Eastenders' Max Branning: The Most Shocking Storylines

By Amelia Slater

23rd July 2019

Eastenders’ Max Branning: The Most Shocking Storylines

Infamous womanizer Max Branning (Jake Wood) has never been short of drama in his life…especially when he’s usually the one orchestrating it.

The bald businessman has strayed from relationships more times than we can count. We’re baffled as to how the man does it but there must be something about his love em’ and leave em’ attitude that drives the women of the square wild. Maybe it’s his charm? (Ahem!)

The troubled dad has had a rocky ride – from affairs to family deaths to suicide attempts to almost murder. It’s time to take a trip down memory lane and into the crazy, adulterous life of ladies’ man Max Branning…

1. The Affair With Stacey

A moment which now goes down in Eastenders history, Max Branning and Stacey Slater’s (the wife of his son, Bradley) long winded affair is finally revealed in the most shocking scenario: video recording (DUN DUN DUN!)

Video Source: /YouTube

2. Max Nearly Gets Buried Alive

After the big reveal of the affair, things only get worse for Max when ex-wife Tanya Branning tries to bury him alive. In a murder plot devised by her new beau Sean Slater (who happens to be Stacey’s brother…the drama!!) Tanya drugs Max and shoves him into a coffin before the pair drag him out into the woods.

Luckily for Max, Tanya’s guilt gets to her and she digs Max back up.

Video Source: /YouTube

3. The End of Bradley Branning

The drama came to a climax when Bradley Branning falls to his death on 25th anniversary live episode after an epic police chase onto the roof.

After being accused of the murder of Archie Mitchell, in a bid to detract police from Stacey (the true killer), Bradley climbs onto the roof and then flings himself off.

Video Source: /YouTube

4. Max’s Secret Wife Kirsty

It’s not an Eastenders’ wedding if nothing goes t*ts up! On the day of Tanya and Max’s second wedding, a stranger turns up to ruin the festivities – none other than Max’s other wife Kirsty. (We can’t keep up with all this drama!)

Video Source: /YouTube

5. Max And Lucy Beale

Just when we thought Max couldn’t sink any lower, he finds another conquest to add to his growing list of sexy affairs, his daughter’s best friend Lucy Beale (who is just a tad younger than him…).

The pair manage to keep the affair under wraps for a good few weeks until the inevitable happens: an anonymous person sends images of the pair kissing to Max and the blackmail game is well and truly on.

Video Source: /YouTube

Max confronts Lucy when the images emerge, believing she is the culprit. Only it turns out that she isn’t behind the scheme. Later, Lucy ends the relationship with Max after starting a new relationship with Lee Carter (much to Max’s annoyance).

After the altercation becomes physical, Lucy falls and hits her head before the pair have an explosive argument.

6. The Death Of Lucy Beale

After Lucy is found dead in the woods, Max is implicated in the murder after the affair is brought to light by the police. After opening up about the affair to David Wicks, David tries to get Max to confess to the police but he refuses.

The plot thickens when Max’s daughter Abi reveals that she was the one blackmailing him. Then, Lucy’s father Ian finds out about the affair and attacks Max at the funeral.

max branning lucy beale death

Image Source: /YouTube

7. Max Is Arrested For Murder

After Ben is arrested for Lucy’s murder, his dad (and Max’s enemy) Phil Mitchell convinces Abi Branning to tell the police that Max had a fake alibi. After discovering Lucy’s blood on his shoe, Max is arrested for the murder.

BUT WAIT…the man is actually innocent and after dragging it out for over a year, we FINALLY discover that it was, in fact, Lucy’s little brother Bobby Beale who killed Lucy…gasp!)

Video Source: /YouTube

At court, the verdict comes back as guilty but Max manages to escape. After confronting Jane to find out the truth, she helps him escape to Ireland (knowing that son Bobby is the killer). Max is sentenced to life imprisonment until months later when the truth about Bobby comes out…

…And Max is not a happy bunny!

8. Max’s Revenge On The Beales

Max’s daughters Abi and Lauren attempt to visit him in prison after the truth about Bobby is revealed. Unsurprisingly after being abandoned, Max isn’t all that eager to see them when he is released. He writes a threatening letter to Ian saying that he will never forgive him.

Max returns to the square on Christmas Eve, claiming to be a ‘changed man’ and wanting to build bridges with everyone again. He shakes hands with Ian and Jane, telling them that they should all forgive and move on…

max branning tries to strangle ian beale

Image Source: /Twitter @MattMK

It turns out Max actually has an evil plan to get revenge. First, he starts on brother Jack Branning by framing him for attacking Charlie Cotton. Then he’s onto Phil Mitchell and Jane Beale. After attempting to murder Jane, an angry Max turns his attentions onto his main targets: Ian Beale and Phil Mitchell.

Max surprises Ian at his home, telling him he plans to kill him and then Phil (who bribed the jury during his court case). Ian tries to escape, hitting Max with a frying pan but Max gets the upper hand and tries to strangle Ian. Fortunately, Lauren catches them and stops Max.

7. Abi And Lauren Branning Fall Off The Roof

After successfully managing to get himself into more and more trouble, Max finds himself at his lowest point and believes that his life is over. On Christmas day, Max stands on the roof of the Queen Vic in a suicide attempt.

His daughter’s Lauren and Abi head up onto the roof to try and talk him down but Max tells them to leave. They refuse, telling him they love him and Max agrees to come down. Tragically, before they can reach the ground safely, Lauren slips on the wet ledge and falls along with sister Abi.

Video Source: /YouTube

8. Abi’s Death

After the fall, Lauren makes a full recovery but Abi is pronounced brainstem dead with no chance of regaining consciousness. The news hits Max hard and he refuses to believe it. Abi (who was pregnant at the time) has to have her baby delivered via caesarean section.

A hopeful Max gets a court order to stop Abi’s life support from being switched off and believes that taking her to the US for a £2,000,000 treatment is the answer.

Image Source: /YouTube

Eventually, Max gives up the fight (after dramatically barricading himself in Abi’s hospital room) and Abi’s life support is switched off at the time of her birth with her family by her side. Abi’s newborn baby is named after her in memory of her mother. Max then decides to leave Walford.

9. Trying To Gain Custody Of Baby Abi

After taking a break from Walf0rd, Max returns to Albert Square with a new wife – none other than Rainie Cross, ex-wife Tanya’s sister (yikes!) Max certainly likes to get himself in hot water doesn’t he? Or does he? It turns out that the marriage is a sham, designed to make Max look like a ‘family man’ in order to gain adoption of baby Abi.

max branning rainie cross custody battle

Image Source: /Digital Spy

The pair aren’t exactly the pinnacle of ‘good parent’s with Rainie’s drug issues and Max’s adulterous past – yet they manage to fool social services.

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