By Kerri-Ann Roper, PA Entertainment Editor
Danny Dyer has vowed that the exit for his character from EastEnders will be “a very, very powerful thing”.
The 44-year-old actor, who joined the cast of the BBC One soap as Queen Vic landlord Mick Carter in 2013, has discussed his decision to leave the role.
Speaking to his daughter Dani on their podcast, Sorted With The Dyers, he said: “I am leaving EastEnders. I’m very lucky, I’m very grateful, in a sense of, when you’re in a job like a soap your contract comes up for renewal, and every time my contract has come up for renewal they have asked me to stay, and I’m very grateful for that, because I’ve seen a lot of people come and go. It’s very tough.”
“So, I always debate whether I want to sign again and I’ve been contemplating a while now about maybe it’s time to roll the dice, take the leap.”
He denied he has been “poached” by anybody, saying he has merely decided not to renew his contract with the soap.
“That’s not because I’ve fallen out with anybody – I love everybody,” he said. That job has been amazing for me. It’s an important part of television.
“And I’m grateful for the beautiful years I’ve had there. I’m going to miss the people massively.”
Dyer said leaving the role is him “taking a risk”.
He said: “I know there will be some people that will be f****** jumping for joy at the idea of me leaving EastEnders, there will be others that will be quite upset and disappointed. Other people will wish me the best for the future.
“There’s no big story around it, really. Other than the fact I’m deciding to go off and try some other stuff.”
His breakout role was as Moff in the cult 1999 film Human Traffic, followed by parts in Mean Machine and The Football Factory. In 2019 he made his debut as a game show host, presenting BBC show The Wall.
But the actor said he is still looking for “that defining role”.
He told his daughter: “I still don’t think I’ve found… I’m 44 now, and I’ve had nine years of playing Mick and I think he needs to be rested for a bit.
“I think I want to go off and try, and I’m still looking for that defining role, and I don’t know what that is yet, maybe it isn’t there, maybe it is.
“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 a little go, and the only way I can do that, of course, is if I decide to walk away from the job.
“And so I just wanted to put my little version out there so it is true…”
Speaking about his character’s exit, he said: “Let me tell you something now – 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.
“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?'”
He said he is sending “love to everyone at EastEnders”.
After his news of his departure broke, a statement from show bosses said: “Danny will be leaving EastEnders when his contract comes to an end later this year.
“Danny has made Mick Carter an iconic character, which we shall always be grateful for; however we won’t be saying goodbye just yet as there’s still quite some time – and plenty of explosive drama for Mick – to come before he departs Walford.”
A show source added that Dyer’s character will be “at the heart of some big drama” with the return of his on-screen wife, Linda Carter, played by Kellie Bright.