EastEnders is losing its diamond geezer Danny Dyer, who's quite possibly "The Most Cockney Man in the World" and thus a great embodiment of the fictional, mythical East End London of the long-running soap opera. Dyer has played pub landlord Mick Carter for 9 years, becoming a fan favourite and one of the faces of the show.
Dyer and his daughter Dani Dyer host a regular podcast "Sorted with the Dyers podcast", and on a recent episode, he explained why he was leaving EastEnders. He insisted there was no major drama and that he would like to leave the door open for a potential return in the future. "Let me tell you something – Mick's exit is going to be a very, very powerful thing. I would love the door to be left open, and as far as I know, it is," he said. "So who knows. When I go out there and I fail miserably I can come back with my tail between my legs and go, 'Will you take me back?'"
Dyer also denied claims he had signed a million-pound deal with Sky. According to the tabloids – and we should always believe what they say, right? – it was less than a million and potentially less than his deal for EastEnders but granted him more freedom. "The big news is I've decided not to renew my contract," he explained. "That's all. That's not because I've fallen out with anybody – I love everybody. That job has been amazing for me. It's an important part of television. I'm grateful for the beautiful years I've had there. I'm going to miss the people massively. It's me taking a risk."
"There's no big story around it, really. Other than the fact I've decided to go off and try some other stuff. I'm 44 now, and I've had nine years of playing Mick and I think he needs to be rested. I'm still looking for that defining role. Maybe it is there, maybe it isn't. But I've always been quite ambitious and I had quite a long career before I went into EastEnders. I know the landscape has changed slightly but I want to go out there and have another go, and the only way I can do that is if I decide to walk away from the job."
So there you have it. EastEnders is not going to kill off Mick Carter. He might come back later. Much later.