EastEnders Jake Wood unrecognisable after dramatic transformation amid soap exit

Eastenders star Jake Wood has ditched his clean-shaven exterior, proving that he is leaving character Max Branning well and truly in the past.

The 48-year-old soap star decided to transform his identify and image with his final scene on the BBC programme due to land this month.

As filming has already taken place for his last moment, he has wasted no time at all with revamping himself – if his latest social media image is anything to go by that is.

Taking to his Instagram grid, Jake shared an artist selfie of himself with the camera held from a lower angle in a bid to capture his full facial hair.

Wearing a navy blue woollen hat and with a matching coloured hoody his beard was even more prominent and vibrant against his clothing.

Letting his viewers know he was tracking his transformational process, he simply captioned: "#BeardWatch."

The actor was soon met with a swoon of comments from fans who admired his now image.

One gushed: "Mighty impressive effort sir."

Another added: "This would make a fantastic painting Jake."

A third wrote: "Welcome to the beard club."

While a fourth likened the actor to a Masked Singer UK contestant, penning: "Hello Viking."

We all know that Jake isn't Viking on the ITV singing competition after his character was unmasked this weekend and revealed to be Norwegian A-ha star Morten Harket.

Given Jake had now opted for similar bristles to the lovable character it's no wonder fans were making the comparison.

Back in September, Jake announced that he would be exiting Walford after a 15-year long career as character Max Branning.

Luckily for Jake, Max isn't being killed off so the door is open for him to return at a later date if he should wish to.

At the time he took to the digital platform to announce his exit from the show.

He penned: "I have loved playing Max Branning who amongst other things in that time has had four marriages, ten 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.

"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."

It is believed that Jake has since taken on a new project that will see him take on the role of director.

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