EastEnders actor Jake Wood, who plays Max Branning, will be taking a year long break from the flagship BBC soap.
Wood has played Max Branning for nine years and will be leaving Albert Square in the coming months.
However, fans don’t need to worry as Wood has already signed his return contract, securing his future in EastEnders.
“I’ve been at EastEnders for nine years and I feel the time is right to give Max a break,” Wood explained.
“But it won’t be for too long as I shall be back to see Max face another chapter of drama.”
Jake Wood with his on screen daughter Lorna Fitzgerlad, who plays Abi.
The Walford love rat will leave Albert Square after he is put in an ‘untenable situation’ which he won’t be able to escape, this summer on BBC One.
EastEnders’ executive producer, Dominic Treadwell-Collins, said: “When I returned to EastEnders [in July 2013], both Jake and I agreed that Max has been through so much over the past 9 years that we would give both him and Jake a break when the opportunity arose.
“That opportunity has come and it is the perfect time to send Max Branning out with a bang that will send ripples through the Square for the rest of the year until Jake returns.”