EastEnders star Jake Wood bags his first directing role after leaving the soap

EASTENDERS star Jake Wood has bagged his first role as a director after leaving the soap.

The 48-year-old star is best known for playing Max Branning in the BBC One soap, but he will be bowing out of Walford in the coming months.

And Jake has wasted no time in getting to grips with his next project, sharing his excitement as being behind the camera for a change.

Taking to his Instagram page, the actor shared a photo of himself proudly smiling as he holds up the slate board for a top secret project.

Jake is wrapped up warm in a beanie hat, jacket, and scarf – and his name is clearly on display next to the director prompt.

Another photo showed an actress wearing a face mask on camera, plus one of an actor.

The final snap showed filming underway outside of a greengrocers set, with two men setting up the camera.

Jake captioned the post: "Absolutely buzzing to be directing a very exciting project. All will be revealed soon peeps 🙌🏼❤️"

In September, it was confirmed that the TV favourite was leaving EastEnders after 15 years on the Square.

However, the star confirmed that he wouldn't be killed off, telling fans at the time: "I have loved playing Max Branning who amongst other things in that time has had 4 marriages, 10 affairs, 4 children (2 dying from falling from the roof of The Queen Vic), been buried alive, watched unwanted DVDs at Xmas and perhaps most traumatising of all…shared a hot tub with Ian Beale.

"I have made some truly great friends whilst on the show and I’ll miss everyone there. I’m grateful they have left the door open for Max and I’m excited to see what new horizons are around the corner."

Executive producer Jon Sen previously said in a statement about Jake's departure: "Jake is a truly wonderful actor and EastEnders have been extremely lucky to have him for so long.

"We have a big storyline for Max that starts in the coming weeks and we are all very excited to see that play out."

Jake is just one of several EastEnders characters to be leaving Walford, with Adam Woodyatt also confirmed to be taking an extended break from his role of Ian Beale after 35 years.

Lacey Turner will also be leaving for maternity leave, while Davood Ghadami and Luisa Bradshaw-White's exits will be shown on screens imminently.

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