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Daily Mirror
Daily Mirror
Victoria Johns

EastEnders' Jake Wood looks very different as he shaves off his beard and poses topless

Jake Wood has shaved off his beard in a striking snap in which he poses topless.

The EastEnders ' star, 50, who played Max Branning in the BBC soap, took the pic on holiday as he enjoys a bit of rest and relaxation.

Reading a copy of Scott Mitchell's book written for his late wife Barbara Windsor, Jake appeared completely clean shaven.

Captioning the pic, he wrote: "Been loving remembering beautiful Bar thanks to this wonderful book by my dear friend @scott.mitchell3.

"A love story that recounts their 27 years together (through all the ups and downs) I would recommend you read it very much. So proud of you Scott."

Fans were divided over Jake Wood's new look (Instagram)

Fans loved the tribute to Barbara, but many were unsure about the actor's new look.

One advised: "Bring back the beard. End of."

Another said: "Max Branning looks older here."

While a third said: "Jake looks so different without the beard."

Jake, who hosts the Pound for Pound podcast with retired boxer Spencer Oliver, shaved off his beard and donned some thick-rimmed specs to interview fighting legend Larry Holmes recently.

Gushing about the pair's exchange, the boxing superfan wrote on Instagram : "Just interviewed the legend that is Larry Holmes, the only man to have ever stopped Mohammed Ali. How’s your Saturday going?"

The actor has come a long way since leaving Albert Square where he played womaniser Max Branning.

Jake earned rave reviews for his role in 2.22 Ghost Story in which he starred alongside Lily Allen in London's West End.

Having shot to fame as Max Branning in EastEnders, the star has been involved in some of the show's most explosive storylines.

Fans will remember the character's awkward affair with Stacey Slater - who was dating Max's bewildered son Bradley.

It was this tense triangle which Jake said prompted an outraged OAP to hit him with her handbag in the supermarket.

Jake played Max Branning in EastEnders for 15 years (BBC / Kieron McCarron)

"I got hit by an old woman with her handbag in a supermarket once. She was telling me to leave Stacey alone," Jake told The Sun.

"That was quite funny really. She didn't hit me hard, but I did try and tell her I was there with my family and that I'm not really Max, but I don't think she was listening."

The actor is often asked whether he'll return to EastEnders, but Jake says he's in no hurry to return.

After 15 years in Albert Square, the father of two told the publication: "I don't feel I have to prove anything and I don't want to be working for workings' sake.

"Whether my next move is a Netflix project or a big film, who knows."

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