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EastEnders star Jake Wood has had the tricky job of playing womaniser Max Branning for the past 14 years.
During his time on the square Max has been married four times and had a number of affairs – the most memorable being with his son Bradley Branning’s wife Stacey, which lead to one of the soap’s most iconic Christmas scenes.
And as Jake, who recently opened up on Dame Barbara Windsor memorial plans, prepares to leave the role of Max behind the 48 year old actor has revealed who he thought was Max’s one true love.
Speaking to Digital Spy, he revealed: “I think definitely Tanya. She was the one that he's been with since they were young.
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“She understood him the most I think out of any of them.”
Max arrived on Albert Square with his wife Tanya Branning, played by Jo Joyner, and his daughters Abi and Lauren in 2006.
Their on-off romance was complicated by Max’s adulterous activities. The couple later welcomed a son, Oscar, together but the pair they soon divorced after Stacey and Max's affair was unveiled.
Following their split Tanya had a brief romance with Max’s brother Jack.
But, Tanya could not resist her ex husband and later kisses Max before kindling their romance and becoming engaged again in 2013.
As well as Max and Tanya’s on-off romance, many viewers have been captivated by Max’s relationship with Stacey Slater, which has also been on and off throughout the years.
Jake said of Max and Stacey’s love affair: “Probably the most exciting was Stacey. I think he will always have a connection with Stacey, won't he?
“I thought they might always get back together. I thought that would be interesting, but that never happened.
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“But yeah, looking back, probably Tanya.”
Max’s many relationships has provided Jake and viewers with a number of interesting and gripping storylines over the years, including his romance with Lucy Beale which saw him being framed for her murder in 2015.
Max even went on to have a relationship with the police officer tasked with finding out who killed Lucy, DC Emma Summerhayes.
Looking back at the storylines Jake, who has grown a huge beard after leaving the soap, said: “There have been so many moments over the years. Obviously, all the stuff with Jo Joyner when the characters were getting established – that was all great.
“Also, the story with Bradley and Stacey – look back now and it's kind of iconic, especially, the Christmas episode in 2007.”
Jake added: “Honestly, if I look over 15 years, it's been a crazy roller coaster ride with that character.”
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