Ex EastEnders star Jake Wood shares rare picture of his wife as he celebrates her birthday

FORMER EastEnders star Jake Wood has posted a picture of his rarely-seen wife as he celebrated her birthday on Friday.

The actor took to his Instagram grid to send Alison, 52, a gushing tribute on her special day as they enjoyed an outdoor lunch together.

Jake, 49, who waved goodbye to soap character Max Branning in February after 15 years on EastEnders, posted a solo snap of rarely-seen Alison.

His wife, who is also the mother of their two children – Buster and Amber – wore a brightly coloured sweatshirt as she sat outside in the sunshine.

Wearing her brunette locks down, with her fringe styled neatly across her face, Alison donned a pair of oversized sunglasses for the snap.

She pointed towards her chest towards the print on the jumper, which read: "I am a ray of f***ing sunshine," as she smiled widely.

Jake lovingly gushed over his wife in the caption of the birthday post: "Beautiful birthday girl. A ray of f***ing sunshine indeed."

Fans immediately flooded the comments to wish Alison a 'happy birthday' and share their love for her foul-mouthed t-shirt.

Jake met his wife Alison when he was just 23-years-old and the pair tied the knot in 2001 – with the pair now sharing two teenage children.

Speaking about their relationship, Jake previously said: "We obviously love each other a lot but also we’ve always wanted the same things

"You’ve got to work hard at it and you’ve got to talk. Alison’s taught me that.

“We always have a date night once a week when we just hang out, catch up and talk. It’s a chance for us to check in with one another to make sure we’re still on track.

“We’re not soppy but we know we love each other a lot. Alison means the world to me. I feel incredibly lucky to have been with such an amazing woman for so long and I’m looking forward to the next 23 years.”

It's the second year in a row that Jake has posted a gushing tribute to his wife on her birthday – as he shared a selfie of the pair last year.

The actor wrote in the romantic caption: "Happy Birthday beautiful. I couldn't imagine a life without you."

Earlier this year, Jake waved goodbye to EastEnders as his iconic character left Walford after Linda Carter rejected his advances.

Jake has now swapped the small screen for the West End after landing a theatre role alongside the likes of Lily Allen – but he could be back as our favourite East End Lothario before we know it.

Reflecting on his popular character, the star shared: "I never got bored playing him, although the scene when I was buried alive was tough.

"It was hard graft, but I’m really pleased that they’ve left the door open for the character to return."

Jake went on to tease in a chat with The Mirror: "Never say never."

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