EastEnders spoilers: Will Max & Derek Branning’s big secret prevent Max from marrying Tanya?!

Since Max Branning returned to Walford last year, with dodgy dealer brother Derek in tow, there have been hints about a dark secret that Derek (Jamie Foreman) is holding over his brother, just waiting for the opportunity to use his knowledge for his own purposes…

Whatever the secret is, it happened while Max was staying with Derek in Manchester, and intriguingly, Jake Wood – who of course plays Max – has told Soaplife that this secret could stop his character saying ‘yes’ when Tanya (Jo Joyner) proposes to him in a forthcoming episode.

The proposal comes after Max and Tanya share a moment of passion at the car lot, but apparently, Max’s reaction is not the one Tanya was expecting.

Jake explained, “Tanya proposes to Max – but he hesitates and that upsets her.

“He tells her that it’s what he wants, but he wanted to propose to her. To make it really special…

“He’s thinking on his feet and Tanya absolutely believes him.”

However, Jake went on to reveal that Max is lying. He said, “There may be one or two hurdles in the way of Max marrying Tanya.

“It could be to do with something that happened while he was away in Manchester with Derek.”

He added, “I can’t tell you what the problem is but I can tell you it is massive.

”Derek is using it as a stick to beat Max with. He keeps threatening to tell Tanya and Max doesn’t want that, so he’s allowing Derek to have a hold over him.”

And when asked if Max and Tanya will end up going down the aisle again, cagey Jake said, “We’ll have to wait and see if they get that far!

“I know there are big things happening in the autumn, in the build up to Christmas.”

However, Jo Joyner is of course about to take a break from the show, about which Jake said, “It depends on how they write Jo out. She’s having a break to spend time with her babies, so she will be back.”

So, what do you reckon Max’s secret is? Another wife? A lovechild? Let us know what you think!

Lynn is an editor and writer here at Unreality TV and is trained psychotherapist and the author of two books. She's addicted to soaps, period drama and reality TV shows such as X Factor, I'm A Celeb and Big Brother.