Jake Wood has said he is excited about “new horizons” after announcing he is quitting EastEnders.
Earlier this week it was disclosed that the actor, who plays Max Branning, is leaving the soap after 15 years.
He thanked people for the “love and support” they have shown him.
“I have loved playing Max Branning, who amongst other things in that time has had four marriages, 10 affairs, four children (two 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,” Wood wrote on Instagram.
“I have made some truly great friends whilst on the show and I’ll miss everyone there.”
He said he is “grateful” that the door has been “left open” for his character.
Wood added that he is “excited to see what new horizons are around the corner”.
Earlier this week EastEnders executive producer Jon Sen called Wood a “truly wonderful actor” who the soap “have been extremely lucky” to have 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,” he added.
A soap source also previously said the character “will not be departing Walford quietly”.
“Everyone will be sad to see Jake go as he is not only a great person to have on set but he’s also a fantastic actor,” they added.