© BBC/Kieron McCarron
|Portrayed by||Jake Wood|
|First Appearance||27th June 2006|
|Date of Birth||10th May 1969|
1. - Steven Beale - Pushed him hard into the corner of a table, later died from an internal haemorrhage.
Total count - 1
Max arrived in Albert Square in 2006 in search of 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 she 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. 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 tells 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 (she does this knowing that Max had a deeply traumatic experience as a child where his Father left him in a coffin and made him think he'd been buried alive).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'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 Max's 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 attacked he 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 agrees to tell no one about Archie's murder.
2010-2016In 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. Meanwhile Max and Tanya begin an affair behind Vannessa and Greg's (Tanya's husband) backs. 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.
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 (unknown to him it was in fact Bobby Beale) and it leads 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 taken away by prison guards.
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.
Max returns briefly after being released to return a letter delivered to him by Stacey but from Lauren and Abi. Lauren chases after his car but Max ignores her. He returns at Christmas after saving Stacey & Martin's Christmas by sending a turkey to them.
Max initially acts as though he has forgiven all those who wronged him and forgives Ian, Jane & Phil. He doesn't drink or smoke any longer but it's quickly established when he visits Phil Mitchell that Max is self-harming by burning cigarettes against his arm.
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 run 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 Max suggests he sell the freehold of the pub to the company he works for, Grafton Hill, who will pay the expenses. Sophie 'Fi' Browning (Willmott-Brown) is "assigned" to the pub, and pretends to help the Carters. Shirley is always suspicious of Sophie.
Max manipulates Steven, Lauren's boyfriend, into helping him when he finds out Steven is lying about having a brain tumour to Lauren. In his bid for revenge on Jane, who deliberately covered up Lucy's murder and was the one who moved the body to save Bobby, Max gets Steven to start a fire at Beale's. Jane is inside, alone and helpless. Steven wants to save her but Max intervenes. He pushes Steven out and he hits the corner of a table, later causing a fatal bleed. Jane pleads with Max but he leaves her inside the burning building to die. The fire crew get her out and she is in a serious condition for a while. When she recovers, Max is there. He tells her that she has to leave Ian and the Square. She pleads with Max to stop this and he admits he couldn't stop things now even if he wanted too. He also threatens Bobby with a video showing that someone can get to Bobby if she doesn't do as he says. Jane leaves but leaves a voicemail for Stacey, who has her phone stolen from her.
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 Fi. When she catches Max going through her paperwork he says he was looking for a lighter and reveals he has been self-harming when he doesn't feel in control of situations.
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 to retrieve it, she puts it back and smiles. Later that day, in the Vic, he kisses Sophie in front of almost the entire Square, including Carmel and his own family. The remainder of the Willmott-Brown family enters and reveal to everyone that Weyland&Co own Grafton Hill. 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 realises he has been betrayed and sits in the pub. Concerned for him, Stacey encourages Jack to get Max out. after the Carters and Ian confront him, Jack tells him it is time to go home. He takes Max home, however just before they leave, Kush enters and punches him. Back at Jack's, Max lights the cigar that James gave him and unbuttons the cuff of his sleeve, revealing his burnt arm. He's about to burn himself when Jack catches and stops him.
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.
Abi and Lauren go to Jack's house and demand the truth. Max tells them he did it for the money. Lauren reveals to Max that Abi is pregnant with Steven's baby. Lauren becomes suspicious of what Max actually knows and he admits he knows Abi was pregnant but didn't want to ruin things for Lauren either. Stacey comes to see how Max is and Lauren and Abi take some of their anger out on her. When she goes to leave, Max stops her at the door and she tells Max he's still her mate. Once Stacey has left, Lauren reveals she has Weyland's copy of the contract, given to her by Josh because they were always going to betray Max and he didn't think it was right. She tells Max he can have it if he tells her the truth and he continues that it was for the money. When Lauren gives up and says she can have the money but she won't have him and gives him the contract he tells her he doesn't care about the money. She doesn't believe him so he burns the contract and tells her he did it for revenge. Lauren rejects Max after he breaks down about his childhood and storms out. Abi tries to console Max but he tells her she's disgusting and tells her to go. She runs off and Jack asks Max what's happened to him. Max says his family is wrecked there's nothing left of them before he goes to the bathroom wanting to burn himself. He's out of cigarettes so smashes his head into Jack's mirror instead.
Jack finds out that Max made Charlie Cotton take Matthew away and no amount of talking from Max can stop Jack from throwing him out. Completely isolated, Max goes away for a couple of days before coming back in a manic state, intent on killing Ian Beale.
Breaking into Ian's while he's out, Max waits for Ian to return and threatens him with a knife, Max isn't making complete sense and is clearly disturbed. When Ian seems to calm Max down before he hits him around the head with a pan. Ian tries to escape but Max grabs him and pulls him back inside the house. Max uses the fairy lights and starts to strangle Ian with them, only stopping when Lauren enters and begs for him to stop. Lauren tries to calm Max down but he's intent on getting revenge and moves on to Phil. Stacey is begged by Lauren to try and stop Max and she follows him to Phil's where he kicks the door in but Stacey won't let him go in. She calms him down and eventually talks him round to coming back to hers. She fixes his head, makes him tea and tells him he can stay the night. They share a moment after she comforts him in his distressed state.
Martin doesn't want Max with them over Christmas, stating that Max had turned into 'a complete psycho'. Stacey asks Max if he can go so they can have a proper family Christmas and he says that it's fine. She's concerned that he has nowhere to stay and he says he'll be fine. He tries to make things up with Lauren and Abi but they reject him again. Manipulating Stacey into coming back to her house alone, Max seduces her and they have sex on Christmas Eve.
On Christmas Day Max takes presents to his daughters. Lauren insists that Max needs help. He says he's fine. Abi comes and shares Christmas dinner with her Dad at the Fowler's.
After Christmas dinner, Stacey tells Max she feels the same as Max and they kiss. Afterwards, Max notices the messages from Jane on her phone and tries to delete them, but the phone has frozen.
Tanya walks into the kitchen just after Stacey and Max have finished kissing.Stacey leaves them to talk but returns to collect nappies in the middle of their conversation. Tanya asks her how she can even have him staying in her house, and Stacey says he is a friend. Tanya guesses they are having an affair again, which they deny. Tanya tells Stacey that Max killed Steven, which the entire Fowler household and Abi overhear. Tanya takes Abi and Stacey screams for Max to leave, which he does.
Abi goes to tell Lauren, Ian and Kathy that Max killed Steven. Ian attacks Max and they scuffle in the streets. Lauren breaks them up and gets Ian inside. Lauren and Abi tell Max to go. With his daughter's rejecting him, Max makes one last attempt to win back Stacey. he admits to her that in prison he attempted suicide and he's just felt disappointed ever since then. Stacy can't forgive Max for lying to her though and she tells him that Tanya's right that he is poison and it should have been him who fell off the roof of The Vic, not Bradley.
After hearing Abi's confession about Max killing Steven, Kathy goes and tells Phil to end it. He takes a gun and heads out to find Max. Getting to the garden just after Stacey has left, he starts fighting with Max. He throws Max around a bit, who does nothing to defend himself and Max smirks when Phil pulls a gun, telling Phil to kill him and struggling with him as he tries to force Phil into killing him. Phil manages to overpower Max and refuses to shoot him, instead leaving Max alone.
Seeing nothing else left for him, Max heads to the roof of the Vic. as he stands on the edge, Abi spots Max and calls out to him. Stacey hears Lauren and Abi shouting and heads outside as well. Lauren and Abi head to the roof to stop Max and while Stacey tells him not to do it. Abi climbs over the wall onto the ledge with her Dad saying she they weren't going in without him and encourages Lauren to also step up, which she does. Max agrees to come down but Lauren stumbles and grabs Abi and both girls fall off the roof. Stacey, Tanya and Max who all witness the fall are all in shock. Mick comes out and calls the police and Sonia arrives and helps the girls.
When the police arrive on the scene, Max is arrested on suspicion of GBH. He initially refuses to go, but Stacey convinces him to assist.
A prison doctor takes photos of Max's bruised body and asks him questions about his mental health. Max denies any mental health issues, and repeatedly asks for news of Lauren and Abi. DI Fuller is waiting outside, and the doctor tells him that Max is fit to be questioned. Meanwhile, when PC Gregg questioning members of the public, Sharon Mitchell calls him "homicidal", "out of his mind" and a "loose cannon". Others in the pub discuss the situation with Karen Taylor saying he has "shifty eyes" and "wouldn't trust him" and Billy Mitchell calls him a "psycho". Keegan, at the Vic with his family, is annoyed at the judgement and leaves.
Max is provided with a duty solicitor, and they argue over what to say when they ask why he was on the roof. They opt for "no comment" when the solicitor informs him the charge could become murder.
Questioning begins. Fuller asks Max why he was on the roof of the Queen Victoria. Max replies with "no comment". Fuller asks Max why his daughters were on the roof. Max, again, replies with "no comment". Fuller asks him to describe his relationship with his daughters. Yet again, Max replies with "no comment". Fuller asks if Max is a good father, to which the solicitor asks where the conversation is going. Fuller moves on and asks Max if he was in an argument with his daughters. Max, for the fourth time, replies with " no comment". Fuller asks if Max lost his temper, not realising how close to the edge his daughters were. Max replies with "no comment". Fuller asks if Max realised what could have happened, given the conditions. For the sixth time, Max replies with "no comment". The interview is interrupted by a colleague bearing a note. She hands the note to Fuller. Max asks what it is, and Fuller ends the interview. After Fuller's assistant and the solicitor have left, Max asks Fuller what was in the note. Fuller replies with "Maybe it wasn't heat of the moment, maybe that was too sympathetic. You knew exactly what you were doing when you lured them up to the roof. Did you have reason to want your daughters dead, Mr Branning?" Max asks what he is talking about when he says dead, and asks a second time what is in the note. Fuller smiles and replies with "no comment". Max says he will tell Fuller what happened if Fuller tells Max how Abi and Lauren are. Fuller agrees and tells Max to go first. He asks Max why he was on the roof.
Later, Fuller can be seen telling Max that he has given him all the information he has, suggesting Max told him what really happened and Fuller told him about Abi and Lauren. Max tells Fuller that he needs to get out of the police station. Fuller asks Max why he denied he was suicidal - Max tells him it was because he thought they would section him and he wouldn't be able to see Lauren and Abi. The same policewoman who handed Fuller the note calls Fuller out of the interview room.
When Fuller returns, he repeats every word the members of Albert Square used to describe him. DI Fuller continues to hammer him into telling the truth. The solicitor and assistant re-enter and the interview rebegins. Fuller asks Max if he is guilty of causing GBH. Max replies no. Fuller is called out, yet again.
Fuller re-enters with video footage recorded by Keegan of Lauren and Abi's fall, proving that Max didn't push them from the roof. Max leaves and heads straight to the hospital.
Initially seeing Max, Tanya breaks down and they hug, she then rejects him before a nurse interrupts and says she has news about their daughter. At the hospital, Max and Tanya find out that Abi is brain stem dead.
A furious Cora arrives and slaps Max at the hospital. The doctors tell Max they have to deliver the baby in case Abi has a heart attack which will put the baby at risk.
Fi gives Max the papers to a number of businesses Weyland’s own on the Square as a way to make up all that he has been through at the hands of her family. Max has the community centre, the launderettes, the chip shop, the car lot and R&R. he sells them all back except the R&R and the car lot. He tells Cora he will sell them and use the money to get Abi the best care he can.
At the end of the episode, Max drops all the papers to the properties in the car park of the hospital as he struggles with the reality of Abi's situation.
Max's 2018 kicks off with him waking up in his car.
When Max goes to R&R on New Year's Day he finds Jack inside drinking to the memory of Ronnie on the anniversary of her death. Max is the only one who has remembered. Max gives Jack the R&R back for nothing. Jack asks about the girls and Max says Lauren and the baby are doing well. When Jack asks about Abi, Max breaks down about her prognosis.
Martin thumps Max for Carmel as a bit of payback for what he did to her. Martin briefly confronts Max about if Stacey is with him which he denies and he tells Martin to forget it happened.
Max tells Lauren that Abi is going to be fine but Lauren is distraught when she goes to see her for herself and slaps her Dad for lying. Ian mentions to Sonia that Max needs help. Jack attempts to get Max to see Abi’s situation how it really is.
Jack tries to get Max to talk to him but fails to get through. Max goes to the cafe and see’s a collection for Abi that says ‘In memory of Abi Branning’ and is upset as she’s not dead. He also gets a court order to stop the doctors from turning off Abi’s life support.
Sonia and Jack talk about the fact that Max is in denial. Jack asks Ian to talk to Max, hoping that his own experience of losing Lucy will help Max to let go of Abi.
Jack comes down to find Max at the computer, not having slept all night. Jack tells him he’s going to make himself sick. Max has researched about stem cells and plans to take Abi to America for treatment. Lauren gets angry with Max tells her Dad that he killed Abi.
Fearing that the Doctors are going to go against his wishes and turn off Abi’s machine, Max barricades himself in Abi’s room. When the nurse says to Lauren that if the doctor thinks Max is a danger to himself security will be called. Lauren says that he just hasn’t slept and calls Jack. When Jack fails to talk Max round, security is called. Lauren worries that Max will do something stupid if security tries and break in. The nurse eventually calms Max enough and he removes the blockade in front of the door.
Back at Jack’s, Max has been drinking himself into a stupor. Jack asks if Max is trying to drink himself to death. Jay brings over a package for Abi- a cot she ordered for her baby before Christmas. Max decides to build the cot rather than visit Abi with Lauren. Once he’s completed the cot, Max becomes angry and smashes it up before Jack comes in and consoles him. Dot talks to Max about getting the chance to say goodbye to Abi. Max finally is ready to accept that Abi’s machine needs to be switched off.
Max & Lauren prepare for Abi’s machine to be switched off. They go to her flat to get some bits for her when Max tries to find a pink bunny he got her as a baby. Dot has it and brings it when she visits. When Rainie and Cora arrive, Cora tells Max Tanya wants Max to say goodbye and leave, which he does despite protests from Lauren and Jack that it’s unfair to Max.
Max goes to the hospital chapel, where Tanya is waiting for him to leave. She calls him a coward for trying to commit suicide and says that he killed Abi. She goes to say her own goodbye to Abi but once she see’s the bunny Max had placed in Abi’s hand, she asks someone to get Max. Jack goes and finds his brother and he is there as they switch off Abi's machine at 8.32pm, the same time she was born.
The week of Abi's funeral, Max is lied to by his family about the funeral already taking place without him. This sends Max into a drunken depression. Desperate to at least visit his daughter's grave, Max is stopped by Jay and Mick from driving drunk. After a few harsh truths from Mick, Max goes to Lauren and says he's going to go away for a while but asks her about the funeral. when she's unable to tell him anything other than basics, Max realises she's been lying to him and the funeral hasn't happened.
Lauren confesses the funeral hasn't happened and that Tanya won't go if he does. Jay takes pity on Max and invites him back to his flat and talks to him. Jay tells Max that Abi loved him and that she would want him there. On the day of the funeral, Max goes to the hearse when it arrives. Cora tells Max it should have been him in that coffin. He agrees. Max heads back across the Square as the others go to leave for the funeral.
At the church, Cora tells Jack that Max is probably plotting revenge for being denied his right to say goodbye to Abi. She mentions Abi's baby and Jack leaves to go and find Max during the funeral. At the hospital, Jack finds Baby Branning missing and assumes Max has taken her. Max walks in with the baby and said he had been registering the baby's name. He then leaves the hospital as the funeral is almost over. Max arrives once the service has finished and Jay lets Max have some time to say his own goodbye. He reads a poem and puts a framed picture of Abi's baby on the coffin. Lauren comes in and tells her Dad she's going to leave. He hugs her and tells her to be happy. They both leave the church.
Max goes back to the hospital where Jack is still with the baby. It's revealed that Max has named the babi Abi, after her Mum.
Max's Character Trailer