EastEnders star Jake Wood has praised the soap’s new executive producer Bryan Kirkwood for bringing a “lightness of touch” back to Albert Square.

Jake – who plays Max Branning – said that Bryan’s episodes would restore some of the fun that had been lacking from the soap in recent years.

The new boss – who used to head up Hollyoaks – joined EastEnders earlier this year following the departure of previous executive producer Diederick Santer.

“There’s a real lightness of touch. We’re starting to film Bryan’s episodes now and there’s a lot of lighter stuff, which is great fun,” Jake said.

“From my point of view there’s more fun stuff with Vanessa and Darren, so maybe you’ll see some of the stuff that has been lacking over the last couple of years.”

Jake added, “EastEnders does incredibly well at the dramatic climaxes to storylines, the gritty dramas.”

When it does that it’s at its best, but maybe some of the lighter stuff has been waylaid or overlooked over the last couple of years and I think we’re going back to that, to an even greater balance to the show.”