EastEnders fans are convinced Max Branning (Jake Wood) will return in the near future.
The Walford womaniser hasn’t been seen on screen since February 2021 when his failed romance Linda Carter (Kellie Bright) left him feeling he had nothing left in Albert Square. He fled to Croatia with his granddaughter Abi Branning by his side.
However, it has since been mentioned that Max had been spending time with his daughter Lauren Branning (Jacqueline Jossa) in New Zealand but he ended up having an affair with her friend so left.
It has been confirmed that actress Jacqueline Jossa is returning to EastEnders as Lauren and the announcement has left fans wondering if it means Max will also be making a comeback.
Former car salesman Max is also yet to discover he has fathered a daughter with Linda during their fling three years ago. When Lauren returns to the Square it’s unknown if she will discover she has a young sister called Annie, but the news could pull her dad back to Walford.
Cindy Beale (Michelle Collins) could also be linked to Max’s potential return as the pair share the same granddaughter, Abi. The little girl is the daughter of Abi Branning (Lorna Fitzgerald) who died in 2018, and Cindy’s son Steven Beale (Aaron Sidwell), who died in 2017.
She has already fallen out with two of her daughters and two of her other children have sadly passed away so will she be determined to form a bond with little Abi and fight for custody of her grandchild? EastEnders fans have since rushed to social media to predict Max’s comeback as Lauren and Cindy will both be in the Square, along with his estranged daughter Annie Carter.
Taking to X, formerly known as Twitter, one fan said of Lauren’s return: “I saw this coming especially after her scenes in the Beale focused Episode and at Dot’s funeral. I can’t wait for further confrontations between Linda, Lauren, Cindy and Ian. Will this also trigger a return for Max as well potentially #EastEnders. Another added: “Max would also have Abi jr (Abi and Stephen’s daughter and Cindy’s grandchild) so there’s potential for a story there. #EastEnders.”
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A third person said: “So happy that Lauren is coming back to #Eastenders but my biggest story hope is that she and Linda have some great scenes together and she finally finds out that Annie is her sister and tells Max.” Someone else wrote: “Ohhh so exciting!! I love the Brannings. I knew when Lauren came back in that Cindy ep she would be back for good. I’m hoping Max will follow her back to the square. Such exciting times when I think Eastenders can’t surprise me anymore they pull it out of the bag #Eastenders.”
Fans will have to wait and see if Max follows Lauren back to Walford.
EastEnders airs Monday to Thursday on BBC One and BBC iPlayer at 7.30pm