MASKED Dancer fans claim to have worked out the identity of the Pearly King.
The likes of Danny Dyer and Queen’s Brian May have been linked to the sharp-suited lion and now another name has entered the mix: Jake Wood.
Speculation is rife over the Pearly King’s identity
The former EastEnders star would fit the bill, primarily because of the character’s close association with the East End of London, where Enders is set.
One viewer wrote on Twitter: “Jake Wood from EastEnders is Pearly King.
Another posted: “Anyone reckon Pearly King could be Jake Wood (max from EastEnders).”
A third said: “Pearly King is Jake Wood.”
If the Max Branning actor is Lion it would be a left turn from his most recent role in the West End, in the award-winning 2:22 A Ghost Story.
The dad-of-two recently said he refuses to be typecast and claims he’s turned down roles because he’s earned the right to be picky.
Jake, who is working with the Diana Award for its anti-bullying assembly, told the Sun: “I’ve been acting since I was 10 years old so now all I want to do is stuff that excites me.
“I don’t feel I have to prove anything and I don’t want to be working for workings’ sake.
“Whether my next move is a Netflix project or a big film, who knows.”
When it comes to new projects, Jake admitted being a dad of teenagers meant he’ll think twice about more risqué roles – despite his buff body.
Jake’s Enders character Max was known as a womaniser; one of his most famous storylines saw him seduce his own son Bradley’s girlfriend Stacey Slater.
Their affair carried on even after Bradley and Stacey got married, culminating in an epic Christmas Day showdown in 2007 which saw them exposed to the whole family.
While the door has been left ajar for Max to return, Jake has no plans to return anytime soon.
But he’s confident that despite dwindling ratings, soaps will endure.
He said: “They’re a British tradition. It doesn’t surprise me that viewing habits have changed. The stories they tell are universal so I think people will always watch them.
“People access things in a different way now – I was told a while ago that EastEnders is one of the most downloaded shows.”
Jake Wood’s name is now in the frame