint? Are you joining Corrie?”

Jake previously joked with The Sun that he was interested in the Cobbles, when we quizzed him about his next move. 

He said: “Is there a job at Coronation Street I think is the first thing.

“No I think he’s got the invite to go and see Lauren in New Zealand and he’s going to go out there and give it a go. Fresh beginnings.”

The iconic Max has been involved in some memorable storylines over the years and Wood reminisced on his favourite moments from his alter-ego's turbulent time in Walford.

“There’s so many moments over the years, all the stuff with Joy Joyner when the characters were getting established, all that stuff was great,” he said.

Jake also recalled the explosive storyline with Max and his affair with Stacey, which reached boiling point on Christmas Day 2007 when he was exposed in front of the entire Branning family and a disconsolate Tanya.

Jake shared: “All the stuff with Bradley and Stacey, you look back now and it’s iconic stuff, especially that Christmas 2007, that Max and Stacey stuff was amazing to play out.

“If I look back over 15 years it has been a crazy roller-coaster ride with that character, you’re just never sure what he was going to get up to next.

“It’s hard to pick out any particular moment but there’s been so many.”

After a successful career on the BBC serial drama, the 2014 Strictly Come Dancing semi-finalist is looking forward to spending more time with his wife Alison and children, Buster and Amber.

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