EastEnders Jake Wood ‘so sad’ as illness forces him to pull out of London marathon in memory of Dame Barbara WIndsor

EastEnders Jake Wood 'so sad' as illness forces him to pull out of London marathon in memory of Dame Barbara WIndsor,

EASTENDERS star Jake Wood has revealed his heartbreak after being forced to pull out of taking part in the London Marathon this weekend.

The actor, famed for playing Max Branning in the BBC soap opera, had been due to run the marathon as part of Bab’s Army, a team dedicated to raising funds and awareness in Dame Barbara Windsor’s memory.

Jake Wood has been forced to quit the London Marathon

He was running in memory of Dame Barbara Windsor

Barbara, an EastEnders icon, died in December 2020.

Dame Barbara was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease in 2014 and made the news public in 2018.

Jake confirmed in a video message that he had been forced to pull out of taking part in the event as a result of illness.

He confirmed he had been suffering the effects of a chest infection over the last few weeks whilst appearing on stage in the West End production of 2.22: A Ghost Story alongside Cheryl.

Jake looked downcast as he shared the news with fans online.

In the video, he said: “Unfortunately, I’ll be unable to run the London Marathon [on] Sunday due to medical advice.

“I’ve got a very bad chest infection, I’ve had it for the last couple of weeks.

“I’ve been told in no uncertain terms to not run.”

He added: “I’m gutted to not be running it with all my fellow Bab’s Army, raising money for Alzheimer’s Research UK.

“I’ll be really sad to not be with them on the day.”

He went onto insist that he would still support his co-stars at the event which include the likes of Natalie Cassidy and Lacey Turner.

The group was set up by Scott Mitchell, Barbara’s widow, who is also set to compete alongside the actors.

Responding to the news, Scott said to Jake via Instagram: “Jake you have been a warrior all through training!

“We are so sorry to lose you from the team!! Your health comes first but just fitted for you! Thanks for all you have done this far! Love you mate!”

Fellow actor Adam Woodyatt, who has also been training to take part, commented under his post: “Gutted for you Bud. Tough decision but the right one.”

Jo Joyner, Jake’s on-screen partner, commented: “Gutted for you hun, I know how hard you’ve all worked for it. But best you get well again xx.”

Owing to illness, he can no longer partake