Jake Wood

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Jake Wood
Jake Wood.jpg
Wood at the 2011 British Soap Awards
Jake Dylan Wood

(1972-07-12) 12 July 1972 (age 46)
Westminster, London, England
Alma mater Anna Scher Drama School
OccupationActor, Voice-Actor
Years active1984–present
Known for Only Fools and Horses (1989)
Grease Monkeys (2003)
EastEnders (1990, 2006–present)
Strictly Come Dancing (2014)
Spouse(s)Alison Wood [1] (m. 2001)

Jake Dylan Wood (born 12 July 1972 [2] ) is an English actor, best known for his roles as Max Branning in EastEnders , as Rodney Trotter's assistant in Only Fools and Horses , and as Kill Crazy in Red Dwarf . In the United States, he is known as the voice of the GEICO gecko.

Max Branning Fictional character from the British soap opera EastEnders

Max Branning is a fictional character from the BBC soap opera EastEnders, played by Jake Wood. He made his first appearance on 27 June 2006. Wood took a four-month break from the show in 2011 and the character was absent between August and November 2011. Wood took a year long break from the show in 2015, with Max departing on 1 October. He returned on 24 December 2016. Wood took another short break from the show in 2018; Max departed on 16 February and returned on 23 April. It was announced in 2018 that Max would be taking a break from the soap in early 2019. He returned again on 7 May 2019.

<i>EastEnders</i> British soap opera

EastEnders is a British soap opera created by Julia Smith and Tony Holland which has been broadcast on BBC One since 1985. Set in Albert Square in the East End of London in the fictional Borough of Walford, the programme follows the stories of local residents and their families as they go about their daily lives. Initially there were two 30-minute episodes per week, later increasing to three, but since 2001 episodes have been broadcast every weekday apart from Wednesdays.

Rodney Trotter

Rodney Charlton "Rodders" Trotter is a fictional character in the long running BBC sitcom Only Fools and Horses, played by Nicholas Lyndhurst / Ryan Hutton. He was named after Rod Taylor and Charlton Athletic.


Early life

Wood was born in Westminster, London to an English father and a French mother. [2] He trained as an actor at the Anna Scher Drama School in Islington, North London. [1]

Westminster area of central London, within the City of Westminster

Westminster is a government district and former capital of the Kingdom of England in Central London within the City of Westminster, part of the West End, on the north bank of the River Thames. Westminster's concentration of visitor attractions and historic landmarks, one of the highest in London, includes the Palace of Westminster, Buckingham Palace, Westminster Abbey and Westminster Cathedral.

The French are an ethnic group and nation who are identified with the country of France. This connection may be ethnic, legal, historical, or cultural.

The Anna Scher Theatre is a community-based drama school based in Islington, north London. It was founded in 1968 by Anna Scher.


His first acting role was in the 1984 television series The Gentle Touch. [3]

He has since appeared in several television series including May to December , Minder , Only Fools and Horses , Nightingales , Murder in Mind , Press Gang , London's Burning , Sean's Show , Inspector Morse , One Foot in the Grave , Red Dwarf , A Touch of Frost , The Bill , Le Café des Rêves , Sea of Souls Doc Martin , The Thin Blue Line and has appeared in the films Vera Drake (2004), The Aryan Couple (2004), The Illusionist (2006) opposite Edward Norton, and Dad Savage (1998) with Patrick Stewart.

<i>May to December</i> television series

May to December is a British sitcom which ran for 39 episodes, from 2 April 1989 to 27 May 1994 on BBC1. The series was written by Paul Mendelson and produced by Cinema Verity. The series was nominated for the BAFTA award for "Best Television Comedy Series" in 1991, but lost out to The New Statesman.

<i>Minder</i> (TV series) television series

Minder is a British comedy-drama about the London criminal underworld. Initially produced by Verity Lambert, it was made by Euston Films, a subsidiary of Thames Television and shown on ITV. The original show ran for ten series between 29 October 1979 and 10 March 1994. The series was notable for using a range of leading British actors, as well as many up-and-coming performers before they hit the big time; at its peak it was one of ITV's biggest ratings winners.

<i>Only Fools and Horses</i> British television sitcom

Only Fools and Horses is a British television sitcom created and written by John Sullivan. Seven series were originally broadcast on BBC One in the United Kingdom from 1981 to 1991, with sixteen sporadic Christmas specials aired until the end of the show in 2003. Episodes are regularly repeated on UKTV comedy channel Gold and occasionally repeated on Yesterday.

Wood starred in the 1989 Yellow Pages TV Advert, entitled "Party Party" and, until 2015, was the voice of the GEICO gecko advertisements on American television. [4] Wood also featured alongside Cobent CTO and ex-Metal Hammer journalist Tony Dillon as part of a team presenting Click, a computer games magazine on VHS video in the early 1990s.

<i>Metal Hammer</i> periodical literature

Metal Hammer is a monthly heavy metal and rock music magazine, published in the United Kingdom by Future and in several other countries by different publishers. Metal Hammer articles feature both mainstream bands and more unusual acts from the whole spectrum of heavy metal music.

Wood also played the eldest son, Dougie, in sitcom family The Wilsons. [5]

In June 2006, he joined the BBC soap opera EastEnders playing Max Branning. In March 2008, he took paternity leave and re-appeared on screen on 23 June 2008. For his work in EastEnders, he has won awards at the British Soap Awards and Inside Soap Awards.

In 1989, Wood appeared in Only Fools and Horses as an assistant for Rodney Trotter (Nicholas Lyndhurst), in the episode The Jolly Boys' Outing .

In the 8th series of Red Dwarf he played Kill Crazy, a prison inmate.

Wood took part in the 12th series of Strictly Come Dancing . [6] He was partnered with Janette Manrara, reaching the semi-final.

In May 2015, Wood announced that he would be taking a year long break from EastEnders. Wood said "I have been at EastEnders for nine years and I feel the time is right to give Max a break. It won't be for too long as I shall be back next year to see Max face another chapter of drama." [7]

In January 2018, Wood started hosting a new boxing podcast, Pound for Pound, with Spencer Oliver. [8]

Personal life

Wood is a fan of Arsenal [9] and took part in the 2007 Great North Run. [10] He lives with his wife, Alison, whom he married in 2001, and their two children, Buster and Amber. [1]

In January 2019, it was announced that he would be running the London Marathon with some of his EastEnders co-stars for a Dementia campaign in honour of Barbara Windsor. [11]

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June Muriel Brown, is an English actress, known for her role as Dot Cotton in the BBC soap opera EastEnders from 1985 onwards. In 2005, she won Best Actress at the Inside Soap Awards, and in the same year, also received the Lifetime Achievement award at the British Soap Awards. In 2009, she was nominated for the BAFTA TV Award for Best Actress, but lost out to Anna Maxwell Martin. She is only the second performer to receive a BAFTA nomination for their work in a soap opera.

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<i>Rock & Chips</i> British television comedy-drama

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Derek Branning Fictional character from the British soap opera EastEnders

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Carl White

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The Sport Relief special, also referred to as "Beckham in Peckham", was an edition of the BBC sit-com, Only Fools and Horses, recorded as part of the Sport Relief 2014 appeal. It was screened on 21 March 2014. Actors David Jason and Nicholas Lyndhurst reprised their roles as Del Boy and Rodney in the sketch written by Jim Sullivan and Dan Sullivan, which included previously unused material written by their father John Sullivan, who created and wrote every episode of the series. David Beckham guest starred. Beckham was also the person that got in touch with Jim Sullivan, the son of the late Only Fools and Horses creator John Sullivan about doing something for Sport Relief 2014.


  1. 1 2 3 "BBC One – Strictly Come Dancing, Series 12 – Jake Wood". BBC. Retrieved 19 May 2015.
  2. 1 2 "Jake Wood on TV.com". TV.com. Retrieved 8 December 2010.
  3. Appearances Can Be Deceptive on IMDb
  4. Merriman, Rebecca (16 November 2015). "EastEnders' Jake Wood goes on Twitter rant after being AXED after ten years in role". Daily Mirror . Retrieved 14 August 2018.
  5. "The Wilsons Cast and Crew on TV.com". TV.com. Archived from the original on 29 June 2011. Retrieved 6 March 2011.
  6. Daly, Emma (24 August 2014). "Soap stars Jake Wood and Sunetra Sarker sign up for Strictly Come Dancing 2014". Radio Times. Retrieved 22 November 2017.
  7. "Jake Wood to take EastEnders 'break'". BBC. 28 May 2015. Retrieved 29 May 2015.
  8. "InterTalent Rights Group | Pound For Pound" . Retrieved 7 March 2018.
  9. "Football – Lawro's Premier League predictions". BBC. 6 February 2011. Retrieved 6 March 2011.
  10. "BBC – Tyne – Great North Run – GNR 2007: At the finish". BBC . Retrieved 6 March 2011.
  11. "EastEnders stars to run marathon for Dame Barbara Windsor". BBC News . 8 January 2019. Retrieved 8 January 2019.