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 47)
Alma materAnna Scher Drama School
OccupationActor, Voice-Actor
Years active1984–present
Known forOnly Fools and Horses (1989)
Grease Monkeys (2003)
EastEnders (1990, 2006–)
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. Wood was in the BBC One's Strictly Come Dancing as a celebrity dancer. In the United States, he is known as the voice of the GEICO gecko.

Early life[edit]

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]


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 Driven to Distraction 1989, 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.

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.

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

Wood originally portrayed the character Jackson in Eastenders in March 1990. Jackson was a minor character in EastEnders who met Diane Butcher while she was sleeping rough on the streets of London. Wood was later to play the regular character Max Branning from June 2006 to date.

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]

Jake Wood and Spencer Oliver

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

Personal life[edit]

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]


  1. ^ a b c "BBC One – Strictly Come Dancing, Series 12 – Jake Wood". BBC. Retrieved 19 May 2015.
  2. ^ a b "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.

External links[edit]