Danny Dyer threw himself into work in Australia to ‘grieve’ EastEnders exit

Danny Dyer said he packed a bag after wrapping his final episode on EastEnders and took an acting job in Australia as part of his “grieving process” in leaving the soap after almost a decade.

Dyer, 45, who joined the BBC One soap cast in 2013 as Mick Carter, saw his character seemingly killed off in the English Channel in an attempt to save the love of his life during the dramatic Christmas Day episode.

Dyer told Dermot O’Leary on his BBC Radio 2 show about filming his new four-part Channel 5 drama Heat, following his exit from EastEnders.

He said: “It was my first gig, literally I wrapped on EastEnders, I packed a bag, I flew to Australia, so it was part of my grieving process, transitional period.

“I felt I needed to throw myself into it, nine years into a job is a long time, it was an emotional thing for me so I just threw myself into something else.”

Dyer described the show, which stars Neighbours trio Jane Allsop, Richie Morris and Olympia Valance, as an “amazing piece of work”.

He said: “It’s about a group of people that go and stay in this lodge in the middle of the bush, and it’s all about the dry season and about bushfires.

“It’s (got) a really dark twist within it. The revelation to me was that it rained every day in Melbourne. I didn’t really realise it rains in Australia.

Danny Dyer played Mick Carter in EastEnders
Danny Dyer played Mick Carter in EastEnders (Kieron McCarron/BBC)

“I took the job, one because it was a great script and two because I’d like to work in the heat in the summer, the Australian summer, and it rained every single day.

“As soon as I left the sun came out so that made it slightly trickier but it’s a really good bit of work.”

Dyer also spoke about his latest role hosting Netflix’s unscripted gameshow Cheat, alongside comedian and Strictly Come Dancing star Ellie Taylor.

He said: “It’s me and the lovely Ellie Taylor, she’s great. I’ve never had a co-host, that was exciting for me. I suppose she brings a little bit of sophistication and class and I bring a little bit of peasant to the show.

Ellie Taylor
Ellie Taylor appeared on Strictly Come Dancing 2022 (BBC/PA)

“There’s four contestants, it’s a bit like poker, but they have a secret cheat button.

“If they don’t know the answer, they can press the button, and then they can cheat. It’s all about the delivery. The other contestants can call you out if they feel that you’ve cheated.

“So you can be really rubbish and not know anything and win loads of money if you’re good at lying. We found one of the contestants who cheated on about 90% of her answers and won over £50,000, this isn’t a show for quiz nerds.

“I’m there to stir the pot, I’m encouraging people to throw shade at each other, they all start off on these gameshows as mates and by the end of it they hate each other.”

Dyer said that he was “blagging it” with producers for a while because the format was “confusing”.

He also gave details about hosting a new Channel 4 reality show titled Scared Of The Dark where a group of famous faces will be challenged to survive eight days without sunlight in a specially constructed “bunker”.

Dyer added: “I went in there and you cannot see your hand in front of your face. It took them a long time to build a space where no natural light gets in.

“Seven celebrities, good celebrities, are thrown into the pitch black and basically what they’re doing there is they just try and survive and they have tasks in there and if they win a task they win a light bulb for 10 minutes to get a bit of light on.

“Honestly it is such a brilliant piece of work. It makes you laugh really hard and it makes you cry. Any piece of work that can do that is genius.

“I’m very excited about it. I don’t know whether they’ll get a second series because I don’t know if you’ll find celebrities that are willing to do it. The first one’s a bit of a test.”