Max Branning
Max Branning ( March 2017)
© BBC/Kieron McCarron
Portrayed by Jake Wood
Gender Male Male
First Appearance 27th June 2006
Duration 2006–2015, 2016-
Address Unknown
Status Alive
Age 48
Date of Birth 10 May 1969
Occupation Ex Prisoner
Classification present; regular
WifeRachel Branning (1987–1993)
Tanya Cross (1994–2010)
Kirsty Branning (2011–2014)
RomancesStacey Branning (2006-07)
Sophie Willmott-Brown (2017-)
SonsBradley Branning
Oscar Branning
DaughtersLauren Branning
Abi Branning
FatherJim Branning
MotherReenie Branning
StepmotherDot Branning
GrandsonsLouie Beale
BrothersDerek Branning
Jack Branning
SistersApril Branning
Carol Jackson
Suzy Branning
NephewsRobbie Jackson
Billie Jackson
Joey Branning
Ricky Mitchell
NiecesBianca Butcher
Sonia Fowler
Alice Branning
Amy Mitchell
Great-nephewsLiam Butcher
Morgan Butcher
Sami Jackson
Great-niecesNatasha Butcher
Tiffany Butcher
Bex Fowler
Maxwell "Max" Branning made his first appearance 27 June 2006. He is portrayed by Jake Wood. He then departed in 2015 after the square thought he murdered Lucy Beale, only to return at Christmas the following year.


When Max was 9 years old, Max answered back his father Jim back after he gave him a slap. He was locked in the cellar in the dark while his brother Jack and the rest of the family were upstairs eating their dinner and having a laughing.



Max arrived in Albert Square in 2006 in search for the son he abandoned years previously. he was reunited with his father and finally got to meet his long lost son, Bradley.

Max then buys a house on the square much to Jim Branning's disgust and begins moving his family into Walford


Max thinks Bradley is too good for his girlfriend Stacey Slater, and when gets pregnant, he gives Bradley money for an abortion, telling him a baby will ruin his life. However, the abortion causes their relationship to end. To hurt Bradley, Stacey makes a move on Max and they have sex. They begin an affair, but Tanya tells Max she is pregnant by him. He tries to save his marriage despite promising Stacey that he will leave Tanya. Tanya confides in Stacey that she is pregnant, so Stacey gives Max an ultimatum: either he tell Tanya the truth or she will. Within thirty minutes, Max takes his family to Spain, and a few weeks later tells Bradley they are moving there permanently.

Max returns with his family as he wants to be with Stacey, only to find that she and Bradley have reconciled and are now engaged. Stacey rejects Max's advances. On the night of Bradley and Stacey's wedding, Max kisses Stacey, and although she rejects him again, Max's daughter Lauren captures the kiss on video. Soon after, Tanya and Max's son Oscar is born.

Max and Stacey then continue with their families until Christmas Eve when they are caught in the act by Max's eldest daughter Lauren, who catches Max trying to make a move on Stacey on her wedding day. The Branning's and the Slater's then gather for Christmas Day, unaware of what Lauren is planning to expose. Max and Stacey's affair is finally revealed to the whole family when they find the DVD that is under the Christmas tree. The family then play the DVD, although Lauren does try and stop them, and discover this dirty secret. This causes a lot of fights within the two families and Max and Stacey find themselves outcasts.

Tanya files for divorce, but it is messy, with Max interfering with her romance with Sean Slater and threatening to expose her as an unfit mother. Having had enough of Max, Tanya works with Sean, and drugs Max and puts him in a coffin before burying him alive in the woods. An attack of conscience prompts Tanya to dig Max up and after a brief scuffle in which he tries to strangle her, he decides to leave Walford as he can see how much devastation he had caused.
Max branning gallery 07

Max's departure drives Tanya and the kids to his brother Jack, who begins to take Max's place as the father of the family. Everyone accepts Jack over Max, except Maxs youngest daughter Abi who secretly brings her Dad back to Walford.

Max returns in 2008 and sets out to break Jack and Tanya's relationship, causing many confrontations within the Branning family. He also tries to rekindle his romance with Stacey and tries to salvage something from his relationship with his Father and siblings.

Max starts making people's life a living hell. He framed his brother Jack for a crime he did not commit, he threatens to take the kids off Tanya, he ruins his fathers birthday and he drives his kids into the arms of Jack.

Discovering he was the one who framed him for robbery, Jack abducts Max and beats him up, after which, Max and Tanya kiss. Later that evening he is the victim of a deliberate hit-and-run, which Tanya confesses to and is arrested. However, Lauren later admits that she was driving the car and turns herself in to the police. She reveals she tried to kill Max because he 

Max branning gallery 05
attacked her boyfriend, Peter Beale and forced him to end their relationship. Tanya is released and Lauren is taken into care. Lauren is found not guilty of attempted murder, but guilty of grievous bodily harm, and she decides to return home.

Max and Tanya start a secret relationship, and Tanya later allows Max to move back with his family. Max gets into debt and starts conning people with false insurance claims, including Phil Mitchell, Heather Trott, Ian Beale and Masood Ahmed. However his dodgy schemes are found out, and after failing to con his ex-wife Rachel out of money, the debt collectors arrive at the house and take his assets. Once the extent of Max's debts, lies and cons become clear, Tanya resolves to leave him. She gets in the car to go but Abi refuses, saying they need to stick together, so Tanya leaves with Lauren and Oscar. Sinking into depression after losing his family, Max then sends Abi to live with her mother, as he cannot look after her.

Max and Bradley decide to go into business together, and Roxy Mitchell rents the car lot to them. After Archie's murder on Christmas Day 2009, Max discovers that Bradley punched Archie because he raped and impregnated Stacey. When the police come for Bradley, Max helps him flee with Stacey, but the police chase Bradley to a rooftop where he stumbles and falls to his death. As Max and Stacey cry, she admits to him that she killed Archie. Falling into a deep depression, Max's sister Carol moves in to help out. Max then has a brief fling with Stacey's friend, Becca Swanson. Stacey has gone missing, but Max follows Becca one day who leads him to Stacey. After an emotional confrontation, Max takes Stacey home, and the pair agree to tell no one about Archie's murder.


In June 2010 Vanessa Gold buys a car from Max. They begin an affair and after solving problems with her ex husband Harry and going back and forward with their affair they plan to get married. It's going to be a double wedding with Vanessa her daughter Jody and her fiancé Darren Miller. Mean while Max and Tanya begin an affair behind Vannessa and Greg their back. The affair is revealed and Vanessa trashes Max his place in fury. Carol and Jack throw Vanessa out because Tanya and the kids need a place to live now Greg knows about the affair.

Vanessa ends her affair with Max in order to save her daughter Jodie's relationship with Darren, as Jodie plans to break up with Darren because she feels she is betraying her father every time she sees Vanessa with Max. When she returns the next day to collect some clothes, Max and Vanessa kiss but she stops it. Lauren turns up at Max's unannounced, and Tanya follows, revealing that Lauren was expelled from school in America for smoking drugs. The next day Max upsets Abi by joking to Darren that Abi must fancy her, not realising she really does, and Lauren by trying to get involved in her personal life. Tanya arrives to speak to Lauren, and realises Max is heartbroken about Vanessa. She later visits Vanessa and convinces her to take Max back, which she does. Max then comforts Carol after the death of her son Billie. After Billie's funeral, Lauren is angry at Max for not talking about Bradley, saying that Max is wrong for calling him a decent man, so Max tells her he did not kill Archie. Lauren thinks he must know who did so she visits Jack and tells him what Max said. Jack says Max is just protecting her and probably cannot accept that Bradley is a killer. At a party, Max angrily confronts Jay Brown after he makes sexual remarks to Lauren. Max discovers that Harry has been putting nude pictures of Vanessa around Walford and vows revenge but Vanessa stops him, telling him that Harry is not Jodie's real father.

Harry starts taking revenge by throwing a brick through their window, destroying Vanessa's clothes and killing Jodie's cat. Max and Jack threaten Harry, thinking it is over, but Jack is grabbed by two men the night before his wedding to Ronnie, and Max finds him the next day in the boot of his car. Lauren concludes that Max killed Archie, because he has been displaying violent behaviour, but Max tells her that he made a promise to the killer to protect them. After Stacey tells Lauren that Max is looking after her, Lauren tells Max that she has worked out that Stacey is the killer. Max is a sex man and all he wants is sex

In July 2015 after Ben Mitchell had been arrested for Lucy's murder Max's daughter, Abi Branning confronted the police saying she believes Max killed Lucy. Whilst searching his house DI Keeble discover blood on Max's shoes which was later identified as Lucy's. At his trial Max protests he is innocent and after the trial he phones Stacey Branning claiming he knows who killed Lucy (beknown to him it was in fact Bobby Beale) it led to a fight in the square between Stacey and Abi. In August 2015 Abi confessed to Max's sister, Carol Branning that she and Max had cleaned the garage the day after Lucy was killed. Abi informed the police who once again identified as Lucy's. Meanwhile Max is beaten up in prison by a gang of thug's. Later that day Carol visits Max in prison she say's she believes Max did kill Lucy and again he protests his innocence. He is then dragged away prison guard's.

In 2015 Ian Beale told police that Lucy who was killed in 2014 that max had killed her after phil Mitchell took hostage of Jane Beale and said that if she did not do things he would tell the police that bobby killed Lucy which was true.

Max was found guilty of Lucy's murder and was sentenced to 21 years in prison - 20 after being wrongfully charged for the murder of Lucy Beale and one year for escaping Royal custody after being found guilty. He was later released in June 2016 after Bobby Beale confessed to the police that he killed Lucy.

In late 2016 Max returned to walford after being released from prison knowing that the square might hate him but is he planning revenge or will he get better.


When Max returns to Walford, he is hell-bent on revenge after half the Square helped throw him into jail. He becomes involved in a plot ran by the Willmott-Brown family (of which Kathy Beale's rapist James Willmott-Brown is the patriarch of) to demolish the Square and replace it with luxury tower blocks.

In August 2017, he is present for Luke Willmott-Brown's prison release party. Mick Carter runs into some money troubles with his and wife Linda Carter's pub, so his "friend" Max Branning suggests he sell the freehold of the pub to his company Grafton Hill, who will pay the expenses. Sophie Willmott-Brown is "assigned" to the pub, and pretends to help the Carters. Shirley is always suspicious of Sophie.

In September 2017, after forcing Steven Beale to set fire to his fathers restaraunt Beale's, he throws Steven into the corner of the table, and he later dies of his injuries. Max later confronts a helpless Jane Beale who was trapped in the wreakage. He talks down to her, and leaves her, but she is rescued and taken to hospital. She is fine after a few weeks in hospital, but Max forces her to leave Walford so as not to risk the plot being leaked. He begins a relationship with Carmel Kazemi upon the Willmott-Brown family's request, as she is part of the planning department at the council and she would be useful for insider information. Carmel doesn't know he is in a relationship with Sophie.

In November 2017, Max tells Lauren about the scheme, to which she is not keen on, but warms to it after being told by Max that Weyland&Co are offering a huge discount to a penthouse in the new property. Later that day, when Max is talking to James, she storms over to them saying she will not let it happen, but stops after James lies to her that the project has been moved to a new location.

In December 2017, Carmel finds an engagement ring which Max had dropped on the sofa the day before. When Max comes later, obviously to retrieve it, she puts it back and smiles, Max not knowing she had seen it. Later that day, in the Queen Victoria, he kisses Sophie in front of almost the entire Square, including Carmel and his own family. The remainder of the Willmott-Brown family enter, and reveal to everyone that Weyland&Co own Grafton Hill, and as a result the pub, much to Kathy's horror. After this, Max proposes to Sophie. He only holds the box out, and James (Sophie's father), tells him to get down on one knee and ask properly. He asks properly, but doesn't get on a knee. She starts shaking her head and stutters Max's name. James starts laughing, and Max asks him what is going on. James tells him he has been useful, but all good things come to an end. He shows him a cheque for 350,000 pounds payable to Max, and throws it in the fireplace. The Willmott-Brown family are thrown out of the pub by the Carters. Max sits by the fireplace, staring at the burning cheque. Jack tells him it is time to go home, and fends off the angry public. He takes Max home, however just before they leave, Kush enters and punches him. Jack pushes him away, and ushers Max home. Max is later seen burning himself with a cigarette, and Jack realises and stops him from doing it a second time.

Max later tells Jack that him being fired was just a "misunderstanding". During the fallout, Luke asks Ingrid Solberg if she knows Max Branning, and she takes him to the Branning residence. Luke dumps the contents of Max's desk at Weyland&Co on his doorstep, and Max grabs him by the collar, but Jack stops him and throws Luke out. Later, Luke drops off Max's stuff from Sophie's flat. Max is devastated, and complains about his mess of a life to Jack, whilst Jack asks about what happened.

Abi and Lauren go to Max's house, and demand the truth. He gives it to them, and they are horrified. Lauren shows him the contract Josh gave her, and holds a lighter near it. Max tells her it is worth a lot of money, and she says she doesn't care, as long as he tells her the truth. Max tells her he did, and then Abi runs over to him and tells Lauren to back off. Lauren tells Jack and Max about Abi's baby, to her horror. However, Max already knows, and Abi and Lauren are annoyed. Max won't tell them why, so Lauren threatens to burn the contract. He doesn't tell them the truth. Lauren asks why he did it, and he says it was for the money, but Lauren thinks there is more to it. She throws the contract at him, and she shouts. He rips the paper up and says it was for revenge. Lauren is shocked. Stacey comes over, and Lauren shouts at her until she leaves, followed by Lauren and Abi.

Max's Character Trailer

Max Branning EastEnders BBC One00:52

Max Branning EastEnders BBC One


Abi Branning | Amy Mitchell | | Ben Mitchell | Bex Fowler | Billy Mitchell | Carmel Kazemi | | Denise Fox | Dennis Rickman Jnr | Donna Yates | Dot Branning | Ian Beale | Jack Branning | Jane Beale | Janet Mitchell | Jay Mitchell | Jill Marsden | Kathy Beale | Khoroush Kazemi (Kush) | Kim Fox-Hubbard | Lady Di | Lily Branning | Linda Carter | Louise Mitchell | Martin Fowler | Matthew Mitchell-Cotton | Mick Carter | Patrick Trueman | Pearl Fox | Phil Mitchell | Ollie Carter | Ritchie Scott | Sharon Mitchell | Shirley Carter | Sonia Jackson | Stacey Branning |Tina Carter | Vincent Hubbard | Whitney Dean  | Johnny Carter | Honey Mitchell | Max Branning | Steven Beale | Lauren Branning
Helen | Jo | Marie Evans | Sarah | Shrimp | Tracey | Winston 
Characters (Selected)
Peggy Mitchell | Kat Moon | Alfie Moon | Sean Slater | Ryan Malloy | Jean Slater | Charlie Slater | Danny Pennant | Zainab Khan | Andrew Cotton | Yvonne Cotton | Glenda Mitchell | Carol Jackson | Charlie Cotton | Cindy Williams Jnr | Liam Butcher | Lola Pearce | Arthur Chubb (Fatboy) | Shabnam Kazemi | Cora Cross | Lee Carter | Babe Smith | Pam Coker | Les Coker | Claudette Hubbard | Preston Cooper
Characters (Selected)
Pat Evans | Stan Carter | Archie Mitchell | Nana Moon | Lou Beale | Tiffany Mitchell | Lucy Beale | Nick Cotton | Carl White | Bradley Branning | Pauline Fowler | Arthur Chubb (Fatboy) | Ronnie Mitchell  | Roxy Mitchell   | Sylvie Carter  | Paul Coker
Actors Danny Dyer | Shane Richie | Adam Woodyatt | Steve McFadden | Mike Reid | Thomas Law | Neil McDermott | Charlie Clements | John Bardon | John Altman | Peter Dean | Perry Fenwick
Actresses Barbara Windsor | Laurie Brett | Lacey Turner | Anita Dobson | Jacqueline Jossa | Rita Simons | Samantha Womack | Tameka Empson | Wendy Richard | Anna Karen

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